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Megaupload given two more weeks to deal with user data

Megaupload has negotiated a 14-day reprieve for troves of data stored on the site. But that doesn't mean Megaupload users will see their files anytime soon. 

By Matthew Shaer / January 31, 2012

Megaupload chief Kim Dotcom, formerly known as Kim Schmitz, is seen in a New Zealand court. Megaupload has won a two-week reprieve to deal with user data.

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Earlier this month, the US Department of Justice shuttered Megaupload, a massive file-sharing operation run out of Hong Kong. The closing put at risk troves of user information, which federal prosecutors originally hinted might be deleted as soon as Thursday. Now comes word that Megauploaders have received a reprieve, giving lawyers for the site some time to sort out what will happen to hundreds of millions of music, movie and media files. 

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According to CNET, executives at Carpathia Hosting and Cogent Communication, the two companies responsible for actually hosting the Megaupload data, have agreed to hold on to the files for full two weeks. "The hosting companies have been gracious enough to provide additional time so we can work out some kind of arrangement with the government," Megaupload lawyer Ira Rothken told CNET. 

It's worth noting here that the reprieve does not necessarily mean that users are guaranteed to get their data back – it does, however, mean that Megaupload attorneys may be able to negotiate its release. In an interview with Wired, Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyer Julie Samuels said it was "unclear" what kind of access authorities had to user files. 

The government has accused Megaupload of dealing in pirated content, and costing copyright holders approximately $500 million. Megaupload chief Kim Dotcom, formerly known as Kim Schmitz, is currently imprisoned in New Zealand, along with three other Megaupload employees. Reps for the site have called the allegations against Megaupload "grotesquely overblown." 

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