Even with a heavily worded request from US authorities for 32 Megaupload servers, a Canadian court has rejected the proposal, suggesting that since personal information could be part of the data, that it must first ascertain what is stored on them before the hand over.
Despite having lost almost every court battle in New Zealand and other countries since Megaupload was taken down in early 2012 and its owner Kim Dotcom arrested, the US authorities are still pushing for a US trial – which means its needs evidence on hand. It already has over 1,000 servers seized from American facilities, but there are others outside of the country that it’s been coveting for some time, including 32 at an Equinox datacentre in Canada.
However based on a statement from Dotcom’s legal team that the servers held information that was unimportant to the case and could in-fact hold personal information of Megaupload’s user base, the request has now been denied until an independent body can examine the data held within.
Megaupload’s US defence team headed by Ira Rothken was undoubtedly pleased wit the result, stating (via Torrentfreak): “We hope the United States going forward will take into consideration the privacy rights of cloud storage users before attempting to search and seize servers globally in criminal investigations.”
He then went on to recommend that users of cloud based storage platforms encrypt their data, to make government intrusion far less likely. This is a feature that will be offered as standard as part of Dotcom’s new Mega platform that is set to launch tomorrow. This is designed as not only a safety feature for users, but for the staff as well, who will have no way of knowing what data is being uploaded.
KitGuru Says: Whichever side of the Megaupload argument you come down on, it’s good to see a government protecting the rights of citizens, especially when it’s not necessarily their own.