The Megaupload copyright case has taken yet another interesting turn, with the revelation this week that members of the US Senate, Department of Homeland Security, FBI and NASA hold Megaupload accounts, as well as 15,600 members of the US Military.
Since Megaupload was shut down in January, users have been unable to access their data. The file sharing site’s legal team is working hard to reunite users with their data – an effort supported by the EFF‘s MegaRetrieval campaign.
The number of accounts held by government officials totalled 1058, of which 344 were paid premium accounts. This amounted to 15,242 files, accounting for 1,851,791 MB of data hosted by Megaupload. This seems like a lot, but compared to the US Military personnel using the service, it’s a relatively small amount of data.
The 15,634 men and women of the US Military who are registered with Megaupload have a collective total of 96,507,779 MB of data stored with the now defunct service across 340,983 files.
While the MPAA and RIAA argue that the site was essentially a huge piracy hub, there will have people using the site for countless legitimate transfers of files that are simply too large to be emailed.
There is no evidence at this point that any of the government employees or military operatives were using Megaupload to infringe copyright, but what is almost certain is that the documents, photos and videos stored with the service are at risk of deletion.
Storing your data with a third-party has enough risks such as server failure or hacker attacks. But when the actions of other users – and arguably the administrators of the service – can affect your ability to access and control your own data, it is perhaps time to think about changing to a private sharing network.