San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today formally requested the preservation of the data seized when the U.S. government shut down and related sites, notifying the court and attorneys involved in the case that Megaupload's innocent users deserve a fair process to control and retrieve their lawful material.

"The government knows that Megaupload had many customers who followed the law. Yet it gave those users no notice that their data was at risk and no information about how they might be able to eventually get that data back," said EFF Staff Attorney Julie Samuels. "Our client, and the many other innocent Megaupload users, are entitled to a clear process for obtaining access to their own property, and the first step is to make sure that property is not deleted or damaged until the court can sort this out."

Instead of assisting the innocents caught up in the seizure, the U.S government summarily announced this week that it had finished its examination of Megaupload's servers and announced that the companies that owned those servers – Carpathia and Cogent – were free to delete the contents. The government even stated that deletions could start as soon as February 2, leaving innocent users with very little time to protect themselves. Thankfully, both hosting services have agreed not to destroy users' data for the time being, and it appears that Megaupload is trying in good faith to help users get access. But there is still no clear path for customers to get their content back.

"Megaupload's innocent users are entitled to access their property," said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "We hope that everyone involved can work together to comply with the law and ensure basic fairness to the millions of people who have done nothing wrong."

This week, Carpathia Hosting and EFF announced that Carpathia created a website at so that Megaupload’s lawful customers could contact EFF and provide information about the scope of the issue and the material made unavailable by the seizure.  If you are one of these users, are based in the United States, and are looking for legal help retrieving your data, please email your contact information to

For the full letter sent to the court:

For more on this case:


Julie Samuels
   Staff Attorney
   Electronic Frontier Foundation

Cindy Cohn
   Legal Director
   Electronic Frontier Foundation

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