Users of MegaUpload may have a brief window to retrieve files from the site after the law firm representing the file sharing service says it is negotiating a solution with the US Government. While the primary function of the negotiations is likely to gather evidence so that MegaUpload's lawyers can build their defense, it is possible the general public may temporarily gain access to their accounts.
In the United States, the file sharing service uses two hosting providers to store data, Carpathia Hosting and Cogent Communications. When US authorities shut down the service two weeks ago, it also froze MegaUpload's assets, leaving it no money to pay bills.
Lawyer Ira Rothken announced the agreement on Twitter Monday night. "Carpathia and Cogent agreed to preserve consumer data for additional time of at least two weeks so #Megaupload can work with US on proposal", the tweet reads. The process of deletion is expected to begin February 2, according to U.S. District Attorney Neil MacBride.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is also stepping in to assist MegaUpload users in data retrieval. On Tuesday it announced a partnership with Carpathia called MegaRetrieval that will work with users to retrieve legal content on MegaUpload's servers.
"EFF is troubled that so many lawful users of Megaupload.com had their property taken from them without warning and that the government has taken no steps to help them", EFF attorney Julie Samuels says. "We think it's important that these users have their voices heard as this process moves forward".
Rothken says that the hosting companies are willing to hold onto MegaUploads data while his firm negotiates with the government. In the end Rothken is looking for the government to free up some funds to pay the hosting providers, which he believes will help the company defend itself.