Technology

Kim Dotcom angry after Megaupload files deleted

Image caption Mr Dotcom faces up to 20 years if convicted in the US

A huge amount of Megaupload data has been deleted by a European hosting firm, founder Kim Dotcom has revealed.

He called it the "largest data massacre in the history of the internet," saying that millions of users' personal files had been lost.

US authorities shut down Megaupload last year, accusing Mr Dotcom of helping people share movies and music illegally.

Dutch firm LeaseWeb said that it needed to "reprovision the servers".

It said that it had maintained the 630 servers at its own expense since Megaupload was shut down in January 2012, following raids led by the US authorities.

"After a year of nobody showing any interest in the servers and the data we considered our options... we commenced the re-provisioning of the servers in February 2013, it said in a blog post.

In tears

But on Twitter, Mr Dotcom said that his lawyers "had repeatedly asked LeaseWeb not to delete Megaupload servers while court proceedings are pending in the US".

He said that he was never warned about the deletion, adding that the loss of the files had reduced him to tears.

This is disputed by LeaseWeb who claim that it did inform him.

The deleted servers represent only a small fraction of those leased by Megaupload, to provide storage space for users.

In North America alone, the firm leased 1,100 servers from Carpathia Hosting while Cogent Communications Group also provided servers.

Legal battle

Mr Dotcom said he still had the support of these two companies.

US internet rights group are demanding that the Megaupload files be preserved so that users can regain access to personal material such as photos and videos.

Mr Dotcom is currently free on bail in New Zealand where he is fighting extradition to the US to face charges of copyright fraud.

The long-running legal battle has been hit by multiple delays. The raid on the entrepreneur's home, during which computers, hard drives and documents were seized, was deemed illegal by a New Zealand court in June last year.

Mr Dotcom has denied the charges, saying he could not be held responsible for what was stored on Megaupload which simply offered a storage service to users.

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