After the U.S. government shut down the popular file-sharing site MegaUpload leaving many users without access to legitimate files, news now comes that there are negotiations to release those legitimate files to their owners.
The news comes via The Wall Street Journal citing information from the counsels of MegaUpload and the U.S. government saying that there are talks being conducted to release legitimate files to users.
The Journal writes that “Ira Rothken, an attorney for Megaupload, said the company is in negotiations with federal prosecutors regarding an agreement that could allow the company to reopen access to certain files.”
“It is entirely in the hands of the government whether they want to free up the funds so that Megaupload could pay for bandwidth and hosting costs and make consumer data available,” Rothken is quoted by the Journal as saying.
“At this point, we are still cautiously optimistic that we will be able to reach an agreement,” the MegaUpload counsel added.
All users of MegaUpload have been locked out of their accounts as the site has had its domain name seized and its assets frozen.
On the side of the U.S. government, the Journal quotes a spokesman of the U.S. Department of Justice saying that the agency is “very sensitive to the concerns raised by the site’s users and counsel.”
According to this spokesman, those involved in the trials “will give careful and thoughtful consideration to any reasonable and detailed proposal by Mega’s counsel that addresses the practical and technical issues for the court.”
However, he said that “Ultimately, it is the court that will decide what is appropriate and whether any funds will be released to carry it out.”
Meanwhile, there have been far reaching effects of the MegaUpload shutdown.
After the U.S. conducted its operation, which included actions in eight sovereign countries under authority from more than 20 warrants, hacker collective Annonymous retaliated by attacking the website of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
File-sharing sites like FileSonic have also shuttered their sharing systems. This is presumably a response to the MegaUpload seizure as these sites may have gone afraid that they too will be brought to court by the U.S. government.
Other sites have also made drastic changes to their systems including letting users download only files they have uploaded or otherwise completely shutting down their websites.
There has also been conflicting reports about recovery of the data stored by MegaUpload with some saying that the data may soon be deleted.