Megaupload data could be deleted

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In a filing with the U.S. District Court of Eastern Virginia on Friday, prosecutors said they had completed their search of Megaupload's servers, which are operated by two data companies, Carpathia and Cogent. With their search complete, prosecutors said the companies could begin deleting Megaupload's data as early as Thursday.

"Now that the United States has completed execution of its search warrants, the United States has no continuing right to access the Mega Servers," prosecutors wrote. "Should the defendants wish to obtain independent access to the Mega Servers, or coordinate third-party access to data housed on Mega Servers, that issue must be resolved directly with Cogent or Carpathia. It is our understanding that the hosting companies may begin deleting the contents of the servers beginning as early as Feb. 2, 2012."

According to the indictment, Megaupload leased 25 petabytes, or 25 million gigabytes, from Carpathia and 36 computer servers from Cogent.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office of Eastern Virginia explained that the letter gives Megaupload a chance to negotiate directly with the data companies to save users' data.