aside

This is the position taken up by the US Government. It asserts that based on a standard cloud computing contract, your ownership rights are severely limited — basically none — once you’ve uploaded the data to a cloud storage provider. The government, with warrant in hand, may take possession of storage hardware from the cloud provider that contains your data — even though you have nothing to do with the primary subject of the warrant. And in order to get it back, you’ll have to jump through a number of judicial hoops, including having to show up in federal court in Virginia.

If the government is right, no provider can both protect itself against sudden losses (like those due to a hurricane) and also promise its customers that their property rights will be maintained when they use the service. Nor can they promise that their property might not suddenly disappear, with no reasonable way to get it back if the government comes in with a warrant. Apparently your property rights “become severely limited” if you allow someone else to host your data under standard cloud computing arrangements. This argument isn’t limited in any way to Megaupload — it would apply if the third party host was Amazon’s S3 or Google Apps or or Apple iCloud. – The Electronic Frontier Foundation

Do you know where your data is?