During the raid against MegaUpload 5 years ago, most of its servers were seized in the US, but 32 were targeted in Canada. Like in the US, the battle to determine who can access them has been ongoing over the past years. Now the Court of Appeal has decided that the FBI can’t examine them.
MegaUpload case is one of the largest in file-sharing industry, but perhaps also the slowest – in fact, in some respects it has made almost no progress. For example, in respect to the defunct company’s servers in Canada.
In fact, Canada became quietly involved in the MegaUpload case even before the raids in New Zealand, when the US Department of Justice was trying to seize 32 leased computer servers located in Toronto. 5 years ago, a Superior Court judge in Ontario issued the warrant targeting the servers located in the Canadian datacenter. Later, the American government asked Canada to hand the hardware over.
4 years ago, the Minister of Justice applied for an order for the servers to be sent to the US, but the defunct file-hosting service protested, pointing out that the servers contained lots of data irrelevant to the case. At the same time, MegaUpload agreed that an independent forensic examiner could examine them before any handover.
At the time, the Canadian court sided with MegaUpload and refused to send the servers’ data to the US. Next year, the parties were ordered to find a way to filter out irrelevant content, suggesting an involvement of FBI investigators who had no connection with the case. However, both MegaUpload and the datacenter objected to the proposal, saying that the FBI shouldn’t be involved at all, and appealed this order. Now the appeal was granted in favor of MegaUpload.
As a result, the servers will continue to be stored at the Canadian datacenter – at least while the legal wrangling is ongoing.
Refrences: TFreak, et