10 months ago, over 180 million users were signed-up to file-locker service MegaUpload, with the site ranking 13th in the world. On January 18th, US authorities seized MegaUpload's database and suspended services in a crack-down on file-sharing.
For the past 10 months, millions of legitimate users of the file-locker service have been unable to access both private and work related documents and files, causing general outrage, with groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation lobbying for access to content.
It's now seeming likely that users may be able to take their qualms to the courts, in an effort to regain access to lost files. MegaUpload lawyer, Ira Rothken, confirmed that courts have ordered an "evidentiary hearing" over data access issues and have requested input from relevant parties on procedural matters.
Despite the passage of time, Kim Dotcom, owner of MegaUpload, has successfully avoided extradition from New Zealand to the US, with the next hearing on the matter scheduled for March 2013. It was revealed that Kim's mansion had been unlawfully seized and searched with an invalid warrant and that US authorities had yet to formally issue any criminal papers to the company, a requirement in New Zealand law.
One of the key arguments that led to the seizure of MegaUpload was that the site didn't provide an appropriate platform for long-term file storage and so, it'll be interesting to see where the case investigating user access to data goes, as it has the potential to either prove or disprove the assumption.