In the wake of the controversial shutdown of Megaupload on Jan. 19, U.S. federal agents said today that they're prepared to begin wiping out the site's data, which could tick off up to 50 million file-sharing customers. The data could be wiped out as early as this Thursday, and would include all files, including non-copyright-infringing data.
The move by the U.S. Attorney's Office comes a week-and-a-half after agents froze the assets of Megaupload and charged seven of the company's officers with copyright infringement. Customers have been locked out of their accounts on the site ever since.
Prosecutors said they no longer have any need to access the data, and instead of copying it, they have asked a federal court to delete the files. Lawyers for Megaupload said they're trying to work with the feds to stop the deletion.
"We're cautiously optimistic at this point because the United States, as well as Megaupload, should have a common desire to protect consumers," Ira Rothken, counsel for Megaupload told the Associated Press.