After seizing MegaUpload and freezing its assets last week, U.S. District Attorney Neil MacBride wrote in a letter to the site's lawyers saying "hosting companies may begin deleting the contents of the servers beginning as early as February 2, 2012." That's bad news for people who were using the site for legitimate backup purposes, but a last minute stay of execution for all those digital bits is still possible.
MegaUpload has apparently struck a deal with its hosting companies -- Carpathia Hosting Inc. and Cogent Communications Group Inc. -- to hold onto the data for at least two more weeks, according to a report in The Washington Post. At issue are the frozen assets that prevent MegaUpload from being able to pay its hosting bills. MegaUpload's lawyer, Ira Rothken, is trying to convince the U.S. government to unfreeze some of those assets so the site can pay to have the data recovered.
It's unclear how willing the U.S. government is to strike a deal with MegaUpload regarding its frozen funds, though as far as the hosting companies as concerned, Rothken indicated they've been "very open to negotiating."