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After a couple of weeks using a partially functional site, MegaUpload's users will now feel some real pain as the fed threatens to delete the site's data starting Thursday. Aletter from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia via The Associated Press, reveals the plan to permanently eliminate the controversial file-sharing site. Up until now, it looked like the jailed owner Kim Dotcom would suffer for the digital thievery, but now anyone who had stored anything on MegaUpload will lose their information.

As of now, heading to leads to that FBI desist letter above. The digital information contained on MegaUpload's servers still exists, as the Internet savvy pirates proved when they created a (limited) workaround site. That side-door is completely useless without the information stored on those servers, which means the site's estimated millions of users will lose access to everything they've ever uploaded there.

Not everything on MegaUpload is illegal content. Plenty of people have used the site for research and work, as Torrent Freak noted last week. 

Lawyer Ira P. Rothken is working with the other side to keep the 50 million users' cache of data from being erased, believing this is about protecting the consumer. "We're cautiously optimistic at this point that because the United States, as well as Megaupload, should have a common desire to protect consumers, that this type of agreement will get done," he told the AP. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.