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The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a self-proclaimed people's champion in the battlefield of digital rights, has waded into the controversy around the MegaUpload site, hoping to help legit users of the site to recover their 'lawful' content.

Julie Samuels of EFF says that her organisation is "troubled that so many lawful users of Megaupload.com had their property taken from them without warning".

The FBI raided the MegaUpload offices in New Zealand on 19 January, taking all of the site's servers offline – effectively confiscating all the material that had been stored on them.

Yesterday US prosecutors warned that content stored on MegaUpload servers could start facing deletion as early as tomorrow. According to MegaUpload's lawyers, that means that innocent and lawful content such as users' family photos and personal documents will get wiped out along with the suspected copyright-infringing files.

The EFF has stepped in to condemn the move and has offered to help MegaUpload server hosts Carpathia Hosting to restore legitimate content to its owners through a new website – megaretrieval.com. The EFF hopes to use the site to collect information about the "multitude of innocent users who stored legitimate, non-infringing files on the cloud-storage service [and] were left with no means to access their data".

EFF can't promise that the data will be retrieved, though, and Carpathia says it has no direct access to the content on the servers. ®

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