Prosecutors in the US plan to start deleting data from the servers of file-sharing site Megauploads this week.
The move has led to claims that wiping files could make it impossible for the accused to defend themselves and deprive millions of users access to their personal files.
The hosting site was shut down earlier this month when the FBI conducted raids around the world, claiming Megauploads' operators had pocketed $175 million in illegal earnings from copyright infringement.
According to reports from the Associated Press news agency, the federal investigators that raided companies used for storage by Megauploads plan to start wiping data, which the under-fire company says includes personal files such as photos for millions of its users.
According to Megaupload's lawyer, Ira Rothken, the company was working with prosecutors to try to keep the data from being erased, with at least 50 million Megaupload users at risk of their files being erased.
According to Rothken, the FBI didn't remove servers during raids, instead only copying data. Rothken said that the data was crucial to the site's legal defence.
"We're cautiously optimistic at this point that because the US, as well as Megaupload, should have a common desire to protect consumers, that this type of agreement will get done," he said.
This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk