File sharing sites snapping shut like scared clams in MegaUpload backwash

Transfer of documents. Forwarding files conceptual 3d illustration.

File sharing in the cloudMajor file sharing sites have freaked out, closing down or locking their gates to keep out U.S. IP addresses following the FBI’s Megaupload takedown over the weekend.

Since Saturday, when the file-sharing company’s founder, Kim Dotcom, was tossed into a New Zealand jail, similar sites have been taking unprecedented steps to avoid a similar fate.

Here’s a brief summary of those sites’ statuses, cribbed from Lifehacker, Torrentfreak, and The Washington Post:

  • Fileserve – Stopped filesharing. You can only download your own files. Deleting multiple files. Banning Premium accounts. Closed Affiliate Program.

  • Changed server location Jan 22, 2012. Has taken down its Facebook page. Now using Digital fingerprinting. Files are being deleted as soon as uploaded (as Hotfile did).

  • FileSonic – A red banner on the site's main page now informs visitors that "All sharing functionality on FileSonic is now disabled. Our service can only be used to upload and retrieve files that you have uploaded personally."

  • VideoBB – Closed Affiliate Program.

  • Filepost – Started suspending accounts with infringing material (as Hotfile did).

  • – Blocked U.S. access.

  • Videozer – Closed Affiliate Program.

  • Filejungle – Owned by Fileserve (same as above). Testing USA IP addresses blocking.

  • Uploadstation – Owned by Fileserve (same as above). Testing USA IP addresses blocking.

  • 4Shared – Deleting multiple files.

  • EnterUpload - Down (Redirect).

The FBI instigated the Megaupload raid that’s got everybody spooked. The agency is accusing Dotcom of masterminding a scheme that raked in more than $175 million by copying and distributing music, movies and other copyrighted content without authorization.

According to Reuters, Megaupload’s U.S. lawyer said the company merely offered online storage, planned to “vigorously defend itself” and was trying to recover its servers to get back online.

Whether or not they come back online, it is clear you should keep backups of important files safely in your own hands and choose your friends in the cloud carefully.