Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

FBI Confiscates ISP's Servers; Innocent Customers Deemed Irrelevant


February 20, 2004

FBI Confiscates ISP's Servers; Innocent Customers Deemed Irrelevant

>From an Internet service provider's letter to customers:
"The FBI executed a search warrant issued by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio regarding the IRC network that we host. According to the warrant, it appears that the Bureau is investigating whether someone hosted on our network hacked and attacked someone else.

"After several hours of attempting to track down, inspect and audit the terabytes of data that we host, the FBI determined that it was more efficient (from their point of view) to remove all of our servers and transport them to the FBI local laboratories for inspection. This was completed at 7:00 pm EST same day.

"The FBI has assured us that as soon as the data has been safely copied and inspected, the equipment will be promptly returned. Unfortunately, the FBI has not been able to tell us when they will be completed with their inspection." There's more, but this incident, if described accurately by the ISP, is another reminder that government power can run roughshod over the innocent as well as the guilty.