Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

FBI Seizes Server Providing Anonymous Remailer Service

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the arrogance-of-power-button dept.

Communications 355

sunbird writes "At 16:00 ET on April 18, federal agents seized a server located in a New York colocation facility shared by May First / People Link and Riseup.net. The server was operated by the European Counter Network ("ECN"), the oldest independent internet service provider in Europe. The server was seized as a part of the investigation into bomb threats sent via the Mixmaster anonymous remailer received by the University of Pittsburgh that were previously discussed on Slashdot. As a result of the seizure, hundreds of unrelated people and organizations have been disrupted."

cancel ×

355 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

FBI Seizes /. Providing Anonymous Coward firsties (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739543)

Frost post for Jesus

What does this help? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739571)

Unless the server was keeping logs, and I presume that it wasn't, how could seizing it possibly help the investigation?

Re:What does this help? (4, Funny)

Reasonable Facsimile (2478544) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739605)

Unless the server was keeping logs, and I presume that it wasn't, how could seizing it possibly help the investigation?

The files are in the computer [imdb.com] .

Re:What does this help? (5, Funny)

cyachallenge (2521604) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739891)

If you remember in some of the pirate bay litigation they actually seized the computer RAM. :) The RAM contained case relevant material (at least when it had voltage going through it. Law and technical computer topics rarely mix well.

Re:What does this help? (1)

Reasonable Facsimile (2478544) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739991)

If you remember in some of the pirate bay litigation they actually seized the computer RAM. :) The RAM contained case relevant material (at least when it had voltage going through it. Law and technical computer topics rarely mix well.

Holy crap.

Re:What does this help? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39740057)

Citation please (not tryging to be a troll, I'm genuinely interested).

Either they made a copy of the content of the ram (smart), they tryed a cold boot attack (in which case this is the first time I hear of law enforcement doing this) or they are technically illiterate.

Re:What does this help? (4, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740193)

or they are technically illiterate.

From a technical point of view, their action is completely pointless. But from the social point of view, it works. They're sending a loud and clear message: if you try to stand up to your rights, you WILL be trampled.

Re:What does this help? (1)

evil_aaronm (671521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740235)

Or some PHB thought it would be a good idea and, at the very least, he could say he tried it. "Leave no stone unturned," you know.

Re:What does this help? (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740253)

As a long-time follower of Groklaw.net, I've read of this happening before. Lawyers trying to seize the wind by asking for a machine's RAM. Not the contents, the RAM itself. Little green sticks. Lovely, no?

Re:What does this help? (1)

mcavic (2007672) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740287)

I read that too, but don't have a link. I guess the easiest thing to do would be to dump the RAM from inside the running OS, but you'd need admin access. You might also try warm-booting into a specialized OS, but I don't know if that would preserve the RAM or not.

Re:What does this help? (5, Insightful)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739665)

It's a clear signal to people that if you run a business and your server is in the US, the US can kill your business stone dead in a raid which may have nothing to do with you other than being co-hosted at a server farm. And people wonder why less business is going to the US.

Re:What does this help? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739739)

If your entire business depends on a single server you have more pressing problems to deal with. Gremlins are more likely to ruin you than jack-booted thugs. In fact, a Gremlin will on average take down your server once every two years. The odds of the FBI doing that are probably once in a thousand years, all things considered.

Re:What does this help? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739897)

I'm sure the FBI would be happy to take all of them.

Re:What does this help? (0)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739899)

You must buy crappy servers.

We did have to reboot one of ours last year, but that was only because the internal hardware monitoring system was claiming the air temperature was 255 degrees.

Re:What does this help? (1)

NoSleepDemon (1521253) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740107)

Well that's a nice round number, it's when it hits 256 that you really should start to get worried =)

Re:What does this help? (2)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740239)

You know, we took an outage in our dev lab yesterday when a PDU blew, and took out some fiber that was running next to it. Shit happens...maybe not often, but it does. Any individual server can go, for any number of reasons, some of which are totally outside the server.

If we are talking about unimportant services, sure... leave it up to a single server. If your business depends on it though? Well then I guess if your business isn't worth keeping up in an outage...then enjoy but... I would consider that important enough to have a couple, in different places.... hopefully in an active/active config but, even a warm spare means being back up reasonably fast.

Its not about how likely it is...given enough time unlikely events happen. Its a question of how fast you can recover WHEN it happens.

Re:What does this help? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39740121)

There are lots of small businesses like mine that don't have the resources to maintain multiple servers. We only recently got to a point where spending a few hundred dollars on multiple servers might be considered worth while given the costs. Right now we spend $60 or so a month as it is on hosting (VPS) and lots more on phone, Internet, and other services. Small businesses that haven't gotten off the ground can't afford these luxuries. That is not to say there aren't solutions to this problem. But saying all businesses should simply setup multiple servers without regard for circumstances is wrong. My solution was to literally setup our server to compress, split, and email backups of our entire database and web site on a nightly bases to a free GMail account (yes- it is encrypted with GPG first). I started this company with little more than $10 and a roof over my head (parents basement, ok, not really the basement, but still, one room in a residential area). We broke even just this past summer although are doing phenomenal now and future sales are anticipated in the millions of dollars. I'm expecting to see the million dollar mark in the coming months. We have agreements in place that should see our profits rise 100x fold.

And for anybody who thinks that free software (think freedom, not open source) isn't profitable you are a moron. It can be done and chances are you just don't have any business sense. I'm 27 and founded this company almost straight out of college (I took several months off). I'll admit we are succeeding by leaps and bounds where everybody else has failed.

Re:What does this help? (-1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740407)

I'm not saying you're completely full of shit, but anonymous posts of "I'm so successful" are basically just "My e-peen is bigger than yours".

Re:What does this help? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740279)

Say what? The Gremlins lost the war over 65 years ago..

Re:What does this help? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39740299)

Again, worse than you think it is.
http://reason.com/blog/2012/02/23/the-great-gibson-guitar-raid-months-late

Gibson guitar was raided by the feds, they seized half a million in wood, shut down production, and have yet to charge Gibson with anything. They claimed Gibson used illegally imported wood, the same wood used by Fender as well. The difference? Fender guitars gives heavily to the DNC.

No, it has become you either donate heavily to the DNC or if you are too big you will be shut down. Same circumstances behind Solendra getting $500 million and the Keystone pipeline being denied.

Re:What does this help? (2)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739951)

and I presume that it wasn't

Don't presume, verify.

Re:What does this help? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39740047)

Unless the server was keeping logs, and I presume that it wasn't, how could seizing it possibly help the investigation?

The real surprise is that the FBI wasn't already logging everything that went through it themselves. Maybe we're not being spied on as much as we think.

Or maybe the NSA just doesn't share with the FBI.

Re:What does this help? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39740323)

You are assuming that a) are competent enough to know what logs a mixmaster keeps and b) really where after the logs and didnt want do disable the service or send a clear message (no pun intended) to everyone who operates a similar service.

Did they at least manage to figure out what server (5, Interesting)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739575)

Or did they just kick over all the racks and rip everything out like they seem to do on a regular basis?

Re:Did they at least manage to figure out what ser (4, Funny)

evil_aaronm (671521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740263)

Man, you would not believe the rush you get from going all commando on racks of servers. "Blink those lights funny at me, beeyotch, and I'll bust a cap right between your USB ports!"

Correction (5, Funny)

busyqth (2566075) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739583)

FBI seizes terrorist server run by commies.
Grateful American people throw candy and flowers at heroic agents.

Re:Correction (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739905)

At least with the communists we knew that what made us better than them was our freedom. I think that probably served to keep us freer, longer.

Yeah, there's that lip service to how the terrorists "hate our freedom", but we don't have the old USSR to compare ourselves against. "What is this, Soviet Russia?" was often all it took to get people to shut up about their fascist bullshit. "What is this, Sharia Law?" doesn't seem to be in use since we have no real enemy, just "terrorists" and "terrorism."

And that's not to say that we *don't* have real terrorist enemies. We do. But people's attitudes towards fighting terrorists are much different than their attitudes were towards fighting the Soviets. Finding the terrorists is all about destroying every last one of them. Fighting the communists was just about being better than they were (and also killing them in third party countries, but I digress).

Re:Correction (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740327)

Finding the terrorists is all about destroying every last one of them.

That would make the planet a very lonely place.

Re:Correction (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740353)

The Soviets were good reliable opponents. Both they and the US had limitations on their aggressiveness towards each country other because they both had 1000's of nukes aimed at one another. Blowing up airplanes and office buildings would have led to WW3 which would have lasted about an hour from start to finish. Today's terrorist organizations are unpredictable and under no such constraints and take the chance to kill as many people as possible with each attack.

What did you expect? (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739591)

When their reply was basically "If we dont let them send bomb threats, we're undermining free speech and the Internet"

Re:What did you expect? (5, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739773)

If we dont let them send bomb threats, we're undermining free speech and the Internet"

To which I reply "They need to find a different way to discourage or stop them from sending bomb threats. Inflicting me with collateral damage in the quest for better law enforcement is unacceptable, and so is removing my ability to speak with anonymity."

Given the choice, I think I'd rather deal with the occasional bomb threat than not be able to speak anonymously.

Re:What did you expect? (4, Interesting)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739877)

Given the choice, I think I'd rather deal with the occasional bomb threat than not be able to speak anonymously.

Give me liberty or give me death.
There: Translated that for you.
Also: I rather die on my feet then live on my knees.

Re:What did you expect? (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740023)

Also: I rather die on my feet then live on my knees.

[grammarnazi] I don't think you can do those two things in that order....[/grammarnazi]

Re:What did you expect? (1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740453)

You don't know, he could be a vampire or some other mythical creature which dies every day... then the statement would be grammatically correct. As long as dying isn't a hypothetical, it makes sense.

Re:What did you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39740141)

He who has no knees bows to no man! - Dan Halen

Re:What did you expect? (4, Insightful)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739913)

If we dont let them send bomb threats, we're undermining free speech and the Internet"

To which I reply "They need to find a different way to discourage or stop them from sending bomb threats. Inflicting me with collateral damage in the quest for better law enforcement is unacceptable, and so is removing my ability to speak with anonymity."

Given the choice, I think I'd rather deal with the occasional bomb threat than not be able to speak anonymously.

Or, to totally mangle a famous quote:

"First they came for the anonymous, but I was not anonymous, so I did nothing." That's probably true to life for most people actually....

Re:What did you expect? (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740357)

Your inconvenience in having to find yourself another anonymous remailer is outweighed by someone else's jeopardy to life and limb.

Re:What did you expect? (5, Interesting)

DdJ (10790) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740375)

FYI, we're not dealing with "the occasional bomb threat" here.

The University of Pittsburgh (which is down the street from where I work) has gotten multiple bomb threats per day every day for weeks now.

Many students have been driven out of their dorms, to live off campus, because the evacuations were too disruptive. The campus police are no doubt way over budget. Classes are disrupted to the point where folks on academic probation were told this semester "doesn't count".

At this moment, as I type this, two buildings have evacuation notices. Earlier today, eleven buildings had to be evacuated.

And today was not exceptional.

If you want to follow this yourselves, evacuation notices go out over the @PittTweet twitter account.

Now, I'm not trying to say "knocking every anonymous remailer off the internet is justified". Please don't assume I think that. I'm just pointing out that this very much isn't a case of "the occasional bomb threat". It's basically a full-on ongoing multi-day denial-of-service attack on the Pitt police, Pittsburgh police, and a bunch of the university, happening in meatspace.

Re:What did you expect? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740415)

Only a terrorist or child molester needs anonymity. What are you hiding?

let's hope ECN doesn't keep logs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739593)

...because organisations believed to provide anonymity have an annoying habit of keeping substantial logs which turn up when their servers are seized / information is demanded. See also moot / 4chan.

nonsense (5, Interesting)

Tom (822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739597)

More importantly: Unless the server operator was a total dofus, this brings them exactly zero steps towards resolving their problem, because this is exactly the kind of attack that Mixmasters was designed to withstand.

Idiots. Is nobody teaching these fools basics about the stuff they encounter?

Re:nonsense (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739651)

More importantly: Unless the server operator was a total dofus, this brings them exactly zero steps towards resolving their problem, because this is exactly the kind of attack that Mixmasters was designed to withstand.

Idiots. Is nobody teaching these fools basics about the stuff they encounter?

I hate to defend them, but look at it from the FBI's point of view. Maybe the server operator was a total - or even a partial - doofus. The Feds would be even bigger doofuses (as in, negligent in their) to assume otherwise and not investigate the server. That's their job.

Re:nonsense (5, Insightful)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739789)

So, they really need a whole big stinkin' server? If you're a professional, you'd switch the server to single user mode, dump the drive contents to a portable drive, reboot the server, and be on your merry way. If they have proper forensic data analysis tools, they should be able to deal with all popular raid arrays out there, so given those you shut the server down, use a portable disk imager to copy the drives, you then replace the drives, power the server back up, and are on your merry way. I just don't get what they need the server itself for. They are after the data, not the hardware.

Re:nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739973)

If you're a professional, you'd switch the server to single user mode

...it detects that you're not the usual sysadmin and silently wipes all logs.

Security 101: don't trust a server you don't have full control of.

Re:nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739977)

To parrot another response, there's also data on RAM that could have valuable info if they didn't shut down the machines.

Re:nonsense (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740205)

To parrot another response, there's also data on RAM that could have valuable info if they didn't shut down the machines.

Perhaps if they ever come to prosecute someone, the defense can show how the investigative agents willfully destroyed evidence required for the defense by powering off the server and left it powered off for hours, resulting in data being permanently lost from RAM.

Re:nonsense (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39740469)

How do you know they powered it down?

It is possible to switch the power supply to something portable and move it while still powered on.

Re:nonsense (5, Interesting)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739993)

Have you ever done data forensics? The first thing you learn is that it's not the same data if it's not on the original storage medium.

Of course, what they SHOULD be able to do is shut the server down, clone the drive, pull the drive that has the warrant, and drop in the cloned drive. Of course, this requires cooperation with the victim, which obviously wasn't available in this case.

To put it another way: they weren't after the hardware OR the data, they were after the incriminating evidence. Data by itself is hearsay (no way to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was preserved in the same state and context).

Re:nonsense (1)

evil_aaronm (671521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740333)

"Wasn't available in this case." Oh, I'm sure it was available. The FBI is just carrying on its proud tradition of not giving a fuck. It's more "bad ass" that way. In fact, I can see agents rehearsing in the mirror: "That's right, mofo, I'm takin' it. Whatcha gonna do about it... Punk?"

Re:nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739997)

Its most likely the fbi trying to look like they are doing something. They know they are grasping at straws. It was just a pr move and they're hoping to get lucky.

Re:nonsense (2)

Burning1 (204959) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740021)

I suspect they wanted the drives themselves for analysis - makes it possible to look for deleted or over-written information that might not exist on a duplicated disk.

Re:nonsense (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740033)

>>>I just don't get what they need the server itself for. They are after the data, not the hardware.

Likewise the Russian government doesn't need to grab servers in order to investigate claims of "illegally-copied software", but they do it anyway in order to shut down groups that are critical of government. The FBI is simply employing the same tactic to silence human rights groups (many of which are critical of the Congress) under the cover of an "investigation". Two birds killed with one warrant.

Re:nonsense (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740049)

If you're a professional, you'd switch the server to single user mode, dump the drive contents to a portable drive, reboot the server, and be on your merry way.

If you're a professional, you don't assume that the system isn't rigged to destroy evidence in the event of an attempted seizure.

"On site" and "controlled environment" are mutually exclusive.

Re:nonsense (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740307)

If you're a professional, you don't assume that the system isn't rigged to destroy evidence in the event of an attempted seizure.

That can happen at a physical layer too. The chassis can be altered so that if an entry procedure is not followed, a data-destruct occurs if there is a chassis intrusion or if the chassis is moved.

This can be done by installing an interposer circuit in between disk drives and the drive controller with an independent power supply.

If a "destruct" event occurs; the independent battery powers up the disk drives, locks in ATA Secure Erase Mode, and detonates an explosive charge of just sufficient strength to shatter the glass plates in the hard drives.

Anyways... if the volume decryption key is rendered unusuable by 1 second of ATA Secure erase, there is no opportunity at all to interrupt the process.

Re:nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39740067)

TPM + Encryption = Whoops we need the whole server and the downtime has alerted the owner and they've ordered the TPM chip to reset.

Re:nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39740277)

I think what you fail to realize is:
1) Warrants are issued for hard drives containing data. Not just the data that may be on them.
2) Data destruction techniques can easily be deployed if a certain piece of known field equipment is always used. Versus, a lab tech looking for a data booby trap using varying techniques prior to extracting the data. If a trap is found, the FBI have equipment that can clone disks without needing to even apply power to the drive.
3) Confiscating an entire computer grantees all hard drives that are contained in the case are collected and sent to the lab.
4) Copying Terabytes of data, sometimes hundreds of terabytes of data to a portable device could take several hours if not days.
5) The original items in the warrant need to be presented as evidence if charges brought (see 1).

If anything, this should be a lesson in centralizing servers and data centers with an internet based business. One disaster and say goodbye to your customer access. In this case, the disaster was collateral damage from an FBI investigation into other clients who used the same server service.

Damn you George Bush! (3, Funny)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739603)

I can't wait for the elections to come!

Re:Damn you George Bush! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739737)

I can't wait for the elections to come!

George Bush? Obama is the current president. Blame him.

Re:Damn you George Bush! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739771)

Whoosh.

Re:Damn you George Bush! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739777)

Racist!

Re:Damn you George Bush! (1)

darthdavid (835069) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739793)

The whoosh you heard was the joke going over your head.

Re:Damn you George Bush! (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739911)

To be fair, it wasn't remotely funny; it was more a sort of a flaccid, farting sound.

Re:Damn you George Bush! (1)

darthdavid (835069) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739955)

So more of a thppt than a woosh?

Re:Damn you George Bush! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39740095)

So more of a thppt than a woosh?

That really depends on how strong your sphincter muscle is.

Re:Damn you George Bush! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739817)

Nope. President George Bush started this mess and President Obama would like to fix it but for some reason he can't. But it's not his fault!

Re:Damn you George Bush! (0)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740009)

The president's only real power is to sign into law what congress passes (or veto it). If the president wants to pass a piece of legislation, he must get congress to first pass it, so he can sign it.

Guess what congress is NOT doing? Giving the president ANY legislation he wants to sign.

Re:Damn you George Bush! (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740393)

C'mon, who are you trying to kid, we all know the POTUS is emporer of planet Earth.

Re:Damn you George Bush! (3, Interesting)

evil_aaronm (671521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740441)

Who needs legislation when the Pres has Executive Orders and legal council that will parse those orders 10 ways cubed to justify, if not make it look like the very definition of the "American Ideal" when, in fact, he's shitting on the Constitution? Remember "water boarding"? Was there any legislation for that? How about "extraordinary rendition"? "Free speech zones"?

Re:Damn you George Bush! (-1, Redundant)

rilian4 (591569) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739871)

I simply don't get this comment. Bush is not in power nor is he up for any election. The FBI currently is taking orders from a Democrat and you blame Bush? This is just ludicrous whatever you might think of Bush's presidency.

If Obama was the god of freedom that Leftists claim, he would have overturned the over-extending post-911 policies of the Bush Administration such as the Patriot Act instead of reveling in them and expanding them like many non-liberals warned that he would.

Re:Damn you George Bush! (4, Funny)

PRMan (959735) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740061)

I simply don't get this comment....If Obama was the god of freedom that Leftists claim, he would have overturned the over-extending post-911 policies of the Bush Administration such as the Patriot Act instead of reveling in them and expanding them like many non-liberals warned that he would.

And you said you didn't get the joke...

Re:Damn you George Bush! (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739943)

Damn you Mitt Romney!
(I come from the future.)

Re:Damn you George Bush! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39740115)

I think you mean: Damn you Ron Paul!

Re:Damn you George Bush! (1)

evil_aaronm (671521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740403)

If you don't totally support our efforts to make China and North Korea look like bastions of freedom in comparison, then you must be a terrorist! There is no in between, citizen! Why do you hate America?

/snark

Not New (2)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739619)

Whenever they take servers "down" it's like a ogre killing a spider with a tree trunk. They smash the table, furniture, and destroy the house along with the poor spider.

Re:Not New (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739709)

don't worry the spider will not be harmed it will walk out between the debris and find a new place to hide...

Re:Not New (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740019)

You're assuming the message was for the spider and not for everyone who has a spider in their house. And the message is that if you carry a service we don't like, we'll make sure to inflict as much damage as possible when we come for it. You get a pretty good self-censoring effect out of it. Same reason TOR doesn't scale very well, you'd have to be mildly insane to run an exit node as a private person.

Re:Not New (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739717)

But the disgusting spider is dead !
Most of the time it's all that they need to know.

Captain America: The First Bully (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739639)

...

Re:Captain America: The First Bully (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740455)

The first may have been Goliath or God, definitely not Captain America.

Mass disruption (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739659)

This is the stage in CISPA legislation where they try to win over people by pointing out, "Look, everyone got disrupted so we could find one user. If the service would just share information with the Government..." These disruptions aren't necessary. If the government wants to scrounge through logs they can do so while the servers are running. Who are the judges approving all these stupid warrants?

Re:Mass disruption (2)

evil_aaronm (671521) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740485)

Well, hell, in that case, let's nuke NYC, LA, DC, Detroit, etc. There's gotta be more than a few criminals in those towns. Sucks for the collateral damage, but, you know, gotta weed out those bad guys. They probably hate America, too, so all the more reason.

Good or Bad (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739663)

Wait, was the server providing the anonymous remailing, or was another service providing the anonymity through one account on a legitimate mail server?

Cause if people were "disrupted" over lack of anonymous remailing, fuck em. If those are people that need real mail handled, I'd hope the ISP could reroute inbound mail in about two seconds.

Either way, hope they catch the douchebag sending the bomb threats.

Haven't they done this several times now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739673)

This is absolutely pathetic levels of basic networking knowledge.

How does an agency even exist so thick as that when it comes to actually policing the internet?
Get a grip already FBI, you are embarrassing.

Hope they get sued for disruptions.
Oh, wait, suing FBI is like pissing in the cornflakes of the leader of a country.
Good luck winning.

Ineffective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739699)

If the intent is to stop bomb threats at University of Pittsburgh, it much easier and simplier to stop all internet and mobile traffic at the University of Pittsburgh. Stopping a mail server that do not store any logs will do nothing beside give the police some newspaper headlines.

So someone sends some bomb threats .. (4, Interesting)

n5vb (587569) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739725)

..and the FBI seizes the server they used?

Anyone else think this is more believable as a denial of service attack, or as a pretext for taking down a troublesome server they couldn't legally seize by any other means, than as an actual threat?

Unless the person sending them was stupid enough to think that a remailer would protect them from ever being caught, and didn't care that it was going to mean taking down the whole service for everyone else using it..

Re:So someone sends some bomb threats .. (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739803)

Unless the person sending them was stupid enough to think that a remailer would protect them from ever being caught, and didn't care that it was going to mean taking down the whole service for everyone else using it..

And you've just answered your own question! Don't worry, though, as I'm sure that this remailer was only the first of his Seven Proxies.

New to the internet much? People are stupid.

Besides, you're assuming that the perpetrator is both smart enough to be using this as a sideways method of getting the servers taken down and yet stupid enough to do it by way of a major felony that will practically land your ass in Gitmo if it goes wrong.

Can You Say False Flag Opp? (5, Interesting)

msaroff (468853) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739741)

Someone bosts a gazillion bomb threats, and computers associated with OWS and other protests get seized.

Awfully convenient.

Any guess as to whether the bomb threats can be traced back th Langley or Ft. Meade?

What other reason for anonymous remailers.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739785)

Than to be used for dastardly and nefarious things.

Re:What other reason for anonymous remailers.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739949)

What dastardly and nefarious things are you up to Anonymous Coward?

Waiting for FBI to "take down" ATT and Verizon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39739805)

I am sure more than one bomb threat has been sent via their networks.

Better haul all their equipment into the base to make sure we get the evidence we need.

Stupid cop, no donut.

pre-emptive visibility (1)

Onymous Coward (97719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739811)

Could you develop a service for allowing anonymous communication that you gave the FBI pre-emptive visibility into without compromising the anonymity of the system?

Allow the FBI to snapshot the whole hard drive and peruse it at their leisure any time they requested.

Perhaps the FBI wouldn't trust you and your fancy transparency, but maybe you could make it plausibly accurate enough such that a server confiscation would be equal to an unwarranted attack from a legal standpoint.

Anonymous vs anonymous (2)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739819)

From what I can tell, the service was providing anonymous re-mailer services, not re-mailer services to Anonymous. This being the case, they're not going after a service used by the hacker group; they're going after a service offering anonymous communications to your average citizen. Not cool, gov'mint, not cool.

They had a warrant. (5, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39739867)

They followed proper constitutional procedure (for a change). So blame the judge not the fbi.

Re:They had a warrant. (1)

lbft (950835) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740345)

I blame the FBI for seeking a moronic warrant in the first place.

Why seize a server for more than clone time? (1)

PeterM from Berkeley (15510) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740177)

Why should a server EVER be seized as "evidence"?

Why not just have an FBI team come in, temporarily shut down the server, clone all the data, and then leave, and the server comes back up?

--PM

Re:Why seize a server for more than clone time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39740463)

Why not just have an FBI team come in, temporarily shut down the server, clone all the data, and then leave, and the server comes back up?

And you, as the defendant, would trust the FBI not to tamper with the cloned evidence? (Because the FBI would be just as stupid to trust that you wouldn't alter it as soon as you got the servers back.)

Your scenario:

Judge: So, what did you find?
FBI: Lotsa incriminating stuff! Look at this 0xFF byte! Drive was fulla ones when we mirrored it!
Defendant: Bullshit! That's not even my hard drive! My hard drive reads 0x00! It's fulla zeroes!
FBI: Bullshit! Our copy is correct, you just erased yours!
Defendant: Bullshit! Your copy's the bogus ones, you put all those ones there to incriminate me, or maybe you forgot to erase your spare drive before you imaged mine, or... Judge: One of you is lying to me. Problem is, I can't tell which.

Why they pretty much have to seize the server, even when they're working in good faith and not trying to send a message to other innocent customers of the datacenter:

Judge: So, what did you find?
FBI: Lotsa incriminating stuff! Look at this 0xFF byte! Drive was fulla ones when we mirrored it! Don't beleive us? We've got the drive, still sealed in a little baggie. It's got his fingerprints all over it from when he installed it in the cabinet.
Defendant: Bullshit! That's not what's on my hard drive! 0x00! It was fulla zeroes!
Judge: OK, Mr. Defendant, if you think the FBI's lying to me, why don't the three of us find someone with a disk imager, open the baggie and re-image the drive.

Collateral damage (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740223)

Hey, we are in a war with something or other.. a little collateral damage is expected.

Suck it up or get put on a dissident watched-list.

Unless.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39740385)

The FBI sent the bomb threats, so they could have an excuse to go raid the place.. Its what I would do, if I didn't like the service that made people anonymous. And since the service works so well, and I just seized the servers, there'd be no evidence to prove it. ...So stupid, its Smart!

Hmmmm..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39740419)

What else could be expected? We have almost unlimited power of a "law enforcement agency" mixed with technical ignorance and a high dose of arrogance

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?