FBI Uses ‘Sledgehammer’ to Seize E-Mail Server in Search for Bomb Threat Evidence
In an effort to uncover the source of bomb threats sent to the University of Pittsburgh, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized an entire server on Wednesday that is used by anonymous remailing service Mixmaster as well several progressive rights groups.
The server was seized from a co-location facility in New York with a search warrant served by the FBI.
The FBI did not respond to calls for comment.
It’s not the first time the FBI has seized entire servers, resulting in a loss of business and service to multiple parties not a target of an investigation. In 2009, the FBI seized multiple servers in a raid on a Texas data center over an investigation into VoIP fraud that was prompted by complaints from AT&T and Verizon about unpaid bills owed by some of the data center customers.
As a result, Liquid Motors, which provides inventory management and marketing services to national automobile dealers and was not part of the investigation, was unable to fulfill its service contracts with customers. It was just one of about 50 companies that were put out of business by the raid.