Saturday, April 21, 2012

On the FBI seizure of Riseup’s server

From Occupy Philly Legal Collective:

Last Wednesday, the FBI executed a search warrant against RiseUp in New
York, seizing one of their servers . The FBI claims that the server was
involved in recent bomb threats against the University of Pittsburgh.

First off,we wish to condemn the party or parties who are making these

threats. This isn’t a prank. There’s no lulz in this.

However, grabbing Riseup’s server is also not a prank. This isn’t just
about investigating a crime.

If the FBI thought there might be evidence on a Verizon or L3 server,
something tells us you’d submit the warrant and expect a forensically

sound copy waiting for you. If you were really worried about evidence,
you’d have shown up, EnCase’d (forensic software used by computer
forensics people) the box and left it in place.

But yanking the machine knowing that lots of other people were using it
for non-nefarious and perfectly legal purposes is suspicious.

If the Mixmaster anonymizing software on that server was working
correctly, there’d be nothing on the server to help the FBI track down the
bomb threats. But they did know that there are a lot of other users of

that server, activists of many a stripe who relied upon it.

This is the on-line equivalent of macing a bunch of peaceful students
just because they’re protesting. It’s force for power’s sake rather than
for justice’s sake.

And for those who claim that giving up anonymity is a small price to pay
to apprehend the sender of the bomb threats. Anonymous publication and
communication is a part of the 1st amendment. It’s a necessary tool in
speaking truth to power, especially when the truth threatens their power.

From the Occupy Philly Legal Collective


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