FBI Seized Anonymizer Server

from the protected-anonymity? dept

The US State Department keeps saying it wants to support a free and open internet, and to build systems that protect dissedents and reformers who are speaking out. But it seems that they can't get the message through to the rest of the US government. Apparently the FBI has seized a server used by various people to anonymize their emails, because it was also used as part of a bomb threat:
On Wednesday, April 18, at approximately 16:00 Eastern Time, U.S. Federal authorities removed a server from a colocation facility shared by Riseup Networks and May First/People Link in New York City. The seized server was operated by the European Counter Network (“ECN”), the oldest independent internet service provider in Europe, who, among many other things, provided an anonymous remailer service, Mixmaster, that was the target of an FBI investigation into the bomb threats against the University of Pittsburgh.

“The company running the facility has confirmed that the server was removed in conjunction with a search warrant issued at the request of the FBI,” said May First/People Link director Jamie McClelland. “The server seizure is not only an attack against us, but an attack against all users of the Internet who depend on anonymous communication.”

Disrupted in this seizure were academics, artists, historians, feminist groups, gay rights groups, community centers, documentation and software archives and free speech groups. The server included the mailing list “cyber rights” (the oldest discussion list in Italy to discuss this topic), a Mexican migrant solidarity group, and other groups working to support indigenous groups and workers in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa. In total, over 300 email accounts, between 50-80 email lists, and several other websites have been taken off the Internet by this action. None are alleged to be involved in the anonymous bomb threats. The seized machine did not contain any riseup email accounts, lists, or user data. Rather, the data belonged to ECN.
As the announcement from Riseup states, the FBI (as is all too typical) is "using a sledgehammer approach," killing off this important service that many used, just because one person abused it.
“We sympathize with the University of Pittsburgh community who have had to deal with this frightening disruption for weeks. We oppose such threatening actions. However, taking this server won’t stop these bomb threats. The only effect it has is to also disrupt e-mail and websites for thousands of unrelated people,” continues Mr. Theriot-Orr. “Furthermore, the network of anonymous remailers that exists is not harmed by taking this machine. So we cannot help but wonder why such drastic action was taken when authorities knew that the server contained no useful information that would help in their investigation.”
Why is it that law enforcement almost never seems to think through the actual consequences of actions like these?


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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:03pm

    OMG, the government is just, like, sooooo dumb! OMG!

    God, you're such a whiny bitch.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:05pm

      Re:

      Oh look, the kettle.

       

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        illuminaut (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 6:11pm

        Re: Re:

        You all realize of course that by replying to these top troll posts you're just doing them the favor of pushing the relevant comments further down the page. Just report and ignore.

         

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      The eejit (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:06pm

      Re:

      And you aren't?

       

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      Leigh Beadon (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:07pm

      Re:

      "God, you're such a whiny bitch."

      ...the AC whined, bitchily

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:09pm

      Re:

      the only whiny bitches are the leos who are boohooing that they need these extrajudicial and extraordinary powers because, like, omg, our job is too hard!

       

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      Machin Shin (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

      Re:

      Once again I find someone challenging my firm conviction that people should have freedom of speech.

      The conclusion I have come to once again? I will still fight for your right to say things such as that, but along with that I also fight for the right to say, Please do us all a favor and go get sterilized. None of us want any more of your genes contaminating the gene pool.

       

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        ltlw0lf (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 2:15pm

        Re: Re:

        Once again I find someone challenging my firm conviction that people should have freedom of speech.

        It is one of the reasons I am happy our laws don't include freedom to disappear. We are afforded the opportunity to speak our mind and everyone else is afforded the opportunity to laugh derisively at what we have to say.

        Stay classy TAM, stay classy.

         

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    lexieliberty (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:04pm

    They don't care!

    who cares when the vague corrupt law is on your side?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:04pm

    If the FBI were smart, they'll get a warrant (or ask) to work with the server admins to track down those making the treats. That would do a lot more to stop this potential threat than taking down the server, which will simply divert those making the threats elsewhere and will do little to stop the unwanted activity.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:29pm

      Re:

      I suspect that's they they're called the Federal Bureau of *Investigation* - they don't actually come up with ways to catch the bad guys, they just investigate stuff and produce a report that someone can use for evidence later.

      Ultimately, it requires someone with functioning braincells to actually come up with ways to *catch* bad guys rather than just document their behavior.

       

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    Rekrul, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:08pm

    Why is it that law enforcement almost never seems to think through the actual consequences of actions like these?

    Because they simply don't care and there's no accountability for them to be worried about.

     

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      That One Guy (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 4:04pm

      Re:

      Arg but I want you to be wrong on that. You're not as far as I can tell, but oh do I wish you were.

       

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        Joseph Kranak (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 5:46pm

        Re: Re:

        "Why is it that law enforcement almost never seems to think through the actual consequences of actions like these?"

        Because there are no consequences - for them, that is.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:10pm

    Maybe you people should be getting mad at those that take advantage of their internet access to break the law, rather than getting mad at law enforcement.

    Or is that too mature an approach for you?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:13pm

      Re:

      You're right. And when Rt. 95 is shut down because it's discovered that one person was transporting drugs up and down the east coast, we shouldn't freak out that the road is shut down, we should be mad at the drug trafficker!

      Or is that too complex of an analogy for you?
      (yea, it probably is)

       

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      Machin Shin (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:18pm

      Re:

      Yes I am mad at morons who think sending bomb threats is a good prank and all the other people that abuse different services in such ways.

      I'm more angry though at the government and their over reaction. When a fly gets in your house do you grab a damn shovel and start swinging it around your kitchen? That is exactly the kind of grace and intelligence our government keeps showing.

      The governments reaction to a lot of online crime does more damage than the criminal they are going after. It makes no sense when chasing a fleeing criminal do you shut down the airline he happened to use?

       

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        Ilfar, Jul 6th, 2012 @ 4:03pm

        Re: Re:

        I had a tennis racket type thing with batteries. You press the button, swing the racket, and Mr Fly goes BZZZZZT. Oh, and you smell burning fly for a bit, and sometimes they caught fire and you had to make sure the smouldering fly wasn't going to set anything on fire...

        I'm not sure it was less dangerous to things than a spade, now that I think about it...

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2012 @ 10:59pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Why is it that law enforcement almost never seems to think through the actual consequences of actions like these?

          "Think"....With what?
          You're assuming that Government Agents have the required equipment installed to be able to think.

           

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      Richard (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:19pm

      Re:

      Maybe you people should be getting mad at those that take advantage of their internet access to break the law,

      Which would be pointless because there is no way of stopping that short of destroying the internet.

      rather than getting mad at law enforcement.

      When law enforcement causes a lot of collateral damage whilst failing to actually enforce the laws then it is sensible to complain.

      You are the immature one - since you clearlyu haven't thought your comment through.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:19pm

      Re:

      i am outraged that, after all these years and countless blunt-force-trauma murders, I can waltz into any old hardware store and buy a hammer. NO QUESTIONS ASKED. Can you believe it?

       

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      Chris Rhodes (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:21pm

      Re:

      0/10. Not believable.

      Dial back the stupidity next time and add more vitriol if you want to win troll points.

       

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      MrWilson, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

      Re:

      Don't worry. I get mad at abused housewives every time they make their husbands beat them. And I get mad at rape victims every time they incite men to rape them. I also get mad at all the black people for making the cops so suspicious of them that the cops have to harass them.

      /s

      Or maybe we should rightly get angry at the people who abuse their authority to shut down perfectly legal and useful tools that happen to get abused by a small number of people.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 1:48pm

      Re:

      That would be the monopolists that use copyright to steal from everybody.

       

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      The Groove Tiger (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 1:52pm

      Re:

      "Maybe you people should be getting mad at those that take advantage of their internet access to break the law, rather than getting mad at law enforcement."

      And by "you people" he means Mexican migrants and indigenous workers in Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa.

       

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      DC, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 4:35pm

      Re:

      You want to get mad at people using communications to break the law. You know .. like your mailbox, and your phone, and your internet connection ... oh ... wait ... that one is different ...

      Seems like your approach is extremely immature.

       

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:10pm

    The wrong question, perhaps...

    "Why is it that law enforcement almost never seems to think through the actual consequences of actions like these?"
    The question posed contains the unspoken assumption that the disruption of anonymous secure communication twixt academics, artists, historians, feminist groups, gay rights groups, community centers, documentation and software archives and free speech groups was not the primary purpose of this raid, with the alleged bomb threat being nothing more than an excuse to take this action. Goodness knows they couldn't just seize the server for no reason!

     

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    Lance Cottrell (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:12pm

    Not an "Anonymizer" server.

    Anonymizer (R) is a company, and none of their servers were involved.
    What was seized was a server running a Mixmaster anonymous remailer.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:34pm

      Re: Not an "Anonymizer" server.

      No, an Anonymizer-brand sever was not seized. Mike like most people these day used it as a generic trademark just kind Tivo, Kleenex and PC.

       

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        The Groove Tiger (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 1:57pm

        Re: Re: Not an "Anonymizer" server.

        It's not a generic trademark. It's a word.

        Anonymizer: something that anonymizes.

        anonymizes3rd person singular present of a·non·y·mize (Verb)
        Verb:

        Make anonymous.
        Remove identifying particulars from (test results) for statistical or other purposes.

         

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          Lance Cottrell (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 8:30am

          Re: Re: Re: Not an "Anonymizer" server.

          Not a "generic trademark" it is a registered trademark and has been for over a decade.

           

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            Bergman (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 11:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Not an "Anonymizer" server.

            So if I registered "Lance Cottrell" as a trademark, you'd have to stop introducing yourself, because your name no longer describes you?

            Registering a common usage term as a brand name does not remove it from common usage.

             

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        Lance Cottrell (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 8:30am

        Re: Re: Not an "Anonymizer" server.

        Since I wrote Mixmaster and founded Anonymizer Inc., I am a bit sensitive to this issue. :)

         

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          tqk (profile), Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 10:37am

          Re: Re: Re: Not an "Anonymizer" server.

          Since I wrote Mixmaster and founded Anonymizer Inc., I am a bit sensitive to this issue. :)

          I wonder how you manage to get away with using Mixmaster in this day and age. Doesn't some company that makes food processing machines own that? :-)

           

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            Lance Cottrell (profile), Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 5:59pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Not an "Anonymizer" server.

            Very simple. They are different domains. I could not create another kitchen appliance called Mixmaster, but there is no issue with privacy software, or a car, or a medical device.

            That is how US trademark law works.

             

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      The Groove Tiger (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 1:55pm

      Re: Not an "Anonymizer" server.

      Anonymizer
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      This article is about computer software. For the company Anonymizer, Inc., see Anonymizer (company).

      An anonymizer or an anonymous proxy is a tool that attempts to make activity on the Internet untraceable. It is a proxy server computer that acts as an intermediary and privacy shield between a client computer and the rest of the Internet. It accesses the Internet on the user's behalf, protecting personal information by hiding the client computer's identifying information.

       

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      Rich Kulawiec, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 2:15pm

      Re: Not an "Anonymizer" server.

      I'd suggest listening to Lance on this one: I think it's safe to say that he has some minor expertise in this area. ;-)

       

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        Anonymizer Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 2:44pm

        Re: Re: Not an "Anonymizer" server.

        Not a question of expertise. Anonymizer (the brand) is what I thought of first, when I read the headline. But then I read the post and figured it out. Pretty obviously, really.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:18pm

    Morons!!
    Google
    "anonymous email"
    About 283,000 results (0.14 seconds)
    0.00035335689045936394% decrease.

    or

    anonymous email
    About 57,600,000 results (0.22 seconds) 0.000001736111111111111% decrease.

    My tax dollars hard at work! I'm so proud they are being spent on actions with zero benefit..

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:18pm

    the feds took the server because, well, they could and they felt like it. the fact that it probably wont be of any help to them is irrelevant. the fact that it caused a great deal of disruption is the important thing. it made them feel good!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:28pm

    When the congress starts putting some teeth into laws to prevent misuse then and only then will the Police, FBI, CIA, NSA, DEA, etc. think before they trash someones's home, property, work, etc.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:30pm

    Maybe this was a good old fashioned Denial of Service attack... send a threat through the service just to have good ole Big Brother take it down...

    Hmmm, the thought's a bit out of place, but it's a bit how 'terrorist' operate... do something to make people fearful/angry or disrupt infrastructure ... ultimately folks start disliking/distrusting their government...

    Yah, far fetched.

     

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    raf, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:44pm

    When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:46pm

    Because the FBI thinks the year is 1992 and the internet is connected by pipes and cables bought at the hardware store.

    The majority of the public (>35) tend to believe the same.

     

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    Berenerd (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:52pm

    well....

    At least this time they used a search warrant...

     

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    Rapnel (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:53pm

    Me?

    Is it just me or what the fuck is so hard about setting up a, wait for it, stake out? Pinch the lines, wait for a message and trace every connection in the window? Clearly they had a warrant - all warrant and no fucking brains.. brilliant, I feel so.. what's the word? Safe. That's it.

    They just wrecked the best possible chance of actually catching some perps because they got a badge and they're gonna use it?

    Oh and fuck everybody else. SOP, move along. Free this.

     

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      Lance Cottrell (profile), Apr 21st, 2012 @ 8:33am

      Re: Me?

      Actually, even a real time intercept would not work. Mixmaster is designed with multiple hop relays, with message mixing and cover traffic.

      I would guess that this guy will get caught with old school policing techniques. Clearly this person has a major axe to grind, it is unlikely that manifests only in these email threats.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:55pm

    Form of speech doesn't mean an event actually occurred.

    Until an act has occurred, no crime has happened.

    If the University had the money, they should have hired more security to keep people safe. That seems to be the duty of a university such as this.

    However, in a day with rising tuition costs, as well as textbooks, it seems the University may be spending it's money on other things outside of physical safety and security of its campus. This seems like a negligent oversight by the university of Pittsburgh.

    I suggest that the school administration becomes more vigilant and visit with the students that pay their salaries instead of locking themselves up in an office all day. This takes more time but also in the future the students who are successful will feel like contributing to the school's alumni association.

    Instead, they decide to call the FBI. Hah. My neighbor works for the FBI as well. He's a director and oversees investigations in labor issues.

    I can call the FBI too, or walk over to his house. Want his phone number? Maybe you have a hot tip for him or something.

    Outsorvin

     

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      apauld (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 4:00pm

      Re: Form of speech doesn't mean an event actually occurred.

      Actually they have ramped up security, quite a bit. Unfortunately, having a campus spread throughout a large section of the city, it just isn't that easy. Add in recent cutbacks order by our governor... and you can see where they are now. A friend of mine is an IT guy for them, and being he can work from home; they actually told him to do that, just so he could get some work done.

       

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    Atkray (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 12:59pm

    Wait I've got it!!

    The FBI is seizing servers to install in the new NSA data-center in Utah.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 1:13pm

      Re: Wait I've got it!!

      There you go. But a secret about that Datacenter is this- the NSA doesn't need more data, and the Datacenter would be illegal if people realize that there's no functional need for the Patriot Act anymore now that CIA-trained Osama Bin Laden is dead.

      The Patriot Act is also probably why Secret Service agents are in hot water.

      The company that has the most to gain in an internet society is AT&T. With their Dallas-based headquarters near a number of federal agencies, they currently collect and market your communications to whomever.

      In fact, I was at Home Depot the other day and HomeDepot has wifi by AT&T now also. But it's filtered. Even Google results are filtered according to "administrator's privelidge". Which is fine, but still, it's a lot of URLs and data that can be sold to third parties now that AT&T doesn't have much outside of it's brand.

      If AT&T keeps this up, I imagine they'll be broken up soon.

       

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        silverscarcat (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 5:36pm

        Re: Re: Wait I've got it!!

        "If AT&T keeps this up, I imagine they'll be broken up soon."

        What? Again?

        Didn't they learn their lesson LAST time?

         

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    Jesse (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 1:04pm

    "FBI seizes AT&T because someone uses their phone system to call in a bomb threat."

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 1:57pm

      Re:

      How likely is it that the FBI would seize another branch of our secret government?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 9:15am

      Re:

      ""FBI seizes AT&T because someone uses their phone system to call in a bomb threat.""

      If AT&T offered specific service to allow people who make prank phone calls or death threats a way to be able to make those calls and make them entirely untraceable, you can bet they would have the FBI in there quick like a bunny.

      Your analogy doesn't work because AT&T isn't helping people hide out.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 1:18pm

    I am trying to find the "right to anonymous communications" law... can't seem to find one.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 1:26pm

      Re:

      I'm trying to find the "right for you to exist" law...can't seem to find one.

      Perhaps that is because laws don't work that way.

       

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      John Fenderson (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 1:58pm

      Re:

      We do not have rights because a law says we do. We have rights because we exist.

       

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      wizened (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 2:12pm

      Re:

      Laws don't grant rights. Laws, like the constitution, limit government. (In theory) Laws may confirm rights but rights exist outside of law.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 2:28pm

      Not 100% sure, since I can't find a link, but isn't it illegal to open someone else's mail? In other words, while there is no explicit rule against anonymous communication, post letters are private and not to be opened.

      Again I'm unsure, so if you can find a link supporting or disproving this, I'd appreciate it.

       

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 2:53pm

      Re:

      I may have missed something, but the First Amendment gives us not only the right to free speech, but the right to anonymous speech. This has been held up in courts.

      Now, there are exceptions. For example; you can't send a bomb threat to a school. But, you weren't asking about anonymous bomb threats, you were asking about anonymous communications in general. That we do have the right to. Not just a legal right, but an inalienable right.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 2:59pm

      Re:

      Found it! So I realized something, you're referring to anonymous communications, which isn't actually the issue here. It's more the private nature of the email. But lets look at post, because post is similar, and the right to anonymous communication there.

      So first off, we have an explicit federal crime which prohibits the use of false names, no names, etc... but only when being attempted to commit mail fraud.

      Although implicit, it does imply the right to remain anonymous as long as mail fraud is not being committed.

      While the person in the article is certainly a threat to the others around him, and I don't have an issue with the FBI attempting to find him, I do have an issue with the disruption of the day to day affairs of quite a few people who were doing nothing wrong.

      URL: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1341

       

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      silverscarcat (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 5:38pm

      Re:

      Funny thing about rights...

      There's no need for a law for them...

      After all, the word "right" is in there.

      Which means that you're entitled to it regardless of what people think or say, so long as you do not endanger the lives of others while using those self same rights.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 8:24pm

      Re:

      >I am trying to find the "right to anonymous communications" law... can't seem to find one.

      Well, no, we can't find one. But since you're concerned about people communicating anonymously and wish to see it stopped, perhaps we should start with you. asl?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 10:15pm

        Re: Re:

        you don't really think they can't track the original sender, do you? With the server in hand (before it gets bleached)it isn't all that difficult. If we can find deleted e-mail and kiddie porn it is possible to find the poster of the bomb threat. Whether they find it or not the server will be returned.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 4:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          But they don't have the server in hand. They have a server with an anonymizing software install on it. That's it. The mail did not originate at that server, and the likelyhood of finding traces of it are fairly small. All they're doing is messing up the free and anonymous speech of groups that still need that anonymity.

           

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      PaulT (profile), Apr 22nd, 2012 @ 4:04am

      Re:

      ...and yet here you are, taking advantage of the ability to communicate anonymously. Hmmm...

       

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    Overcast (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 1:22pm

    Why is it that law enforcement almost never seems to think through the actual consequences of actions like these?

    Because, they don't care about our rights.

    Pretty simple - for if they did care, they wouldn't do these things.

     

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    Overcast (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 1:25pm

    I am trying to find the "right to anonymous communications" law... can't seem to find one.


    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


    The 'NO LAW' part... what part of that don't people understand?

    It doesn't say anything about having to list your name. It simply says 'no law'.

    See Government can't follow even this simple law - explain again why the people should follow the laws then?

     

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    Tom, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 1:48pm

    I doubt that they "knew" anything

    why such drastic action was taken when authorities knew that the server contained no useful information

    Thing is, they just assume that there are logs. Just as an Anonymous Coward post here probably leaves a record in a log, I am sure that they figure anonymous mailers keep logs. The police may not think things through, but they won't believe that there are no logs until they search the disk. Lots of legitimate search warrants find nothing, but cause disruption. This is just normal operating mode.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 2:44pm

    The real point...

    Tonight or tomorrow there will be a news story.
    They will show stock footage of a server, or the actual server being carted out.
    There will be a voice over saying how this server was used in the Bomb threats and it has now been sized as the authorities are closing in.

    This was a photo op.

    The talking heads/pundits screamed ZOMG when someone "hacked" the CIA and Congress websites.
    The average citizen is concerned by the hype... they took down the CIA?!
    Tech types saw the story for what it was...Someone defaced a poster put up by the CIA.

    Obligatory XKCD - https://xkcd.com/932/

    This also will be used to add to the climate of the internet being an EVIL thing used for EVIL and we have to have the "right" people making sure bad people don't use it wrongly. And people will lap it up much like they accepted ball cupping,tit fondling to get on a fucking airplane.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2012 @ 4:14pm

    This bears comparison with "Soviet Justice", in which they know one of several people in a room is a criminal. They shoot them all to make sure they get the right guy.

    The difference here is that the criminal isn't in the same building, much less the same room.

     

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    Thomas (profile), Apr 20th, 2012 @ 6:32pm

    The FBI..

    and the other government spooks and non-federal cops care very little about whether or not their actions are legal or not. If they want to seize a server for whatever reason they concoct some wild idea and then go ahead and do what they please. They know full well they will most likely get away with it and the worst that will happen is some un-bribed judge will toss it out.

     

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    merethan, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 3:40am

    Sledgehammer approach

    Maybe we should threaten the FBI with it's own sledgehammer approach a few times when they make highly dubious moves like this. Just threaten to abolish the entire organization when they do stupid things. Let's see how quick they have their procedures fixed.

     

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    Go figure, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 6:24am

    FBI seizing server

    Disrupted in this seizure were academics, artists, historians, feminist groups, gay rights groups, community centers, documentation and software archives and free speech groups.

    and apparently another unibomber type. See how one bad apple spoils the lot? Get it?

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 9:04am

    There is no anonymity. There are no protections. It serves the government's purpose to let us believe that we have have such freedoms and rights. They are always invading our privacy and it is the rare instance when we find out about it.

     

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    richard columbare, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 11:56am

    deception

    Maybe the bomb scare excuse was just a front to shut down a web site that allowed anonymous e-mails. Which some in government might see as a threat.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 21st, 2012 @ 5:26pm

    So, when do we think its likely that the FBI will release evidence on this bomb threat written or verbal or otherwise, showing without a question of a doubt to its truth , and while their at it, they can give us the reason for taking THIS bomb threat more seriously then those other bomb threats?

    FBI, im waiting?

     

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    identicon
    Dorian, May 9th, 2012 @ 5:52pm

    When a knock comes at the door from an uncle

    Forgive me ladies and gentilemen but it is clear that our federal government as many leaders in the nations worldwide have been beginning to catch their own at err. It is naturally up to the public to make known Fraud and anything which threatens the public safety of our people. We do not need to be in the Marines to be loyal and diligent to remember that something greater is at the top of all pyramids and we need to stop worrying as it's written somewhere. Junk like this always pays dearly and all will be ashamed. When that great Audit comes all accountants will be breaking their pencils, trust me because the more modern age is ushering a likening of an ancient form of accounting which brought on another column. I am not sure if everyone is updated to the this Apha system that has come to lend to this technical form of accounting which is more intelligent actually. It will get harder and harder to get away with the things of the past without detection as a multiplicity of tracks are laid to catch some very strange activities which have been hiding behind the laws which are to protect.
    One fine day the faces on the bills that have been circulating shall strike before they go and I am not sure if people will consider how far a forefather we Americans identify with. I am not sure if people know their vbery people nor their family story enough to care about the blood that spilled of every heritage. At least there was someone before another and I am certainly clueless to know WHo was first and had the right when rights were given up or rightfully lost.

     

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