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FBI Defend Raids On Texas Datacenter

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the we're-from-the-govt-and-we're-here-to-help dept.

Crime 115

Aryden writes "Wired Reports: 'The FBI on Tuesday defended its raids on at least two data centers in Texas, in which agents carted out equipment and disrupted service to hundreds of businesses. The raids were part of an investigation prompted by complaints from AT&T and Verizon about unpaid bills allegedly owed by some data center customers, according to court records. One data center owner charges that the telecoms are using the FBI to collect debts that should be resolved in civil court. But on Tuesday, an FBI spokesman disputed that charge.'"

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April 7, 2009 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34613096)

I know Slashdot is sometimes slow to report on news, but come on...

Re:April 7, 2009 (5, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613132)

They're not slow at all; April 7, 2009 was a Tuesday. Tuesday is two days from now. Therefore, Slashdot is reporting the news two days before it even happens. Far from being slow, they're faster than everyone else!

Re:April 7, 2009 (0, Troll)

CopyrightOwnerMadow (1961982) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613138)

noidentity, may I pose a question? Why is the stuffing such a nice place?

Re:April 7, 2009 (-1)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613378)

Stuff this [goatse.fr] !!! Warning on link, of course.

--TrisexualPuppy

Re:April 7, 2009 (-1, Troll)

CopyrightOwnerMadow (1961982) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613418)

What slowness can I offer you?

Re:April 7, 2009 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34613770)

My 30 year old son saw this and is now mentally scarred! Thanks!

Re:April 7, 2009 (5, Funny)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613446)

It's because the main slashdot servers are just recovering from an FBI raid.

Re:April 7, 2009 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34613560)

They would have brought it earlier, if only the FBI had released their server..

Re:April 7, 2009 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34613628)

"timmy" is a little slow

SLASHDOT ARTICLE EDITORS ARE MORONS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34614794)

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/09/04/04/2013200/Data-Center-Raid-About-Unpaid-Telco-Fees

Come on slashdot, you're much better than this.

Re:April 7, 2009 (1)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 2 years ago | (#34617912)

So now that it's about 1½ years later, how about a follow-up article?

Now, now, now's the time right now! (0, Offtopic)

CopyrightOwnerMadow (1961982) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613098)

What slowness can I offer you? I'm copyright owner Madow!

Article is from 2009 (4, Informative)

harmonise (1484057) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613142)

This article is from April 7, 2009 and is old news. It's already been covered on Slashdot and other tech news sites a long time ago.

Breaking news: Oracle has made an offer to purchase Sun Microsystems. Will it be approved by regulators? Stay tuned!

Re:Article is from 2009 (-1, Troll)

CopyrightOwnerMadow (1961982) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613158)

Oracle has made an offer to purchase Sun Microsystems.

Isn't that old news? I bet your cheeks can't even flap at an interval of more than five gigaflops a second...

Re:Article is from 2009 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34613168)

wooooosh

Re:Article is from 2009 (1, Funny)

fishexe (168879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613236)

Oracle has made an offer to purchase Sun Microsystems.

Isn't that old news?

There's this really great new device they have on sale at Best Buy. It's called a sarcasm detector.

Re:Article is from 2009 (-1, Troll)

CopyrightOwnerMadow (1961982) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613252)

There's no need to be so hostile towards my bootyasscheek johnson ultimatum supremacies! I'll slurp yours directly off...

Re:Article is from 2009 (1, Funny)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613334)

That's old news. They stopped selling them at Best buy back in June '09.

Re:Article is from 2009 (3, Funny)

Mark Hood (1630) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614214)

I think it was a Tuesday...

Re:Article is from 2009 (0)

Requiem18th (742389) | more than 2 years ago | (#34613718)

They SELL sarcasm detectors on Best Buy!? I'm off to buy one! Everybody is tells me I need one of those!

Re:Article is from 2009 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34614474)

"There's this really great new device they have on sale at Best Buy. It's called a sarcasm detector."

I just went there, but I couldn't find it.

Re:Article is from 2009 (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614776)

There's this really great new device they have on sale at Best Buy. It's called a sarcasm detector.

Save your money. The units they sell aren't even Slashdot-rated.

Re:Article is from 2009 (2)

fishexe (168879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613218)

This article is from April 7, 2009 and is old news. It's already been covered on Slashdot and other tech news sites a long time ago.

No way, man! The summary clearly says it happened "on Tuesday"!

Newer and MORE Important... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34613576)

Is there ANYTHING hotter than a thin teen Emo boy stroking his meat on a park bench at midnight? Seriously, this story is about what? And this shit happened WHEN? Because I'll tell you something: There is NOTHING hotter than a thin teen Emo boy stroking his meat on a park bench at midnight, especially in Mexico City. You can find them in SF, and even LA, but PORTLAND OREGON is the headquarters for HOT MASTURBATING EMO BOYS. Seriously.

I know all you "dudes" are all "into" this computer shit from 2009, but HOT EMO BOYS are here and now. HOT EMO BOYS are masturbating NOW. HOT EMO BOYS want to swallow your load NOW. Not in 2009.

OK?

Re:Article is from 2009 (4, Funny)

anomaly256 (1243020) | more than 2 years ago | (#34613664)

The raid was on April 7 2009.. The FBI just now publicly defended it on Tuesday just gone. And in another 2 years they will begin analyzing the equipment, and 4 years after that they may start returning it, provided anyone can remember to claim it.

Re:Article is from 2009 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34613796)

when of course it will be worth less than the value of the work needed to strip it down to a properly recyclable state.

Re:Article is from 2009 (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 2 years ago | (#34618552)

Just in time to make the equipment totally valueless. The FBI did such a great job in helping economic recovery. They just scared legitimate business into looking for offshore data centers thereby contributing to further job loss and economic decline. If I were Faulkner, I too, would be looking for offshore data centers.

Re:Article is from 2009 (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#34613762)

Breaking news: Oracle has made an offer to purchase Sun Microsystems. Will it be approved by regulators? Stay tuned!

Well shit. I have a short memory and am too lazy to google it, but now I'm extremely curious as to whether or not it was. Fortunately, I won't be wondering for very long (short memory and all.)

Re:Article is from 2009 (1)

vegiVamp (518171) | more than 2 years ago | (#34617370)

Oh, come on. The regulators'll never stand for it, Oracle would get way too much clout in the business that way.

What happened next? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34613144)

any link to follow up?

FBI Logic (2)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613150)

This case is important because we're involved, if it wasn't important we wouldn't have gotten involved.
-Why was it important?
Because we were involved.
-Why were you involved?
Because it was important.

rinse
repeat

Other Breaking News (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34613156)

New tech company, Google, announced today that they are launching a search engine that is better than the others.

Will this compare with Alta Vista, AskJeeves, and Yahoo?

Re:Other Breaking News (2, Insightful)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613200)

Course not, they'll never catch on...

Obligatory quote from Spaceballs (0, Redundant)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613176)

Colonel Sandurz: Try here. Stop.

Dark Helmet: What the hell am I looking at? When does this happen in the movie?

Colonel Sandurz: Now. You're looking at now, sir. Everything that happens now, is happening now.

Dark Helmet: What happened to then?

Colonel Sandurz: We passed then.

Dark Helmet: When?

Colonel Sandurz: Just now. We're at now now.

Dark Helmet: Go back to then.

Colonel Sandurz: When?

Dark Helmet: Now.

Colonel Sandurz: Now?

Dark Helmet: Now.

Colonel Sandurz: I can't.

Dark Helmet: Why?

Colonel Sandurz: We missed it.

Dark Helmet: When?

Colonel Sandurz: Just now.

Dark Helmet: When will then be now?

Colonel Sandurz: Soon.

Dark Helmet: How soon?

ummmmm (0)

chronoss2010 (1825454) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613194)

ya send bugsey over to a picka upa the goods , if they donta pay wella take it all.

follow up since this is *ancient* (2)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613198)

Liquid motors loses appeal after raid [wired.com]

A condensed summary of what happened [reddit.com]

There isn't much if anything about what happens after all of this, whether the case went to trial etc. just that Croydon technology's website hasn't been updated since.

Re:follow up since this is *ancient* (2)

Cylix (55374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613328)

I think the reason the website stopped being updated was due to him fleeing the country and subsequently being arrested.

http://dallas.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel10/dl011510.htm [fbi.gov]

It was neat to read the beginning, find the middle and end. However, it's a bit sad to see the date highlighted so quickly.

Re:follow up since this is *ancient* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34615142)

This needs to be in the summary. As it is the whole thing just reads as UNFAIR FBI TAKES STUFF AND DOESN'T CARE.

Sure is different when you see the guy in the Wired article fled to Mexico shortly after.

Re:follow up since this is *ancient* (1)

0111 1110 (518466) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615868)

Sure is different when you see the guy in the Wired article fled to Mexico shortly after.

Why? Maybe my sarcasm detector is in need of service, but it only indicates that the "defendants" realized they were in deep shit and risked 30 years or more in prison for owing money to the telephone companies and lying on a credit application. I don't think that warrants 30 years in prison. It was a sort of debtor prison situation. FBI is the new KGB. The real followup would be knowing if all those people were actually convicted and sentenced to 30 years each in federal prison. The lesson: always pay your bills to telcos on time and never lie on a credit application. If you do both you could end up spending the rest of your life-not-worth-living in prison with murderers and gangbangers. Note that some of the charges were for "copyright infringement". Are we talking mp3s here?

Re:follow up since this is *ancient* (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 2 years ago | (#34616418)

You obviously did not read any of the reports, the affidavit or even some of the summaries provided.

It wasn't just about debt. The guy was running tons of shell companies with multiple contributors to willfully defraud and hide it. My guess is they caught on to the abuse they were seeing from Dallas and required proof new applicants were no longer scum bags. Thus the eventual wire fraud was introduce in an attempt to further defraud.

This wasn't a case of simply owing some cash to another company. He and several other people went far beyond some bad bills and when you step into that arena you can expect the FBI to knock on your door. Bad people do exist and they do bad things. The guy fled because he knew he was boned.

Possible Update (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613206)

Though this is still almost a year old: Under the 'legal' heading. [cisco.com]

Re:Possible Update (-1, Offtopic)

CopyrightOwnerMadow (1961982) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613282)

Man, oh, man... I'm droolin' all over those scrumpyoly cheeks you have! May I... slurp them off? Hey, wait, you have a bit of graveyard fog on them!

Followup (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34613212)

Found this article here: Looks like the datacenter owner mysteriously disappeared or something?

http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/332205/isp_operators_among_19_arrested_cyber-fraud_case/ [computerworld.com.au]

What, it's 2010 already?!

Re:Followup (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613474)

    Check your calendar. It's Dec 20, 2012. Hmmm, why is tomorrow circled in red?

In other news... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34613248)

Drunk Slashdot.com editor fired after posting story that is 1 year old!

I'm Astounded (2)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613376)

They have data centres in Texas?

Re:I'm Astounded (1)

Seq (653613) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615366)

No, but Texas does have Data Centers.

Re:I'm Astounded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34619046)

No. They have data centers.

Re:I'm Astounded (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#34620082)

we sho nuff have the biggest purt dater centahs y'all laid eyes on

They have data centres in Texas? (3, Funny)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613384)

I guess that's what they call it when somebody brings the state library's book back.

Re:They have data centres in Texas? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34613464)

Never heard of a Texas datacenter? You've probably been to a site hosted in one.

http://news.netcraft.com/hosting-analysis/ [netcraft.com]

The Planet (recently bought by Softlayer) is the 5th largest web hoster in the world. Their datacenters are in Houston and Dallas. Also, there's this tiny little company called Rackspace based in San Antonio. Maybe you've heard of them.

So yes, Virginia, there are datacenters in Texas. Big ones, because everything is bigger in Texas. (Yes, egos are bigger, too.)

Re:They have data centres in Texas? (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615582)

I'm not saying our data centers are big, but I think they found a lost amazon tribe in the back of one. They use carts with indy 500 engines to get around inside them. And when one of the Texas data centers comes on line, the power flickers in several adjacent states and all of Mexico.

Re:They have data centres in Texas? (5, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613480)

I guess that's what they call it when somebody brings the state library's book back.

Hey, I live in Texas. I know for a fact we have more than just one library book. (I would give you an exact figure, but our math teachers aren't allowed to teach us numbers that big!)

If I had to guess I'd say more than 665...

Re:They have data centres in Texas? (0)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613554)

640 k is enough for anybody.

--

Is this the roid raid rock?

Re:They have data centres in Texas? (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#34613586)

Hey, I live in Texas. I know for a fact we have more than just one library book.

Most of them have been colored in three or four times.

Re:They have data centres in Texas? (5, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#34613646)

I guess that's what they call it when somebody brings the state library's book back.

If I had to guess I'd say more than 665...

Why else would they need a book depository?

Re:They have data centres in Texas? (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614626)

Come to think of it, what the hell is a book depository? Some kind of library warehouse or something?

I'm pretty sure I've never heard the term (nor 'grassy knoll', for that matter) outside of a JFK context.

Re:They have data centres in Texas? (1)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614684)

: a place where something is deposited especially for safekeeping

Pretty much a warehouse where school books, a long with other administrative crap was kept before it was distributed amongst the schools.

Re:They have data centres in Texas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34615986)

Gotta have some place to store them before you burn them. If you don't burn a bunch at once it's just not as impressive.

Re:They have data centres in Texas? (4, Funny)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 2 years ago | (#34613778)

That's a flat out offensive lie. Tthere's an English *and* a Spanish bible.

Re:They have data centres in Texas? (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614484)

I've got some mod points, but I can't use them here, unfortunately. Yours is the funniest remark I've read in quite a while.

Thanks for the morning laugh.

God says... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34613400)

grammar prefer difficulties public buzzing bed face ungodliness
excused Identification favour Young audacious prosperity
nails respects namely missing inactive artifices Neither
sitteth interest write cheerfulness contentions scattered
months Patricius banished dissoluteness wholesome strangers
whosoever folk fashion avert unliker Defect prating stiffness
parental login washing forsaken meeting adulterous show
answer ignorance loathed boyhood represent earnestness
blindness thank lowering shonest prophets answering properly
taking Eating constantly wonderfully servant portions
assent secondary ensnaring slay cleaveth wasting sermons
wild crime furnished grantest hearer Sovereign agony repeat
thereby receptacle Danae expectation unused crossed toys
repeating thrice cleansest riper household compass guilty
uncorrupted subsists Sacrament Sacraments stricken holies
observing Ten impatient Seraphim wondered consist gracefulness
consume brute smarting jointly streams effaced Wills raise
requited accomplish trial receptacle sins

Which Tuesday? (1)

edibobb (113989) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613426)

Deja vu.

Hosting customers are running away to europe (2)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613448)

in droves. im in the industry, and that is what i see. with hosting customers, i dont mean just people who are hosting a few websites. people who are running small hosting businesses with dedicated servers/clusters, or offering vpses, cloud services are running away to europe too. thanks to the draconian (and curiously numerous) internet control crap put out recently (acta, coica, this that) and the wikileaks incident. this, will only strengthen the trend.

Re:Hosting customers are running away to europe (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613504)

What's the solution for customers who need low latency (> 120ms) hosting? Our (US-centric) retail website is slow enough; I hesitate to think what the customer's experience would be like with a 250ms round trip ping(!) Living in Dallas, I routinely connect to London and Paris dedicated servers and ping 160 and 180ms, respectively. I'm on a fast connection near InfoMart; I hesitate to wonder what people more than a few miles/hops from a backbone connection pings to those same servers.

Re:Hosting customers are running away to europe (2)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#34613642)

100-400 ms pings are not much of an issue when serving web pages. these pings create problems if you are hosting game servers or similar.

if you need low latency, you will have to get a server in the physical location/backbone vicinity you are going to offer the server in. so, if you are gonna offer game servers in usa, you need a usa datacenter. if europe, eu datacenter.

however if youre going to serve web pages (ie typical web hosting), us, eu, wont differ too much as long as the provider of your dedicated server is quality enough. leaseweb.com , hetzner.de are good providers in europe, there are others. there are even a goodly percentage of u.s. based web hosts who are serving their customers from hetzner.co.za, the south african division of hetzner.

Re:Hosting customers are running away to europe (1)

gmack (197796) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614416)

Try Canada. You can host in Vancouver, Montreal or Toronto and get good speed/low latency to the US mainland.

Re:Hosting customers are running away to europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34613722)

in droves. im in the industry, and that is what i see. with hosting customers, i dont mean just people who are hosting a few websites. people who are running small hosting businesses with dedicated servers/clusters, or offering vpses, cloud services are running away to europe too. thanks to the draconian (and curiously numerous) internet control crap put out recently (acta, coica, this that) and the wikileaks incident. this, will only strengthen the trend.

Except this happened in April of 2009, well before Fox News ever even heard of Wikileaks, acta, coica, or this that.

Re:Hosting customers are running away to europe (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#34613918)

Except this happened in April of 2009, well before Fox News ever even heard of Wikileaks, acta, coica, or this that.

acta has been happening sine 2004. it is known by hosting industry since 2008. network neutrality attacks are being watched since 2006. dmca, nsa stuff and many more had been talked on since 2002.

the date of the article is irrelevant to the matter. it had been just something that increased the trend. republishing of this article, will increase the trend even more, by bringing into attention again.

Re:Hosting customers are running away to europe (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614178)

What good will going to Europe do for ACTA, which is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, an international treaty being negotiated by the European Union and Switzerland along with the US, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Japan, and the US?

Are they moving specifically to Serbia, Ukraine, Belarus, Liechtenstein, Norway, Monaco, San Marino, and Andorra? Pretty much every other European country is an EU member, a candidate EU member, or a "potential candidate member".

Re:Hosting customers are running away to europe (2)

Pteraspidomorphi (1651293) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614616)

I'm european. I used to buy my dedicated hosting in the U.S. for several reasons - Low latency to my lots of american users, good location for international routing, prices, etc. Then after a series of setbacks caused by companies with bad business practices (read extortion), increasing prices and, yes, scary laws, I finally relented and moved to europe. Never looked back! And I'm sorry to say I also regularly convince others to move from the U.S. to europe.

Re:Hosting customers are running away to europe (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615834)

I'm european. I used to buy my dedicated hosting in the U.S. for several reasons - Low latency to my lots of american users, good location for international routing, prices, etc. Then after a series of setbacks caused by companies with bad business practices (read extortion), increasing prices and, yes, scary laws, I finally relented and moved to europe. Never looked back! And I'm sorry to say I also regularly convince others to move from the U.S. to europe.

Do you have any recommendations for good hosting providers? At this point I am looking to make a move.

Re:Hosting customers are running away to europe (1)

Pteraspidomorphi (1651293) | more than 2 years ago | (#34619726)

I've been hosting in europe longer than that, but since the beginning of this year I've been hosting with Serverloft, a german company (they also have a datacenter in the U.S.). Their european website is http://www.serverloft.eu/ [serverloft.eu] . Their current datacenter located in Strasbourg, France is http://www.datadock.eu/en/highlights.php [datadock.eu] . Their mainstream hosting sister company is http://www.server4you.net/ [server4you.net] and their managed hosting sister company is http://www.plusserver.net/ [plusserver.net] .
One thing to be careful with, though - Their advertised "limited stock - 3 to 5 days delivery" isn't quite true right now, at least in europe. I've been waiting for my latest order for two weeks - They said something about delivery problems. Maybe it's the weather, I hear it's been pretty bad up north.

Scientists invent the "transistor" device (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613478)

Claim it will revolutionize the field of electronics. Slashdotters overwhelmingly skeptical.

Not news, and not a simple debt collection, either (5, Informative)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34613510)

This was not recent. This was not a debt collection, either.

The guy's stuff wasn't grabbed by the FBI because he didn't pay his bills.

The guy's stuff was grabbed because he never intended to pay his bills himself, and he committed fraud in order to get the colocation space and bandwidth in the first place.

The guy got credit references from people who didn't exist. He forged receipts from other telecom companies. He altered documents to show he'd paid bills that other people had paid. He used a maze of twisty little business names, all different.

He did all of that to secure credit from these folks to allow him to start service with them without a hefty deposit. Then he ditched the bills like they would have expected he might had he not forged the credit-worthiness paperwork.

Fraud is not simple insolvency. It is a felony.

There was every reason for this to be investigated and prosecuted as a criminal offense.

There was also every reason for it to be newsworthy last year when it was news.

Re:Not news, and not a simple debt collection, eit (0, Offtopic)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 2 years ago | (#34613650)

Ha. All the slashdot "editors" should be fired, and you should be the first new hire. All in favor?

Re:Not news, and not a simple debt collection, eit (1)

Green Salad (705185) | more than 2 years ago | (#34617780)

Aye.
If I had mod points I'd mod Mr. Mischief up.

Re:Not news, and not a simple debt collection, eit (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614520)

So, the fact that it happened last year justifies the FBI ignorance of shutting down and entire colocation facility and seizing the equipment of 300 some business just because it was "interconnected" (everything there had internet access ... duh)?

Re:Not news, and not a simple debt collection, eit (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614850)

The guy had possession of the equipment. He was the colocation provider. The customers put the equipment in his hands for safekeeping. He was an alleged fraudster. The facility's lease was allegedly unpaid. The circuits the customers were connected to were allegedly unpaid.

Why should the customers get service? Because they paid him? Right. And he should have been paying his bills. Then his customers could have maybe had service. As it was, his customers were getting scammed and so were his vendors (allegedly). If you're doing 911 service and credit card processing, you should know something about the place you put that server.

I understand not a lot of Slashdot readers have actually been in the ISP, web hosting, colocation, ASP, and similar businesses. I have. I was for years. You don't put mission-critical systems in a fly-by-night colocation facility and then bitch and moan because your cheap ass got burned. You do your due diligence about who has your servers, what their leasing and circuit agreements are like, what their insurance policies cover, how many and which of their employees will have access to your stuff, and how they limit other customers' access to the facility.

Re:Not news, and not a simple debt collection, eit (1)

CookieForYou (1945108) | more than 2 years ago | (#34620230)

Well, this is understood, but how do you do that?

This guys was forging documents from his circuit agreements and things. You can't call Verizon to ask about someone else's account. You have to rely on the documentation the colo gives you.

I would bet that at least one of those 300 customers had asked for proof of current accounts and things like that and was provided such (fradulently) by the colo owner.

It's too bad they had to be pulled in. It seems to me that the FBI could have made an effort to clone the systems and at least return some of it.

The CPU/RAM/Motherboard of the systems in question is NOT of value to the investigation, other than for leverage and fear and financial detriment.

The companies who had their systems taken would probably have not balked at all if the servers had been returned in a week, without drives. I'd wager they may even pay the costs of having the drives forensically duplicated so they could get their stuff back online. That is much cheaper than the business loss that was a result.

Of course, everyone should do backups, etc. It just seems rather strong-arm to take that much equipment, including power strips, cabinets, rack mounting gear, third party documentation and the like.

Re:Not news, and not a simple debt collection, eit (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614732)

I don't think your wrong about what started it. However, you are missing something very important here. They impacted hundreds of other unrelated businesses and thousands of customers due to the complete and utter stupidity of the FBI agent in charge.

Lets me give you an analogy here.........

I operate a meth lab out of my house. DEA comes into the entire neighborhood and arrests hundreds of people and confiscates all of their personal property and throws every child into social services.

That does not make a lot of sense does it? Kinda of reminds you of movies where the evil Nazi's occupying a village round up every villager and shoot a couple because the resistance threw a pie at the Colonel.

Re:Not news, and not a simple debt collection, eit (3, Informative)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614814)

The problem was they seized computers and networking equipment at his address that he was being paid to hold for others. If you are under investigation and a warrant is issued for all computer equipment and networking gear at your address to be seized as evidence, that is likely what will happen no matter what agent of what agency is in charge of the investigation.

What would you have the FBI do? You want them to raid the guy's colo facility, take his stuff, and leave his customers' equipment running on unpaid circuits inside an unpaid leased room? You want them to tip off his customers to the raid before it is executed? There is no good solution here.

The best one could hope for is that the customers did a little more due diligence for mission-critical applications like 911 service and credit card processing about the kind of colocation service they were getting and the integrity of the business.

Re:Not news, and not a simple debt collection, eit (1)

The Wild Norseman (1404891) | more than 2 years ago | (#34617468)

You know, I was really right along with you, until you started spouting this bullshit

The best one could hope for is that the customers did a little more due diligence for mission-critical applications like 911 service and credit card processing about the kind of colocation service they were getting and the integrity of the business.

of blaming the victims. How the fuck do you know how much due diligence they did? This dude apparently lied well enough that guys whose livelihood is made by checking out backgrounds were fooled.

Have a little empathy, for christ's sake.

Re:Not news, and not a simple debt collection, eit (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#34615526)

That does not make a lot of sense does it? Kinda of reminds you of movies where the evil Nazi's occupying a village round up every villager and shoot a couple because the resistance threw a pie at the Colonel.

Grammar "Nazi's"?

Obligatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34615238)

He used a maze of twisty little business names, all different.

And he did get eaten by a Grue.

Re:Not news, and not a simple debt collection, eit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34616474)

that's all find and good.

But ATT has the money, they have the time, and they have the manpower to detect this type of fraud, and cut off the offenders before the fraud reaches the level in the story.

They just don't want to.

And why should they? Our tax dollars support their cozy relationship with the intelligence agencies.

Re:Not news, and not a simple debt collection, eit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34617920)

iow, the guy should have received bailout money for his trouble.

Seriously, are you a bloody moron? I'm all for law and order, but this is like carpet bombing a neighborhood because some shit carried on insurance fraud. So take everyone out.

While "the guy" may be in the wrong (was there a trial?), a lot of other people were affected and their equipment hosed at a co-lo. I guess you're one of those people that when the DEA or FBI rips through a neighborhood going after a drug dealer or car theft ring, those who got run over and shot that were not part of the criminal acts were in the wrong, because they lived next to creeps.

Re:Not news, and not a simple debt collection, eit (1)

CookieForYou (1945108) | more than 2 years ago | (#34620120)

It is old news, yes. But tell that to the 300 OTHER businesses who had their equipment siezed, 100 of which subsequently went out of business, likely at least partially as a result of this FBI action.

Seizing the power strips and cabinets and even the books full of system documentation from OTHER COMPANIES not involved in the fraud, other than to be physically located near the suspected fraud.

That's the news, if you ask me.

vogue-wholesale (-1, Offtopic)

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Here's follow up from a few months ago.. (1, Informative)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 2 years ago | (#34613626)

A very interesting read for those who are interested in finding out what came of this:
http://seclists.org/fulldisclosure/2010/Mar/142

Re:Here's follow up from a few months ago.. (1)

ogl_codemonkey (706920) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614016)

From the second paragraph of that article:

This deeply saddens n3td3v because
we believe that MPAA and RIAA are forces of good. They saved millions of lives.
(n3td3v has lobbied for corporal punishment for trolls and torrent downloaders)

http://it.toolbox.com/blogs/managing-infosec/security-trolls-n3td3v-12460 [toolbox.com] states:

N3td3v is/was a security troll that plagued the full disclosure list for quite a while, claiming to be a yahoo security engineer

(from the start of an extensive article)

The most complete copy I've found of Faulkner's lengthy initial posting on the matter is at:
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:WnAbrdQbA30J:www.scribd.com/doc/13974347/mirror-of-wwwuwwwbcom-FBI-indiscriminate-actions-in-fascist-america+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk [googleusercontent.com]

Yep, the google cache of a page printed to PDF and uploaded to Scribd. Some formatting is lost; try the text-only version from the google cache toolbar and copying into an editor (or otherwise removing the bright-green-ness of the text).

This is probably the most complete account of events, tied together with at least one side of the full story.

The debt in the millions was the operating costs of a failed business he was part owner of (not in itself illegal, unless you incur the debt deliberately); and he was not the cause of the business failing (in his own words). I didn't find any evidence of him being charged with wrongdoing over the operation of that business (brief google search)

He wasn't hiding overseas - he was never told to stay in the country, and informed the head of the FBIs investigation where he would be living, and who he would be working for. He never tried to change his identity.

Faulkner, who was a part owner of Premier Voice before selling it about a year ago, acknowledges that Premier owed money to AT&T at one time — though he says he’s not certain it was for interconnection. He says that debt was assumed by the new owner when he sold the company. Either way, he says, this would be categorized as corporate debt, not fraud.

"There’s a big difference between stealing money and owing money," he says.

- http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/04/data-centers-ra/ [wired.com]

Egh, that's it from me for now - some terrible bug in Chrome and/or Slashcode is making it a significant hassle to copy/paste stuff. Anyone else have similar issues? (I'm running current Chrome on OS X 10.6)

Re:Here's follow up from a few months ago.. (5, Informative)

ogl_codemonkey (706920) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614122)

Found a clean copy of the text; have restored the embedded links here:

Hello, this is CygonX. Our Hosting Data Center has suffered a major disaster: Namely the FBI storming the Data Center and the company's owner's home (that's me). The FBI took an entire data center, hundreds of servers, routers, switches, UPS system, cabinets, monitors, printers, and even power strips...as evidence.

You would expect this kind of totalitarian storm-trooper activity in the name of the war on drugs, the war on terror, or etc. But the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation actually did NO investigation in this particular case. They took the statements of an ex-employees of the company, which was fired for drug use.

What were they looking for? Well that’s a tricky question, and I am not even sure they know, but the short answer is $6.1 Million Dollars. Hang in there, the story gets more interesting.

As many of you may know I have played the role of Administrator for the UWWWB forum, AKA CygonX for many years. Truthfully, CygonX was a lot like Santa Claus, and has actually been played by many people over the years in order to manage the site, but I am the original and current owner. My real name is Mike Faulkner, and I have hosted the Network Security forum and community at this domain name since sometime in early 2002.
I was the CEO of a small tech company when I took over the site, and I hosted it off my own network on a pair of T1s. That company went under, taking most of my money with it, and UWWWB was actually hosted off a cable modem for a period of time from an equipment rack in my home. This is my forum and community that I have nourished for years.

Over the years, I have bought, sold, and built a large number of small tech companies. I worked my way up, with 100 hour work weeks, and by taking almost no money out personally for many years. For the past few years I have been a very active venture capitalist. Investing in various small technology businesses, and using them to support each other. My VoIP Companies used my Hosting Companies, which leased space in my Data Centers, and etc. This was the Crydon Capital Corporations family of companies.
Crydon Technology, was the data center and hosting company that the FBI raided in Dallas March 12th, 2009. UWWWB was tucked away on a tiny server in the data center for years, and we never even got a single complaint from RIAA, or MPPA, or anyone. This is not just about UWWWB, although the FBI certainly is holding it against me for running a security site.

Here's what happened: March 12th, 2009, at about 5:AM in the morning, my home alarm system went off. I get up to see what’s going on, on maybe 3 hours of sleep, and my wife points out there are two people with flash lights in my back yard. Now, this may not be unusual for everyone, but I lived in a fairly nice home in Southlake Texas, the United States highest per-capita income city for 2008. A very nice community, virtually no crime, and excellent schools. That is to say, I did not live in a shack in the hood, this is nice suburbs, and not where the FBI usually does raids.
So I run out the back door of my home, thinking I was about to confront some crackheads trying to steal the copper off my AC unit or something. And although I couldn’t quite see them yet I heard the very authoritative voice of what appeared to be law enforcement officers, with the radio noise to go with them. They proceeded with the expected dialogue, "stop", "show me your hands", "hands in the air" etc. They didn't shoot me, and sadly that really was the highlight of my day. I assumed my alarm had triggered by itself and the cops had been called, as we had problems with the alarm system before. They handcuffed me, while I was telling them I was the home owner. No big deal, they’ll figure it out in a second, right?
It wasn't a false alarm on my home security system, the FBI had cut my phone lines.

When they brought me around to the front of my house, there was a very large number of SWAT team type vans, and men with automatic weapons and body armor. Dark green gear, with FBI in black so it was barely visible. At that point I was very confused. I assume one of my employees had killed another employee, or one of my customers had threatened the president. I ran through all the crazy scenarios in my head, as to why in the hell the FBI would send a SWAT team to my family's home at 5:AM. As a data center owner you deal with the FBI on occasions. In the past, they had always come by during the day, at sensible business hours. And always for customer issues. But not this time, this time they were running around my home at 5:AM in the morning with their muddy boots, pointing machine guns at my wife and three children in their pajamas.

So the lead agent shows up, well after any possibility of shooting had past. His name is Allyn Lynd, google him when you have the time. [click here for that Google results [google.com] ] And he asks me about piracy, spam, and some kind of wire fraud. The Gestapo raids my home at 5:AM for what appeared to be some white-collar misdemeanor offenses, of which they had no real evidence of me even being involved with. They continued to ask me questions for 4 to 5 hours, and although I swear on my skin I gave them nothing but the truth, this guy repeatedly told me I was lying, and he knew I was lying, because the truth I told him didn’t match the stories of the their "informant". The amazing thing is that this guy was fired almost 2 years ago. So NONE of the information the FBI had was even current.

The FBI's informant, was a partner and investor in one of my business ventures called Premier Voice, a Hosted VoIP Service for Small Businesses. This company was an epic failure. The informant put $70,000 in, I put in close to $600,000, and then the venture failed largely due to the fact that Marcus likes to drink on top of handfuls of prescription pain killers, leaving him not a very effective network engineer or Chief Technology Officer. After this guy destroyed my company, and lost my money, he had the nerve to ask for his $70K back. Meanwhile, I had lost so much personal money in the project I was trying to figure out a way to pay my own mortgage at the time. Needless to say, I told him feel free to sue, but I wasn't paying him a dime for destroying the company.

Since then, he has threatened to contact the FBI and tell them that I intentionally ran up a bunch of dept without paying, among other factually untrue things. He further clarified that due to the fact that his Father was an IRS Enforcement Agent, that he could cause me all kinds of problems. Although 9 out of 10 tech companies fail, and ultimately owe money when they go under, it’s of course legal as long as you don’t do it intentionally. However, company's like Sun Rocket went under owing $90 Million, and they did so after running with an impossible business model, but the FBI didn’t so much as make a phone call to them on that one. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see how this works.

Long after I fired him, I discovered the informant was a notorious drug dealer at SMU in Dallas for the 4 years he spent there. He of course left that out of his resume of course.

The most damaging false statements made by the "Informant", was that we didn’t have a single customer, and that anything that happened from the data center or our 64,000 IP addresses, was part of my evil empire of cyber crime. So the feds seize the data center based on that 2-year old statement from a very unreliable source.

Well, one of my customers, of which I had 300 - 400 of, was Intelimate. This is a government contractor; they provide all the phone service for prisons in 3 states. All of which lost their phone services when the FBI raided the data center. We also had a Credit Card Processor, Mortgage companies, and dozens of VoIP companies as well. The FBI effectively did tens of millions of dollars in damages to dozens of businesses within a few minutes based on bad intel, and no investigation whatsoever. I actually got a copy of the 40 page affidavit they submitted to a federal magistrate to get the search warrantsit’s 90% outright lies, and 10% misrepresented truth. With a lot of “my experience as a special agent of the FBI for X number of years leads me to believe” as excuses for a warrant.

Seriously, is each "cybercrime" is so identical that you can actually "profile", when every other use of profiling in law enforcement in less complex environments has been proven ineffective?
These guys actually put in the affidavit that it was alleged that I did crack cocaine and methamphetamines. I am a 36-year-old white-collar father of three, I work 100 hours a week, and when I am not working I am very actively involved in both body building and MMA. These bumbling fools accused me of using illegal drugs, when in fact I have never even seen these drugs anywhere but on TV. I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t even partake in simple carbohydrates. I’m an athlete, and they made me out to be some deranged CEO dope fiend in order to get their bogus search warrant to invade my home.

The whole document is an insult to the intelligence of the magistrate that signed it, and the reputation of the agent, and agency, that submitted it.

Okay, so let’s just say they are doing their job, and they are not turning the country we love into the new Nazi Germany. To be honest, I am not a tin-foil-hat guy, I don’t believe in 9-11 conspiracies, and I just don’t buy into any of the government conspiracies. So let’s look at the facts. The Dallas FBI Cyber Crime division has only 9 employees, 3 of which are highly technical forensic data guys. Special Agent Allyn David Lynd runs the show, he’s a 42 year old guy, that we’ll say is just doing his job to the best of his ability. ( Be sure to read up on how he got his job as Cyber Crime guy for the FBI, 3rd Post down by Allyn Lynd himself at this link. [technet.com] ).

Quote from Allyn Lynd:
"The way I ended up in Cybercrime is not all that glamorous ... In 1998, when we formed the Dallas regional squad, the powers that be asked if anyone knew anything more about computers then how to turn the power on. I raised my hand up and said that I played a lot of computer games and had put together PC's so that I could have a better gaming experience and the rest is history."

So the FBI is under-funded, under-educated, under-staffed, and they don’t have the budget or the man hours to truly investigate anything. The CSI you see on TV, is 100% not real. The lead agent of the investigation is non-technical. I could barely have a conversation with him. They just don’t get it, they don’t understand the business, and it’s actually their lack of technical expertise that caused them to raid my home, office, and data center to begin with.

They found no drugs, no guns, and no evidence of any criminal activity. No one has been arrested, and to the best of our collective knowledge and attorneys, no one has even been charged with anything.
Here’s the biggest problem, they don’t understand collocation. So they are holding me personally accountable for EVERYTHING that has ever occurred from any of IP addresses, of any of the companies I managed. This is like holding an investor that has bought into multiple apartment complexes, responsible for the contents and activities of the tenants of the apartments! It’s ludicrous, and it’s insane, but that’s the least of it.

They actually think that I am responsible for not only companies I owned and operated, but my clients as well, and not just their Internet Activity. Apparently out of the hundreds of VoIP companies that have used my network in the past few years, several of them collectively owe AT&T and Verizon a few million dollars. If you know the industry, you know that’s par for the course. VoIP companies get sideways with the Local Exchange Carriers (LEC) all the time. But these guys want to believe that I am actually some criminal mastermind that somehow controlled hundreds of businesses in one big conspiracy to screw the phone companies, while smoking crack and methamphetamines.

And a federal judge actually bought that line of manure.

Once again, I know it’s insane, but these guys sat at my kitchen table and truly believing it was the truth, interrogated me on these very issues, and then called me a liar when I tried to explain the industry to them. I would had to have started at Computer Science 101, and followed with Basic TCP/IP, and maybe if I had 2-years to kill, got to the point where I could explain a top-down overview of the Telecommunications’ industry within the confines of the emergence of VOIP, in a Legacy TDM world. But they were not interested in hearing anything but a confession.

Fact: Allyn Lynd went to Westpoint, not CalTech, MIT, or even a Junior College with a technology program. The lead investigator for the Dallas Cyber Crime Division, does not have a technology degree.

Maybe by now your thinking, hey they’ll look into it, see this guy (me) has a nice family, good businesses, pays his taxes, and is a loyal upstanding member of the community and give all his stuff backyea, in a perfect world where you have a government that can admit mistakes, maybe. But that’s not this world.

The FBI seized all of my bank accounts; they seized all of my employees, and contractor’s accounts. They even seized the life savings of a previous employee’s elderly mother. My ex-controller, I fired almost two years ago, happened to be a signer on her account, and they got it too. They took hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of data center equipment, and anything of value as well: most of which belonged to customers.

Ultimately the FBI seized many racks full of customer equipment, because a junkie told them those customers did not exist. Now, in the bank accounts they seized, obviously with a little “investigation” they could have seen payments from hundreds of customers, but there was no investigation. They are destroying businesses left and right completely without oversight, or even the slightest due diligence.

I know many of you are suffering with the poor economic situation, and although I wasn’t doing real well to begin with I am now right there with you. But realistically, money is replaceable, albeit not easily. But these guys didn’t just take the money. They actually took my children’s Xboxs, Wii, PS3, their computers, their iPods, and everything in our home that could store data. Within 8 hours they cleaned my home out more thoroughly than ten crackheads could have in a week. And they did so in the name of Justice.

How do you even begin to explain a government to your children that could allow this to happen?

They questioned my current employees, as their usual MO is to turn someone against the guy they want, by threatening each member of the company with jail time, but with a reduced sentence for cooperation. Which hey, I don’t approve of, I think it’s wrong, but if they are using it on real criminal and terrorist, as a good American we think that's okay. They actually jacked up one of the UWWWB forum members that I had hired as a technician, and told him that I had said he was the mastermind behind the whole thing, and that I was trying to pin the whole deal on him. I am told he laughed so hard he may have peed himself. Not a single person questioned has said anything to indicate their investigation is anything but a mistake. They have no case, and they are desperately trying to piece together bogus information at this very moment: utterly incapable of admitting they were wrong.

So what am I to do?

If they sent over a carpet cleaner and a big truck with all my stuff, hey I’d say “apology accepted”. I wouldn’t expect a real apology. Of course the fact remains that they destroyed dozens of my businesses, and the businesses of my clients, and put all my employees out on the street. But at least it would be a gesture, and right now I am not seeing any indication they intend to do anything but destroy more businesses.

By this time, you have to be thinking “Hire a lawyer”, well I did think of that...

So I call 20 of Dallas’s top lawyers. All of them agree that the government is about to issue a big multi-count indictment and offer a plea bargain to plead guilty to a lesser included offense or etc. They think this, because the federal prosecutors win 90% of their cases, and that's a fact, and this is how they do it:
You’re looking at 100 years in prison, or a maximum of 5 for pleading guilty. Alternatively if you take it to court, and run out of money, and lose on any one count, you’d get more than the 5 years, so you’d be nuts not to take the 5 years. So what I am saying, guilty or innocent, you have to take the 5 years away from your family, leaving them to fend for themselves, missing your children’s graduation from high school and/or college.for something you didn’t do. You have little choice.

Our system was designed to beat the high priced attorneys of drug kingpins. I get that. I understand it. And I wouldn't usually complain. However, due to the government’s inability to admit a mistake, that same system is about to be used against several upstanding citizens whose only crime is being in technology too complicated for the FBI to understand. And to add fuel to the fire, the FBI took every dime I had leaving me to struggle to find a way to pay my 3 mortgages and feed my kids.

And about that lawyer, the quotes I have received have been non-refundable fees of $100,000 and up to defend a case this complicated. Not a retainer, these guys want a non-refundable $100K with no guarantee of any kind.

If your one of the 35,000 loyal UWWB members that has been a part of this community for any part of the past 9 years, I want to thank you for participating in the freedom of speech here at UWWWB.

Will I go to jail in the next 6 to 12 months, and will my family be left out in the cold? All indications point to yes. There is not a whole lot I can do about that, I am working against a very big government that isn’t running on logical thinking.

As you may know, in the past many years, we have only accepted donations or asked for them on 2 occasions, both times when the server died when I happened to be broke. Otherwise, I have paid for all the bandwidth and the servers, out of my own pocket. And regardless of how this FBI thing works out for me, I do honestly appreciate each and every one of you that has ever filled a request, set a n00b straight, or done anything to support one of the longest running communities in the scene.

I can’t begin to explain to you how it made me feel when the FBI’s top Cyber Crime guy talked down to me for running a “piracy” forum. I mean WTF, “piracy”, really? I have never thought of this community as lowly pirates, as if we are just a bunch of ass clowns downloading software to burn and sell on the street corner. That’s not UWWWB, not then, and not now.

Obviously, I have a lot of problems, and I am probably going to prison for something I didn’t do. Either way, I paid for hosting for UWWWB for a few months, on the cheapest server I could fine. It wasn’t the smartest thing to do when you have kids to feed, but it’s done. If I have not got my act together by then, I am sure one of our members can come up with a way to host it while I am incarcerated.

So far I have only heard a single 8 year prison term for a full confession, and as stupid as this may prove to be, I am not taking a plea bargain for any reason. I am going to spend every dime I have, and I am going to cost this damn government as much time and money as I possibly can while fighting every single charge against me. If i lose any of them, I will appeal them from prison, and I will continue to bleed every dime I possibly can out of this system in hopes that next time they make a mistake, that they can make it a policy to write off their loses and call it a day.
Regardless what happens, I appreciate you reading my story, and I appreciate you sharing this story with others in the technology industry. If every owner of a hosting company or data center out there knew that the FBI was capable of this, I think someone might one day be able to change the government’s way of thinking.

Also, as much as I absolutely hate to do it, if any of you can spare a single dime to help me keep things afloat for awhile, I'd greatly appreciate it.

I know it’s hard to get onboard. Since the Kevin Mitnick debacle, I really haven’t really felt compelled to assist anyone with their plight against the government.
It’s the American way, to look the other way.
When the SWAT team kicks in your door, suddenly the problem is much more real. I’m awake. They have my attention. But now I am now under the gun, and if I don’t move fast I’ll be out of the game altogether. But each of you, you don’t have to have this happen to you. Even if you don’t own a tech company, the FBI has assured me they are going to charge me with all the pirated software, spam, and etc. regardless if I was ultimately responsible for it or not.
When they get your number, it doesn't matters where you are on the financial or social ladder. So while we have the distinct pleasure of having the highest violent crime rate in the world, our government still has the time and resources to destroy the lives of people like me and you. Believe that.

Update on the Case (4, Informative)

BBCWatcher (900486) | more than 2 years ago | (#34613930)

Michael Blaine Faulkner, his wife, and others allegedly fled to Mexico shortly after the 2009 raid. A federal grand jury handed down several felony indictments in January, 2010 (or possibly late 2009). Mexican authorities captured Faulkner and his associates in January, 2010, in Cancun where allegedly they were living under assumed names. They were extradited back to Texas. Faulkner petitioned for release pending trial, but that request was denied in March. The trial date was set for October, 2010, but I've seen no information on any trial yet.

Re:Update on the Case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34620102)

Kinda hard for a guy who was not hiding his location to be accused of "fleeing".

Indictments mean nothing, as they are issued by a completely corrupt system. Prosecutors can indict anyone they want without cause.

I love the part about "Assumed names". This is the kind of bullshit the state media puts int here to dupe the sheep into presuming the guy is guilty.

Nowhere, of course, is it explained why the FBI gets to steal an entire data center worth of equipment, based on false pretenses, when they could have arrested this guy, at worst, taken his equipment (not all the other customers.)

With this act alone, the FBI committed a crime an order of magnitude more serious than the one Faulkner is charged with.

You mean Steve Jackson (2)

mng0304 (1962194) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614200)

Had backup files somewhere in Texas after all...

FBI Should Raid Banks (2)

godatum (1956822) | more than 2 years ago | (#34614594)

Wow the FBI gets pissed if someone cons money. Maybe they should focus their attention on banks.

Warranty for an apartment, sacking a building (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34614950)

'The telecoms claim that these VoIP providers used up more than 120 million "physical connectivity minutes" without paying for them, and that attempts by AT&T and Verizon to collect on the debts proved fruitless.'

120 million connectivity minutes is quite a normal figure when it comes to interconnect services, in this case wholesale business. My rough, very very rough, guess is that in all of USA there are multiple times minutes called in a single day. What is not declared is that how much of that is actually billable revenue. This could be, depending on the tariffs, anything between few tens of thousands up to few millions of dollars.

If this is the only claimed fraud damage involved, the FBI raid already produced a higher damage on its first day only. This is really insane especially with the collateral damage for the completely uninvolved parties.

An analogue: raid of this scale is similar to sacking a whole apartment block building when one single apartment has a search warranty. Absolute madness.

debt collectors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34616368)

Since when is it the FBI responsibility to do debt collection!!!!!!!!

Re:debt collectors (2)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#34620564)

The FBI weren't engaged in "debt collection", they were investigating allegations of fraud.

There are two contradictory stories here, one from Faulkner, and one from the FBI, but assuming the FBI was, at least originally, acting in good faith (and there's no reason to believe they weren't, the FBI doesn't usually make a habit of inventing stories against random people):

The FBI believed Faulkner was setting up front companies to sell telecom services. The front companies would collect the money from their subscribers, run the services for as long as they could get away with without paying their suppliers, and then when the suppliers cut them off, they'd go bust - while the money itself had been pocketed by the people running the scam. If I understand it correctly, the money was funnelled out of these front companies by having them pay one, and only one, supplier, the operators of the datacenter - who happened to be themselves.

Why did the FBI think they were shell companies set up specifically to defraud the suppliers? Well, like I said, only the data center was getting any funds (if these companies were acting in good faith, there's no reason why only the data center would ever get paid), and there was deliberate obscufication being done to hide the true identities of those operating the front companies - for example, the FBI saw an email allegedly from Faulkner describing a process of bribing homeless people with $100 and drink to sign their names as directors. Faulkner's name wouldn't appear to be associated with the front companies, despite the fact he was apparently running them.

So, there you go: fraud, not debt collection. It's not that Faulkner owed money, it's that he allegedly invented a scheme to obtain services by deception, for profit. And, again, assuming the FBI were acting in good faith, it's not hard to understand why the FBI believed they needed every computer in the data center, given that they believed a significant number of the data center's "clients" were actually fake businesses that were part of the fraud.

Cisco does it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34616376)

Cisco does the same thing.

They farm out production to China to save some money. The reason they save money is because of the cheap labor, lack of oversight, and weak regulation. Cisco and everyone else in the world that farms out production to China knows that. They also know that the Chinese may steal some of the technology as well. So.. those companies in China have some overruns, those overruns hit the "black market" and make their way into the US. Cisco cries fowl and gets the FBI/CIA involved because their profits are going down. They also use the FUD of the security of those overruns to justify the raids.

In the end... The tax paying US population that are not even Cisco customers are paying for Cisco's profit protection. The Cisco customers are paying for the Cisco protection through taxes, paying for potentially bugged devices made in a completely unmonitored society, and they still paying the high price of the Cisco products.

Eventually Cisco will have more competition from a number of Chinese companies that used the Cisco technology and engineering that was sent over there so the plan was short sighted but the US taxpayers that are not Cisco customers will never get their money back for the protection and raids that are happening now.

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