Their recent run-in with the men in black – the result of a spate of email bomb threats to the University of Pittsburgh -- offers a rare glimpse into the collision between free speech rights and the benefits of anonymity on one side with the needs of law enforcement to act quickly in the face of real threats on the other.
Their tale ends with an odd twist: FBI agents, caught on video, returning the server only four days after it was seized from a co-location facility in New York City. At the moment, no one knows why the FBI would take that unusual step. FBI Special Agent Bill Crowley said the agency wouldn’t comment on either the seizure or the return of the server.
Federal investigators and local officials in Pittsburgh were scrambling last month as bomb threats targeting the University of Pittsburgh piled up. Within days, 46 such threats were logged, causing massive disruption as students and teachers were continually evacuated from building after building. Parents and school officials pressured law enforcement to solve the case. For some reason, the FBI thought a server in a small facility in New York City might contain a crucial clue.
McClelland and Lopez run a progressive Internet organization called MayFirst/PeopleLink, which helps democracy-seeking groups around the world use the Web to organize. Together with sister organization RiseUp, MayFirst/PeopleLink offers email services, mailing list support and other Web tools. But their services make a promise that’s critical to people fighting oppressive regimes: All data is encrypted, guaranteeing total anonymity to those who need it.
McClelland was on a conference call in MayFirst/PeopleLink’s Brooklyn office -- which is in the same building where Lopez and his wife live -- on April 11 when he saw two men in suits standing at the door.
"I thought they were Jehovah’s Witnesses, but I joked with people on the call that it was the FBI," he said. Moments later, it was no joke.
The agents flashed their badges and asked if they could come in; McClelland refused. They asked if they could step into the vestibule. He refused again.
DNA discovery unearths 'unknown chapter in human history' in Europe 15,000 years ago 2016-02-09 4:31 Scientists studying the DNA of ancient Europeans found evidence of a 'major population upheaval' at the end of the last Ice Age
A major and unexplained population shift occurred in Europe around 15,000 years ago when local hunter-gatherers were almost completely replaced by a group from another area, scientists researching our ancestors' genetics have discovered.
The findings were made after the ...
Hackers Leak Info on 9,372 DHS Employees 2016-02-08 22:30 Homeland Security claims there is no indication that any breach of sensitive or personally identifiable information occurred
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The group claiming responsibility, known as “DotGovs,” first alerted Infowars to the alleged ...
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As reported in the River Falls Journal, the Meyer Middle School in River Falls, Wisconsin, needed a new fitness center. To this ...
Pegida's Multi - Culti (state) Agenda! 2016-02-08 4:49 This guy raises some very interesting points regarding the recent PEGIDA launch in the UK and around Europe.
Make sure to check out the videos below. The focus on the criticism descends into a Nazi accusation contest. "No no THEY are the REAL Nazi's."
Pegida UK is fronted by Tommy Robinson, Paul Weston and Anne Marie Waters. They held a demo in ...
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Sweden intends to expel up to 80,000 migrants who arrived in 2015 and whose application for asylum has been rejected, Interior Minister Anders Ygeman said Wednesday.
Ed: Wait, so they are in the country despite being rejected asylum? How did that happen and who let them in then?
"We are talking about 60,000 people but the number could climb to 80,000," the ...