The New York Times reports that the FBI came in the night and took three enclosures containing servers and data belonging to tens of customers despite only targeting one customer.
DigitalOne's chief executive, Sergej Ostroumow told a customer: "This problem is caused by the F.B.I., not our company. In the night F.B.I. has taken 3 enclosures with equipment plugged into them, possibly including your server we cannot check it."
Instapaper developer Marco Arment reports that the FBI is now presumably in possession of a complete copy of the Instapaper database, including a complete list of users and their bookmarks. Passwords are encrypted but email addresses and their associated bookmarks are not. The server also contained a complete copy of the website's codebase.
"So the FBI now has illegal possession of nearly all of Instapapers data and a moderate portion of its codebase, and as far as I know, this is completely out of my control. Due to the police culture in the United States, especially at the federal level, I dont expect to ever get an explanation for this, have the server or its data returned, or be reimbursed for the damage they have illegally caused."
Arment has tweeted that his server just came online. The logs show that it was wasn't booted when offline; however, there is no way to determine whether its data has been copied.
"Since it was returned so quickly, its likely that they determined that it wasnt part of their target group and wanted to avoid any problems that could have resulted from its continued seizure. While they could have copied the data for future analysis, I believe its unlikely that they would have reason to do so. Regardless, I have no way to know what they did (or didn't do) with it.
For whatever it's worth, I have deleted the code, data, and keys from the server and asked DigitalOne to cancel my account immediately. I'm not convinced that they did everything they could to prevent the seizure of non-targeted servers, and their lack of proactive communication with the affected customers is beneath the level of service I expect from a host."
Read More [via Phil]