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December 2021


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: May First/People Link

FBI Seizes Server in Anonymous Pittsburgh Bomb Threat Case

Shoshanna Utchenik

Feds roiled progressives, leftists, and free speech activists last Wednesday when they removed a server from the co-location of  Riseup and May First/People Link offices in NYC  — all part of an FBI probe into bomb threats against the University of Pittsburgh, according to the organization Riseup.

The FBI appeared to target the server because it  hosted Mixmaster, which is operated by European Counter Network (“ECN”) and allows people to send anonymous emails.

Riseup promotes itself as providing online communication tools for people and groups promoting social change. May First/People Link describes itself as a ” a politically progressive member-run and controlled organization that redefines the concept of “Internet Service Provider” in a collective and collaborative way. ”

Disabling Mixmaster shutdown several other services, and led Riseup to accuse the FBI of using a “sledge hammer approach.” Riseup states in a press release that the seizure closed down over 300 email accounts, between 50-80 email lists including the oldest discussion list in Italy on the topic of “cyber rights”, and several other websites, none accused of wrongdoing.

Riseup spokesperson Devin Theriot-Orr stated, “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” because the anonymizing software does not log sources or routes of messages. “The only effect it has is to also disrupt e-mail and websites for thousands of unrelated people.”

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