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FBI seizes Web hosting company's servers

Agents confiscate three racks of blade servers during raid on Maryland data center.

Steven Musil Night Editor / News
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Steven Musil

The FBI seized Web-hosting servers from a data facility today, causing a number of sites to go down or transfer operations to other facilities.

Agents confiscated three racks of blade servers from a Maryland facility run by DigitalOne, the Switzerland-based hosting company said. DigitalOne's site, as well as real estate blog Curbed and restaurant blog Eater--two sites affected by the outage, according to The New York Times--were inaccessible this afternoon.

Another site, bookmarking site Pinboard, was also affected by the server confiscation but had transferred some pages to a backup server, the site said in a status update:

Just received word from our hosting company that they were raided by the FBI who pulled some racks of equipment. No word on whether our server was among those machines, or whether it is just offline. In the meantime the site is running on a backup server with reduced capabilities (see below). All bookmarks are intact.

In a note to clients viewed by CNET, DigitalOne employee Sergej Ostroumow said the FBI was interested in one specific client.

"FBI was interesting only in one of clients and it is absolutely unintelligible, why they took servers of tens of clients," Ostroumow said. "After FBI's unprofessional 'work' we can not restart our own servers, that's why our website is offline and support doesn't work."

It's unknown what agents were looking for, and the FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.