FBI Seizes Servers at Dallas Data Center

The FBI raided a Dallas carrier hotel Thursday and seized equipment from data center space operated by Core IP Networks. Agents armed with a search warrant appear to have confiscated all the servers in the facility.

The FBI raided a Dallas carrier hotel Thursday and seized equipment from data center space operated by Core IP Networks. Agents armed with a search warrant appear to have confiscated all the servers in the facility, which houses gear for about 50 businesses. 

"The FBI has seized all equipment belonging to our customers," Matthew Simpson, the CEO of Core IP, said in a message. "Many customers went to the data center to try and retrieve their equipment, but were threatened with arrest."  

Simpson says the FBI told him it was investigating a customer of Core IP, but claims the company in question is a prior customer that no longer colocates with Core IP. Simpson told a Dallas TV station that the investigation concerns pirated movies.

That claim has triggered speculation that the probe is tied to the leak of the feature film "Wolverine." A rough version of the film is circulating online, several weeks before the movie is scheduled to debut in theaters.

The 6 a.m. raid took place at Core IP's offices on two floors of 2323 Bryan Street in Dallas, a major carrier hotel owned by Digital Realty Trust. Simpson said Core IP leases space from Telx, another provider in the facility.

The FBI told Channel 11 News in Dallas that "it could take several days to restore the servers of the affected companies." That's not happy news for customers, which reportedly include numerous phone companies, impacting e911 caller location services in some areas of the country. FBI officials told the TV station "they could speed up their analysis of the web servers if the affected companies would contact them."  

Simpson said the FBI also showed up at his residence with a search warrant, but said neither he nor Core IP were doing anything illegal. "If you run a datacenter, please be aware that in our great country, the FBI can come into your place of business at any time and take whatever they want, with no reason," he wrote.

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