A Dallas judge has denied a company's request to force the FBI to return storage hardware seized during last week's raid of a Dallas data center, even though the FBI admits that the company is not a target of the investigation. Instead, the court directed the FBI to supply the company, Liquid Motors, with a copy of its data while retaining the hardware for further study.
"The United States confirmed that the Plaintiff is not a target of the criminal investigation, but that plaintiff's equipment may have been used by members of the criminal conspiracy to conduct or facilitate the criminal enterprise," Judge Jorge Solis of U.S. District Court wrote in his ruling, which has been posted by Wired's Threat Level along with the filing by Liquid Motors.
Thus, while Liquid Motors reclaimed its data, it had to replace the confiscated gear, which included an EMC Celera NS352 storage array and a Dell AX100 SAN storage array. Liquid Motors provides online inventory management and marketing services for 75 auto dealers around the country. The company has the financial backing to replace the hardware, and is now back online and hosted at H5 Colo in Dallas.
The judge's ruling, based on a private conversation with the FBI agent leading the case, suggests a scenario in which the affected companies may be able to get copies of their data, but the FBI will hold onto their servers and storage units.