Image via FBI.gov.

Did you read this article on USA Today in the 35 minutes after 8:00 PM on February 2nd? If so, the FBI has subpoenaed the publisher for your IP address and phone number in an attempt to identify you.

While the subpoena simply states that the information “relates to a federal criminal investigation being conducted by the FBI,” a little reading between the lines illuminates the most likely scenario.

The USA Today article was about the Fort Lauderdale, Florida shooting in which two FBI agents were killed and three were wounded (which TTAG covered here). It would seem that the FBI believes the suspect(s) were monitoring the USA Today story during that specific 35-minute window, and they want a list of those readers as a way to help find the perpetrator(s).

The only glitch in that narrative is that all indications on the day of the shooting were that the sole suspect killed himself after barricading himself in his apartment for a couple hours immediately after the shootout. So…I have no idea what, exactly, the FBI is looking for.

Meanwhile, USA Today‘s publisher is fighting the subpoena in court, saying that the request violates First Amendment protections (of both the reader and the publisher) as well as DOJ policy. I’d have to agree, given the extremely vague description of why the FBI wants this information. If they can make a compelling case — why they want what they want and why they’re focusing on this article during this timeframe, etc. — they should get a warrant.

More information on this story can be found at Politico here.

What say you?

 

72 COMMENTS

  1. Now WHO would believe the DOJ and FBI would ever subvert the constitution and violate folk’s civil rights??? (Sarc)!

    • You took my comment Andrew…show me your papers comrade. How about KGB? Worse than when JEH was head poobah.

      • I’m sure we are all on a list by now. They’ve probably had the NSA mine the logs for people who read Fox News, comment here, shop at PSA or Midway, etc. Of course, they also have a list of people with permits to purchase, CCWs, or have gone through background checks to buy “assault shotguns” or deadly “bolt action sniper rifles.”

    • The web was around in 1999. Most people I knew at the time had “high speed” (of 1-10 Mbps), always on cable modem connections. I had been running my own Apache and Exim servers for a few years by that point.

      Fortunately the Stasi (not an initialism) was no longer around at that point. They folded in 1990, between the fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification.

      Also, I think the Stasi would have been much more efficient about it. All internet traffic would have gone through Stasi monitored servers, much like how the CCP monitors all traffic in China today. In the GDR, the people who read that article would have been in interrogation rooms with black bags on their heads before midnight.

  2. Fuck the FBI. They don’t need to know who viewed a story. People need to understand that law enforcement, and especially federal law enforcement are not our friends.

    • The FBI already knows and already has the information they need. What they don’t have is admissible evidence or “good fruit” to present in court. “Fruit from the poison tree” will flush a criminal case real fast in federal court. They specifically need user data for 8:35 pm on February 2nd?…. ya, I’m sure that’s completely random and they have no idea what they’ll find (sarc).

      • Exactly. They are trying to duplicate evidence they already have, but is inadmissible. Just like when they illegally monitor and intercept text, location and other phone data using stingrays, or when they are given email and ip info from the NSA… now they need to find a “lawful” means of accessing that info.

        • That’s ‘inevitable discovery.’ If Government has evidence that was seized unlawfully, but can show that they would have eventually and inevitably uncovered the same evidence lawfully by a different route or means, then the previously-inadmissible evidence becomes admissible.

        • now they need to find a “lawful” means of accessing that info.

          Or they could just make shit up like they did with the FISA Court briefs for Carter Page, Mike Flynn and, you know, Russia, Russia, Russia….

    • The FBI doesn’t do so well in Florida. Seems like they got got shot up bad some years back by 2 guys. Should maybe quit hiring lawyers and expecting them to be real law enforcement.

  3. if the web had been around before 1999.

    It was:… Commercial Internet service providers (ISPs) began to emerge in the very late 1980s. The ARPANET was decommissioned in 1990. Limited private connections to parts of the Internet by officially commercial entities emerged in several American cities by late 1989 and 1990. I bought my first PC in 95 w/AOL on-line service

    • Yup. About the same here.
      It’s about the time I sold an enclyopedia britanica set because the kids were having to cite internet sites to prove their work in school.
      Weird. Was just discussing that this morning. How my goal was to read the whole set.
      I did.

      • “Was just discussing that this morning. How my goal was to read the whole set.
        I did.”

        You too?

        In the early 70s, my folks got the ‘World Book’ encyclopedia set. As an 8 year-old, I would just grab random volumes and read ’em… 🙂

      • That’s funny Tom…circa 1989 I sold Encyclopedia Britannica. The head dude assured me “Britannica will NEVER be digital(ROM)! How wrong can you get?😏 I too devoured encyclopedia’s.

        • I own a pretty cool encyclopedia from around 1955. It’s interesting to flip through the volumes and see how we understood and wrote about the world in that decade – quite a different feel than now. Some of the information is still quite good, but a lot of the science and tech have moved on considerably…!

      • I have a set of Encyclopedia Britannica from 1958 with included book case and world atlas….some world changes since not noted. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  4. This is the FBI. We’re going to need TTAG to provide the IP addresses, names, and phone numbers of everyone who said something negative about us in these comments.

    • LOL, you beat me to it. Scrolled down to say something like “cue the TTAG subpoena in 3…2…1…”, but you covered it.

        • I second this. Warrant canaries aren’t just for cyber security and drug sites but for any business that values their patrons.

      • “LOL, you beat me to it. Scrolled down to say something like “cue the TTAG subpoena in 3…2…1…”, but you covered it.”

        Looking at the TTAG article, the first comments were at 11-something.

        So TTAG may be off the hook, by several hours.

        Is it possible someone made a threatening comment somewhere online, and they are trying to find the initial source?

        The 35-min time window seems odd…

        • I was jesting in a more general sense, considering some of the comments posted here.

          But you know, come to think of it…I actually miss some of the former trolls and wingdings who used to say inane things here. Some of the resulting threads were robust, others downright comical.

        • I don’t mind in the least the trolls that actually *engage* in conversation, like *cough*, miner, *cough*.

          The ones that get their little noses all out of joint after being told certain subjects aren’t welcome, we can do without…

        • Whatever. The FBI can eff right off.

          Also, please remember that Geoff has never been with a woman biblically.

  5. I no longer have any respect for the FBI. After “Russia, Russia, Russia” they have no semblance of being non-partisan or trustworthy.

    • This. The feebs have proven to be inept at best and malicious and hostile at worst.

      They’re effectively a criminal cartel of awkward, unloved children.

      • Yup.
        Back in the day, I used to work with these guys. I would always groan if they got involved because of their process and procedures. So slow.
        I watched them turn to slop.

      • The Fibbies have always been very political and had an incestuous love affair with the media, who they always make sure shows up at the right times to give them good press. However, its really been cranked to 11 on the political ass kissing as they’ve essentially become the foot soldiers of whatever the bureaucracy makes their pet agenda.

    • The majority of Americans have zero respect for the FBI, nor confidence in their capabilities and objectivity. The FBI, like most of the federal governmental departments, is corrupt and nothing but a tool of the marxist leftwing zealots. It’s embarrassing and a damn shame. We won’t get a legit investigation and policing arm until we fire 90% of all government employees.

  6. It would seem that the FBI believes the suspect(s) were monitoring the USA Today story during that specific 35-minute window, and they want a list of those readers as a way to help find the perpetrator(s).

    I thought the article said the perpetrator shot and killed himself. There should be no need to identify him, let alone build a case against him.

    Did I get that wrong? What am I missing here?

  7. Always remember…. when it comes to the Feds, treat them like mushrooms… keep them in the dark and always feed them sh&t

  8. I am more scared of the federal government than I ever was. Since I live in Ca, it goes without saying I am afraid of state and local, also.
    Many in LE think they are correct in abusing our rights for “the common good”

    • One day I will have the means to flee the USA; the writing of tyranny has been on the wall for generations but there is no stopping it, no organization against it, no firm stance. Societal change originates in the middle class and the party has mastered removing such people or recruiting them; likewise they have mastered bread and circuses for the masses.

      Yes, there are still many places to go and still maintain a good quality of life; it just depends on how much convenience you are willing to to give up. Every country and even every state in the USA has its pros and cons.

      We live in 1984.

      • You are absolutely correct. I’ve spent considerable time looking for a better country. There isn’t one. We are against the wall

        • It is beyond time to fight back. A 2nd American revolution or a civil war to save the republic from the marxist globalist left is overdue. We need to restore the Constitutionally limited republic.

        • Belize is nice. If you put a bullet in the back of a police commissioner’s head with his own pistol while giving him a massage, and you’re a billionaire’s daughter, you can beat a drug rap and get charged with manslaughter by negligence instead of murder.
          The weather is really nice, too.
          What’s not to like?

      • Belize is nice

        Yeah it’s an awesome little country if you can find the part that has not been bought up by the drug dealers and Hollywood “elites” (pretty much the same thing)… If you want to move to Belize you need a time machine to take you back 20/30 years… That was always my ideal “go to” spot if things went South here, then one day I saw some clown talking about buying property in Belize then later it popped up on some of those “tropical paradise” travel shows, then before you know it they were doing shows about homes of the “Rich and Famous” in Belize… Oh well..

  9. In the United Socialist States of America it is illegal to read religious documents such as the Bible. In public or in private. It is also illegal to read about firearms. In public or in private.

    From 2014

    “The city of Houston has issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor. And those ministers who fail to comply could be held in contempt of court.”

    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/city-of-houston-demands-pastors-turn-over-sermons

  10. I agree with MADDMAXX UP THERE ☝️
    Today’s F B I is not trustworthy anymore,
    Almost like a criminal mob , this is what happens when a corrupt administration appoints department heads based on their loyalty to the party.
    Kinda sounds Soviet like don’t it.

  11. So now I can be suspected of a crime by exercising my 1st Amendment rights by reading a news article? Has the FBI devolved into Orwell’s thought police?

    • Even better, you can apparently be suspected of a crime in which the sole perpetrator is already known and deceased.

  12. Wait: They want IP address info – from *February*?

    Most consumer devices have dynamically (look up “DHCP” for more fun) assigned IP addresses: They change based on network configuration, etc. Admittedly, home devices that are left on all the time will likely keep the same IP address for quite some time. But mobile devices – or devices on networks where hardware changes – are going to be tough to definitively track by IP address.

    If they were looking at data from a week or two, it could be helpful. But 4 months? That’s going to be pretty difficult to come up with useful results. And note that the IP address assigned to your device could have been used by… most anyone 4 months ago.

    • “But 4 months? That’s going to be pretty difficult to come up with useful results.”

      That really depends on the depth of their internet traffic data. It’s no secret massive NSA data traffic centers do exist that at least take a cursory glance at the traffic passing through the backbones, and may flag certain IP addys for a closer look…

    • ISPs keep connection logs even on dynamic IPs. Dynamic IPs are leased to a name and are time stamped; even psudo-anonymous VPNs keep connection logs.

  13. That is how it starts do we even know what the suspect did if the accusations were true so I imagine that that’s how every no knock raid is going to go to confiscate guns under the guise of violent acts against children, terrorism or anything that completely gets the majority of the populace on the confiscator side and no one will question it people say of course they’re not going to come knocking door to door asking for guns they’re going to go out saying that you were an evil vicious person say whatever they can to demonize you to make it seem they were in the right to confiscate your guns

  14. Well…..the Orwellian logic is .

    ..”if you don’t have anything to hide, then you shouldn’t be worried”.

    Makes perfect sense……right?

  15. My speculation is that the FBI wants to discredit anyone who might have challenged the official narrative that the alleged child molester was armed with an evil “assault rifle.”. The earliest reports were that witnesses heard five loud gunshots followed by a pause then five more loud gunshots. Early reports also mention very large diameter holes in the door. This would be consistent with a 12 gauge shotgun, loaded with anything from birdshot to slugs. These two, five round groups were then followed by a very large number of shots fired very rapidly.

    I suspect that this incident was a repeat of the confrontation with Frederick Hopkins. As some might recall, the cops were complaining that they were “outgunned” because Freddy’s gun was so much bigger than theirs. Of course it turns out that Mr Hopkins fired 39 rounds while the police fired 390 rounds without hitting Mr Hopkins. It is reported that many houses in the neighborhood were damaged by stray bullets. Whose stray bullets would that be?

    Similar considerations motivated the government of New Zealand and the internet companies to scrub videos of the Christ Church massacre. Yes the perp had semiautomatic rifles. However; he initiated each attack with a shotgun. When equipped with a rifled choke tube, a shotgun loaded with #4 buckshot will generate that scattergun effect that provokes so much terror. A shotgun with a 3&1/2 inch chamber length can launch 54, .25 caliber projectiles with each pull of the trigger. The video shows the perp finishing off wounded with a semiautomatic rifle. However; the wounded were already immobilized by wounds from the shotguns. The ruling class doesn’t want people to understand this.

  16. I’m totally confused. The FBI wants to know who reads so the FBI can catch criminals?
    Well I certainly dont want to be a lawbreaker. No more reading for me.

  17. I could have read it…who knows. Sounds familiar now that I read it. So what if the FBI came and knocked on my door and starts asking questions? After a few I’d get annoyed with them and because at my age, I could get annoyed real fast with some fuzzy-nutted snot-nosed FBI guys and tell them to PISS OFF and kick rocks then shut the door in their face. (They hate that)

  18. There is no reason for the FBI to exist in the 21st century. All the states have agreements to cooperate in criminal investigations. That was not the case during the Lindbergh kidnapping case. Or when Bonnie and Clyde where crossing multiple state lines to escape.

    The FBI is run by “Dirty Cops”. The FBI employs lots of “Dirty Cops”.

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