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From a comment to a friend's post - A Suburbs Boy Living a Country Life [Pete and Pam's pages (photos and some commentary)] [Pam's journal] [Our company] [My Flickr Photos] [Arisia]
October 14th, 2005
09:41 am

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From a comment to a friend's post
I tell any of my colleagues that they need a disaster recovery plan not just for hardware failures, but for "external" events.

We should all be asking the question: "What do I do if they come and take my server away? My disks? My backup tapes?"

One thing is to know your rights--know how to read a subpoena or a warrant; know your POC in your legal office.

Know what you're going to do next if all else fails and you're left looking at a bunch of dangling network cables...this is where the oft-maligned "cold standby" system can be handy--they're not likely to take a system that's still in a box, or is in a storage room, not connected to your network. It's another reason why you need to have off-site backup--your DR site is not likely to be named in a warrant, and if they don't ask for it, you don't have to "give it up."

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From:punkwalrus
Date:October 14th, 2005 02:52 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, a friend of mine discussed this after Steve Jackson of Steve Jackson Games got "busted" by the feds (later found not guilty). He was worried his BBS would be seized because his BBS dealt with how to crack certain games, although he didn't have warez or pr0n, just discussion about cracking software. He had spent YEARS collecting this data, and had almost 350 mb of text files and accounts he was afraid would be ruined.

We thought about taking an older computer, slapping in some spare SCSI hard drives, and trailing a quickly disconnecting SCSI cable from the computer to another computer he kept behind a shelf in his basement.

But later, he got a tape drive, and just kept a few tapes offsite at a trusted friend's house.
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From:happypete
Date:October 14th, 2005 02:56 pm (UTC)

in his case...

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they were after him and his company, and if they found out about the tapes, they might have been able to seize them, too...What I see a lot of is the innocent provider, employer, school, etc., that is caught in one of these situations because of the alleged misdeeds of a user on their network...
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From:madbodger
Date:October 14th, 2005 07:36 pm (UTC)
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Hell, even if they do ask for my offsite storage, I'm not gonna tell 'em where any of 'em are!
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From:happypete
Date:October 15th, 2005 03:19 am (UTC)

You have to be careful there...

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don't get yourself caught up in an obstruction or false statement charge....

basically, I'd stick to the letter of the subpoena, and fall back on the "I don't know what I'm permitted to say in this situation, let me refer you to my [lawyer, legal department, boss, etc.]"
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From:madbodger
Date:October 15th, 2005 01:19 pm (UTC)
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"I ain't telling" isn't a false statement. And I'd rather have my data, thank you. If it's one of those situations where I think they'd actually dare be hardass, I'd give 'em a couple of copies (obvious ones, like the dupes at work) to make 'em go away, but keep a couple of others to myself. The repercussions, I'll deal with in court.
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From:happypete
Date:October 15th, 2005 02:16 pm (UTC)

Yeah...

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The problem with "I ain't telling" tells them that there are--or likely are--more.

Any variation on that is probably equivalent--if they really want to, they can try to get a judge to compel your cooperation...which you can probably refuse on 5th amendment grounds even if you have nothing to hide...
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From:hfx_ben
Date:October 17th, 2005 09:20 pm (UTC)
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"they're not likely to take a system that's still in a box"
Ooooh dang, that's really clehvur ... takes a real pro to know that.

cheers
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From:happypete
Date:October 18th, 2005 01:47 am (UTC)

do you bite your thumb at me, sir?

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remember, i'm not talkin about someone trying to hide evidence of a crime, I'm talking about keeping your network up and running for the 99.9% of your user community who had nothing to do with whatever happened...
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From:hfx_ben
Date:October 18th, 2005 03:12 am (UTC)

Re: do you bite your thumb at me, sir?

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Woa, no, no tongue in cheek or anything! Geesch, never pondered the ambiguity there.

regards

("Bite thumb" ... haven't heard that in a while!)
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From:happypete
Date:October 18th, 2005 03:53 am (UTC)

Re: do you bite your thumb at me, sir?

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;) hey, that crazy bard came up with a good line or two...
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