So the next time the FBI decides to knock over someone's rack, the impact could be a lot wider than a handful of sites.
US security agencies are becoming increasingly cavalier when it comes to seizing domains and hardware. This is becoming a significant risk for online startups like my company and the companies of other HN members. The suggestions here to mitigate this risk are not cheap. Setting up a fast enough link between data centers to have real-time replication is prohibitively expensive for most small companies.
I'd like to see legislation that lets us know what our rights are and that lays out a standard procedure for these kinds of data center incursions. I'd hate to see a cloud provider's rack get taken down in one of these raids, and I don't think any of us are happy about the government using our tax dollars to settle costly lawsuits caused by their own incompetence.
It's like a meteor strike: well reported, flashy, but very very not likely to actually happen to your site. How many websites do HNers collectively operate? How many have ever gone down because the FBI took their hardware? How many have ever gone down because, oh, the hard drive crashed? Because they pushed bad code live? Because they misconfigured a firewall? Because the hosting company had a network or power issue? Those are real risks for your business. (Bonus points: many interventions for these and similar issues fixes your FBI problem, too!)
In the event of a totally freak incident like this, you're probably going to have downtime and a day's worth of data loss, but recovery for most folks here is likely "Reimage the VPS(s) from the latest backup, hit the on switch, and change DNS records."
Yes, if you look at the risk of a US government raid on servers, domains, or what-have-you in the past 5-10 years, you can fairly compare it to a meteor strike or a "freak incident".
But things are changing, incidents and "collateral" are increasing, and if you look at just the past half year, you'll find it's gone from a meteor-strike level probability to a very small but definitely not dismissable chance.
"...and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
When they seize unrelated hardware they are clearly overstepping their bounds. I'd like to see the innocent parties take this to court and put a stop to this. We are far past the time when the FBI can claim ignorance as to how a colocation site operates.