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This is becoming a significant risk for online startups like my company and the companies of other HN members.

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."




Sure, there are companies who don't care about a day's downtime, having to restore from backups and their customers don't mind if they're offline for 24 hours. I'd like to think that our company and many of the startups on HN are not in that group. I'd also like to think that we give a damn if another startup gets taken offline like this.

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Asking "how people many have ever X or Y happen to them?" is downplaying the actual risk when obviously the risk has been increasing in the past year, half-year or so.

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.

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That's not at all what he said, is it? What he said was, it's very unlikely that an FBI action is going to disrupt your site at all (and, that's true), and also that the same measures you must use to protect yourself from the altogether more likely event of a hosting company failure also protect you from FBI raids.

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