Developing: Shafer raided by FBI again, being detained
Justin Shafer, who was raided by the FBI in May after reporting that he found protected health information (PHI) leaking from a public FTP server, was raided by the FBI again today.
Shafer, a dental technician and active researcher of patient management software systems in the dental field, routinely searches for and uncovers exposed PHI. He notifies the entities, reports on his findings, and in some cases, files complaints with HHS if the entities do not appear to have reported incidents to HHS that he thinks should have been reported. As some others have done, he often downloads data as proof of the leak until the entity reports it or acknowledges it.
So was today’s raid related at all to the earlier raid or to his ongoing activities with respect to public FTP servers?
Shafer’s wife tells DataBreaches.net that she received a call from a neighbor at 2:00 this afternoon that the FBI were executing another raid. When she got home, she said, Shafer was already in a squad car, and the agents took her into the backyard to ask her what she described as a lot of questions. The questions were not what she expected, as they concerned whether he was working with anyone, whether he had income that she might not have known about, whether he seemed angry at anyone or was afraid of anyone. They also asked whether he made purchases with gift cards or had a lot of gift cards, and whether he had talked with anyone from another country.
The questions made no sense to her, she tells this site, and she asked them if this raid was related to FTP servers and Patterson Dental. According to her, the FBI agent answered that that was part of it, but recently, Shafer had “done something else.” What that something else might be they wouldn’t tell her, she said.
“I’m clueless,” she told DataBreaches. “I felt like saying, ‘You’re joking, right?’ when they asked me about him or us having money or extra money. I handle all our accounts, including the business. We don’t have anything.”
Shafer’s wife reported that the agents removed a lot of belongings, including hard drives, their Xbox, his cellphone, his laptop, bank statements, their debit card, and all their credit cards.
As of tonight, Shafer is being held at his local police station on a minor drug charge, and his wife believes bail will be set in the morning. The police officer this site spoke with earlier confirmed that the FBI had brought Shafer in, and that apart from the drug charge, there might be other charges coming later.
DataBreaches.net is trying to obtain a copy of the search warrant and will update this post as more information becomes available.