A business whose evidence the FTC relied upon in opening an investigation of LabMD has allegedly been raided by the FBI. It’s just the latest development in a case that has now involved the FTC, DOJ, the security of Marine One, the House Oversight Committee, and a slew of businesses who were told that their data had leaked over P2P networks.
Tuesday, an individual who uses the Twitter handle of @laserwolverine claimed that cyberintelligence firm Tiversa was raided by the FBI in Pittsburgh:
— laserwolf (@laserwolverine) March 1, 2016
The poster, “Laserwolf,” has no Twitter history prior to that tweet, has not tweeted since then, and has not responded to a request from DataBreaches.net to follow for a message. The photo appears to have been taken from inside the building, which may explain why the individual hasn’t come forward or responded to my attempt to contact him/her.
Emails to Tiversa Tuesday and Wednesday asking them to confirm or deny the alleged raid produced only a “No comment” response from spokesperson Jennifer Kelly.
The Pittsburgh FBI would only confirm that there was law enforcement activity in the area and referred this blogger to the D.C. field office, whose spokesperson would only go so far as to confirm activity in “downtown Pittsburgh,” and to say that there was no risk to public safety. They did not anticipate releasing any statement in the near future about the matter.
Wesley Clark, who had been identified by Tiversa as being on their advisory board, did not reply to an inquiry from DataBreaches.net. Nor did one of their investors contacted by DataBreaches.net.
But why would the D.C. office of the FBI be investigating Tiversa if they did raid them Tuesday? Why D.C. and not the Pittsburgh office? Somewhere there is likely a sealed warrant that would answer those questions.
Having followed this case for almost three years, I am tempted to speculate as to why DOJ might have raided Tiversa (if they did, and Tiversa’s “no comment” is interesting as a response). I’ll save the speculation for another post, though. In the interim, I asked Michael Daugherty, CEO of LabMD, for his thoughts about the possible raid, and what he thought the FBI might be looking for. He replied:
If the FBI raided they will be searching for evidential confirmation of all allegations made by witnesses. Most witnesses are completely unknown to Tiversa and the media.
I hate being in the dark, don’t you?
Asked if a possible DOJ investigation of Tiversa would or should have any impact on FTC v. LabMD, Daugherty replied:
If the prior behavior of the FTC is any indication, they will use their power to continue to hide corruption. Nothing will change until agencies outside the FTC intervene in their charade. All the FTC does is double down as many enjoy absolute criminal immunity. This will severly damage the reputation and integrity of the FTC, a self inflicted wound.
One would hope that if more concerns about Tiversa become public, then to the extent the FTC relied up on Tiversa at all for any investigation, they will do some internal contemplation about their methods and the need to independently investigate and verify third-party representations. Would FTC v. LabMD ever have happened if not for Tiversa? I seriously doubt it. And Tiversa may say that no one should blame them for LabMD’s error in exposing a file on a file-sharing network, but their representations and evidence to the FTC appeared critical to the genesis of the case.
If it turns out that Tiversa engaged in even more wrong-doing than has already been reported by whistleblower Rick Wallace, well…. ?