In case you've ever wondered What it's like to be questioned by the FBI.
(or chilling out in a small room with a Special Agent and your Attorney)
My friend Bill finally met with the FBI again after the birthday party they threw for him last fall. His attorney went with him down to a relatively nondescript office building where they were to meet with one of the agents that originally participated in the raid. The FBI's office was on the third floor, clearly marked with the Department of Justice seal on the door. This office was on the same floor with what looked like insurance and investment firms, Bill says.
Bill did not get to see much of the office inside, but it was very spartan and drab. There was a 10 Most Wanted section on the wall in the lobby, and a pile of Drugs Are Bad pamphlets. There was a receptionist area, but it was behind bulletproof glass and there was a little sliding tray that the receptionist passed them visitor badges through. The agent met them and allowed them back behind the lobby, through several large doors with complicated keypads. They made their way past several rooms that had the cliché one-way mirrors. Bill said he looked into one of the rooms and saw a large piece of machinery that looked like it was probably intended to be used for containing hazardous material. He was led into one of the small meeting rooms. It was about ten feet by ten feet. It had several nice office chairs, a desk, and a phone.
The agent asked Bill a lot of questions about his software, how he wrote it, his sources, etc. The agent scribbled a shitload of notes. The agent then went into some detail about how complicated Bill's computer systems had been for them to image and figure out, and the sheer mass of files Bill had on his system. The agent said that Bill had some very interesting taste in music, and had "a lot" of mp3 files. Bill told him that his selection of Paul Oakenfold live sets was worth listening to. Bill is a firm believer in SCSI and buys lots of old SCSI disks at computer shows and is proud at making all that hard stuff work in his Linux servers. Apparently the FBI was unprepared for that level of sophistication; They said his equipment was obsolete, but Bill said the FBI probably doesn't find SCSI-3 style hard disks on routine script kiddie busts.
The feds are still scouring through his files looking to see if he was engaged in arms trafficking. Since Bill wasn't, he should be just fine, and the agent said that if that was the case, Bill was in the clear. The agent handed back a pile of Bill's network cables, network cards, his 100 meg Netgear switch and his cable modem. Now Bill can return it to the cable company and get back the $250 he had to pay them for a new one.
The agent said he didn't have any more questions, and that he would be in touch. Bill and his attorney were then escorted out. Bill says he wasn't sure whether they were videotaping him or anything from behind the mirrored glass, but said he didn't think it would be very cool to be a smart ass inside FBI HQ by asking for a copy. I told him that was a pretty good idea.
What it's like to be raided by the FBI
What it's like to be free of the FBI