FBI Request to Remove Stack’s Site: Did They or Didn’t They?

FBILogo.jpgDid the FBI suggest, request, or order that T35 Hosting take down the Website of Joseph Andrew Stack, who intentionally flew an airplane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas, Thursday, or didn’t they?

As reported Thursday, a note on the URL for Stack’s Website Thursday read:

This Website has been taken offline due to the sensitive nature of the events that transpired in Texas this morning and in compliance with a request from the FBI. To see an archived version of the original letter, please go here: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2010/0218102stack1.html. Please visit our forum if you wish to discuss anything related to this incident: Texas crash pilot left suicide note on Web site — embeddedart.com.

However, as reported by Silicon Alley Insider, the note was changed Friday and now reads:

This Website has been taken offline due to the sensitive nature of the events that transpired in Texas. Although the customer exceeded their bandwidth limits earlier today, due to numerous requests, we have added credit to this account to keep this site live for informational purposes. To see an archived version of the original letter, please go here: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2010/0218102stack1.html. Please visit our forum if you wish to discuss anything related to this incident: Texas crash pilot left suicide note on Web site — embeddedart.com. (please don’t send us emails as we can’t respond to all of them).


T35 Hosting president and founder Alex Melen told Silicon Alley Insider Thursday:

The FBI did call me and ask that I take down the site. I am not sure if you’d call it a request, recommendation, or suggestion, but that’s what happened.

Friday, he told Silicon Alley Insider:

They didn’t necessarily force me to do it, they just asked. I didn’t see any harm in removing the FBI note from the home page, especially if it can stop all this crazy controversy that’s going around.

And Eric Vasys, an FBI special agent in San Antonio, told Silicon Alley Insider:

The FBI does not request that sites remove language such as being reported to be authored by Mr. Stack. That’s not our area to do that.

Where are agents Mulder and Scully when you need them?