AMERICAN TERRORISM FIGHTER the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has a complete copy of a Tormail server and is using it in investigations.
Users of Tormail, a service that offered encrypted email, had its data copied late last year after the FBI successfully obtained a warrant as part of an investigation of child pornography.
However, it has now emerged that the FBI kept the data and is using it to investigate other unrelated crimes.
Tormail's privacy and anonymity was such that it is often used by visitors to the so-called "Dark Web", a hidden part of the internet that has at times been used for illegal activity.
Court papers filed in relation to a credit card fraud case show that the FBI evidence was built on information gained from the original seizure, taken as part of investigations into Freedom Hosting, a company specialising in anonymous hosting avaiable only over The Onion Router (TOR) anonymity protocol.
Websites hosted by Freedom Hosting end in the suffix .onion and allegedly have supported trade in child pornography, illegal drugs and other contraband.
According to Wired, Tormail remains defiant with a message on its home page reading, "We have no information to give you or to respond to any subpoenas or court orders. Do not bother contacting us for information on, or to view the contents of a Tormail user inbox, you will be ignored." µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ