FBI takes popular food blog offline

Sunday 18 September 2011 16:58

Was it because the suits and ties at the FBI disagreed vehemently with one of the blog's restaurant reviews? Was it because the blog outed their favorite little-known coffee and donut shack, bringing hordes of unwanted tourists to their undercover hangout?

No, the reason the FBI took down the popular food blog Eater.com Tuesday stems from an early morning raid of a US data hosting facility used by DigitalOne based in Switzerland, reported The New York Times .

Faithful readers of the food blog looking for the latest in chef gossip, restaurant news and gastro-trends found themselves locked out of the site at 5:15 a.m. GMT Tuesday, when the FBI raided the facility and seized several web servers  including one run by New York publisher Curbed Network, to which Eater belongs, according to The Times.

Curbed, an interior design and real estate blog, also runs a fashion equivalent at Racked.

Eater is read fastidiously by celebrity chefs including Anthony Bourdain - who has indicated he looks for coverage of his pithy one-liners on the blog - and New York chef and Baohaus owner Eddie Huang, who was jokingly accused of knocking the site offline.

Twitter friend and chef @HughAcheson asked Huang, "Did you break eater.com?" after tweeting that his plans to "change into something comfy and gawk Aspen [Food & Wine] Chefferazzi Celebrity photos" were foiled.

Meanwhile, citing an unnamed government official, the Times reports the FBI was looking specifically for data on Lulz Security, a group of hackers who had declared cyber warfare against government and security companies around the world.

Two weeks ago, the group claimed responsibility for taking the CIA's website offline.

After being down for more than 24 hours - a seeming eternity in blog, cyber years - Eater announced their spotty return on Twitter at about 1:30 p.m. GMT, saying "We're back! Well, sort of. (We're still a little glitch)."

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