Newsweek Confirms Manhattan DA Raided Its Offices, Searched Its Servers

Update: Several hours after The Outline reported that police raided the New York City office of Newsweek with a search warrant, the troubled media group confirmed that the Manhattan District Attorney's office conducted a search of its computer servers.

In a statement obtained by CNN, Newsweek Media Group said that "No information regarding the company’s content, stories, personnel or sources was given and Newsweek Media Group has been assured by the DA’s office that the investigation is not about any content-related issues." And yet, if nothing that was on the servers was the target of the raid, one wonders what the raid was for, or if Newsweek is just applying the same "fake news" standard to official statements that many have accused it of using for its overall content.

Newsweek said it allowed the district attorney’s office to access the company’s computer servers on location for a "technical inspection". Right: a "technical inspection" in which over a dozen cops were present.

"Consistent with its expressed policy regarding law enforcement, Newsweek Media Group, a responsible media company, will continue to cooperate with the DA's office to the fullest extent" the statement concluded.

The Manhattan District Attorney's office declined to comment.

Newsweek Media Group is the new name of IBT Media, which rebranded under the once relevant magazine's name last year. The company has had a tumultuous few years, laying off staff at IBT and going through several changes in newsroom leadership at Newsweek, which it bought in 2013 from Sidney Harman for an undisclosed amount. Harman bought Newsweek from the Washington Post in 2010 for $1.

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Over a dozen police showed up this morning at the New York City office headquarters for Newsweek magazine (and its parent IBT Media).

As The Outline reports, the reason for the visit was not clear, but one employee said police were taking photos of the company’s servers.

The New York Post reports that IBT Media was co-founded by Jonathan Davis and Etienne Uzac, adding that the IRS placed a $1.2 million federal tax lien against Uzac in December 2017.

Of course the raid could be due to the uproar that this article caused today...



In the past, IBT has been linked to a Christian church founded by Korean American evangelist David Jang and Olivet University, a university in California that Jang’s followers founded.

The office is at 7 Hanover Square in New York’s financial district.

Police also visited the office in December, a former employee said. Employees were told that it was because a white substance had been mailed to Executive News Director Ken Li, which they were then told turned out to be a false alarm.


StychoKiller Jim in MN Thu, 01/18/2018 - 20:32 Permalink

Yeah, I fail to see what pictures of the outside (or even the inside!) of a server is gonna tell anyone, aside from the Serial Number(s) and perhaps that Microshaft CAU (certificate of authenticity) sticker.  More important, would be a data image of the contents of the hard disk(s).  I know, they're trying to track down that missing Awan Congress server.

In reply to by Jim in MN

MoreFreedom z530 Thu, 01/18/2018 - 15:26 Permalink

No kidding.  Hard to see how a picture of server means anything, though perhaps the server serial number might be imbedded in meta-data on something sent by that computer.  And it's hard to see how an IRS lien plays into this, unless the IRS plans to confiscate the assets and sell them. 

In reply to by z530

Librarian RumpleShitzkin Thu, 01/18/2018 - 15:27 Permalink

That's true, generally.

But they didn't follow through with the last two steps.

I'm guessing that the pictures taken were the first three steps that you outlined above.

At that point, the servers sufficiently identified will be the subject of a specific warrant.

Unless we're talking about drug trafficking or some type of hacking crime that utilized the server, the police would have no rights to make an investigative seizure.

If they are really stupid then they will wipe the server now.


In reply to by RumpleShitzkin