Micrsoft and its partners seize servers...

Microsoft press release on their Zeus botnet server seizure:

"This disruption was made possible through a successful pleading before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, which allowed Microsoft and its partners to conduct a coordinated seizure of command-and-control servers running some of the worst known Zeus botnets."

"As a part of the operation, on March 23, Microsoft and its co-plaintiffs, escorted by the U.S. Marshals, seized command and control servers in two hosting locations, Scranton, Pa., and Lombard, Ill., to seize and preserve valuable data and virtual evidence from the botnets for the case."

Emphasis is mine.

From the actual seizure order:

"There is good cause to believe that the Defendants have engaged in…Trademark Infringement, False Destination Origin, and Trademark Dilution…"

Emphasis is mine.

So if I'm reading this correctly, Microsoft seized the servers, not federal law enforcement. Individuals who work for a corporation, not law enforcement agents who report to elected officials, executed the seizure. A corporation has, with the permission of a court and while escorted by law enforcement, seized property using (amount other things) Trademark Infringement as a justification.

Kudus to Microsoft for taking bold action. A large corporation like Microsoft can put far more resources into something like this than law enforcement. (The best funded crime lab in my home state is at the home offices of a large nationwide retailer, not at a government facility.)

But we should stop and consider if we really want corporations leading a law enforcement action.