From what I've been able to gather, there's a nasty legal dispute going on between TimeGate (developer) and Southpeak (publisher). It seems that when the ranked servers went down, it was originally an outage issue. However, their Gamespy contract or server certificates expired during the outage. It's implied that Southpeak holds the keys to that. Until the dispute is settled, Section 8's ranked services are down.
There's a news article describing the issue (link
Looking at it, I can understand why TimeGate went digital-only with their distribution for Prejudice.