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FBI SEIZES INDYMEDIA SERVERS IN U.S. AND U.K

Submitted by Caffeinated
Oct. 7, 2004

Since several links to this very serious breaking story were suspiciously "file not found" I'm going to post the article in its entirety. Any follow-up information would be most appreciated. This is something we need to keep a close eye on as the election draws closer as this may be just the beginning...

FBI Seizes IMC Servers in the UK

Thursday morning, US authorities issued a federal order to Rackspace ordering them to hand over Indymedia web servers to the requesting agency. Rackspace, which provides hosting services for more that 20 Indymedia sites at its London facility, complied and turned over the requested servers, effectively removing those sites from the internet.

Since the subpoena was issued to Rackspace and not to Indymedia, the reasons for this action are still unknown to Indymedia. Talking to Indymedia volunteers, Rackspace stated that "they cannot provide Indymedia with any information regarding the order." ISPs have received gag orders in similar situations which prevent them from updating the concerned parties on what is happening.

It is unclear to Indymedia how and why a server that is outside the US jurisdiction can be seized by US authorities.

At the same time an additional server was taken down at Rackspace which provided streaming radio to several radio stations, BLAG (linux distro), and a handful of miscellanous things.

The last few months have seen numerous attacks on independent media by the US Federal Government. In August the Secret Service used a subpoena in an attempt to disrupt the NYC IMC before the RNC by trying to get IP logs from an ISP in the US and the Netherlands. Last month the FCC shut down community radio stations around the US. Two weeks ago the FBI requested that Indymedia takes down a post on the Nantes IMC that had a photo of some undercover Swiss police and IMC volunteers in Seattle were visited by the FBI on the same issue. On the other hand, Indymedia and other independent media organisations were successfull with their victories for example against Diebold and the Patroit Act. Today however, the US authorities shut down IMCs around the world.

The list of affected local media collectives includes Ambazonia, Uruguay, Andorra, Poland, Western Massachusetts, Nice, Nantes, Lilles, Marseille (all France), Euskal Herria (Basque Country), Liege, East and West Vlaanderen, Antwerpen (all Belgium), Belgrade, Portugal, Prague, Galiza, Italy, Brazil, UK, part of the Germany site, and the global Indymedia Radio site.

FBI'S "OCTOBER PLAN" IN ACTION?

A secret investigation has taken the FBI all the way to London to seize hard drives from an Indymedia server, named ahimsa, which hosted around twenty local IMC sites including Italy and a number of other European IMCs, as well as Western Massachusetts and Ambazonia. Rackspace.com, the US and UK-based ISP hosting the server, has not commented other than to report that it received a "federal order to provide the hardware to the requesting agency," suggesting that it may have received a gag order preventing it from further discussing the seizure. The FBI had recently requested, as a "courtesy," that photographs and "identifying information" of some Swiss police officers be removed from a post on the Nantes Indymedia site; it remains unclear why the FBI would have jurisdiction over a French website with photographs of Swiss police officers hosted in the UK. The Nantes site has been relocated, UK Indymedia has been redirected to a backup, and other affected IMC sites are redirecting to www.indymedia.org.

The FBI Raids Indymedia.org

BREAKING NEWS

posted by Guamanian 4:33pm Pacific Appears to be the seizure of a single box in the UK, rather than a widespread coordinated raid.

From IndyBay, list of sites on the seized box: (15:25) New list of IMCs affected: Ambazonia, Uruguay, Andorra, Pl, Wester Mass, Radio, UK, Antwerpen, Nice, Nantes, Lille, Euskalherria, Liege, Oost-vlaanderen, Belgrade, West-Vlaanderen, Portugal, Prague, Marseille, Galiza, Basque, Germany Media, Italy, and Brasil.

posted at Pittsburg Indymedia 6:42pm Eastern Breaking:
FBI seizes hard drives of IMC server in the UK The FBI issued a subpoena to Rackspace (an Internet Service Provider with offices in the US and London) to physically remove an Indymedia server located in London.

The servers hosted numerous local IMCs:
the global indymedia site, Belgian and African IMCs, Palestine, UK, Germany, and Brasil. Many are still not back up.

Micah of the global imc-tech collective said, "We suspect it has to do with an FBI request that we take down a post on the Nantes IMC that had a photo of some undercover Swiss police. They claimed there was threats and personal information, but there was nothing of the sort. The undercover police that were photographed on the page were photographing protesters. Rackspace is a US company, but have colocation in the UK where these servers are (err, were) located. So this is about Swiss police, on a French site, on a server in England, taken away by American federal police... can I be the first to say WTF?!"

The last few months have seen numerous attacks on independent media by the US Federal Government. In August the Secret Service used a subpoena in an attempt to disrupt the NYC IMC before the RNC, last month the FCC shut down comunity radio stations around the US including in Pittsburgh, and now the FBI is shutting down IMCs around the world.

posted by Radhippie - 3:47pm Pacific
It appears that the FBI has seized much of the European and African Indymedia network. Details are unclear at this time but we will keep you posted all night. Look for upcoming stories throughout the night

posted by Crackerjack - 3:16pm Pacific
Today at about 18:00 CET FBI raided the indymedia servers hosted by Rackspace both in US and England. At present, the italian indymedia and numerous other local IMC websites are obscured, while the reasons why the hard drives were taken are still unknown.

IMPORTANT STUFF, PEOPLE!


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