Friday, October 08, 2004

FBI seizes Indymedia servers in US & UK

More bad news for democracy. Reports are coming in from here, here and here :

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.

Weezil has the most coherent analysis of the situation I've come across so far


...Surely, this seizure will not keep Indymedia sites from publishing anything- the sites doubtlessly will be reconstructed and put back online, but the fact that the US FBI can execute a seizure outside of the USA is big news.

The US Secret Service is now not only just engaged with protecting the president. They are directly involved with political suppression as evidenced by their confinement of protesters at presidential appearances to 'free-speech zones' which are well away from Bush's view. Now they're taking their fascist act to the net as they did before the RNC convention and along with the FBI, they're doing it worldwide.

Australian national sovereignty worries, anyone?

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