OT: FBI Seizes IMC Servers in the UK



First of all I apologize for the OT post. I've never posted OT in this
or any other group before. However I feel this is of such importance
that we simply cannot afford to be silent. Reminds me of the famous
quote I've pasted below. Though now the next thing they come for may be
your proxy server, your anonymous remailer, your ISP's mail server, your
harddrive. Indeed, these are dangerous times we live in.

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.
---Pastor Martin Niemöller

Thursday, October 7, 2004
BoingBoing reader Micah at indymedia says:
A few minutes ago our host (Rackspace) in London received a federal
order to turn over the hardware that hosts several Indymedia websites to
the FBI.
Rackspace complied and handed the server over to the FBI, but they must
have felt bad because they are building us a new server that will be
online as soon as possible, oh and they apologized for the abruptness
because they think that they are "required to comply with all federal
orders of this nature". The servers hosted numerous local IMCs including
Belgium and African imcs, Palestine, UK, Germany, and Brasil, Italy,
Uruguay, Poland, Belgrade, Portugal, and more. We are unaware as to the
reasons for this at this time. 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?! Also on the IMC servers stolen
by the FBI were a lot of icecast radio stations, the Indymedia PGP
public keyring and BLAG (an Anti-corporate GNU/Linux distribution with a
suite of media tools designed to be used to overthrow corporate control
of information and technology through community action and free
software... put out by the Brixton Linux Action Group). Rackspace has
been asked by the EFF for a copy of the order, but Rackspace claims they
dont know if they can give it up.

8 October 2004. Thanks G.

The IMC UK servers, that are also hosting quite a few other sites around
the world, have just been seized in the UK by the FBI! The full press
release, that I attach below, contains details.

It is not clear if this is a one-off or the first of many seizures (no
useful/non public information is available on the seized server - not
even access logs) so we are still vigilant.

- one of IMC UK volunteers.


Press Release - 7 October 2004

FBI Seizes IMC Servers in the UK

US authorities issued a federal order to Rackspace's office in the US
ordering them to provide Indymedia's hardware located in London to the
requesting agency. Rackspace is one of Indymedia's web hosting providers
with offices in the US and London. Rackspace complied, without first
notifying Indymedia, and turned over Indymedia's server in the UK. This
affects some 20+ Indymedia sites worldwide.

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 a second 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.


Gabriele Neukam

On that special day, Prime, ([email protected]) said...
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.

The event has been reported by the newsticker section of www.heise.de
already; I suppose some of the authors of this computer magazine noticed
it because they would read articles on indymedia every now and then, and
thus they expressed clearly, that indymedia is an "independent media
center". Note the "independant", which in Germany means, under no
influence of any party, union, lobby, sect or whatsoever.

They do suspect other reasons for the seizing of the server - there are
rumours about a civil lawsuit because of some defamation; additionally
the names, addresses and phone numbers of the attendants of the
Republican party congress are said to have been published on Indymedia
(for what reason?)

Gabriele Neukam

(e-mail address removed)

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