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General Internet Security and Posts About Illegal Activities
by SF Bay Area IMC collective
Tuesday May 12th, 2009 1:10 PM

General Internet Security

While anonymous posting may seem anonymous, it is very easy for the federal government to monitor web traffic even when it is said to be secure by your web browser. Posting from free public computers is one way to remain anonymous, but many of those facilities can be easily monitored and the facilities themselves face serious risks if threats or other illegal posts are traced back to them. On August 27th, 2008, the Long Haul Infoshop in Berkeley had all of its computers and those of several other organizations confiscated by University of California police due to an allegedly threatening email authorities claimed originated in the building. In February 2009, the FBI revealed that internet records of visitors to the U.C. Santa Cruz website led to seizure of video surveillance recordings and business records from a Kinko's which authorities claim supports their case against the AETA4.

Posting of Threats and Other Illegal Activities

Indybay strives to provide an open forum for the exchange of ideas, including radical and unpopular ideas. However, Indybay is not a forum for posting threats or other messages that are specifically illegal. For instance, a new California law recently went into effect that prohibits the publishing of animal researchers' personal addresses. And despite the fact that Indybay does not keep IP logs or similar user records, the posting of illegal messages can subject Indybay to potential harassment or other intrusions by law enforcement and may threaten the safety and security of the community of people who use the site. Posts that place Indybay in legal jeopardy will be assumed to be the work of provocateurs or reckless individuals and may be removed if/when they can be identified as such.

Additionally, Indybay contributors should consider wider legal ramifications before posting photos or accounts of people engaged in illegal activities. It may be possible for the authorities to identify individuals depicted in photos, videos, and reports posted to the website, either through the posts themselves or by cross-referencing with other sources. It is also possible that authorities may seek to confiscate original recordings from those who post to Indybay and to use this material in prosecutions.

These warnings are not intended to discourage postings which document the results of illegal actions after the fact or of police engaged in illegal actions, such as brutality and murder.

Be Smart

Indybay implores contributors to consider the potentially serious consequences of their actions and to refrain from posting notices which jeopardize Indybay, the communities that Indybay serves, or themselves.

For additional readings on internet security, please see: http://www.torproject.org/overview.html.en and http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/static/security.html.