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Indybay Feature

Oakland FBI Contacts Indymedia Volunteer

by gkd (hughbaghdad [at] ziplip.com)
Information about FBI contact with Indymedia volunteers today, Nov 2, 2001.
November 2, 2001 - The FBI contacted volunteers from the Independent Media Center (indymedia) in San Francisco today. Agent Chuck Esposito, from the Oakland FBI office, telephoned "Espe," a volunteer who has worked with the San Francisco Indymedia collective. Agent Esposito asked Espe if he had access to server logs, if he administered "indymedia sites," and if he had access to the server. Espe only replied that he could not answer questions without the presence of an attorney. Agent Esposito asked Espe if he knew what the call was about or if anyone else had contacted him. Espe said, "No, care to fill me in?" Agent Esposito replied, "not until I'm ready." Agent Esposito also mentioned something about "terrorist threats," but Espe could not recall the exact context.
<br><br>
Other IMC volunteers immediately called the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who helped Indymedia when Seattle IMC was served with an order by the FBI in April. According to information obtained by an EFF representative, Agent Esposito was given indymedia contact information by the Seattle FBI office, and was instructed to follow up on a lead they had received. The lead involved some kind of "anthrax threat." Agent Esposito indicated that the FBI is interested in reviewing Indymedia server logs. Agent Esposito also indicated that, to his knowledge, the "threat" appeared on the Arizona IMC website.
<br><br>
Following the FBI order in April, the Indymedia tech collective decided to stop recording IP addresses of website visitors. The IP address is the "key" to identifying website visitors. Without IP addresses, most Indymedia web traffic is anonymous. However, this is not absolute protection. Use of internet spying and devices like Carnivore allow the FBI to obtain this information without going through Indymedia.
<br><br>
Website users who wish to remain anonymous should utilize "anonymous web proxies." These are websites which allow you to surf other websites, while protecting your identity. Not all anonymizer services are safe. For instance, SafeWeb.com, based in Oakland, is largely funded by the CIA. Currently, many people are relying on the anonymizer offered by the European Counter Network, at https://proxy1.autistici.org/
by Calling your shit
Ok, "espe" so the fbi asked if you administered servers. It's not an accusation just asking you if that is what you did.
(let's note how precise "espes" recall is here)
You replied that you would not answer unless your lawyer were present. what the fuck are you worried about? your first amendment is intact. people can still come and post and have an open discussion. do you think imc wouldm want anyone using their site to coordinate an attack? I doubt it so they should work with the cops.

"Agent Esposito also mentioned something about "terrorist threats," but Espe could not recall the exact context. "
Here "espe" loses her memory. It would seem a good reason to cooperate with the cops if it will prevent any more histeria.
Maybe the middle class white kids from imc have something to hide? I doubt it so just help out the cops so WE know you're cool.

"The lead involved some kind of "anthrax threat." Agent Esposito indicated that the FBI is interested in reviewing Indymedia server logs. Agent Esposito also indicated that, to his knowledge, the "threat" appeared on the Arizona IMC website."
"espe" regains her sense of accuracy again...

"Following the FBI order in April, the Indymedia tech collective decided to stop recording IP addresses of website visitors. The IP address is the "key" to identifying website visitors. Without IP addresses, most Indymedia web traffic is anonymous. However, this is not absolute protection. Use of internet spying and devices like Carnivore allow the FBI to obtain this information without going through Indymedia."
so if they can get the info without your coopearation in the first place... maybe you're just scared to show most of your visitors also troll adult and dating sites.

imc just works with the cops. i am sure you have nothing to hide. you have good lawyers and if there are some criminals amongst you, wouldn't you want them "brought to justice"?



by john doe
I like how the previous idiot baits you quys as "middle class white kids"-- im sure some of you are but so fucking what-- who the fuck is he (probably a middle class FBI agent). Dont cooperate at allcw with the FBI. This is obvious.
by duh
obviously personal privacy is more important than the FBI's snooping. if anyone is planning a real terrorist threat, they arent going to post to indymedia about it. period. no way should anyone EVER talk to the FBI. remember, your country sez: "dont support terrorists!"
by gfr
The feds can easily use this as a pretext to associate IndyMedia with "terrorism". As ridiculous as that sounds, it does remind one of the McCarthy era. Pay no attention to the first reply by "calling your shit". The poster goes out of his way to name IMC volunteers as "middle class white kids" implying a pre-existing resentment. As a reader, you should always try to understand the motives of the writer. The juvenile comment about IMC readers that "troll adult and dating sites" is of a similar calibre. You are wise to seek legal advice.
by Deekoo L. (deekoo [at] tentacle.net)
In a phone interrogation, one has no real way of ensuring
that Esposito's who he claimed to be, or that he's researching
what he claimed to be. Answering a "Can you access the logs?"
question with "Yes" seems like begging to come home to find
one's family's disappeared and a note saying "To see them
again, give us the logs." - if the FBI has real grounds to suspect
that Indymedia's being used to plan terrorist attacks, they
can obtain a subpoena for the logs, appear in person, and
demand them then. Vague intelligence-gathering is more
relevant to a group looking for surreptitious access to the
logs...
by Danny W Thomas
Ok so mickey metro gets my ip address and finds out who I am and where I live. G'men tie this info to my statements made on a News board. Ok so, I am not afraid. And I'm not sorry I'm not afraid. Not feeling it or willing it, not choosing it either. What do I do that presents harm to more than a shrub on a warm fall morning. As far as I know, you are all harmless too. Hell, I'm 40. I never thought I'd make it this far. And I'm not afraid of the biig bad wolf. Ballots solve your riddle. Peace all.
by sf imcista
hey, well we could grab your IP and get a bunch of information and post it on here, home address and stuff? that wouldnt be so bad, right?
by Reality
You people need help. You're either all paranoid schizophrenics or delusional. Law enforcement is NOT like all the movies you've doubtless seen. You blow things like this up and cause yourselves to lose all credibility as an organization. Come back to Earth and get help!!
by George
"Those who sacrifice liberty for security, deserve, and indeed shall have, neither."
-George Washington
by X2
now it might not be legal or ethical to post Smash's address in a public forum.
However
You could publish the location of a small protest against Smash to be located outside his home.......
by dast
nobody's been threatened.
Are you threatened?
Quit whining.
It's childish.
by Smashem herem smashter
and the smasher shall inherit thine glee
by protest smash
I suggest if we are going to protest at smash's house - i heard he is in Albany, New York but who knows - someone bring a video camera so we can also do a broadcast of the poor screaming sod flailing around outside his front door in his skivvies not knowing quite what to do.
by GO SPEED SMASHY GO
because i could use a vacation and new york would be a great destination and as you stank pussarchists put together your little anti smashy action outside smashys place, it would be a fab opportunity to kneecap a bunch of you boys.

GO SPEED SMASHY GO !!!!
by reader
maybe I will stop by that place. Thanks for the link!
by sussboy
deserves another:

http://www.uncanny.net/~wetzel/

make sure to talk to the guy on the right (ironic that he's stantding on the right, isn't it?)
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