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Indybay Feature
Thu Oct 7 2004
U.S. Government Seizes, Returns Indymedia Webservers in UK
Secret International "Criminal Terrorism Investigation"
11/16: EFF continues push for access to secret court order
11/09: U.S. Government responds to EFF Motion to Unseal
IMC Legal Updates | EFF News Releases: 11/10 | 10/25 | 10/13 | 10/12 | 10/08 | EFF Overview | Enduring Indymedia videogame
"I would say that this is an indication of the successfulness of the Indymedia network. Freedom of information is a radical idea when applied in a fair manner," says Peter Phillips, Ph.D., director of Project Censored. "Radical ideas will always be suppressed by the transnational corporate elites whenever possible. We must act on our rights to freedom of information to keep it safe, and when repressed find new channels and means to succeed."

10/13: The hardware was mysteriously returned to Rackspace.com, but a gag order is still in place, preventing Indymedia from figuring out who took its hard disks or why. Support Indymedia's legal inquiry by signing the Indymedia solidarity statement.

A secret investigation took 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 Ambazonia, Brazil, Uruguay and Western Massachusetts. Rackspace.com, the US and UK-based ISP hosting the server, has not commented other than to report that it received a "federal order" requesting information from the server, and complied by handing over the hardware; the company was apparently ordered to refrain from further discussing the seizure.

FBIRecent news reports from Europe suggest that an Italian "terrorism" investigation may have led to the FBI's seizure of the servers (Google translation); in addition a Swiss prosecutor, Daniel Zappelli, stated that a criminal investigation into Indymedia's coverage of the G8 has been opened. 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.

international_indy_block.jpg
UK Indymedia takes to the streets at the European Forum on Communication Rights.
Statement from Rackspace.com (MP3): In the present matter regarding Indymedia, Rackspace Managed Hosting, a U.S. based company with offices in London, is acting in compliance with a court order pursuant to a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), which establishes procedures for countries to assist each other in investigations such as international terrorism, kidnapping and money laundering. Rackspace responded to a Commissioners subpoena, duly issued under Title 28, United States Code, Section 1782 in an investigation that did not arise in the United States. Rackspace is acting as a good corporate citizen and is cooperating with international law enforcement authorities. The court prohibits Rackspace from commenting further on this matter. For additional information on the MLAT, please visit library.lp.findlaw.com....

Ahimsa is a Buddhist, Hindu and Jainist doctrine meaning literally "non-injury." According to Sri Swami Sivananda, "Non-injury is not merely non-killing. In its comprehensive meaning, Ahimsa or non-injury means entire abstinence from causing any pain or harm whatsoever to any living creature, either by thought, word, or deed. Non-injury requires a harmless mind, mouth, and hand. Ahimsa is not mere negative non-injury. It is positive, cosmic love. It is the development of a mental attitude in which hatred is replaced by love. Ahimsa is true sacrifice. Ahimsa is forgiveness. Ahimsa is Sakti (power). Ahimsa is true strength."
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