[Pga_europe_process] Indymedia press releases

Anna anna at mail.nadir.org
Sun Oct 10 14:42:06 CEST 2004

Two indymedia servers in London were seized by the FBI last thursday, 
oct 7. This effects more than 20 indymedia websites. If your preferred 
website isn't up at the moment - this might be the reason. We're working 
on solutions.

Indymedia has published two press releases so far concerning the
situation of the seized servers. Please note that there are, not unusual
in cases like this one, many rumors floating around but few confirmed
facts. So far there is little knowledge about what actually caused all
of this. As soon as we know more we will make it known.


The two press releases, including many translations - please use and
distribute them widely! For questions please email
press at STOPSPAMindymedia.org.

more: http://www.indymedia.org/en/static/fbi.shtml

Press Release

08 October 2004

Italy and Switzerland Requested Indymedia's Server Seizure

Today, October 8, 2004, Indymedia has learned that the request to seize
Indymedia servers hosted by a US company in the UK originated from
government agencies in Italy and Switzerland. More than 20 Indymedia
sites, several internet radio streams and other projects were hosted on
the servers. They were taken offline on October 7th after an order was
issued to Rackspace, Inc., one of Indymedia's web hosting providers.

The reasons for the court order or who actually holds the servers now
are still unknown to Indymedia.

According to Italian news agency reports and an Agence France-Presse
(AFP) interview with FBI spokesman Joe Parris, the FBI acted on Italian
and Swiss requests. "It is not an FBI operation," Parris told AFP.
"Through a legal assistance treaty, the subpoena was on behalf of a
third country."(1)

Earlier today Rackspace published a statement that they turned over the
servers in response to an order under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty
(MLAT). The MLAT establishes procedures for countries to assist each
other in investigations regarding international terrorism, kidnapping
and money laundering. The court prohibits Rackspace from commenting
further on this matter. (2)

An Indymedia system administrator stated: "We do not know if Rackspace
is under a gag order, or what legal restrictions were imposed requiring
them to act this way, or whether they legal department had enough time
to study the request."

Aidan White, the General Secretary for the International Federation of
Journalists (IFJ) had this to say. "We have witnessed an intolerable and
intrusive international police operation against a network specialising
in independent journalism. The way this has been done smacks more of
intimidation of legitimate journalistic inquiry than crime-busting."(3)

Indymedia condemns the fact that even 24 hours after two entire servers
were taken down, Indymedia is still not getting any information of the
reasons for the order.

By taking down 2 servers more than 20 Indymedia sites were affected in
different countries globally as well as several unrelated projects.
Indymedia considers this extremely invasive operation a a serious threat
to the Freedom of Speech worldwide.

Indymedia insists that the servers are returned because each day they
are inoperable and Indymedia's irreplaceable data is unaccessible means
greater material damages to the Indymedia operation worldwide.

Note to editors:

(2) AFP report

(2) Statement from Rackspace, 8 Oct. 2004: "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 Commissioner’s 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

(3) IFJ Statement http://www.ifj.org/default.asp?Index=2734&Language=EN

(4) Indymedia volunteers can only speculate about possible reasons.
Switzerland Indymedia suspects that the order might have to do with two
photos published on the French site (IMC Nantes) of Swiss undercover
police agents in charge of the G8 events in Switzerland in 2003. In the
last few weeks there was contact between Swiss, specifically the Genevan
governmental authorities, and the FBI. The FBI also approached Rackspace
as well as a Seattle Indymedia activist recently regarding that matter,
but according to communication from Rackspace to Indymedia on Tuesday,
the matter appeared to to be closed. For its part, Italy Indymedia can
only assume that the request is motivated by the Italian government's
attitude towards Indymedia, which has been overtly hostile ever since
the 2001 G8 Summit in Genoa.

(5) More background information is available at

(6) Contact: press at indymediaSTOPSPAM.org


Press Release

7 October 2004

FBI Seizes Indymedia Servers in the UK

Thursday morning, US authorities issued a federal order to Rackspace
ordering them to hand over information hosted on Indymedia web servers
to the FBI. Rackspace, which provides hosting services for more that 20
Indymedia sites at its London facility, complied by turning over two
Indymedia servers to federal authorities, effectively removing those
sites from the internet.

Indymedia, a global network of independent non-corporate media
organizations, had been asked last month by the FBI to remove a story
about Swiss undercover police from one of the websites hosted at
Rackspace. It is not known, however, whether Thursday's order is related
to that incident since the order was issued to Rackspace and not to
Indymedia. According to Rackspace, they "cannot provide Indymedia with
any information regarding the order." ISPs have received gag orders in
similar situations which prevent them from informing concerned parties
about what is happening.

It is unclear to Indymedia how and why a server that is outside US
jurisdiction can be seized by US authorities.

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 New York City Independent Media Center
before the Republican National Convention by trying to obtain their IP
logs from ISPs in the US and the Netherlands. Also, in the past month,
the FCC shut down community radio stations throughout the US. Despite
these setbacks, Indymedia and other independent media organizations have
enjoyed recent victories against Diebold and the Patriot Act.

The list of local media collectives affected by the FBI seizure includes
Ambazonia, Uruguay, Andorra, Poland, Western Massachusetts, Nice,
Nantes, Lilles, Marseille, Euskal Herria (Basque Country), Liege, East
and West Vlaanderen, Antwerpen (all Belgium), Belgrade, Portugal,
Prague, Galiza, Italy, Brazil, UK, and Germany. Additionally, several
streaming radio stations, a Linux distribution site, and other services
hosted on those servers were also affected.

For more information, please contact Hep at 415-867-9472 or email
press at indymediaSTOPSPAM.org. Additional information about Indymedia is
available at http://www.indymedia.org/.

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