FBI seazes Global Indymedia Servers

From the www.monabaker.com archive (legacy material)

Sascha Meinrath | UCIMC.ORG | 7 October 1994

FBI took the hard drives of Global IMC servers in the USA and the UK. It appears that a court order was issued to Rackspace (Indymedia's service provider with offices in the US and in London) to physically remove the hard drives from Global Indymedia servers (backup servers are now in place). Rackspace was given no time to defend against the order before it was acted upon and turned over the hard drives, both in the US and the UK. The servers hosted numerous local IMCs and the reason for the seizure is not known. The FBI's latest anti-free-press actions began at the beginning of October when they visited Indymedia's ISP demanding the removal of identifying information from photographs of undercover police officers that was posted on the Nantes Indymedia website. When asked what the US government was doing requesting the removal of information from a French-run website that contained information about Swiss police actions, the FBI stated that this was a "courtesy" to the Swiss government. The FBI agents stated that no laws had been broken, and no crimes had been committed. However, because no identifying information was posted on the website in question, it was unclear what actions the FBI was requesting. The article in question is/was posted here: http://nantes.indymedia.org/article.php3?id_article=3910 On Tuesday October 5th, Indymedia received the following message from Rackspace: "I apologize for the delay in responding. I have been trying to get a hold of the FBI agent I spoke with before, but haven't been able to at this time. As the request originated with the Swiss police, I can only speculate on what they saw or what they were concerned about. However, at this time, I have received no further communications from either the FBI or the Swiss authorities, so I feel like we can close this this issue." Today the FBI seized Global Indymedia servers; however it is unclear if this is related to the Nantes issue or is a second FBI concern within the past week. (14:20) Rackspace has issued a "no comment" response concerning the FBI's actions. (15:25) New list of IMCs affected: ambazonia, uruguay, andorra, pl, wester mass, radio, uk, antwerpen, nice, nantes, lille, euskalherria, liege, oost-vlaanderen, belgrade, west-vlaanderen, portugal, prague, marseille, galiza, basque, germany media, italy, and brasil. (16:10) Rackspace has issued the following comments: I have been in contact with the regional director responsible for the federal order. He has stated that I can not provide any information regarding the order. I am going to follow up with our law enforcement liason to verify this, however. Regards, Jennifer O'Connell Rackspace AUP *** Unfortunately, we have received a federal order to provide your hardware to the requesting agency. We are complying at this time. Our datacenter technicians are building you a new server which will be online as soon as possible. Your account manager will notify you once the new server is online and available. I apologize for abruptness of this. However, we are required to comply with all federal orders of this nature. Please let us know if there is anything that we can do to make this easier on you. Regards, Jennifer O'Connell AUP Administrator Rackspace Managed Hosting *** (16:45) The story has hit slashdot: http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/04/10/07/204217.shtml?tid=153&tid=219 (16:55) Original photos are now available here: http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/mtoups/nantes/copsinnantes.htm