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Title IMC: FBI and other legalbreaking news
Subtitle FBI Coverage
Description <font size="18px">This page has been superseded by the <a href="">wiki page on</a> - please visit that page for a more current and complete list of state actions against Indymedia centers worldwide.</font>

Press contact: press(a)
Article Text <p><b>The servers are back - why aren't things back to normal?</b><br>
<i>"There has been a lot of work for the techies:
<li>Finding temporary solutions</li>
<li>Implementing a more permanent solution</li>
<li>Retrieving backups</li>
<li>Inspecting the returned disks</li>
We've been working very hard, but we're understaffed and continuously have to deal with new developments"</i> (IMC Techie)<br>
Please see the list of <a href="#imcs">affected IMC sites</a> which is being updated regularly.<br></p>

<p><big><b>Please sign the solidarity statement :<a
in Support of the Indymedia Network and Against the Seizure of its Servers</a></b></big></p>

<i>"And even if there were something far
more serious involved than just a
couple of photos, the procedure ought to send shivers down the spine of
every publishing organisation on the Internet." (<a
Register, UK, Oct 11, 04</a>)</i><br>
<p><a href="#whotook">Who took Ahimsa?</a><br>
<a href="#why">Why were more then 20 Indymedia sites taken down?<br>
</a><a href="#imcs">Directly affected Indymedia sites</a><br>
<a href="#rackspace">Rackspace's statement</a><br>
<a href="#legalinfo">Legal Information (MLAT, etc.)</a><br>
<a href="#earlier">Indymedia &amp; the FBI: earlier incidents</a><br>
<b><font size="+1"><a name="whotook"></a>Who Took Ahimsa?</font></b>
On Thursday, 7 October around 18 GMT two Indymedia servers
hosted by Rackspace in the UK went down. The servers (ahimsa) host the
sites of more then 20 local
collectives, radio streams for several radio stations, BLAG (a GNU/Linux
distribution as well as miscellaneous other projects. Indymedia was not informed prior to this action, nor have we
been given any information why the hardware was taken, by whom and who
holds it now. Indymedia issued a <a
href="/en/2004/10/111999.shtml">press release</a>
that has been taken up globally. It was followed by a lot of
speculations worldwide on the reasons. The next day, 8 October
Rackspace stated that they responded to
a "Commissioner's subpoena". "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." <li> Indymedia failed to get information from
authorities in the US
and the UK. </li>
<li> According to an <a
report</a>, published on 8 October, "the FBI acknowledged that a
subpoena had been issued but said it was at the request of Italian and
Swiss authorities. 'It is not an FBI operation,' FBI spokesman Joe
Parris told AFP." Indymedia could not get direct confirmation of this
statements. </li>
<li> <a
href="/en/2004/10/111999.shtml">1st press release, Oct 7</a></li>
<li> <a href="/en/2004/10/112047.shtml">2nd Press Release, Oct 9</a></li>
<li> <a href="/en/2004/10/112083.shtml">3rd Press Release, Oct 11/12</a></li>
<li> <a href="/en/2004/10/112147.shtml">4th Press Release, Oct 15</a></li>
<li> <a href="/en/2004/10/112239.shtml">5th Press Release, Oct 22</a></li>
<li><a href="">Press
release by IMC Italy (en)</a> | <a
release by IMC Uruguay (es)</a></li>
<li><a href="">Press
release by IMC Netherlands (nl)</a><br>
<b><font size="+1"><a name="why"></a>Why were more then 20 Indymedia
taken down?</font></b>
<li> Indymedia does not have any information on the reasons and
nature of order and the actions taken. </li>
<li> Indymedia does not know whether Rackspace was ordered to provide
information on the servers, or the hardware (servers or disks).
Apparently the hardware was handed over. </li>
<li> Indymedia does not know if Rackspace is under a gag order, or
what legal restrictions were imposed requiring them to act this way, or
whether their legal department had enough time to study the request. </li>
<b><font size="+1"><a name="imcs"></a>Directly affected Indymedia sites<br>
<p><strong>IMCs back alive</strong>:
<li> Ambazonia: alive </li>
<li> Andorra: alive</li>
<li> Antwerp: alive </li>
<li> Brasil: alive </li>
<li> Euskal Herria: alive </li>
<li> Galiza: alive </li>
<li> Italy: alive </li>
<li> Liege: alive </li>
<li> Lille: alive</li>
<li> Marseille: alive </li>
<li> Nantes: alive</li>
<li> Nice: alive</li>
<li> Oost-Vlaanderen: alive </li>
<li> Poland: alive </li>
<li> Portugal: alive </li>
<li> Prague: alive (collective is no longer active)</li>
<li> UK: alive </li>
<li> Uruguay: alive </li>
<li> Western Massachusetts: alive </li>
<li> West-Vlaanderen: alive

<strong>IMCs with temporary solution</strong>
<li> Belgrade: exile at <a href=""
target="_top"></a> </li>
<p><strong>IMC's shut down</strong>
<li> points to <a
href="" target="_top"></a> </li>
<strong>Other affected sites</strong>
<li> still down (this is <em>only</em>
keys, obviously) </li>
<li> Germany: all pictures are missing </li>
<em>according to <a href="" target="_top">Jebba's
<li> - GNU/Linux Distro, will be back up around
Tuesday </li>
<li> - For Refugees (inactive?) </li>
<li> - I dont recall what was on the site, but they
did mail. </li>
<li> - Test/brainstorm webmail server </li>
<li> - GNU/Linux distro  dont know what happened to it
(inactive?) </li>
<em>For around 4 years AHIMSA mirrored a number of Free Software
projects. It was the main mirror for KDE ( ???),
mirrored,, GNU/Linux Documentation Project, apache,
cpan, and probably a couple others. <img alt="smile"
As the various Free Software projects developed more mirrors, the
AHIMSA mirrors were removed to make space for Indymedia &amp; BLAG.</em>
<p>Imc-UK server admins have done a quick calculation and the loss
Ahimsa means that the FBI action deprived the network of about 1
million pieces of content. Much of this is now back online from
backups, but some of the sites have lost a lot of content. We are
compiling a list now, please add as you find out more:
<p><strong>Data loss</strong>
<li> Antwerp: data starting from june </li>
<li> Italy: two months data {Italy imc won't restore its archives
until this situation is solved} </li>
<li> Marseille: all data since latest backup on July 31, 2004 (attempt to restore data)
<li> Nantes: Unknown but definite data loss </li>
<li> Nice: one month data {actually live with backup of 02 sept 2004} </li>
<li> Uruguay: all content since April 2004 </li>
<li> Western Mass: all data since latest backup on July 31, 2004 </li>
<hr><b><font size="+1"><a name="rackspace"></a>Rackspace's
statement, 8 October</font></b>
"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."
<hr><a name="legal"><b><font size="+1">Legal Information (MLAT, etc.)</font></b>
<p><b>Background on MLAT</b> - Mutual Legal Assistance
Treaty - can be
found on the websites below. Basically, the MLATs are bilateral
agreements that the US has made a lot of countries sign. These
agreements allow for the US to "do stuff within other nations" that was
previously not possible due to national sovereignty. As such, MLATs are
an example of "bad" or "globalisation from above". <br>
Intro: <a href=""></a>
<b>Background on Section 1782</b> - This section of the US Code allows
cooperation with a foreign or international investigation, even during
a preliminary investigating phase.<br>
Additional links for further reading:
<li><a href=""></a>
<li><a href=""></a>
<li><a href=""></a>
<a name="earlier"><b><font size="+1">Indymedia &amp; the FBI: earlier events</font></b>
<p>Earlier incidents with the FBI, CIA or other US
<li> <a href="">Gov't
Attempts Subpoena For Indymedia Logs - Service Provider Refuses</a>:
Shortly before the RNC in NYC, August 2004, the FBI attempted to
retrieve IP logs from one of Indymedia's ISP at their offices in the US
and in Amsterdam (Netherlands).</li>
<li><a href=""> Free
Radio Santa Cruz Raided by Federal Government</a> </li>
<li><a href="">Indymedia
fights Diebold's legal attempt to silence discussions about
e-voting</a> </li>
<li><a href="">Cyprus
IMCista Investigated by United States Intelligence Services</a> </li>
<li> FBI asked for the Nantes post on swiss police to be removed, but
admitted no laws were violated: <br>
"The FBI agents told me that they were not concerned with the photos,
but with the identifying information. There never was any such
identifying information, and even if there was, it would likely be
protected by the first amendment if it was obtained legally. (There
was a recent case here in Washington that you may be familiar with on
this very issue). But, even assuming it is illegal to post identifying
information (which it is not), there WAS NO SUCH info. The FBI agents
freely admitted to me that individuals have a right to take photographs of agents in public places and post those photos on the internet." </li>
Indymedia still does not have information on the following questions:<p>

<b>1) Why was the hardware sized?</b> The order was issued to Rackspace and they have not been able to give Indymedia any details, nor were any US authorities. Indymedia has been trying to find this out and is still doing so.<br>
At least 4 different stories are spread worldwide at the net as possible reason, some of them more likely then others. However, we do not have any confirmation on any of them.

<b>2) Who issued the order where?</b> We understand that the FBI contacted Rackspace in the US, even though the hardware in question is physically hosted in the UK. If anybody has confirmed information on this, please tell us.<p>

<b>3) What hardware was removed?</b> We don't know exacetly whether the complete servers or the hardware were removed. However, we know that at least two servers went offline.

The Seattle Independent Media Center was visited by the FBI and Secret Service on April 21, 2001. At the same time, police continued to wage warfare against citizens in <a href="">Quebec City</a> during <a href="/ftaa/">FTAA protests</a>. The agents delivered a <a href="">sealed
court order</a> demanding all server logs for the first two days of the protest.<br>
In addition, the <a href="">FBI</a> issued a gag order, forbidding individuals to discuss the court order or even acknowledge the existence of a gag order.<br>

<br>Six days later, the gag order was <a href="">vacated</a>. Individuals from Seattle IMC released a <a href="">statement</a>
and held a <a href="">press
conference</a> (available in <a href="">realaudio</a>
or <a href="">mp3</a>).
<br><br>The Seattle IMC has a national legal team working on the case, including the <a href="">Electronic Frontier Foundation</a>, <a href="">Electronic Privacy Information Center</a> and the firm of <a href="">Perkins-Coie</a>.

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