16 October 2004

Seizure of Indie Media Servers

I've been trying to figure out the details of seizure of servers used by UK Indie Media. According to Reporters Without Borders:

The servers were seized from the US-owned web hosting company Rackspace operating in the UK on 7 October 2004 at the request of the US Justice Department, which apparently acted at the prompting of Italian and Swiss authorities...The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) apparently requested the seizures of the Texan-based Rackspace that hosts Indymedia websites in the United States and in the UK. The company complied with the 7 October court order, shutting down around 20 Indymedia sites including those in France, Yugoslavia, Belgium, Italy, Brazil, Portugal and the UK. Ed Gibson, legal officer at the US Embassy in London, strongly denied to Reporters Without Borders on 8 October tbat the US federal police had played any part. However, according to a statement by an FBI spokesman to Agence France-Presse (AFP), the bureau did order the seizure of the servers but "on behalf of another country...The Swiss authorities reportedly sought US intervention after some Indymedia sites posted photographs of two Geneva police officers charged with identifying rioters who took part in demonstrations against the G8 summit.

The servers were later returned (BoingBoing). The seizure has been discussed by the UK-based Spy Blog. The Register suggest that the raid was performed either "under extra-territorial provisions of US legislation or the UK's Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA)." If the former, would this mean it was performed without the explicit consent of UK authorities? Rackspace says it was "acting in compliance with a court order pursuant to a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT)."


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Shaula Evans said...

Plus, it looks like the seizure was connected to Deibold.