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Second Indymedia Server Seized in UK Within a Year 679

GarconDuMonde writes "For the second time within the past year, an Indymedia server has been siezed in the United Kingdom. This time it is the Bristol Indymedia server (currently redirected to the United Kollectives IMC site); this follows on from the Ahimsa siezure last October. The current siezure was carried out using a search warrant by the UK police at approximately 16:30GMT on June 27th, 2005. This was despite being warned by lawyers "that this server was considered an item of journalistic equipment and so subject to special provision under the law" (press release). Bristol Indymedia is currently being supported by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), Liberty and Privacy International. Other media organisations have declared their support."
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Second Indymedia Server Seized in UK Within a Year

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  • Umm (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheKidWho ( 705796 )
    WTF is indymedia?
    • Re:Umm (Score:5, Informative)

      by EiZei ( 848645 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @02:26AM (#12929269)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indymedia [wikipedia.org] All hail the wiki.
    • by Dancin_Santa ( 265275 ) <DancinSanta@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @02:42AM (#12929323) Journal
      But all the links lead to either Indymedia or pro-Indymedia sites.

      It would be nice to get an unbiased source of this news, especially since Indymedia can't be expected to report on itself without bias.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Well, Indymedia covered the Tlalnepantla massacre [1] [indymedia.org] where a lot of other news sources didn't. They do seem to be very, very biased, but it's better for information to be collected for me to sort out what's useless, biased drek than it is for someone else to decide what's drek and filter it for me (both because that person is in a position of power to be corrupted and because I hate not having all the information).

        If you want to find out about Indymedia, read some of the sites and issues they cover and
      • Unbiased? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by samjam ( 256347 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @05:32AM (#12929829) Homepage Journal
        And what unbiased source are you going to use to tell you whether or not your sources are unbiased?

        eh?

        What you are asking for is bias that is too hard for you too see.

        If thats all you need, just close your eyes and everything will be ok, eh?

        Sam
    • Re:Umm (Score:5, Interesting)

      by c0p0n ( 770852 ) <copong AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @02:45AM (#12929336)
      Long story short, it's a worldwide network of internet resources for communists and anarchists usually located around local indymedia pages. They use these resources to organize social events and stuff like that. Sometimes I participate of such events, they are mostly orientated to civil rights and antiglobalization stuff.

      Apart from that, they also provide hosting solutions to social and radical groups, specially local Hacklabs on which I partitipate frequently.
      • It's not just for communists or anarchists. In fact I'd say its mostly filled with socialists. I admit its left wing, and I agree its news for people who support universal healthcare, education and other social programs. I wouldnt say the majority of people want anarchy or communism, thats the far fringe of even the left. Common sense, we will never have communism or anarchism for the basic reason that too many humans want power over another and it would eventually end up as corrupt as capitalism and the s
        • by bani ( 467531 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @03:19AM (#12929434)
          If you agree with their ideas then go ahead and listen to them, if not then keep watching FoxNews.

          I don't get it. Why does it have to be either indymedia or foxnews? Why impose the arbitrary limit?

          IMO it can certainly be neither.

          Both indymedia and foxnews are equally nutty.

          indymedia is full of cranks and wild-eyed woo-woos, but at least they dont try to hide their bias (honest cranks? heh.)
          • by zoney_ie ( 740061 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @04:04AM (#12929567)
            Choose the BBC. It's not perfect, but it's a huge amount better than the alternatives. The World news site does indeed cover many stories that aren't otherwise in mainstream attention.

            Having the stories edited professionally is a big plus. Also, while some stories can be biased, one is likely to see differing points of view, particularly in the editorials, and ever-increasing comments sections. The "Have your say" articles are perhaps more interesting because all comments aren't published, but rather a selection of differing views from people in different locations.

            They are quite accountable, with a "Newswatch" section where corrections and responses to criticism are published. Readers can email and offer comments on or corrections to any story - indeed I have done so in the past myself, and the response (changing the article) has been swift.

            For a mainstream news organisation, that hails from one country, I don't think you could expect anything of a higher standard than this.
          • indymedia is full of cranks and wild-eyed woo-woos, but at least they dont try to hide their bias (honest cranks? heh.)

            We are not ALL cranks and wild eyed woo-woos :) Just some of us ;) ;)

            But yes, many of us believe its much more honest to be up front about our biases.

            And EVERYONE has them.
            • by tha_mink ( 518151 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @04:50AM (#12929708)
              But yes, many of us believe its much more honest to be up front about our biases.
              And EVERYONE has them.


              Everyone might have them, but it's what you DO with them that makes you who you are. That's why Fox News is horrible and indymedia (huge generalization) is just as bad. If you could seperate your bias from your journalism then you'd be...a professional.
              • Everyone might have [biases], but it's what you DO with them that makes you who you are. That's why Fox News is horrible and indymedia (huge generalization) is just as bad. If you could seperate your bias from your journalism then you'd be...a professional.

                While it's fashionable here to bash Fox News, they're hardly the best example of bias getting in the way of journalistic professionalism. Take a look at media outlets like the New York Times or CBS where political spin manages to supercede news report

        • AS an indy editor I'd disagree its filled mainly with socialists, at least in the conventional sense of the term.

          Its mostly a left-libertarian thing, where anyone can play as long as they arent bigoted pricks.

          for the record I dont speak for the network.
          • where anyone can play as long as they arent bigoted pricks.

            My experience has been that anyone to the right of Michael Moore is considered a bigoted prick within the Indymedia community.
            • Maybe in the future anyone to the right of michael more will be considered a bigoted prick.

              There was a time when it was generally considered that a pro-slavery opinion was a legitimate opinion.

              And maybe in the future they will laugh at the pro-choicers instead.
              • by Zeinfeld ( 263942 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @09:48AM (#12931386) Homepage
                Maybe in the future anyone to the right of michael more will be considered a bigoted prick.

                The real problem with Moore is not where he is on the political spectrum, its the fact that he is almost as sloppy with facts as the likes of Rush Limbaugh.

                Being sloppy with facts is even worse when the majority of the facts are on your side. Take the whole memogate incident. The evidence that Bush went AWOL from the national Guard is overwhelming but when CBS introduced one piece of evidence from a source that nobody in their right mind should ever trust the GOP was able to pretend that the whole story must be fake. (Contrast this with the media treatment of the Smear Boat Liars for Bush who were repreatedly proven to have lied and contradicted their own contemporary accounts)

                Ideological zealots like Bush or Moore can be very popular for a short while. After a time however people tend to tire of them and when they do the result is usually that the party that embraced them is out of office for a very very long time. Bush is not worthy to lick the boots of Margaret Thatcher or Clement Atlee but once the country tired of them they turned against their party for more than a decade.

                Ideology is a very effective tool for mobilising your base, it also cuts you off from everyone who is not part of your base.

                The indymedia crew appear to be a bunch of hard left zealots whose only real common platform is that they hate everything about the current political scene.

        • I admit its left wing, and I agree its news for people who support universal healthcare, education and other social programs

          That is left wing? News to me. It all sounds perfectly reasonable and I didn't vote left last time.
        • by Smuttley ( 126014 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @05:22AM (#12929799) Homepage Journal
          If you agree with their ideas then go ahead and listen to them, if not then keep watching FoxNews.

          Only the Sith deal in absolutes
    • The proper place to ask "WTF is ____" is Google [google.com]. But hey... got you a first post, didn't it?
  • Ridiculous (Score:4, Interesting)

    by skazatmebaby ( 110364 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @02:26AM (#12929267) Homepage
    That's absolutely ridiculous - but gives (to me personally) credibility that Indymedia is seen as a force of change.

    Word has it that they're going to move to Sealand/Havenco [havenco.com] - Take that UK!

    • Re:Ridiculous (Score:2, Interesting)

      by eclectro ( 227083 )
      Word has it that they're going to move to Sealand/Havenco [havenco.com] - Take that UK!

      Which means that the UK government sends a group of commandos to seize Sealand.

      It might take 15 to 30 minutes to accomplish.
      • Thing is, i'd wager many Lordes in GB have businesses that have a head office in Sealand. Don't kid yourself, there would be a lot of powerful opposition from many powerful ppl in GB if they were to do that.
        • Umm . . Sealand isn't that big you know . . here's a picture of it [demon.co.uk].
          • For some reason I thought it was bigger haha... Just read the wikipedia article.. Still there's got to be a few companies headquartered there...

            Take Malta - it's full of PO Boxes...

            Thing is Malta isn't as questionable as sealand... I'm probably just talking out my ass...
        • well maybe not many but a few ;)

          (Just read the Wikipedia article - i'm talking out my ass)
        • You need an "offshore" haven for (presumably) somewhat ambiguous "business" activities. Do you chose places like Switzerland, Cook Islands and suchlike, or a couple of guys sitting on top of a huge concrete drain pipe? Anyone with real money isn't going to take the risk.

          How would they oppose action against Sealand? "Ehherm,... I have no *personal* interest in Sealand, but I want it to stay there because I like err... MP3s... errr.. tax evasion... errrr...."

          OTOH, invading Switzerland look like poor form

      • by kt0157 ( 830611 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @03:40AM (#12929503)
        Come on, sending in the commandos would be an illegal invasion of a sovereign nation. Would the UK seriously contemplate such action?

        Err..

        K.
        • No not really (Score:5, Informative)

          by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @05:49AM (#12929881)
          Seland claims they are a nation, that doesn't make it so. What is and is not a nation is partly in what the world agrees on, and partly what you can enforce. If you have the might to break off from another nation and enforce that right, you can become a nation. This is pretty much how the USA started (though they also had help from France). They beat off their founding nation and thus established themselves as independant. In contrats the Confedracy (the states that broke off and rebelled during the American Civil War) failed to do that and are now again part of the USA.

          It's also partly in what others recognise. There are a number of nations that are incapable of self defense, yet are widely recognised as legit and have countries ready to go to bat for them. The Vatican is such a country. It is a small district, entirely contained in Italy and without any sort of defense, save that provided by the Swiss. However it is internationaly recognised as a soviregn state and any attempt to conqure it would lead to a massive backlash from most of the world.

          Well, Sealand has neither of these. It has no military, no security force to speak of. A division of regular troops from just about any nation would be sufficient to conquer it. Nor does it have any diplomatic status. Nobody appears to recognise it as a legit nation.

          Thus if Britan took it over, I imagine most would view it as a recapturing of a military installation they built in the first place and legitimately own.
    • Have you even Seen the thing [demon.co.uk]? A bunch of rednecks with guns could take over that country.
  • AFAIK, and IANAL, the UK does not have the same protections for free speech and a free press that the U.S. has. In fact what freedoms the press has are more a matter of gentlemen's agreement (the king agrees not to shut down our newspapers and we agree not to behead the king) and some common law foundation (relying on prior judicial decisions rather than a constitutional edict). In fact, the Crown's ability to squelch and silence voices of dissent was one of the reasons the right to a free press was amended into the U.S. constitution.

    While we may think this is terribly wrong from a moral/ethical standpoint, it may well be completely legal in the U.K.

    Remember, I'm not saying this is right, but if you post a comment where you judge its legality by U.S. standards, you may be very wrong.

    Greg

    • Not true (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Sanity ( 1431 ) *
      The UK is a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights [hri.org]:

      Article 10
      Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. this right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

      • "This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises," almost seems to not make copyright law illegal, afterall it wouldn't be able to exist in light of the 1st ammendment in the U.S. without the copyright clause. While you can possibly argue that forbidding verbatim copys isn't a violation of "freedom of expression," you certainly can't make that argument for derivative works in general.
      • Re:Not true (Score:5, Informative)

        by elander ( 561476 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @03:28AM (#12929471)
        How about quoting the entire article instead of just the first paragraph:
        ARTICLE 10
        1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. this right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

        2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or the rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.
        Article 10 isn't a carte blanche to publish anything you want, it comes with responsibilities too. In this case, "for the prevention of disorder or crime" seems applicable, since someone apparently boasted about their own violent criminal behaviour on the site.
    • by dr_strangeloveIII ( 703893 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @02:48AM (#12929345)
      Putting AFAIK at the start is a license to write any half-baked bullshit really, I think you might find that we have a very free press (and some of ours isn't even owned by McDonalds and Microsoft) and as for the Crown interfering with free speech (we have a Queen at the moment not a King by the way) I think you may find you are a few centuries out of date.

      This was nothing to do with free speech but it was everything to do with someone bragging on the internet about a £100000 vandalism they'd committed and the Police duly investigating it.
      • > some of ours isn't even owned by McDonalds and Microsoft

        No, it's owned by Rupert "Bloody" Murdoch, instead.

        Although we do have some good laws that are supposed to protect journalists from this kind of behaviour, it does not extend to preventing the seizure of the server.

        Section 10 of the 1981 Contempt of Court Act states: "No court may require a person to disclose, nor is any person guilty of contempt of court for refusing to disclose, the source of information contained in a publication for which
    • In the USA we don't have an Indimedia at all. There is no left wing media in the USA unless you want to call Air America and CNN liberal, but liberal is not the same as the socialist left you see on Indymedia. Most liberals support free trade and don't really care about helping the poor, the socialist left on the other hand is busy fighting against CAFTA and fighting for fair trade. Free speech only exists anywhere because of the internet, and while you think you have free speech in the USA, if you are too
      • Indymedia was born in the US. I can assure you that it exists [indymedia.us] state-side.
      • In the USA we don't have an Indimedia at all.

        Incorrect. [wikipedia.org] Thankyou for trolling Adolf, please have a nice day.
      • Yes you do ;-

        Indy Media sites in the United States;-
        arizona ,arkansas,atlanta,austin,baltimore,big ,buddy ,binghamton ,boston ,buffalo ,charlottesville ,chicago ,cleveland ,colorado ,danbury, ct , dc ,hawaii ,houston ,hudson mohawk , idaho ,ithaca ,kansas city ,la ,madison ,maine ,miami ,michigan ,milwaukee ,minneapolis/st. paul ,new hampshire ,new jersey ,new mexico ,new orleans ,north carolina ,north texas ,nyc ,oklahoma ,philadelphia ,pittsburgh ,portland , richmond ,rochester ,rogue valley ,saint louis
    • AFAIK, and IANAL, the UK does not have the same protections for free speech and a free press that the U.S. has


      Bollocks, matey. If anything we have more.

      • by ettlz ( 639203 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @03:23AM (#12929447) Journal
        I thought only a court injunction can prevent publication of material in the UK, and judges are often loathed to issue these except where personal privacy or safety is at stake. As far as I understand, there isn't even a Government mechanism to legally force newspapers to keep quiet over military secrets; the "D-notice" mechanism is an advisory system, based upon mutual agreement.
    • As a UK citizen I am ashamed and appalled at the continuous erosion of civil liberties that have taken place during the last couple of terms of government.

      B'liar is in the process of forcing through optional (year, right!) ID cards through parliament today that will cost an average of over $200/citizen (to be bourne by taxpayers of course). In addition everyone who wants to have a passport renewed will be forced to be finger-printed and iris scanned.

      http://www.no2id.net/IDSchemes/faq.php [no2id.net]
      http://www.lib [liberty-hu...hts.org.uk]
    • and over in the US, you have Fox News, and are not allowed to show the flag draped coffins of your war dead.

      hang on, which one has the free press?
  • Well.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gowen ( 141411 ) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @02:27AM (#12929271) Homepage Journal
    on approx 17 June an anonymous post to the Bristol Indymedia
    I hope they get their kit back, but I think this "journalist" defence won't have any legs. There may well be excellent journalists working for indymedia, but responsible journalists do not allow anonymous, unchecked "facts" into their news output.

    In fact, that just encourages scurrilous rumor mongering -- which is diametrically opposed to good journalism.

    "One cannot hope to bribe or twist,
    Thank God, the British journalist.
    But seeing what the man will do
    Unbribed, there's no occasion to."
    • Well, yeah, but if you think journalist published wrong/unchecked facts, go and take it down trough court. Not this way.
    • Re:Well.... (Score:2, Informative)

      by hhghghghh ( 871641 )
      There may well be excellent journalists working for indymedia, but responsible journalists do not allow anonymous, unchecked "facts" into their news output.

      You mean like the BBC did? As pointed out by the Hutton enquiry? Though as it later transpired, the BBC was entirely right (and the Government should have sued them or put in a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission, in stead of a blatant attempt at cencorship, much like seizing Indymedia's servers?).

      In fact, that just encourages scurrilous

      • Re:Well.... (Score:5, Informative)

        by aussie_a ( 778472 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @04:23AM (#12929626) Journal
        Seizing servers without a judicial verdict is kind of iffy.

        Lucky that didn't happen in this case. FTFA:


        On Tue 21st June, the police contacted an IMC Bristol volunteer asking for IP logs.


        They didn't get the logs, so they contacted a judge and received a search warrant.
    • Re:Well.... (Score:2, Insightful)

      What exactly are you quoting? You seem to think that because Indymedia is a hub for independent journalists that their reporting automatically has less journalistic integrity than say CNN or the Times. Most of the news being reported on indymedia isn't posted anonymously, and if it is posted anonymously, most people have enough common sense to be skeptical of its accuracy. The point of indymedia is to provide journalistic diversity because people should always have access to a variety of news sources so the

    • Re:Well.... (Score:5, Funny)

      by the_womble ( 580291 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @03:20AM (#12929438) Homepage Journal
      responsible journalists do not allow anonymous, unchecked "facts"

      I do not think the law does (or can) differentiate between responsible and iresponsible journalists.

      In any case if you think that, you could not possibly have read the British tabloid newspapers any time in, say, the last century or so.

  • by Duncan3 ( 10537 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @02:27AM (#12929273) Homepage
    Fool me once, shame on you...
    Fool me twice, use an encrypted filesystem fool...

    Was that so hard? And random bits are so much fun :)
  • At least this time, the Blag Servers at http://blagblagblag.org/ [blagblagblag.org] aren't affected, as they were the last time.

  • by Propagandhi ( 570791 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @02:29AM (#12929281) Journal
    Thanks for the heads up, but perhaps it's a good idea to mention the reason for these seizures alongside the fact that it just happened.

    For those of you left wondering by the initial post these seizures are apparently related to an investigation of a bit of vandalism that cost somewhere around a hundred grand...

    That's a little background, it's not like some evil government was seizing their servers simply because of a difference of opinion (although, depending on who you listen to, that may be the case)...
    • What sense does it make to confiscate hardware in relation to a crime reported using the hardware? Were the drives taken out and used to smash some windows? Perhaps they are looking for glass fragments or greasy hippy fingerprints on the case.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @04:04AM (#12929568)
      A reasonably close analogy here would be if an anonymous coward on Slashdot bragged about a crime they'd committed, and the FBI responded by seizing all the Slashdot servers.

      There is no evidence that the crime in question was committed or endorsed by the owners of the server. Instead, the server was seized because they refused to give the police access to its logs, claiming journalistic privilege.

      Yes, the police seized the server because they were legitimately investigating a genuine crime. But this is basically getting back to the question of whether the media can be forced to reveal their sources. There is a real freedom-of-speech issue here. While you are right to try to forestall many of the predictable kneejerk reactions, it is equally the case that nobody, whether British, American, or from any of the other many countries where people read Slashdot, can afford to dismiss this story without first considering the real issues at stake here.
      • Instead, the server was seized because they refused to give the police access to its logs, claiming journalistic privilege.


        Nope, they claimed that they didn't keep logs.

        The police then said ok we'll hahve the whole server then.

        Then they were advised to claim journalistic privilege - for the server, not for the logs, which (if you believe them and they would be silly to lie on this point) they don't have.
  • Mixed feelings... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by vialation ( 885786 )
    Indymedia...."Independant Media"....

    The whole idea is to provide a supposed outlet for the emotional side of horror stories related to human crisis', etc. I personally would find it analogous to the the dreams of the leftist media stations of the US (although I am sure that other countries have it worse)...

    Yes, I would say that the removal of free speech in any situation is bad, and things like this just shouldnt be allowed. Furthermore it just provides more support for the ill-treated organization.

    How
    • by Richie1984 ( 841487 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @04:18AM (#12929613)
      "leftist media stations of the US"

      Most Americans don't seem to realise that they have one of the most right wing societies in the west. You 'liberal' democrats would be considered rather right wing in most European countries. Just like most of your media. This is most likely the same with your 'leftist' stations.

      "the sole purpose of pushing leftist heart string stories to gain the support of the global public. This kind of manipulation outrages me."

      I don't really see how a heart string story can be considered left or right. If a newspaper prints a story about Timmy losing his pet cat, does that make it leftist? Similarly, if a website wants to print the views of ordinary Iraqis or Afghans, that does not instantly make it a leftist website?

      I take it your outrage at manipulation doesn't stop there. You must hate any sort of biased media. Given that, do you watch Fox News?
    • by erikkemperman ( 252014 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @09:33AM (#12931228)
      .. organizations [like IM] have the sole purpose of pushing leftist heart string stories to gain the support of the global public. This kind of manipulation outrages me.

      Just curious, wouldn't you agree the US administration (the corporate interests they represent, and by extension the mainstream media) are guilty of precisely the same kind of manipulation? For instance, pushing heart string stories about "free" Iraqis to attenuate the opposition of the global public?
  • The police nabbed the server because someone boasted of violent criminal behaviour on it, and the police want to trace them.

    Suppose a kidnapper used my typewriter to write a ransom note. Would my freedom of speech be curtailed if the police took it down the station to dust it for prints?

    Don't get your panties in a wad, folks.
    • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @03:38AM (#12929501)
      The police nabbed the server because someone boasted of violent criminal behaviour on it, and the police want to trace them.

      It is not necessary to seize anything to do this. At most all they need to do is mirror the drive, which can be done without even removing it. In the previous case all they really needed was the cooperation of Rackspace in supplying the needed data.

      Seizing of computer equipment not actually needed for evidence is very simply a means of discomfiting and intimidating the owner and the case of the siezure from Rackspace itself illustrates that they only really need the drive at most, not the entire computer, as only the drive contains the evidence in question.

      Would my freedom of speech be curtailed if the police took it down the station to dust it for prints?

      Why don't they just dust it where it is? They're perfectly capable of doing the job. In any case, as per above, this particular case is more like they impounded your typewriter, your desk, everything in it, all of your files and all of your customer's files.

      KFG
    • If you're going to have your computers (or any other possession) seized from you, you should at least be told why. Having your property sezied and, when asked why, being told "That's a secret"...
  • by jeorgen ( 84395 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @02:44AM (#12929329)
    Why are practically all the links to indymedia itself? What about having links to some other news sites so that we can get, like, more view points into this?
  • Can anyone post a NON-biased view of why this is happening and the past history of why the FBI in conjuction with other international agencies raided them in the past? Oh wait, that's impossible (but please try).
    • Re:Why? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by AndrewRUK ( 543993 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @06:49AM (#12930112)
      I'll have a go at doing what you think is impossible.

      The ahimsa seizure last October:
      1. Swiss and Italian authorities made a request ot the USA under Mutual Legal Assisstance Treaties [state.gov]
      2. The FBI issue a supoena to Rackspace (A US-based hosting company, who were hosting the Indymedia servers in their UK facility.)
      3. Rackspace co-operate with the FBI, and hand over the servers
      As far as I know, no information about what the Swiss and Italians wanted from the servers was released, but it has been suggested that is was relted to photos from the 2003 Switzerland G8 summit.

      The Bristol seizure yesterday:
      1. An anonymous author post this message, on 17th June:
        with the G8 on the horizon, we looked for a simple yet effective way to stick two fingers up to this oil-addicted society.we found one! a train that carries brand-new cars from portbury dock nr avonmouth through the avon gorge to ashton and bedminster to desperse at temple meads for the rest of the country. Some questions that came into our little minds were:is portbury dock fianancially-competative? [yes], who paid for the tracks and maintance from portbury to parson St bedminster?. has anyone ever seen a passenger train on this route?,and sitting on a hot coach because you can't afford hiked-up train fayres, you see yet more new cars you can't afford to buy being transported by rail,to consume more oil, that our enviroment can't take. So we did an oxygen-grab as a kind of work-out up to the summit.Lifting and then dropping rocks onto useless pieces of metal.[17/06/05] We are feeling fit now for the greedy-ate, we suggest others should take aim and practice. The forth-coming event around gleneagles will not automatically mean a head-on confrontation with the old-bill, they have more spiteful weapons than us, so let us side step them and unbalance them using our minds. good luck stay free, S.P. ray.
        (copy & paste from my Firefox cache.) This post was hidden within 24 hours, for violating Bristol Indymedia (BIM) policy. (I don't know exactly when it was hidden.)
      2. An individual with a history of conflict and disagreement with BIM then contacted police about the post, since it hints that the poster threw rocks at trains, or the cargo on trains, or the train tracks ("dropping rocks onto useless pieces of metal.")
      3. Police initally contacted BIM last monday, 20th June. BIM take legal advice.
      4. Police request IP logs from a BIM member on 21th June.
      5. Later on the 21st, BIM inform police via their solicitor that they will not voluntarily hand over and information. (NB: for non-Brits, a solicitor [wikipedia.org] is a type of lawyer.) BIM also inform Indymedia UK at this point, and contact Liberty [liberty-hu...hts.org.uk]
      6. Yesterday, 27th June, police visit the home of the BIM member who hosted the server with a search warrant, and seize the BIM server and the individual's own computer, and arrest the BIM member.
      Various posters on Indymedia sites have suggested that police may be trying to shut down Indymedia sites in the run up to the G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland, next month. I doubt that, in general, that is the case (Indymedia sites can be quite helpful to police, since they can use them to find out about planned actions, and spot people bragging about what they've done.) This appears to me to be more like someone with a grudge against Bristol Indymedia causing the police to act a bit excessively in a criminal investigation.
  • by Ralph Spoilsport ( 673134 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @02:49AM (#12929350) Journal
    One would think that as soon as the Bristol server went down, a secondary mirrored server in, say, Paris, would be right back up. It's not like a given indymedia node has terabytes of data to serve up or store.

    And given they could easily build their own server for PEANUTS that would at least be able to get the minimum news out the door, they would have done this kind of redundancy the day after the last time this happened.

    I'd be inclined to call them Stupid Hippies, but they're not Hippies or Stupid. I just guess they don't have the few hundred pounds per node to set up a back up server somewhere.

    RS

    • When the UK servers were seized, I was the first techie to put up a mirror. FYI, I was shipping around 200k/s for over 40 odd days. The UK mirror alone is around 9Gb in size, not to mention the other sites that the original UK server was hosting. The fact is that we now have 8 servers handling www.indymedia.org.uk, spread globally around the world. Hosting a mirror takes serious amounts of good will.

      One thing governments appear to miss is the fact that we DON'T log IP addresses.
  • Timing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fullofangst ( 724732 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @02:51AM (#12929353)
    Did anyone else notice the timing co-incidence here?

    From Indymedia.com: "The UK Indymedia site will be facilitating independent coverage of the actions and events. - G8 summit is running 6th-8th July.

    Now I don't want to sound paranoid or suggest a conspiracy, but come on, the timing of this seizure is extraordinary. And there's about 0.00% chance of getting the server back before G8.
    • G8 Summit..... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mindwhip ( 894744 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @06:07AM (#12929942)
      A footnote in the Evening News today hints that the server was suspected of being used to organise 'civil disorder' in Edinburgh during the G8 summit. Living in Edinburgh and watching the City bracing itself for full on riots, offices and shops closing, wide spread road closures, non critical surgery being canceled to deal with possible injuries, local - family run businesses going to the wall, supermarkets saying they may not be able to sufficently stock their shelves with food.... I'm happy at any steps being made towards limiting the anarchy that some groups are planning.... Even Edinburgh Castle (realy nothing more than a tourist attraction now...) is stepping up security. How would you like it if the world Invaded (and I use that word deliberatly) YOUR town, shutting it down for a week, potentaly destroying a large part of it and making the residents lives hell? Everyone seems to assume that everyone that claims to support freedom of speech should also have freedom to do whaterver they dam well please... With Freedom comes responobility, Freedom to state your views also comes with the need to consider the concequences of those views on others... If you incite a riot you must accept to be held accountable....
  • by REBloomfield ( 550182 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @03:14AM (#12929422)
    Nowhere in the article does it highlight the reason the server was taken, which can eventually be found buried in the links, but the response by Indy is: "As the G8 summit approaches, threats to our freedom of expression, and action, appear to be increasing rapidly." So, Indymedia contacted the Police in the firstplace, and now something is being done, they're crying about it.
    • ...a previously expelled member, probably still angry over his treatment, decided to take it upon himself to decide what was morally acceptable and contacted the police, which did something that flies in the face of any society that wishes to deem itself ethical, moral and free. This smacks of a dictatorship who wishes to control the media with an iron fist (see Soviet era Russia, current day China (to an extent) and North Korea (on the extreme end of things, although the BBC only showing stirring national
  • More information (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Exter-C ( 310390 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @03:27AM (#12929466) Homepage
    As issues like this are becoming more and more common internet law neutral hosting enterprises are starting to sprout up in places that would normally have fishing communities as their primary income. As governments begin to make laws and regulate more and more information across the internet it will only force these new "bastions" will begin to flourish. In many ways it will benefit the internet more and more to have more of these friendly countries hosting content that cannot be seized.
  • G8? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by taskforce ( 866056 ) on Tuesday June 28, 2005 @04:24AM (#12929628) Homepage
    Anybody get the feeling this has something to do with the G8 summit being held in Gleneagles in a short time? Considering Indymedia's past association with AntiGlobalization maybe the Police thought they could take some of the pressure off the inevitable protests which will occur outside and around the summit by taking out an information hub, or maybe Indymedia were inciting violence, which IANAL but in the UK is a reason for a court injuntion.

    ("Public safety" tends to overrule civil liberties in the UK, just look at the banning of Hoodies in shopping centers.)
    • Re:G8? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Triskele ( 711795 )
      ("Public safety" tends to overrule civil liberties in the UK, just look at the banning of Hoodies in shopping centers.)

      Poor example (not that your original point was completely invalid) - the banning of hoodies was made by the private management of the shopping centre involved. This could happen just as easily in the US if not more so where private rights tend to supercede public rights. But in the UK we have old protections of public (in the public use them, not public owned sense) space that basically s

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