[IMC] Indymedia to U.S., U.K.,
Swiss and Italian Authorities: "Hands Off Our Websites"
david at indypgh.org
Mon Oct 11 16:35:35 PDT 2004
* News from Indymedia *
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 11, 2004
Indymedia to U.S., U.K., Swiss and Italian Authorities: "Hands Off Our
Evidence is beginning to mount that the authorities of at least four
countries (Switzerland, Italy, U.K. and U.S.A.) are involved in last
week's seizure of two of Indymedia's servers that brought down more
than 20 of the Indymedia network's web sites and several internet radio
streams. Indymedia has yet to receive any official statement or
information about what the order entailed or why it was issued.
An FBI spokesperson, Joe Parris, confirmed to Agence France-Presse that
the FBI issued a subpoena to the provider who hosted the Indymedia
servers in the U.K., but that it was "on behalf of a third country."
(1) Daniel Zapelli, senior federal prosecutor for Geneva (Switzerland),
confirmed that he has opened a criminal investigation into Indymedia
coverage of the 2003 G8 Summit in Evian. (2) Zapelli will provide
details of that investigation at a press conference on Tuesday.
Federal prosecutor of Bologna (Italy) Marina Plazzi has also stated
that she is investigating Italy Indymedia because it may "support
terrorism." (3) Plazzi says she will provide more information on
Thursday, October 14th.
Meanwhile, international journalist associations have come forward in
support of Indymedia. "We have witnessed an intolerable and intrusive
international police operation against a network specialising in
independent journalism," said Aidan White, General Secretary for the
International Federation of Journalists. (4)
Indymedia is consulting with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
on how to retrieve its servers and prevent further government attacks
on free speech. "EFF is deeply concerned about the grave implications
of this seizure for free speech and privacy, and we are exploring all
avenues to hold the government accountable for this improper and
unconstitutional silencing of independent media.," said EFF Staff
Attorney Kurt Opsahl. (5)
As of Monday, October 11, five of the downed websites have been
restored, including Brasil, Euskal Herria, Poland, UK and Nice.
Indymedia volunteers are working around the clock to restore the
remaining sites, however at least four of them - Uruguay, Italy,
Western Massachusetts and Nantes - have suffered data loss as a result
of the governments' action.
"This FBI operation gives us even more reason to continue with what we
have been doing for several years," says an activist from Italy
"Uruguay has a long history of media repression. We don't have the
money to pay for web hosting, and so we rely on the solidarity of other
countries. Actions like the seizure of the servers make the whole world
insecure for free media," says Libertinus, an Indymedia volunteer from
Uruguay, one of many Indymedia web sites that was caught in the FBI
actions as a bystander. "Uruguay's national elections will take place
on October 31st. It's a bad time for this to happen."
For more information, visit www.indymedia.org/en/static/fbi, email
press at indymedia.org, or call:
Tomasso at +39 3383903806 (Italy)
Hep Sano at +1-415-867-9472 (San Francisco)
David Meieran at +1-412-996-4986 (Pittsburgh)
* Notes to the editor *
(1) On October 7, 2004, Rackspace, a web hosting provider based in San
Antonio (USA), turned over two servers at its London officer after it
was issued a court order under the Mutual Legal Assistence Treaty.
Rackspace officials claim that the order prevents them from divulging
the reasons for the seizure and to whom the servers were actually
given. They stated, "Rackspace is acting as a good corporate citizen
and is cooperating with international law enforcement authorities." See
more details on www.indymedia.org/fbi and on the press releases from 8
and 9 October: http://www.indymedia.org/en/2004/10/111999.shtml and
(2) For more examples see: http://www.indymedia.org/en/static/fbi.shtml
(3) AFP report:
(4) International Federation of Jounalists:
(5) Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF): http://eff.org/
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