Italy and Switzerland Requested Indymedia's Server Seizure

 
Today, October 8, 2004, Indymedia has learned that the request to seize Indymedia servers hosted by a US company in the UK originated from government agencies in Italy and Switzerland. More than 20 Indymedia sites, several internet radio streams and other projects were hosted on the servers. They were taken offline on October 7th after an order was issued to Rackspace, Inc., one of Indymedia's web hosting providers.

The reasons for the court order or who actually holds the servers now are still unknown to Indymedia.

According to Italian news agency reports and an Agence France-Presse (AFP) interview with FBI spokesman Joe Parris, the FBI acted on Italian and Swiss requests. "It is not an FBI operation," Parris told AFP. "Through a legal assistance treaty, the subpoena was on behalf of a third country." (1)

Earlier today Rackspace published a statement that they turned over the servers in response to an order under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT). The MLAT establishes procedures for countries to assist each other in investigations regarding international terrorism, kidnapping and money laundering. The court prohibits Rackspace from commenting further on this matter. (2)

An Indymedia system administrator stated: "We do 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."

Aidan White, the General Secretary for the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) had this to say. "We have witnessed an intolerable and intrusive international police operation against a network specialising in independent journalism. The way this has been done smacks more of intimidation of legitimate journalistic inquiry than crime-busting." (3)

Indymedia condemns the fact that even 24 hours after two entire servers were taken down, Indymedia is still not getting any information of the reasons for the order.

By taking down 2 servers more than 20 Indymedia sites were affected in different countries globally as well as several unrelated projects. Indymedia considers this extremely invasive operation a a serious threat to the Freedom of Speech worldwide.

Indymedia insists that the servers are returned because each day they are inoperable and Indymedia's irreplaceable data is unaccessible means greater material damages to the Indymedia operation worldwide. Note to editors:

(1) AFP report

(2) Statement from Rackspace, 8 Oct. 2004: "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 Commissioner’s 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."
For additional information on the MLAT, please click here

(3) IFJ Statement http://www.ifj.org/default.asp?Index=2734&Language=EN

(4) Indymedia volunteers can only speculate about possible reasons. Switzerland Indymedia suspects that the order might have to do with two photos published on the French site (IMC Nantes) of Swiss undercover police agents in charge of the G8 events in Switzerland in 2003. In the last few weeks there was contact between Swiss, specifically the Genevan governmental authorities, and the FBI. The FBI also approached Rackspace as well as a Seattle Indymedia activist recently regarding that matter, but according to communication from Rackspace to Indymedia on Tuesday, the matter appeared to to be closed.
For its part, Italy Indymedia can only assume that the request is motivated by the Italian government's attitude towards Indymedia, which has been overtly hostile ever since the 2001 G8 Summit in Genoa.

(5) More background information is available at http://indymedia.org/en/static/fbi

(6) Contact: imc-press(a)indymedia.org or +1-415 867 9472

add a comment on this article

The truth is getting further away

aliope transgression 09.Oct.2004 05:09

Along with this we see some community radio stations being closed down and or interrupted.

The brownshirt nation is on a roll. Will any of "them" stand for truth or will they buckle under the brownshirt peer pressure to perform these insidious acts against free speech and human decency?

What is the difference between this and the Hitler of the past? Tell us! None! It seems it is just getting worse.

@aliope transgression

linksrhein 09.Oct.2004 11:16

idiot

Interesting....

Collin Baber (roach747@yahoo.com) 09.Oct.2004 11:50

By striking down a few individual nodes in the dispersed network, the hierarchical system will wear itself out while more nodes are created to replace and enhance the capabilities of those lost.

In other words, what doesn't destroy the network will only make it stronger.

- CB

 roach747@yahoo.com



c'mon

kefa 09.Oct.2004 12:08

Why do people have to exaggerate? Although we clearly can see a lot of brownshirt tendencies by learning about this particular incident, it's not the same. But a start.

coverage in the media

ezequiel zamora 09.Oct.2004 12:11

after a few hours of silence the news of the attack on indymedia made it on to the AP newswire and from there to many mainstream media outlets (which by bthe way proves the point about the domination of the news by just a few main news agencies: reuters, ap and afp)

amongst the left wing media the first to pick up on the story were znet ( http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=4&ItemID=6377%20) and idom ( http://www.marxist.com/scienceandtech/indymedia_fbi.htm)

the international federation of journalists IFJ also issued a press release condemning the actions  http://www.ifj.org/default.asp?Index=2734&Language=EN

Statewatch Statement on Indymedia Server Seizures and MLAT

repost 09.Oct.2004 14:07

Statewatch Statement on Seizure of Indymedia's Servers in London

UK-USA: Was the seizure of Indymedia's servers in London unlawful or did the UK government collude?

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

"Rackspace may be a US company but Rackspace in London is subject to UK law not US law. If they took down and handed over Indymedia's servers simply on the basis of a US subpoena communicated to them this would not be lawful in the UK.

However it seems more likely that the US subpoena was the subject of a request for mutual legal assistance from the US Attorney General to the UK Home Secretary under the MLA Treaty. It would for the Metropolitan Police, probably accompanied by the FBI, to enforce the request and take possession of the servers.

This begs the questions: Why did the Home Office agree? What grounds did the USA give for the seizure of the servers? Were these grounds of a "political" nature? Has the Home Office requested that the servers be returned? What does this action say about freedom of expression and freedom of the press?

A trail that started in Switzerland and Italy has now ended fairly and squarely in the lap of the UK Home Secretary to justify."

===========================

Full text with links here:
 http://www.statewatch.org/news/2004/oct/04uk-usa-indymedia.htm

UK-USA
Was the seizure of Indymedia's servers in London unlawful or did the UK government collude?

- "A trail that started in Switzerland and Italy has now ended fairly and squarely in the lap of the UK Home Secretary to justify"

On Thursday 7 October a US subpoena was issued ordering the London office of Rackspace (a US company) to take down and hand over Indymedia's web servers which it hosted. An FBI spokesman, Joe Parris, told AFP (link) that: "It is not an FBI operation. Through a legal assistance treaty, the subpoena was on behalf of a third country". The subpoena he confirmed had been issued at the request of Swiss and Italian authorities. He further said that there was no US investigation but that the agency had cooperated under the terms of an international treaty on law enforcement.

On Friday 8 October Rackspace put out the following statement:

"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 Commissioner's 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."

The third countries are Switzerland and Italy. In a statement Indymedia said it: "had been asked last month by the FBI to remove a story about Swiss undercover police from one of the websites hosted by Rackspace". It is not known what grounds the Italian authorities used, though the government has been hostile to Indymedia ever since its coverage of Genoa in 2001. This follows attempts to shut down Indymedia sites in the USA as well, see: FBI Secret Service (link)

The list of affected 20 sites include Ambazonia, Uruguay, Andorra, Poland, Western Massachusetts, Nice, Nantes, Lilles, Marseille (all France), Euskal Herria (Basque Country), Liege, East and West Vlaanderen, Antwerpen (all Belgium), Belgrade, Portugal, Prague, Galiza, Italy, Brazil, UK, part of the Germany site, and the global Indymedia Radio site.

How could this happen in the UK?

Accepting the version presented by the FBI spokesman the trail seems to be that Swiss and Italian authorities sought the help of US authorities to shut down offending Indymedia sites. Rackspace then "responded" to a US subpoena - this response was to take off the air and hand Indymedia's servers to the FBI or their representative. The effect of this was not only to take Indymedia off the air but would allow them access to all the files held.

The clue as to the legal basis for this action by the London-based Rackspace company is their statement that this was:

"in compliance with a court order pursuant to a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT)"

There are a number of legal bases under which this could have been undertaken in the UK. The most likely one is the "Treaty with the United Kingdom on Mutual Legal Assistance in criminal matters" between the UK and the USA which entered into force on 2 December 1996: Full-text of UK-USA MLA Treaty.
(pdf at  http://www.statewatch.org/news/2004/oct/1995uk-usa.pdf)

The other possible relevant legislation is the UK's Crime (International Cooperation) Act 2003 (link:  http://www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts2003/20030032.htm ).

The EU-US agreement on Mutual Assistance in judicial cooperation is not yet in force (and has yet to be ratified by the US Congress and Senate).

The most likely legal basis for the action is the 1996 UK-USA "Treaty between the Government of of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the United States of America on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters with exchange of Notes" (which entered into force on 2 December 1996 and was published in the UK as Cm 3546 - this version is not available but the USA version of the same Treaty is available, see above).

This UK-USA MLAT sets out specific legal procedures for putting into effect requests for mutual legal assistance. Article 1 covers requests for "executing requests for searches and seizures" and for providing documents and evidence. Article 2 sets out that each party (UK and USA) has to establish "Central authorities" - in the USA it is the Attorney General and in the UK it is the Home Secretary. All requests for mutual legal assistance or responses to them from the other party have to go through these channels. Indeed there is in the UK Home Office a Mutual Legal Assistance Unit through whom all requests are channelled. Article 3 says requests can be refused if the offence referred to is "of a political character". Article 4 says that all requests must set out: the name of the authority making the request (eg: the US Attorney General), the subject matter, a description of the evidence requested, the identity of the person from who the evidence is sought (eg: in this case Rackspace), and a "precise description.. of the articles to be seized".

Article 5 says that the Home Office will "take whatever steps it deems necessary to give effect to the request" and that: the "central authority" (the Home Office) shall: "facilitate the participation in the execution of the request of such persons as are specified in the request" (eg: the FBI accompanying the Metropolitan Police).

Article 7 means that the Home Office can bound not to admit that a request from the USA had been received. Article 7.1 says: "The Requested Party [the UK] shall, upon request, keep confidential any information which might indicate that a request has been made or responded to".

Article 14 covers "Search and seizure". Under this article the requested party (the UK Home Office) must execute the request for seizure of any article (eg: servers) "if the request includes information justifying such action under the laws of the Requested Party"(ie: UK law).

Article 15 says that any article seized has to be returned by the Requesting Party (ie: the USA) unless the Requested Party (the UK) "waives the return of the documents or articles" - it will be interesting to know what position the Home Office has taken.

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, comments:

"Rackspace may be a US company but Rackspace in London is subject to UK law not US law. If they took down and handed over Indymedia's servers simply on the basis of a US subpoena communicated to them this would not be lawful in the UK.

However it seems more likely that the US subpoena was the subject of a request for mutual legal assistance from the US Attorney General to the UK Home Secretary under the MLA Treaty. It would for the Metropolitan Police, probably accompanied by the FBI, to enforce the request and take possession of the servers.

This begs the questions: Why did the Home Office agree? What grounds did the USA give for the seizure of the servers? Where these grounds of a "political" nature? Has the Home Office requested that the servers be returned? What does this action say about freedom of expression and freedom of the press?

A trail that started in Switzerland and Italy has now ended fairly and squarely in the lap of the UK Home Secretary to justify."

---------------------------

Documentation

1. Indymedia press release, 8 October 2002 (link)
2. AFP report (link)
3. Background from Indymedia: FBI Secret Service (link)
4. "Treaty with the United Kingdom on Mutual Legal Assistance in criminal matters" between the UK and the USA which entered into force on 2 December 1996: Full-text of UK-USA MLA Treaty (pdf)
4. International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) statement on FBI seizure of Indymedia servers in London: IFJ statement (pdf)

 http://www.statewatch.org/

AFP Report Diluted

anon 09.Oct.2004 15:41

If you read the AFP report you will see how diluted the content of the article is. It has only succomed to the pressures of larger media outlets to not offend any reader seeking information.
"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."
Simply by the FBI becoming involved they have become a part of the operation. AFP is protecting the FBI and trying to alleviate them of any allegations against them.
The removal of the IMC servers is not just a minor threat to our freedoms of intellectual information. This act is very clearly an infringment on our first ammendment rights. This sort of censorship cannot be tolerated.

LOL

LOL 09.Oct.2004 17:15








"By taking down 2 servers more than 20 Indymedia sites were
affected in different countries globally as well as several unrelated
projects. Indymedia considers this extremely invasive operation a a
serious threat to the Freedom of Speech worldwide."
"Indymedia insists that the servers are returned because each day
they are inoperable and Indymedia's irreplaceable data is unaccessible
means greater material damages to the Indymedia operation worldwide."

I'm chortling that you Reds apparently haven't learned the concept
of off-site backups.


Distributed backup?

anonymous 09.Oct.2004 17:50

This incident strongly suggests that some form of distributed backup system be employed to back up at least the critical data from any particular indymedia site. A process should be developed for being able to quickly bring those backups back online at another site.

Doing this would effectively neuter any national action, since taking out any one node would produce no impact on the system, beyond the temporary loss of the machine. If it can made to not affect Indymedia, then the only result from such operations would be the generation of negative PR for the agency involved.

Also, when these things happen, email or postal addresses should be listed for the rest of us to send complaints to, to ensure an active feedback loop.

enquête ouverte à Genève

Anonym 09.Oct.2004 18:30

ats] - "J'ai ouvert une enquête mais je ne vous en dirai pas plus", a déclaré samedi le procureur Daniel Zappelli. Mercredi, les deux inspecteurs genevois en charge des enquêtes sur les émeutes du G8 en 2003 avaient déposé plainte contre inconnu après que leurs photos, l'adresse et le nom de l'un d'eux ont paru sur le site français Indymedia-Nantes.

Le procureur général de Genève n'a pas voulu confirmer si le FBI avait agi à sa demande.
...

"Web-Hosting Firm Gives Feds Hard Drives"

MSNBC / AP 09.Oct.2004 22:42

"Officials from the Independent Media Center, whose London office leased the Web servers for affiliates in more than two dozen countries,"
(leased???)

"Its central Web site on Friday included stories about a lesbian activist's murder in Sierra Leone, protests against welfare reform in Germany and last weekend's march in Washington against the Iraq war." (FOG???)


"The hard drives surrendered in London hosted Internet sites for a disparate group of Indymedia outlets" (what about the count of 20 Sites???)

"Officials from the U.S. Justice Department in Washington did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment." (oh.. sorry, they are just too busy eH???)

distributed computing

42 10.Oct.2004 10:18

Time for a distributed file system setup?

Distributed backup requires servers to put the data on to....

Tinfoil 10.Oct.2004 11:40

Whether or not a method of distributed backup is / were available, finding servers to place that data onto is the next problem. It is not cheap to buy servers (I know from personal experience), certainly not that cheap (in the UK) to co-locate them and there's still the expense of rolling-out backup copies onto new servers and then configuring the various services to work as intended. Even if existing servers in the indymedia framework were used, it would create a greater load on the remaining servers which would reduce the effectiveness to which the sites could be used. By mandating the seizure of hardware - as opposed to access to the data stored on it - the various governments of the world are indeed colluding to create harm to Indymedia and Indymedia's right to free speech.

mirror serverspace

joy 10.Oct.2004 13:52

i offer you serverspace for mirroring. server is located in germany. i also recommend to make a call for mirroring indymedia at different locations. a central server concept is the worst for large and international netprojects, as indymedia seems to be.

Distributed

Max 10.Oct.2004 16:21

Why not to find a way to distribute the core data by mean of a P2P system? At need, they can be retrieved quite easily. Imagine it in a situation like this one: anybody who have an IMC file would connect and let others to get it to restore archives and sites...

Freenet?

anon 10.Oct.2004 17:29

Perhaps Indymedia should consider mirroring all of its content onto Freenet.

After all, this sounds exactly like what Freenet was designed for anyway -- the prevention of the suppression of free speech.

forget osama bin laden, indymedia is the real terrorist (NOT!)

anonymous 10.Oct.2004 17:36

So they won't go after terrorist sites such as  http://ansarnet.ws but they shutdown indymedia?

Western Massachusetts & The FBI

Gleef 10.Oct.2004 17:55

The way I see it, among other things, this incident includes a US Federal Law Enforcement Agency (FBI) demanding the disabling of a US press organization's (Western Massachusetts Indymedia) means of publication and distribution. Last I checked, they were still down.

This strikes me as blatantly unconstitutional, and worthy of a lawsuit against the FBI on constitutional grounds. Does anyone know if Western Mass is considering such a thing? Does anyone know how I can get in touch with them to help?

Filesharing?

annon 10.Oct.2004 19:45

It's sad that I even have to talk and read about ways of protecting freedom, from the guys who are always telling us TO protect freedom which they are clearly seeking to destroy?

It's a futile effort because if you reverse the situation and try to shutdown mainstream media, there are enough copies of opinion and adgenda (why is the news always the same?) floating around to ensure that those mainstream agendas and opinions remain withstanding. I agree with a comment eariler on in this thread, that any such action only serves to make the Indymedia effort stronger and more organised.

In terms of backing up site content and distributing it, assuming that a content dump could be made useful and availble in HTML only format, without server code, for example by using a spidering tool, the content could be compressed into a .zip or .tar.gz file. This file could be encyrpted, if needs be using PGP with public keys made availble and it could be hosted on a serverless distribution technology. Each node in the file sharing network would be distributing the file and when a user has a full download they could unencrypt with the key and extract the "site-dump" to their local hard drive and browse the site from their own local filesystem, the actual site may need to be slimed down to maintain a small enough download size, this could hapen with text only pages and RSS feeds or simple pages with no content which could be styled with a local stylesheet :) Distributors could be advised to leave the filesharing software running overnight so as not to reduce day time usage of their connections (most music downloads happen while the people downloading are sleeping). Even using MSN Messenger to file share could be an option here!

The Intellecutal Property Rights of any content management system in terms of code is protected because the actual server code isn't being distributed just the content (HTML) which it generates (and if anyone disagrees with that, then they shouldn't be running a website). Spidering a site with a tool such as HTtrack would allow the site to run on a users local computer without any specific server software running, all that would be needed is a web browser, kind of how early computer magazines distributed their electronic editorials on CD ROM in HTML Format, these days it's in Flash or PDF format! Replace CD-ROM with Filesharing and hey presto, distribution, without server costs. It's an approach which helped create the World Wide Web, mirroring content in various places!!

The only downfall I see with this file sharing of site-dumps are middle man attacks where an FBI dude pretends to be a real indymedia reader and changes content rolls-up a different and censored version and then distributes that, but you get that risk with downloading using file sharing anyway :)

More Coverage

@ 10.Oct.2004 22:07

Article in French:
 http://www.silicon.fr/click.asp?id=6793

Translation of above article into English:
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/10/299486.shtml

More Clues Point To Italy's Role In IMC Censorship

@ 10.Oct.2004 23:37

Article (in Italian):
 http://punto-informatico.it/p.asp?i=49959

A (poor) translation into English of the above article:
 http://216.239.39.104/translate_c?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&langpair=it%7Cen&u=http://punto-informatico.it/p.asp%3Fi%3D49959&prev=/language_tools

Indymedia and the FBI

chrisjohn316 11.Oct.2004 00:42

Dear Indymedia,

Look at this as an opportunity to review and implement redundancy security protocols so that the unethical and immoral acts of those in power are thwarted. Make Indymedia more adaptive and resistant to attack. Indymedia provide an essential service in a world where the large medica outlets are nothing more than propaganda tools of vested interests. This attack on Indymedia is an attack on freedom of speech, plain and simple.

Mr Chris von Deutschburg
www.chrisjohn316.com
Melbourne, Australia
Monday 11 October 2004

The FBI can kiss my Aussie arse! We all know they are thieving bastards, having stolen victims property from the piles at the WTC post 911.

Breaking the Corporate Media Blackout

@ 11.Oct.2004 01:39

The corporate media blackout on this story may be breaking.

The AP may have (finally) picked up this story. Here is a report from WOAI in San Antonio:
 http://www.woai.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=F406EF7A-15E6-405D-8954-CB2686A7D82A

A little coverage now in USA Today:
 http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2004-10-09-indymedia_x.htm

Here is a more recent article from AFP:
 http://australianit.news.com.au/articles/0,7204,11037236%5e15306%5e%5enbv%5e,00.html

Server theft is on the radar of the WEB HOST INDUSTRY REVIEW:
 http://thewhir.com/marketwatch/aut100804.cfm

And of course, some coverage in the UK Guardian:
 http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,1324244,00.html

More Details On Who Confiscated IMCs Servers

@ 11.Oct.2004 04:59

Translation of Spanish news article:
 http://www.europapress.es/europa2003/noticia.aspx?cod=20041009185210&tabID=1&ch=69

Suiza/Italia/EEUU.- The Swiss Justice investigates the publication of personal data on Indymedia

GENEVA, 9 Oct. (EUROPE PRESS) -

The attorney general of Geneva, Daniel Zappelli, announced today to have opened a judicial investigation after two police inspectors of the Swiss city accused Nantes Indymedia of the publication of their photos and addresses and the name of one of them in the French version of the Indymedia news web site.

"I opened an investigation but I will not say anything more", declared today Zappelli. The two inspectors of Geneva formed part of the G8 cell, responsible for the investigations on the incidents occurred in Geneva during the summit of the Group of the Eight in Evián, in the franco-Swiss border, in 2003.

According to the Swiss newspaper 'The Geneva Tribune' in their Thursday edition, the police claimed anonymous threats against them constituted a breach of the law.

The French web site Indymedia-Nantes published the photos of the two inspectors in the middle of September, accompanied by calls to violence. According to 'The Geneva Tribune', the police of that city requested the FBI (American Federal Police) insist on the removal of the photos.

According to the Swiss newspaper, Indymedia-Nantes withdrew the photos and the article that accompanied them September 22, to be informed that the FBI had visited al American ISP Rackspace, used by Indymedia.

Two days later, the photos reappeared, but the faces of the inspectors had been blanked out at the request of police. Though the faces changed, the texts continued.

Friday, an FBI spokesman indicated that the operation against the network's ISP to seize the contested information was carried out by the American Department of Justice at the request of Italy and Switzerland.

The company Rackspace confirmed in a press release it was involved in an "investigation that did not originate in the U.S." "This investigation was carried out in the framework of the Mutual Judicial Aid (MLAT), by which the participating countries assist "in investigations on international terrorism, abductions and money laundering", claimed Rackspace.

In Italy, various media confirmed that access to Indymedia's news network was shut down following the raid by the FBI on its British and American ISPs.

Distributed

Max 11.Oct.2004 09:50

Distributed files can be marked in a unique way, so that manipulated files can be detected

Stop Being Stupid

Pam 11.Oct.2004 13:38

This is exactly the kind of problems that sites concerned with Satellite signals had. Many were closed down by US extraterritorial actions.

The servers were taken, membership lists grabbed, lawsuits files.

The solution for those who wished to continue was to relocate their servers to countries who did not comply with this kind of illegal search and seizure.

Many are now hosted in China.

Move your sites out of Western countries to those who will protect your privacy.

The forest and the Rain

Max 11.Oct.2004 15:10

There were a man, cought in a forest by a heavy rain, who thought that, after the tree he took as a shelter would get drenched, he could just change the tree... well you guess how it ended.

Never tell a small lie

Ben Preven 11.Oct.2004 20:38

Make it so big and rediculous that it defies any test of reason. The public must either believe or not. Subject the lie to any test of reason and failure could sway your believers.

The FBI states that it was not their operation but an action under treaty on behalf of Italy or Switzerland (they're not sure which?). These nations have the same rights under treaty as the USA. What was there reason for going to the FBI so that they in turn would apply to the UK to sieze the servers. Are we to believe that the phone lines between Italy and England were not operational? The position of the FBI defies any attempt at rationalisation.

indymedia keeps getting bigger and better

john asscroft 12.Oct.2004 04:12

and there is nothing that the fbi can do about it!!!!

 http://sf.indymedia.org/beta_site.html

Why???

Rat1 12.Oct.2004 17:57

I think the best thing to do is to avoid the panic and hype about free press and all that (since when has the free press been free anyway?) and we should all start to put our heads together and establish why. First point is no authority action happens for spurious or vague reasons; it is all planned precisely and for precise reasons. It does not make any sense for the authorities to do this without a very good reason, this point is paramount to finding out why as it was correctly pointed out above the net effect will be detrimental to the authorities from an image and publicity point of view. So you can safely rule out weak reasons like it was intimidation, political and all of that rubbish.

So what do we know for sure so far, the biggest lead in my opinion is that the order originated from Italian/Swiss authorities? This is interesting because Switzerland is a unique place regarding its banking industry, its banks are riddled with corruption of the BCCI sort but much much bigger. A lot of dodgy stuff has been revealed to do with the Swiss bank accounts, dictators and warmongers in general, I mean who issues the back handers. So this is the sort of thing that is likely to cause such a sledgehammer response, if someone had inadvertently put some pictures or some information on to one of these servers that was of a highly sensitive nature the authorities could not admit to it but they would have to swipe the whole lot. Among the megabytes of data I suspect there is something that someone really does not want to see the light of day. If this is correct I predict the servers will either eventually be 'lost', 'damaged', never returned or with missing drives and blank disks. They have to destroy the whole lot in this scenario to conceal the bit that they cannot reveal.

So my suggestion is to establish if there is anything that could be data that could be compromising someone or some important undercover operation. Any ideas what it could be?

What's goin' on in Italy (well, a bit of)

Max 13.Oct.2004 17:46

I'm italian, and while writing I'm trying to gather clues about this matter that could fit and possibly explain what happened. Different things comes out in my mind. First: what ITA and CH have or had to share in the recent past? The first thing is the fact that our prime minister is involved in prosecution about different crimes he made while a businessman (that he still is), tied to the hyper corrupted socialist party of Bettino Craxi (dead in 2000). For this reasons, as one of the first act as he became prime minister, he made some "ad hoc" laws to impeach important evidences and witness of his guilt, right coming from switzerland. The second thing is a ridiculus story about a "mission" he put forth of some of his man to retreive evidences of a involvement of some of the center-left party leaders (Romano Prodi, Lamberto Dini and Carlo Azelio Ciampi among them) in the so-called Telecom-Serbia affair, then revealed as a fake (though I believe them as much corrupted as our prime minister). The mission ended out with the arrest of some poor idiots (Igor Marini and Antonio Volpe, involved with the italian intelligence, above all), cought with some important papers in the hands IN SWITZERLAND. The third thing that comes in my mind is a recent dramatic black-out we had in September 2003 that interested the WHOLE Italy except Sardinia. In that case, the blame was given to a broken cable in Switzerland. Away from ITA-CH connections, a point were the italian government is much sensible is the "Genoa affair", were a carnage has been made by the police, and many of them are now in serious danger of jail. Small fishes, of course, when you think that the whole operation has been leaded by our vice-prime minister, Gianfranco Fini, of the italian fascist party, to flush away the growing wave of the no-global insurgence. These are some clues, maybe someone else can go deeper than me.

Thank you great help for my research

Paul von Diehl 04.May.2011 20:27

Thank you for this articel. For my work I have to search for text like this. It´s great to find data to this issue from older dates too.

Nice Day
Paul von Diehl