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Indymedia Server Seized By UK Police, Again

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posted on Jan, 26 2009 @ 08:46 AM

Indymedia Server Seized By UK Police, Again

"On 22 January 2009, Kent Police seized an Indymedia server hosted by Manchester-based colocation facility UK Grid and run by the alternative news platform Indymedia UK. The server was taken in relation to comments on an article regarding the convictions in the recent Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) trial. Seven activists were sentenced to a total of 50 years in prison."
The complete story is worth reading; timbrown continues:
"I'm posting this as a concerned UK administrator who hosts a number of sites. The message appears to be clear: the UK establishment does not want political content, legitimate or otherwise, hosted from these shores. The message has been noted, however free speech must be supported even where it may not be agreeable."
(visit the link for the full news article)

Related News Links:

posted on Jan, 26 2009 @ 08:46 AM
This concerns me greatly. The confiscation of servers for alleged comments made is a gross violation of free speech and a worrying trend for the United Kingdom, which is already accused by many of heading toward a 'big brother' society. While I don't agree with the violence used by the protesters, and while the comments may be extreme, surely the forum for these thoughts must remain available.

Free speech is only free if it continues to apply to speech we oppose.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Jan, 26 2009 @ 09:12 AM
Normally, it would concern me, but it's part indymedias fault too. They removed the offending post (Personal details), but they have a policy of not storing IP addresses, which is probably illegal under UK data retention law, therefore the only way for the police to get the offenders details will be a complex forensic analysis of the server.

posted on Jan, 26 2009 @ 09:27 AM
oh dear, once again PTB attempt to smash the voice of the people because 'there can be only one' as they say in highlander. its almost comical that whatever form of protest happens the police and government will go to any length to stop it - We've had MP's call out the police agent provocaturs in the anti-war march, it's been proven that they lied about the 'violence' at the kingsnorth coal fired power station rally and thus had no reason to use such heavy handed tactics (the reported police injurys turned out to be bee stings and sun stroke) and a million other things.

The comical thing is most of these people in the protest movement have been shouting about the coming collapse of the overly opulent west for quiet some time, hehe now it seems we knew more than all the bankers!

If you try to suppress something as powerful as logic or the truth it will explode in your face! meh, shame they'll probably use the 'red lists' to choose who goes 'over the top' in the war they'll cook up to deal with the credit crisis.

posted on Jan, 26 2009 @ 09:35 AM
Ok, this is another very worrying development.

Firstly, just to get this out of the way, while I deplore animal testing, IF the SHAC people did what they're convicted of having done, I have no time for them, either. Paedophile smears?

No, you make your case and you keep making it until people listen. You don't resort to that kind of vile stuff.

However, the meat of the story is that the Indymedia server was seized simply because people were commenting on the trial.

So now it's illegal to comment on the trial? Ongoing trials are, if memory serves, sub judice, so you're not supposed to comment on them until they're finished. So if the trial was still going on when the comments were made, the police are technically correct.

However, in a world of finite resources... you'd think they have better things to do than target activists.

But... of course, we know that money rules and the pharmaceutical companies don't want any interference from citizens who might disagree with their methods.

posted on Jan, 26 2009 @ 09:59 AM
Further details are available on this story...

So it starts out reasonably enough...

...Kent Police had emailed Indymedia UK, an independent online news platform, requesting that personal information about Justice Neil Butterfield, the trial judge, be removed from the Indymedia website and that details of the poster be retained.

Personally, though many judges may be objectionable human beings, publishing their personal details is not a good idea.

Indymedia UK volunteers had already removed the information in line with the projects own privacy policy. Indymedia UK was unable to comply with Kent Police's request to retain data relating to poster. As an open publishing project, Indymedia UK has set up Apache to not log IP addresses.

So Indymedia had already done what they could, but their site is set up to protect the anonymity of posters. Hmm. Not too sure about that. It's altrutistic and everything, but it leaves the site open to abuse - not just from people who think it's ok to smear someone as a paedophile for conducting animal testing, but also from the security services themselves.

Still, their call, and I guess on balance I applaud them for it.

Furthermore, the Police had been informed that the server in question was a mirror server and therefore not the machine that the comments were posted to. Nevertheless, Police seized the machine which was handed over by the management of UK Grid. No warrant was shown.

Ok, that makes it an illegal seizure. Of course, the damage is done now and as the following paragraph makes clear, it was basically a fishing expedition - and whatever the information the police now have will be impossible to their database.

Dr. Lee Salter, a senior lecturer in journalism at the University of the West of England, told Indymedia "Journalistic material is protected by law, and the police should not gather more information than is relevant for their investigation — by seizing this server they are not only getting information on Indymedia but also on wholly unrelated groups. The police should know that Indymedia does not hold personal information on its participants, so it is a concern is that the police are collecting random information on participants".

So, to sum up: it's an illegas seizure on a flimsy pretext which nets the police information on unrelated activities.

It's also part of a far wider international network of co-operation between various law enforcement agencies including the FBI:

daveschroeder writes

"According to this article and AFP report, the request to seize Indymedia servers hosted by a U.S. company in the UK (covered in this previous slashdot story) originated from government agencies in Italy and Switzerland, not the United States. Because Indymedia's hosting company,, is a U.S. company, the FBI coordinated the request and accompanied UK Metropolitan Police on the seizure under the auspices of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), an international legal treaty, but, according to an FBI spokesman, 'It is not an FBI operation. Through [MLAT], the subpoena was on behalf of a third country.'"

Read on below for more.

ARE there any free countries out there?

[edit on 26-1-2009 by rich23]

posted on Jan, 26 2009 @ 06:15 PM
If they are supposedly monitoring everything with echlelon or whatever the latest catchy program might be, why in the hell do they need to collect the stupid servers? Seems to me a tad bit fascist to just seize people's property like a thief in the night?

posted on Jan, 26 2009 @ 08:27 PM
reply to post by bubbabuddha

Not everyone gets to see Echelon monitoring results. The police who took the server are unlikely to be the beneficiaries of Echelon intel except on a strictly need-to-know basis, and therefore would want to get information however they can.

posted on Jan, 26 2009 @ 09:05 PM
reply to post by rich23

This is not entirely a bad thing.

Did you notice the Isle of Tongo in the Olympics last year? It was there first time in the Olympics because never before could they afford to field a team. What was it that changed?

The domain suffix for the Isle of Tongo is ".to" and they have made millions selling domain names.

You will begin to see more countries like the Principality of Sealand which provide secure server hosting services. This could mean a tech boom for small, savvy countries that attempt to cash in.

posted on Jan, 27 2009 @ 01:38 AM
Wow i started this thread yesterday.

Is Free Speech Dying?

I am so worried about free speech in the UK, it seems to really be dying, it used to be quite slow but now that people just don't care about or see the importance of free speech the government is going full on at abolishing it. What was once a basic right is now a privilege.

posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 08:33 PM

Originally posted by cogburn

This is not entirely a bad thing.

You will begin to see more countries like the Principality of Sealand which provide secure server hosting services. This could mean a tech boom for small, savvy countries that attempt to cash in.

I didn't watch the Olympics so I'm glad of the information. I did hear about something similar with the Pacific island of Tuvalu (sounds like something from Shooting Stars!) which got ".tv".

And this was all predicted by the rather wonderful cyberpunk Bruce Sterling. Cue a struggle for privacy between... oh, hell, whoever. I think he may have coined the word "dataclave" but I might be imaginatively reinterpreting vague memories...

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