David says, “This is absolutely frightening. There is a mounting global protest.”
Thursday morning, US authorities issued a federal order to Rackspace
ordering them to hand over Indymedia web servers to the requesting agency.
Rackspace, which provides hosting services for more that 20 Indymedia sites at
its London facility, complied and turned over the requested servers, effectively
removing those sites from the internet.
Since the subpoena was issued to Rackspace and not to Indymedia, the reasons
for this action are still unknown to Indymedia. Talking to Indymedia volunteers,
Rackspace stated that “they cannot provide Indymedia with any information
regarding the order.” ISPs have received gag orders in similar situations which
prevent them from updating the concerned parties on what is happening.
It is unclear to Indymedia how and why a server that is outside the US
jurisdiction can be seized by US authorities.
At the same time an additional server was taken down at Rackspace which provided
streaming radio to several radio stations, BLAG (linux distro), and a handful of
The last few months have seen numerous attacks on independent media by the US
Federal Government. In August the Secret Service used a subpoena in an attempt
to disrupt the NYC IMC before the RNC by trying to get IP logs from an ISP in
the US and the Netherlands. Last month the FCC shut down community radio
stations around the US. Two weeks ago the FBI requested that Indymedia takes
down a post on the Nantes IMC that had a photo of some undercover Swiss police
and IMC volunteers in Seattle were visited by the FBI on the same issue. On the
other hand, Indymedia and other independent media organisations were successfull
with their victories for example against Diebold and the Patroit Act. Today
however, the US authorities shut down IMCs around the world.
The list of affected local media collectives includes 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.
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