FBI seize Indymedia for Italian Judge?15 Oct 2004 00:27 GMT
On Wednesday, October 13th, Indymedia's seized hardware was mysteriously returned in the same way it disappeared -- without any information provided as to who took it or why, and on whose orders. An employee at Rackspace, the U.S.-based web hosting company that handed over Indymedia's disks to the U.S. government on 7 October, emailed an Indymedia volunteer to say that the disks were returned and that "the court order is being complied with... I will pass along any more information that becomes available and that I am allowed to."
Despite the return of the hardware many questions remain.
"The fact that the authorities' actions are shrouded in mystery leaves Indymedia in the Kafkaesque position of not knowing the identity of its accusers or the nature of their claim," says David Dadge, editor for the International Press Institute.
Indymedia volunteers are now calling for supporters to sign a solidarity declaration at http://solidarity.indymedia.org.uk/ denouncing the hard drive seizure as an unacceptable attack on press freedom, freedom of expression, and privacy. They are demanding a full disclosure of the names of organizations and individuals involved in the seizure, a copy of the court order, and an independent investigation into any violations of due process.
"We have serious concerns about the use of international co-operation frameworks to obscure legal process, undermine civil liberties, and erode communication rights," said an Indymedia volunteer.
Numerous organizations have already expressed their solidarity with Indymedia. "I would say that this is an indication of the successfulness of the Indymedia network," says Peter Phillips, Ph.D., director of Project Censored. "Freedom of information is a radical idea when applied in a fair manner, and radical ideas will always be suppressed by the transnational corporate elites whenever possible."
For more information, visit Indymedia, email press -at- indymedia.org