Anna on Fri, 23 Jan 2009 22:34:40 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> Police Seize UK Indymedia Server (Again)

Indymedia UK:

Police Seize UK Indymedia Server (Again), 23.01.2009 00:09

On 22 January 2009 an Indymedia server was seized by the Police in
Manchester. This was probably related to postings about the recent Stop
Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) trial.

Kent Police had e-mailed imc-uk-contact in the morning requesting that
personal information about the judge in the SHAC trial be removed from
the site. However this information had already been quickly removed in
line with IMC UK policy. The e-mail also requested information relating
to the poster be retained. Indymedia as an open posting news service
does not log such information about its sources.

The machine was handed to the Police by the management of UK Grid, a
Manchester based colocation facility, without a warrant being shown. It
is believed that a warrant for this one server may exist and have been
issued by a Chief Inspector. As the server was a mirror of the site, it
can be concluded that the validity of the seizure wasn't checked, and
the police attacked Indymedia infrastructure in the UK.

Other sites that have been affected as a result of this seizure include
London Indymedia, the global Indymedia documentation project server, la
Soja Mata -- an anti-GM soya campaign focusing on South American
development, Transition Sheffield and a Canadian campaign against the
2010 olympics.

[For links in the text see]




An Indymedia server was seized by police in Manchester yesterday (22nd).
This comes after somebody had posted the address of the judge in the
SHAC trial on Indymedia, leading to Kent Police requesting that the
relevant posts be removed, and the IP address of their author be
divulged (eg the unique number given to each internet connection, which
can be used to trace the user). The posts had already been pulled, in
line with IMC UK policy protecting privacy, but because Indymedia don't
log the IP addresses of people publishing on it, they couldn't help
police with their enquiries.

Indymedia is one of the few websites in the land of blogs and open
posting that doesn't log IP addresses, which puts it in contravention of
the 2006 EU Directive about the retention of data, obliging sites to log
who's visiting and posting. Nearly all other sites do retain this data --
something to think about when you blaze away in the comments section on
sites by blogspot, wordpress, facebook and nearly all others.

The police gained a warrant to take this one server, presumably to sift
through it to find IP addresses, but Indymedia already knew the police
wouldn't find what they're looking for as they watched it go out the
door. This EU Directive has never been tested in Britain, and it remains
to be seen if this will be the first time. But it would be a major
own-goal for the police to do so considering the publicity it would
generate for Indymedia.

The seizure hasn't affected the running of Indymedia as the server was
one of several mirrors. It's just an inconvenience and has been taken as
a general attempt by police to attack IMC infrastructure. Several sites
were temporarily affected including London Indy, and sites for an
anti-GM group plus a Canadian campaign against the 2010 Olympics.

Indymedia continues to be a place to publish and read news which
protects your online privacy -- visit


The Register

Police seize Indymedia server (again)
Linked to animal rights extremism case?

Kent Police yesterday seized a server owned by Manchester-based hosting
firm UK Grid and rented by the independent news collective Indymedia UK.

In a statement, the force said: "Kent Police has seized computer
equipment from a company in Manchester. The company are fully
co-operating as Kent Police continues with an ongoing investigation."

A spokeswoman said she was unable to provide further details "because of
the sensitivity of the investigation", but said no arrests have been
made. According to Indymedia, Kent Police had a warrant.

In its posting on the raid, Indymedia
( said it believed
the server was taken in relation to postings on the the recent
conviction of UK animal rights extremists. The leaders of Stop
Huntingdon Animal Cruelty were handed prison sentences
for blackmail on Wednesday.

Indymedia said Kent Police emailed on Thursday morning asking that a
posting revealing personal information of Mr Justice Neil Butterfield,
the trial judge, be removed. The collective wrote that it had already
removed the information in line with its policies, and that it was
unable to comply with Kent Police's request for details of the poster
because it does not keep logs.

The seizure did not affect the main Indymedia site, though a few related
pages were briefly offline.

UK Grid declined to comment.

Indymedia serves as a hub for activist groups on a wide range of issues.
In 2004 the FBI confiscated its servers in London
( in
investigations related to G8 protests Italy and Switzerland.

In 2005 UK police seized another Indymedia server in Bristol
again thought to be related to G8 protests. ®

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime>  is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info:
#  archive: contact: