Sunday, July 03, 2005


Double Standards and Vigilantism

I previously reported on Bristol Indymedia's outrage at Police requests for them to release the IP address and details of a person who had allegedly dropped rocks onto moving trains.

Via IndmediaIrelandWatch comes this disturbing report on the use by Indymedia Cyprus of the same sort of details.

Indymedia Cyprus was recently hacked and is currently down. A post on Ireland Indymedia states:
The source of this particular attack has been traced to an assemblage of right wing organizations, more specifically to person who is affiliated with those organizations, which have attacked indymedia facilities in the past.

One of them is :
The suspect is known to us, including name, address, appearance, information on family members, and physical location from where the attack took place. The facility that was used for launching this cracker/hacker attack is a Community College in Plano, Texas, USA. The administrators of the internet services at the College have been notified and are looking into the matter - so far, it looks as if they are concerned about this event, because besides politics, it is a criminal act of serious legal consequence.

This attack against IndyMedia opened up again the endless debate as to whether it was correct or ethical that our defenders traced and discovered the intruder, and as to whether it is desirable or politically justifiable to request the FBI's help to prosecute the crime and protect us from future attacks.
I'm unsure what the problem here is. If a crime is committed, you notify law-enforcement. Apparently, that's debatable in some circles. There is of course a name for them - vigilantes. It continues:
Ultimately, of course, regardess of what the outcome of the debates will be, either law enforcement will do their job to protect our right to freedom of expression, as it is their highest and primary duty to uphold the US Constitution, or our own forces will deliver some form of Peoples' Justice by any means necessary.
Any means necessary? Why do images of lynch mobs come to mind?
Those within and outside IndyMedia debating the issues, may not be aware of the depth of this reality, but whether they come up with an answer or not might become irrelevant: self defense is a part of nature.
And what is this "self defense"? I would have assumed an effective firewall, however apparently they have other ideas
We would prefer that those who are currently working within the system of law enforcement deal with it. Otherwise, this opens up the path (and the necessity of ) a Citizens' Arrest, and the question of what kind of Court will hear this case, whether one in Texas or one in the underground.
Petros Evdokas
volunteer, Cyprus IndyMedia
I shudder to think of what this "underground court" consists of. I suspect Kangaroo Court would be a beter moniker.

IndymediaIrelandWatch summed it up:
Contrast this twisted logic with the fudging over "reported" (i.e., publicized) terrorism against a train that led to the seizure of Indymedia Bristol's server by the British police, and the huffing and puffing about not disclosing IP addresses in a legal effort to track down the perpetator(s) of this er, "contextualized" criminality.
This highlights two issues. Firstly, the sheer hypocricy of an organization which encourages (or at least turns a blind eye to) real vandalism and damage of property, yet bemoans when the same happens to its own assets. Secondly, and more worryingly, the not-so-thinly veiled threat of violence (sorry, self-defence) and flagrant belief the group can operate outside the law. For what I must assume is a group of anarchists, they just strike me as a bunch of crybabies.

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