Monday, August 08, 2005


Indy Media Paranoid? Never!

Via Instapundit comes news that the 'confiscation' of Indymedia's server (which got them into an awful tizzy a while ago) may not have been all it seemed.
In October 2004, a federal prosecutor sent a subpoena to Rackspace Managed Hosting of San Antonio, Texas, as part of an investigation underway in Italy into an attempted murder. Under a mutual legal assistance treaty, the U.S. government is required to help other nations secure evidence in certain criminal cases.

The newly disclosed subpoena, which has been partially redacted, asks only for specific "log files."
as opposed to the whole server or hard drives. C|Net has more:
Now that the documents have been unsealed by a federal judge in Texas, though, Rackspace is backpedalling. "A Rackspace employee mistakenly used the word 'hardware' to describe the contents of a federal order," company spokeswoman Annalie Drusch said in an e-mail message to CNET on Tuesday.

Drusch's e-mail also said: "Rackspace employees searched for the specific information requested in the subpoena but were unable to locate this information prior to the strict delivery deadline imposed by the FBI. In order to comply with the mandated deadline, Rackspace delivered copied drives to the FBI. Shortly thereafter, Rackspace succeeded in isolating and extracting the relevant files responsive to the subpoena and immediately asked that the drives be returned by the FBI. The FBI returned the drives, and it was our understanding that at no time had they been reviewed by the FBI. The relevant files were then delivered to the FBI."

Kurt Opsahl, an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says that Rackspace handed over far more than was legally necessary. EFF is representing the Indymedia collective and won the release of the secret court documents.

"It would be like getting a subpoena for one document in a warehouse of documents--and instead of turning over that document, they turned over the entire warehouse," Opsahl said.
As Scott observes however Indy Media, kicking up a terrible fuss at the time, had a host which was too stupid to figure out what the subpoena asked for. Fortunately, their enemy, the evil corporate media, in this case C|Net did it for them. It seems now, the argument is that Rackspace bowed to Government pressure (or were intimidated, coerced, sold-out etc. etc.) rather than simply having screwed up. None of this of course has any bearing on the content of the Indymedia servers (confiscated or not), which remain despicable.

Over on Indymedia, comments are already insisting it was illegal Government activity. The article itself advises:
A more details and analysis [sic] will follow shortly...
Presumably after they have read the C|Net report and Slashdot discussion. Hopefully it will come with a more good English writing..

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