Monday, May 22, 2006


What's Happening in LA?

I received the following email:
LA Indymedia is blocking me from commenting. Maybe it was something I said, or they cannot stand to face the truth, but for a few months, I keep getting an error, after attempting to post a comment - "Due to High Traffic, Spam or A DB Error Publishing Has Been Disabled At This Time"
Can anybody shed some light?

Indymedias claim that everything's anonymous, that they don't keep logs of who visit their sites, but as you can see they have the ability to individually block peoples internet address. How can they do that if they don't keep logs, hmmmmm?

There's a rumor that SF not only keeps logs but also gives them to the Feds, ever since the cop killer posted his confession there, and nessie has enough heat as it is because of a felony record.

Post at any indymedia at your peril.
At IndyBay you KNEW when you were autoblocked. When you tried to comment, the page to do so on was blank. I've posted a bit of pro-Israel stuff and never had a problem.

From what I understand websites are not allowed to look at your ip without a subpoena, I'm not sure if this includes logging.
“From what I understand websites are not allowed to look at your ip without a subpoena, I'm not sure if this includes logging.”

Is that true? I can see who comes to my blog everyday, and it gives me the IP’s. I didn’t think it was unethical, and I rarely look at the specific IP. What does looking up an IP entail?
From what I understand websites are not allowed to look at your ip without a subpoena, I'm not sure if this includes logging.

It's easy enough to see your address, as you can see from this image link (below). Paste it in the address bar. Don't be alarmed. I can't see your address. It only shows to whoever accesses that image on "Danasoft's" server. It's not mine. It's just to show that a site host can see his/her traffic.

You'd better believe that the indymedia is lying when they say they don't know who you are. They have to know in order to at least block you and not everyone else, or all in a particular region, etc.
Ok, here’s the inside scoop on Indymedia and IP’s, and I’m speaking as someone who has a long background with several Indymedia collectives.

All web servers (Indymedia and otherwise) have the ability to record IP information of every visitor, and most of the scripts used to backend Indymedia sites (Active, Dada, etc.) can work with IP data for things like blocking access, etc.

But: the vast majority of Indymedia sites purge their IP logs very regularly (as in daily, if not more often). So, it’s enough for tech and editorial team volunteers to be able to track an abusive IP site that might be spamming the site (or maybe editors use the knowledge for broader censorship that is deeply counter to the original vision of Indymedia, it’s happened all too often). However with the data deleted daily, it’s not readily available for to be seized or subpoena.

In case you’re curious, yes Indymedia collectives get asked for IP data by litigants, police, etc. The regular and systematic purging of IP data means they have a simple response: we can’t provide it because we don’t have it.

So yes: the anonymity is limited. Editors can often identify and ban the IP address of a user if they’re quick about it. But no, the information isn’t being permanently collected and it’d be tough to get subpoenaed or seized, despite efforts to do just that.

All that said, remember that Indymedia isn't a global, single organization. It's a loose collection of very autonomous local collectives. Policies and tech capabilities around IP addresses and security is going to vary.
Hmm...well that's frightening.
Charismatic megafaun, why would you say that "that's frightening?"

You clearly misunderstand the situation.

Again, of all the places you might choose to visit and post to on the internet, Indymedia is one of the few places that makes an open policy and diligent practice of quickly purging its IP records.

Blogger here, for example, has no such policy. Again, if you visit a website, any website, that site is recording your IP address. If you're concerned about privacy, what you'd like is more sites like the majority of Indymedia collectives, where the admins purge their logs routinely.
Alright. Let's dispense with the charade shall we?

The person who sent you the email is most likely an editor referred to derisively as 'toady'. This infantile creature is one helluva sick puppy. He's resorted to heavy handed censorship and extensive autoblocking of "Zionist" IP addresses at his (what an ever growing body of Indymedia users have come to agree is now a) cesspit.

That, however didn't sate his thirst for stifling opposition to hardcore rabid anti-Zionist dogma. He then pursued some of the very same posters he had gagged at his own site over to LA-IMC where they had found refuge. He's forged Zionists, spammed multiple copies of his propaganda screeds under known "Zionist" nyms and names, spammed the site with some of the most disgusting hard porn known to man to mock the "Zionists" and relentlessly abused them -- all in the hope he'd force the "Zionists" to run for their sanity so that he could go after them and give them hell in yet another IMC -- until one "Zionist" fought fire with fire to try and have his wings clipped.

Evidently the attempt to rid the site of his presence bore fruit for one day on which he was autoblocked by LA-IMC. Then he had the unmitigated gall to proceed and email you in complaint about being autoblocked! Does he take the cake for sheer temerity or what?

Anyway, his behavior has improved somewhat since the day he was left out. The editorial collective in LA-IMC isn't prepared just yet to let him trash their site or decide for them who gets to post in *their* sandbox. So for the meantime he's learned a lesson.
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