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