Feeds

Legal row after police seize Bristol Indymedia server

History repeating

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Police seized a server used by Indymedia, the independent newsgathering collective, from the Bristol home of a member of the group after issuing a search warrant on Monday. The raid is the second time within the last year that an Indymedia server has been seized in the UK.

Officers also took the unnamed Bristol collective member in for questioning, and seized a PC, in an incident that has already provoked a huge row. The action happened despite the intervention on Indymedia's behalf by justice group Liberty whose lawyers advised police that the server was "considered an item of journalistic equipment and so subject to special provision under the law". Police had sought access to the server in order to gain access to logs about a posting related to an attack on a freight train that caused a reported £100,000 in damage.

On or around 17 June an anonymous person posted on the Bristol Indymedia newswire about an 'action' in which a freight train carrying new cars was reportedly attacked in a protest about cars and climate change in the run up to next week's G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland. Bristol Indymedia volunteers hid the post from their main newswire within a day because it breached editorial policy. The raid followed unsuccessful police attempts to get Indymedia to hand over the server voluntarily so they could examine logs for evidence.

Bristol Indymedia explained its stance in a posting: "As part of our policy, we will not make non-public information we hold publicly available. We do not permanently store IP addresses. We do not intend to voluntarily hand over information to the police as they have requested, and have informed them of this," it said.

In October 2004, a pair of UK servers used by Indymedia were seized a week before the European Social Forum. The servers were taken from the London offices of hosting firm Rackspace after the latter was served with a controversial US warrant. The FBI apparently acting under a US-UK treaty on behalf of Switzerland and/or Italy to seize the hardware, which was subsequently returned. Swiss authorities reportedly said the data could help its investigation of Indymedia's coverage of the 2003 G8 in Evian but the server was also thought to include correspondence with lawyers involved in the case against Genoa police related to a 2001 G8 summit in the city.

That action resulted in many Indymedia sites becoming temporarily unavailable. The latest raid has left Bristol Indymedia's web site offline with surfers redirected to the main Indymedia UK web site through which a protest against the police action is been organised. ®

Related stories

Feds seize Indymedia servers
Home Office in frame over FBI's London server seizures
Servers seized by FBI returned - but who wanted what?
Indymedia seizures: a trawl for Genoa G8 trial cover-up?
Indymedia: the tale of the servers 'nobody' seized
We seize servers, you can't complain - US gov

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.