Part of AhimsaOverview

add new press releases on top

11 Oct: IMC Press Release 3 | 09 Oct: IMC Press Release 2 | 07 Oct: IMC Press Release 1 |

Many local imc's have their own AhimsaLocalPressReleases in addition to the main english langauge version. Translations of the below press releases into other languages are partially available at as well as on the websites of the various IMCs. Translations of the latest press release #4 are available at

IMC Press Release No 6

[draft2 - can this be posted on the global site?]

Indymedia asks: "Who took our servers?"

Two weeks after the hard drives of two Indymedia servers were seized from the London office of a US-owned web hosting company called Rackspace, Caroline Flint, UK Home Office Under-Secretary, answered parlamentarian questions by stating that "no UK law enforcement agencies were involved." (1) The seizure shut down around 20 Indymedia websites, an internet radio station, and other projects. The servers were returned a week later because "the court order had been complied with", but still no information is available to Indymedia as to who seized them and who now might have copies of all the public and personal information they contained.

An FBI spokesperson originally suggested to Agence France-Presse that the FBI issued a subpoena to Rackspace, but that it was "on behalf of a third country." Later he denied that the FBI had any involvement whatsoever. (2)

A few days after the seizure, a senior federal prosecutor for Geneva, Switzerland, also confirmed that she had opened a criminal investigation of Indymedia. - But that she had not asked for the servers to be seized.

A Italian judge from Bologna confirmed that she issued a request to U.S. authorities for the server's IP logs concerning certain posts published on Italy Indymedia. - But she says that she did not request the seizure of the server hardware, either.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), who is representing the interests of Indymedia, has contacted all the likely suspects in the U.S. - including the FBI, the State Department, and the Federal District Court in Texas - that could have issued the subpoena referenced in Rackspace's public October 8 statement concerning the Indymedia server. But none of them did claim responsibility for the seizure.

"Were our servers abducted by aliens?", asks Clara, an Indymedia volunteer from the Netherlands. "Two weeks have passed and we are no step closer to knowing who took our servers, why, or even on which continent they were."

The only thing that is known is what Rackspace volunteered in their statement: that they received a court order in the U.S. Efforts are now underway by the Electronic Frontier Foundation to unseal that court order.

Meanwhile, the international outcry continues. 5,000 individuals have signed on to Indymedia's solidarity declaration (, and numerous others continue to contact Indymedia offering their support to help insure that secret court orders and mysterious government agencies don't shut down Indymedia's websites ever again.

For more information, visit,, email, or call:

Tomasso at +39 3383903806 (Italy) Andrew at +44 788-4282-077 (UK) Hep Sano at +1-415-867-9472 (San Francisco) David Meieran at +1-412-996-4986 (Pittsburgh)

Notes to editors

(1) Indymedia


(3) Indymedia is a global media network consisting of 144 autonomous Independent Media Centers that provide openly accessible newswires with the capacity for anyone to publish texts, images, audio, and video, particulary concerning political and social justice issues.


Indymedia: The servers that 'nobody' took

On 21 October, 2 weeks after two Indymedia servers were seized in London, the UK Home Office minister Caroline Flint, answered Parliamentary questions: "I can confirm that no UK law enforcement agencies were involved in the matter... In the circumstances I do not therefore believe that it is necessary for me to make a statement." (1) Ms Flint, however, did not say whether the Home Office itself was involved or informed about the server seizure.

In an earlier statement to the press, the FBI had already denied any involvement, claiming that their spokesperson was misquoted, but refused to clarify what was said. (2)

Indymedia therefore is no step closer to knowing who took their servers, why and where they were. Instead of clarifications, with each offical statement less and less is know, and more and more authorities claim not to have anything to do with the seizure server.

In the US, efforts are underway by the Electronic Frontier Foundation acting as the legal representation of Indymedia, to unseal the court order.

Notes to editors: (1) Indymedia

Mr. Allan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which UK law enforcement agencies were involved in the seizure of computer disks containing material published by Indymedia from the London offices of Rackspace. [192111]

Caroline Flint [holding answer 18 October 2004]: I can confirm that no UK law enforcement agencies were involved in the matter referred to in the question posed by the hon. Member for Sheffield, Hallam.

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department under what powers, and acting under what information, officials of his Department seized web services belonging to Indymedia; and if he will make a statement. [192814]

Caroline Flint: I can confirm that no UK law enforcement agencies were involved in the matter referred to in the question posed by my hon. Friend. In the circumstances I do not therefore believe that it is necessary for me to make a statement.


IMC Press Release No 5 [DRAFT]

15 October 2004 DRAFT

*News from Indymedia *

For Immediate Release October 15, 2004

[should the feature be just about Operation Hard Drive-By, or about all the solidarity actions we can find that people have taken or announced?]

Operation: Hard Drive-By

Indymedia Solidarity Activists Announce Operation Hard Drive-By

Indymedia supporters to dump defunct disks on feds

Activists angered by the multilateral seizure of Indymedia hard drives last October 7th will be turning over piles of old drives to intelligence agencies in four countries this week, in symbolic protests against what many, including prominent journalists [link], academics [link], and members of Parliament [link] are denouncing as a serious violation of communication rights [including freedom of expression, privacy, and the rule of law?].

The first of what organizers promise will be a wave of solidarity actions took place last week in the Netherlands, where activists delivered symbolic old hardware to the Italian consulate in Amsterdam. See The next day, activists in San Francisco, USA handed over hardware to the FBI: [ Photos | Video].

Coordinators of Operation Hard Drive-By said that protests are planned for Monday, October 18th, on Media Democracy Day in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Perth . . . [etc.]

Indymedia supporters promised that Operation Hard Drive-by would escalate and spread until their demands are met. A statement of solidarity signed by over 2000 people calls for a full disclosure of the names of organizations and individuals involved in the seizure, a copy of the court order, and an independent investigation into any violations of due process.

For more information, visit,, email, or call:

Tomasso at +39 3383903806 (Italy) Hep Sano at +1-415-867-9472 (San Francisco) David Meieran at +1-412-996-4986 (Pittsburgh)



  • some new solidarity quotes from big names/orgs

IMC Press Release No 4 (es)

14 October 2004 FINAL

*News from Indymedia *

For Immediate Release October 14, 2004

Indymedia's hardware is returned, but many questions remain

On Wednesday, October 13th, Indymedia's seized hardware was mysteriously returned in the same way it disappeared -- without any information provided as to who took it or why, and on whose orders. An employee at Rackspace, the U.S.-based web hosting company that handed over Indymedia's disks to the U.S. government on 7 October, emailed an Indymedia volunteer to say that the disks were returned and that "the court order is being complied with... I will pass along any more information that becomes available and that I am allowed to."

Today, October 14th, Italy Indymedia learned that an investigation in Bologna could have precipitated the U.S.' order for the seizure of Indymedia's hard drives from the U.K.

Marina Plazzi, a public prosecutor for Bologna investigating the "Informal Anarchist Federation," reportedly issued a request for information (RFI) to U.S. authorities concerning posts published on, one of the 20 odd Indymedia sites hosted on the U.K. server. The U.S. authorities, going beyond the requirements of the RFI, then issued an order to seize the drives.

Despite this new information and the return of the hardware many questions remain.

"The fact that the authorities' actions are shrouded in mystery leaves Indymedia in the Kafkaesque position of not knowing the identity of its accusers or the nature of their claim," says David Dadge, editor for the International Press Institute.

Indymedia volunteers are now calling for supporters to sign a solidarity declaration at denouncing the hard drive seizure as an unacceptable attack on press freedom, freedom of expression, and privacy. They are demanding a full disclosure of the names of organizations and individuals involved in the seizure, a copy of the court order, and an independent investigation into any violations of due process.

"We have serious concerns about the use of international co-operation frameworks to obscure legal process, undermine civil liberties, and erode communication rights," said an Indymedia volunteer.

Numerous organizations have already expressed their solidarity with Indymedia. "I would say that this is an indication of the successfulness of the Indymedia network," says Peter Phillips, Ph.D., director of Project Censored. "Freedom of information is a radical idea when applied in a fair manner, and radical ideas will always be suppressed by the transnational corporate elites whenever possible."

For more information, visit, email, or call:

Tomasso at +39 3383903806 (Italy) Hep Sano at +1-415-867-9472 (San Francisco) David Meieran at +1-412-996-4986 (Pittsburgh)



1) update on indymedia servers:
  • where are they now
  • what is their status
  • do we know who took them, and why
  • what is the status of our downed websites
  • what are our legal actions, if any

2) solidarity call to action

IMC Press Release No 3

11 October 2004

Indymedia to U.S., U.K., Swiss and Italian Authorities: "Hands Off Our Websites"

Evidence is beginning to mount that the authorities of at least four countries (Switzerland, Italy, U.K. and U.S.A.) are involved in last week's seizure of two of Indymedia's servers that brought down more than 20 of the Indymedia network's web sites and several internet radio streams. Indymedia has yet to receive any official statement or information about what the order entailed or why it was issued.

An FBI spokesperson, Joe Parris, confirmed to Agence France-Presse that the FBI issued a subpoena to the provider who hosted the Indymedia servers in the U.K., but that it was "on behalf of a third country." (1) Daniel Zapelli, senior federal prosecutor for Geneva (Switzerland), confirmed that he has opened a criminal investigation into Indymedia coverage of the 2003 G8 Summit in Evian. (2) Zapelli will provide details of that investigation at a press conference on Tuesday.

Federal prosecutor of Bologna (Italy) Marina Plazzi stated that she is investigating Italy Indymedia because it may "support terrorism." (3) Plazzi says she will provide more information on Thursday, October 14th.

Meanwhile, international journalist associations have come forward in support of Indymedia. "We have witnessed an intolerable and intrusive international police operation against a network specialising in independent journalism," said Aidan White, General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists. (4)

Indymedia is consulting with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on how to retrieve its servers and prevent further government attacks on free speech. "EFF is deeply concerned about the grave implications of this seizure for free speech and privacy, and we are exploring all avenues to hold the government accountable for this improper and unconstitutional silencing of independent media.," said EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl. (5)

As of Monday, October 11, five of the downed websites have been restored, including Brasil, Euskal Herria, Poland, UK and Nice. Indymedia volunteers are working around the clock to restore the remaining sites, however at least four of them - Uruguay, Italy, Western Massachusetts and Nantes - have suffered data loss as a result of the governments' action.

"This FBI operation gives us even more reason to continue with what we have been doing for several years," says an activist from Italy Indymedia.

"Uruguay has a long history of media repression. We don't have the money to pay for web hosting, and so we rely on the solidarity of other countries. Actions like the seizure of the servers make the whole world insecure for free media," says Libertinus, an Indymedia volunteer from Uruguay, one of many Indymedia web sites that was caught in the FBI actions as a bystander. "Uruguay's national elections will take place on October 31st. It's a bad time for this to happen."

For more information, visit, email press(a), or call Tomasso at +39 3383903806 (Italy), Hep Sano at +1-415-867-9472 (San Francisco), or David Meieran at +1-412-996-4986 (Pittsburgh).

Notes to the editor

(1) On October 7, 2004, Rackspace, a web hosting provider based in San Antonio (USA), turned over two servers at its London office after it was issued a court order under the Mutual Legal Assistence Treaty. Rackspace officials claim that the order prevents them from divulging the reasons for the seizure and to whom the servers were actually given. They stated, "Rackspace is acting as a good corporate citizen and is cooperating with international law enforcement authorities." See more details on and on the press releases from 8 and 9 October: and

(2) For more examples see:

(3) AFP report:

(4) International Federation of Jounalists:

(5) Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF):

IMC Press Release No 2

08 October 2004

Italy and Switzerland Requested Indymedia's Server Seizure

Today, October 8, 2004, Indymedia has learned that the request to seize Indymedia servers hosted by a US company in the UK originated from government agencies in Italy and Switzerland. More than 20 Indymedia sites, several internet radio streams and other projects were hosted on the servers. They were taken offline on October 7th after an order was issued to Rackspace, Inc., one of Indymedia's web hosting providers.

The reasons for the court order or who actually holds the servers now are still unknown to Indymedia.

According to Italian news agency reports and an Agence France-Presse (AFP) interview with FBI spokesman Joe Parris, the FBI acted on Italian and Swiss requests. "It is not an FBI operation," Parris told AFP. "Through a legal assistance treaty, the subpoena was on behalf of a third country."(1)

Earlier today Rackspace published a statement that they turned over the servers in response to an order under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT). The MLAT establishes procedures for countries to assist each other in investigations regarding international terrorism, kidnapping and money laundering. The court prohibits Rackspace from commenting further on this matter. (2)

An Indymedia system administrator stated: "We do not know if Rackspace is under a gag order, or what legal restrictions were imposed requiring them to act this way, or whether their legal department had enough time to study the request."

Aidan White, the General Secretary for the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) had this to say. "We have witnessed an intolerable and intrusive international police operation against a network specialising in independent journalism. The way this has been done smacks more of intimidation of legitimate journalistic inquiry than crime-busting."(3)

Indymedia condemns the fact that even 24 hours after two entire servers were taken down, Indymedia is still not getting any information of the reasons for the order.

By taking down 2 servers more than 20 Indymedia sites were affected in different countries globally as well as several unrelated projects. Indymedia considers this extremely invasive operation a a serious threat to the Freedom of Speech worldwide.

Indymedia insists that the servers are returned because each day they are inoperable and Indymedia's irreplaceable data is unaccessible means greater material damages to the Indymedia operation worldwide.

Note to editors:

(2) AFP report

(2) Statement from Rackspace, 8 Oct. 2004: "In the present matter regarding Indymedia, Rackspace Managed Hosting, a U.S. based company with offices in London, is acting in compliance with a court order pursuant to a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), which establishes procedures for countries to assist each other in investigations such as international terrorism, kidnapping and money laundering. Rackspace responded to a Commissioner’s subpoena, duly issued under Title 28, United States Code, Section 1782 in an investigation that did not arise in the United States. Rackspace is acting as a good corporate citizen and is cooperating with international law enforcement authorities. The court prohibits Rackspace from commenting further on this matter." For additional information on the MLAT, please visit

(3) IFJ Statement

(4) Indymedia volunteers can only speculate about possible reasons. Switzerland Indymedia suspects that the order might have to do with two photos published on the French site (IMC Nantes) of Swiss undercover police agents in charge of the G8 events in Switzerland in 2003. In the last few weeks there was contact between Swiss, specifically the Genevan governmental authorities, and the FBI. The FBI also approached Rackspace as well as a Seattle Indymedia activist recently regarding that matter, but according to communication from Rackspace to Indymedia on Tuesday, the matter appeared to to be closed. For its part, Italy Indymedia can only assume that the request is motivated by the Italian government's attitude towards Indymedia, which has been overtly hostile ever since the 2001 G8 Summit in Genoa.

(5) More background information is available at

(6) Contact:

IMC Press Release No 1

07 October 2004

FBI Seizes Indymedia Servers in the UK

Thursday morning, US authorities issued a federal order to Rackspace ordering them to hand over information hosted on Indymedia web servers to the FBI. Rackspace, which provides hosting services for more that 20 Indymedia sites at its London facility, complied by turning over two Indymedia servers to federal authorities, effectively removing those sites from the internet.

Indymedia, a global network of independent non-corporate media organizations, had been asked last month by the FBI to remove a story about Swiss undercover police from one of the websites hosted at Rackspace. It is not known, however, whether Thursday's order is related to that incident since the order was issued to Rackspace and not to Indymedia. According to Rackspace, they "cannot provide Indymedia with any information regarding the order." ISPs have received gag orders in similar situations which prevent them from informing concerned parties about what is happening.

It is unclear to Indymedia how and why a server that is outside US jurisdiction can be seized by US authorities.

The last few months have seen numerous attacks on independent media by the US Federal Government. In August, the Secret Service used a subpoena in an attempt to disrupt the New York City Independent Media Center before the Republican National Convention by trying to obtain their IP logs from ISPs in the US and the Netherlands. Also, in the past month, the FCC shut down community radio stations throughout the US. Despite these setbacks, Indymedia and other independent media organizations have enjoyed recent victories against Diebold and the Patriot Act.

The list of local media collectives affected by the FBI seizure includes Ambazonia, Uruguay, Andorra, Poland, Western Massachusetts, Nice, Nantes, Lilles, Marseille, Euskal Herria (Basque Country), Liege, East and West Vlaanderen, Antwerpen (all Belgium), Belgrade, Portugal, Prague, Galiza, Italy, Brazil, UK, and Germany. Additionally, several streaming radio stations, a Linux distribution site, and other services hosted on those servers were also affected.

For more information, please contact Hep at 415-867-9472 or email Additional information about Indymedia is available at

Debris - Debris - Debris not for distribution

notes on IMC Press Release 3 from "an activist in italy":
  • Nothing is "sure." We are following "rumors." The only evident thing is that mr Landolfi, a representative from Alleanza Nazionale (the former fascist party now at the governement) is claiming that the action of fbi is the conseguence of an investigation open against indymedia italia vilipend related to a post appeard on the news wire. but this is not confirmed. some judge from bologna declared that "could be" a conseguence of his investigation.
  • concerning bologna prosecutor involvemente in indymedia hard disk seizing, today marina plazzi has declared that some news will be given on thursday ocr, 14th. The prosecutor is investigating on Informal Anarchist Federation and some bomb threats of 2002-2003 and has delcared saturday that they COULD be involved in the order that led to the seizing.
  • The Swiss prosecutor has declared to the press that only tomorrow, tuesday october 12th, some news about his involvemnent in indymedia hard disk seizing will be revealed. This statement breaks a 5-day silence by the swiss judge, a silence very unusual for swiss law. this is about the swiss connection...
  • we feel bright anger, in the sense that we are constantly under attack, so we are "kind" of used to it. this fbi operation can only give us more reasons to do what we have been doing for 4 years, kick ass to the corporate medias and create channels for free communication.

notes for press release no 3 from the IRC meeting of imc-press):

1) The facts from the previous 2 releases - when? what? how? why? really short. plus what else we can confirm since then.

2) A statement by Kurt/EFF, our lawyer in the US. If we can't get a hold of him use the EFF press release. Preferably saying something about what we will do legally (sue rackspace? to be confirmed!!). ask micah about this. Kurt's quote from the EFF press release:

"This seizure has grave implications for free speech and privacy. The Constitution does not permit the government unilaterally to cut off the speech of an independent media outlet, especially without providing a reason or even allowing Indymedia the information necessary to contest the seizure," said EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl.

3) A quote from an affected imc, e.g. nantes. they have a twiki page with information also, and [machine] has collected contact data to all ahimsa-imc's. or italy - they have just released a press release also. [have been unable to get a quote - dm]

(4) A sentence about some imc's still being offline, some being back, some coming back soon, (see, saying that this is an outrageous damage, completely out of relation. add a note to the editor with a link to the list on the fbi static page (coming soon!).

(5) An article in jungeWelt (oct 10) suggests two details that we might want to include in the pr (quotes from the english translation):

  • Daniel Zapelli, senior federal prosecutor of the Genf canton, only confirmed that ascertainments against Indymedia. It is intended to criminalize the coverage in connection with the protests against the G8 meeting in Evian in summer of 2003. Back then, images of two plainclothes policemen who were involved in a media center escalade had been published on the swiss spin-off of the leftist internet platform. Of both executives, who were said to have organized riots as agent provocateurs in the city center of Geneve, names and addresses were published, too. Marc Olderlin, the attorney of the two swiss members of the secret police, acknowledged contacts between swiss federal authorities and the FBI, reports italian newspaper "Il Manifesto". "But, as far as I know, there has not been a request for detention of the Indymedia servers", the lawyer says.

  • Federal prosecutor of Bologna (IT) Marina Plazzi stated that she is investigating against Indymedia because of a possible "support of terrorism". Apparently this is about supposedly positive contributions after an impact on italian soldiers in iraqi city of Nassirija past november. "We asked the FBI for help along the italian department of justice", federal prosecutor Plazzi states. The italian minister of justice, Roberto Castelli, so far refused to speak out on the proceeding of the FBI. | (in german) | (in english)

x) The statement from Rackspace: (

we have a disagreement about this one. it hasn't been quoted at length yet, but in the first press release it was quoted.

plus: contact data. check with hep whether she'll still be the phone contact.

-- WoWi - 14 Oct 2004 minor corrections and restructure -- AnNa - 08 Oct 2004 added Table of Contents and started Media coverage page -- PeterP - 10 Oct 2004

-- AnNa - 10 Oct 2004 edited 3rd pr draft -- IonNec - 12 Oct 2004 replaced references to old and new press releases by numbers.
Topic revision: r83 - 22 Oct 2004, ClarA
This site is powered by FoswikiCopyright © by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding Foswiki? Send feedback