One hypothesis about why the Indymedia servers were seized revolves around photos of two undercover swiss police officers that were anonymously posted to the Nantes Indymedia site in September. The photos accompanied an article about police tactics used against protestors at the G8 summit in 2003.
The FBI made two requests to Indymedia to remove the photos - one to Seattle Indymedia on 10/1/04 (which is not affiliated with Nantes Indymedia, and thus would not have been able to remove the photos anyway), and one to Jeff Moe, who manages the server that hosts the Nantes Indymedia site, on 9/22/04.
Seattle Indymedia basically told the FBI that they couldn't help them since it wasn't their site. An account of the interaction between the FBI and Seattle Indymedia can be found here: http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=124800&cid=10467286
Jeff Moe, who is not associated with Seattle Indymedia, conveyed the request he received to the Nantes webmasters who then digitally masked the faces of the officers in the photos. He also requested more information about exactly what the FBI wanted removed and why. He did not, however, receive any further information from the FBI. An account of the interaction between Rackspace, the FBI, and Jeff Moe can be found here: http://jebba.blagblagblag.org/index.php?p=107
(scroll down to where it says "This is my & Indymedia\x92s correspondence with rackspace about IMC-Nantes & the undercover cop post").
A mirror of the original uncensored article can be viewed here: http://www.contrib.andrew.cmu.edu/~mtoups/nantes/copsinnantes.htm
- 11 Oct 2004