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Police seize indymedia server in Bristol

category international | summit mobilisations | news report author Monday June 27, 2005 21:44author by soundmigration - dissent ireland Report this post to the editors

Have just been informed that police visited the home address of a
member
of the Bristol Indymedia Collective (BIM) late this afternoon (approx
5.30pm) armed with a search warrant.

Have just been informed that police visited the home address of a
member
of the Bristol Indymedia Collective (BIM) late this afternoon (approx
5.30pm) armed with a search warrant.

They seized from the property the persons personal computer, as well as
the Bristol Indymedia server. The member of the collective has also
been
taken into custody, although his partner was told this was just for a
'chat' and he'd be home soon!?

LIBERTY, who have previously been involved in this matter have been
advised of the situation, and action is being taken to contact a local
solicitor to take on the immediate case.

As at 7pm Avon & Somerset police, specifically the Trinity Rd police
station custody suite, have stated that the collective member is not
presently in their custody. It is possible he is being held by Bristish
Transport police?

The background to this situation is that on approx 17 June an anonymous
post to the Bristol Indymedia newswire reported an 'action' in which
objects were dropped onto a freight train carrying new cars somewhere
near
Avonmouth (I think). The action was contextualised as highlighting
climate
change/car use/over-consumption etc in the run up to the G8 summit.
Rumours suggest the action caused around 100k damage. One regular
poster
to Bristol Indymedia, and expelled ex-collective member, Mark Watson
(of
Zaskar films) then posted a comment saying he morally disagreed with
the
action, that the post breached BIM guidelines, and that he had
contacted
the police & advised them BIM kept IP info (since denied by BIM). There
was then a period of dialogue between BIM, Liberty & the police, in
which
Liberty/BIM argued that any info on the server was in any case subject
to
special rules covering journalistic info, and the server could not be
seized using a standard search warrant (see BIM press release 24/6/05
http://indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/06/314820.html). No links to Bristol
Indymedia are included here as the site is presently down!

Whatever the legal case, the cops have now gone ahead and seized the
server. This differs from the recent instance when UK Indymedia's
servers
were seized from their 'host' Rackspace, as BIM have their own
stand-alone
server. This poster sincerely hopes they have some mirror servers to
back
it up!

This poster is also trying to contact the rest of the BIM collective to
discuss/find out what action can be taken to defend Indymedia.

As the G8 summit approaches, threats to our freedom of expression, and
action, appear to be increasing rapidly.

author by more infopublication date Tue Jun 28, 2005 16:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Indymedia Bristol Server Seized by Police
http://bristol.indymedia.org/en/2005/06/315072.html

On Monday, June 27th, Indymedia Bristol's server was seized by the police. An Indymedia volunteer was also arrested during the raid. Last week, police demanded access to the server to gain the IP details of a posting. The alternative media outlet is receiving advice from civil liberties organisations and the NUJ. Before being legally forced to hand over the server, Indymedia Bristol stated: "We do not intend to voluntarily hand over information to the police as they have requested". A further statement from Bristol Indymedia volunteers is expected soon.

author by Bloggerfreedompublication date Tue Jun 28, 2005 17:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

See:

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=70492&type=otherpress
author by Corpo News Notices Indymediapublication date Sat Jul 02, 2005 18:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Posted: 29 June 2005

Indymedia today told dotJournalism that a programming script deletes user's IP addresses from the site logs, and said it is unlikely that police could identify the unknown poster using the confiscated server.

[....]
"We don't really understand why our volunteer has been charged. It seems that anyone who hosts a website can be held responsible for someone else's actions," said a spokesperson for Indymedia.

"They appear to be attacking the fundamental principle of open publishing - and they don't understand that we operate without a large editorial team."

The group is now planning a fundraising event to raise money for new hosting space and to cover legal costs for the volunteer, due to be sentenced in October.

Volunteers are working on restoring the site using back-up data and expect Indymedia Bristol to be running again by the weekend.
[....]

more at
http://www.journalism.co.uk/news/story1425.shtml

author by EU Watchpublication date Wed Jul 06, 2005 16:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

G5 meeting in Evian, 4-5 July 2005
- France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK

Operational conclusions

"The Ministers of the Interior of the G5 countries meeting in Evian on 4-5 July 2005 resolved to adopt the following policy directions:

[....]

2.2.3. The use of the Internet to further terrorist or criminal activity

The five ministers request that Europol consider the improvements that it might be able to make to efforts to counter terrorist or criminal use of the Internet, on the basis of the following policy focuses:

- encouragement for the creation of national hubs for the notification of illegal content on the Internet in order to speed up and optimise processing of detected offences by the legal system,

Related Link: http://www.statewatch.org/news/2005/jul/03eu-g5-meeting.htm
 
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