[Media-watch] FW: WACC: seizure of Indymedia webservers

David Miller davidmiller at strath.ac.uk
Wed Oct 20 08:34:40 BST 2004

From: sh at wacc.org.uk
Reply-To: sh at wacc.org.uk
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2004 15:34:49 +0100
To: sh at wacc.org.uk
Subject: WACC: seizure of Indymedia webservers

Dear Friends,

The recent seizure of Indymedia webservers are an unacceptable attack on
press freedom, freedom of expression and privacy.

The World Association for Christian Communication, WACC, endorses the
following declaration in support of IndyMedia and calls on WACC members and
supporters to do the same by signing the petition at

Yours sincerely

The Rev R Naylor

General Secretary, WACC.

Declaration in Support of the Indymedia Network Against the Seizure of its
Servers by the FBI


Indymedia is a global media network that provides open space to publish
challenging, independent reporting, with emphasis on political and social
justice issues. The Indymedia network is based upon principled mutual aid
and voluntary participation, maintaining openly accessible newswires with
the capacity for anyone to publish texts, images, audio, and video.

On 7 October, 2004, hard drives from two Indymedia servers were seized from
the London office of a US-owned web hosting company, Rackspace, at the
request of the US Justice Department, apparently in collaboration with
Italian and Swiss authorities.

The seizure of the hard drives in London shut down an Indymedia radio
station and around 20 different Indymedia websites including those serving
Ambazonia, Uruguay, Andorra, Poland, Western Massachusetts, Nice, Nantes,
Lilles, Marseille, Euskal Herria (Basque Country), Liege, East and West
Vlaanderen, Antwerpen, Belgrade, Portugal, Prague, Galiza, Italy, Brazil,
UK, and parts of Germany Indymedia.

Although the hard drives were returned on October 13, the particular legal
framework under which the seizures took place is unknown. One week after the
seizures there is still an almost total information blackout from the
authorities in the UK, US, Switzerland and Italy. Indymedia still has no
confirmation of who ordered the seizures, who took the hard drives, why the
seizures took place, or whether it will happen again.

In response, people all over the world have endorsed the following

We, the Undersigned,

Denounce the seizure of the Indymedia hard drives as an unacceptable attack
on press freedom, free speech and privacy;

Condemn this action as a violation of communication rights, as expressed in
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states:
"Everyone has the right to the freedom of opinion and expression; this right
includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive
and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of

Voice concern over the growing use of international cooperation frameworks
by governments and law enforcement agencies to obscure clear legal process,
undermine civil liberties, and erode communication rights.

Against the seizure of the Indymedia servers and the attempt to impose

We request a full disclosure of the names of organizations and individuals
involved in the seizure, a copy of the subpoena, and an investigation into
the legality of the action by an independent party;

We insist that all copies of the seized data be deleted or returned to
Indymedia, and that Indymedia be provided with a list of organizations and
individuals who have had access to the data held on the hard drives as a
result of the seizure;

We call for openness and clarity in international cooperation agreements,
and that these agreements ensure due process, protect privacy and free
speech, and respect communication rights;

We demand that the responsible parties be held accountable.


The Rt Hon David Blunkett, MP (UK);

Attorney General John Ashcroft (USA);

The Director of the FBI;

The US Department of State;

Appropriate officials in the government of Italy;

Appropriate officials in the government of Switzerland.

To sign the petition go to http://solidarity.indymedia.org.uk/

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Taking the side of justice and human dignity in media,

and promoting diverse media ownership,

WACC works for the right to communicate

especially in situations of censorship and oppression.

World Association for Christian Communication,


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