United Kingdom - Acting under a court order, Texas-based web hosting company Rackspace Managed Hosting handed over two UK-based servers containing Indymedia websites to government agents yesterday morning. Indymedia is a collective of online journalists who maintain a network of independent news websites. The order was apparently issued by a US District Court and served by the FBI, on behalf of a foreign government. Rackspace has refused to comment on what information had been requested or why the servers were confiscated, citing the court order.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is currently assisting Indymedia investigate possible responses to the seizure of its information. More than 20 Indymedia-related websites, along with Indymedia's online radio, were hosted on the servers, which were dedicated machines provided by Rackspace.
"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.
Rackspace contends that a court order prevents them from providing a copy of the subpoena, confirming which court issued the order, or the government agency who served the subpoena.
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Devin T. Theriot-Orr
Edwards Sieh Smith & Goodfriend