next (in London)
by MIKE HOLDERNESS
On 7 October, the London premises of Rackspace, a Texas-based company that houses and manages web-server computers used by Indymedia - the independent, internet-based global information service - received a surprise visit. A couple of men turned up, seized two web servers and promptly shut down 21 Indymedia sites.
The FBI's Joe Parris told Agence France Presse that it was "not an FBI operation... the subpoena was on behalf of a third country ".It seems increasingly likely that the third country was Italy - where, as it happens, Indymedia volunteers were brutally beaten by police in Genoa in 2001.It seems alarmingly possible, as a UK civil liberties campaigner notes, that "The United States has been able to grab a very important media site without explaining what they are doing - and that, of course, is very worrying". "Someone wants to stifle these independent voices in journalism," Aidan White of the International Federation of Journalists told me: "We need a full investigation into why this action took place, who took part, and who authorised it."