Italy-based non-profit community webserver autistici have found out that the authorities have copied the keys necessary for the decryption of their webmail a year ago [statement 1 | 2]. Since then, the authorities potentially had access to all the data on the disks. Autistici's provider did not inform them about this. Apparently, this is connected to the same investigation as the one that caused an international law enforcement operation in London last October: A few days before the European Social Forum, Indymedia servers in London were seized, prompting a wave of solidarity statements [report].
Italy-based server autistici has informed its users that it has been compromised by the authorities for more than a year. During an investigation, the authorities shut down the server and copied the keys necessary for the decryption of the webmail. Since then, they potentially had access to all the data on the disks. This happened with the collaboration of Aruba, their provider. The autistici.org/inventati.org server hosts 4,700 mailboxes, 600 mailing lists (used by 30,000 people totally), and over 500 websites. A wide range of activists, associations, lawyers, legal services, self-organized workers and activist groups, student groups and collectives, as well as international networks are using it for their websites and emails.
Autistici are pointing out that their case is not a private matter, but a matter of privacy. They consider themselves to be treated as a "guinea-pig on whom to experiment new kinds of controls and eavesdropping", and see their situation connected to "all the people involved into file sharing enquiries". They state that the present case of eavesdropping is related to the same investigation as the one that caused an international law enforcement operation in London last October. A few days before the European Social Forum, Indymedia servers in London were seized - prompting a wave of protests and solidarity statements [report].
Austici are presently reviewing their technical set-up and consider taking political steps. They advise everyone "to use strong encryption instruments (i.e. pgp/gpg) for the protection of both mail and data on personal computers" to protect privacy and freedom of speech.