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back to article Police seize Indymedia server (again)

Kent Police yesterday seized a server hosted by by Manchester-based hosting firm UK Grid and rented by the independent news collective Indymedia UK. In a statement, the force said: "Kent Police has seized computer equipment from a company in Manchester. The company are fully co-operating as Kent Police continues with an ongoing …

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Anonymous Coward

But if he has nothing to hide....

Of course it's perfectly reasonable for the Judge to want his personal details like home address removed from the post, as it is for anyone to want their privacy.

Hence we have the right to privacy as a basic right.

Perhaps they noted down his number plate from the court car park and asked the DVLA for his home address. Wouldn't surprise me, they'll hand it out to anyone these days.

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Why?

Disconnect, power down, copy hard drives. Take fingerprint of both drives and check they are the same (MD5Sum on the complete disk contents). Sign ticket saying so and confirming and recording the MD5Sum.

Turn servers on.

Send copy to Indymedia with the sum.

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poor excuse

Indymedia don't keep server logs? I find that a bit hard to believe.

Well the ISP will probably produce them then for plod if they ask.

'Evening all.....

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Boffin

@poor excuse

> Indymedia don't keep server logs? I find that a bit hard to believe.

Indymedia server(s?) have been siezed by the police before. Indymedia know that some of their posters/contributors are disliked by the authorities. There is not much advantage to Indymedia in keeping logs, and a big disadvantage to keeping logs.

> Well the ISP will probably produce them then for plod if they ask

The ISP probably don't keep any logs. If it's a dedicated server then the ISP is just providing rack space and bandwidth; there's no technical reason for them to log incoming HTTP connections.

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Dead Vulture

assault on press freedom, period

a few things police and indymedia are both aware of, i'm sure:

1) indymedia does not keep logs of traffic or http requests/connections, so there is no point in demanding the logs, or raiding the servers to get them.

2) hardcore animal rights activists are not dumb; if they post information such as that, they will do so through a proxy and over an unencrypted public wi-fi or public university/library LAN which dozens of other unidentifiable people may use in a given day. TOR is quite simple to configure if using a private computer, and there are plenty of open wi fi hotspots to choose from or MAC addresses to spoof, so there is no point in assuming the IP addresses of incoming traffic are valid even if they are logged.

3) indymedia runs on a shoestring budget. the loss of any equipment will severely hamper their ability to function as an independent journalistic operation.

4) indymedia, while on the whole about as left wing as the guardian most days, nevertheless allows full anonymous and largely unedited content to be posted online by anyone who wants. if something like this comes up, they will publish it.

as a result of all of these, it's pretty easy to conclude that this is nothing more than yet another attempt by the government to bully a pro-freedom, non-corporate press organization. say what you will about it's editorial decisions, this was an extralegal punitive measure with no value in any investigation.

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thinking about it....

I was thinking the ISP had an obligation under RIPA to provide certain details but thinking about it I think it's voluntary and a bit of a buggers muddle at the mo, so you're probably right there AC.

I still think it a bit odd that IndyMedia don't keep a record. A fair bit of the content on their website drones on about the oppressive state and even includes an open comment to 'those from the Police reading this site'. Of course it could be just a (probably accurate) wild stab in the dark on their part but it does have the whiff of paranoia about it. Having said that I didn't see any articles stating that any Government or related bodies had been actively snooping round, which similarly I can bet they would have made a song and dance about by now if they had any proof.

I think the latest idea on there I read was that the address thing was a put-up job - I say think because being continually battered with oppressive regime rants and other bilge on that place made me give up and move on. But with this Government's track record I really wouldn't be surprised if the idea was true.

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Thumb Up

Hey El Reg!

Thanks for reporting on this, I doubt if any other tech sites would.

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Anonymous Coward

@But if he has nothing to hide....

No need to waste your money on DVLC: just look them up in Who's Who. That's what I always do when I need to know a judge's home address. And then you can get their home phone number from the phone book. Of course, it's not online so it means a walk to the local library, but it's good exercise.

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Flame

One rule for the judges...

I don't recall reading anywhere that the police asked for the BNP membership list be removed because it contained "personal information". On the contrary, they seemed to drag their feet like they usually do in that case.

Why are the police acting for the judge anyway? Can't the judge send his own email?

One rule for the judges/politcians/police/senior civil servants/friends of any of the aforementioned, and another rule for joe public.

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Pirate

@Why

Well indeed. Therefore we have to assume that the police have a *covert* motive, beyond their legitimate and overt motive of gathering evidence.

My belief (based largely on many years of experience of peaceful demonstrations attacked without provocation by riot squads) is that the police have an underlying authoritarian belief, inherent and rarely articulated but deeply evident in their actions, that any attempts at legitimate democratic involvement and political self-organisation by members of the citizenry are necessarily subversive, automatically suspect, and should be suppressed by harassment and if need be physical brutality.

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Dead Vulture

All very well

but they [extreme animal rights activists] are still wankers.

They dug up someones grandmothers cave for fuck sake. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/staffordshire/4762481.stm

They are shooting themselves in the foot.

I heard one on the radio in an interview as saying that if there was a fire with a dog and a person trapped and she had the choice to rescue one of them she would rescue the dog. Twat, it's not like the dog would return the favour.

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Unhappy

Freedom of speech, within well defined limits...

"still think it a bit odd that IndyMedia don't keep a record" - They don't, not after the last time at least. When you think about it it would be weird if they did wouldn't it?

"we have to assume that the police have a *covert* motive" - The Italians certainly did in 2004 and pretty fucking awful it was too - although I'm still not at liberty to disclose what it was, maybe in a few more years if the peeps involved are OK with that.

Anon as even saying that much makes me a little nervous *shudder*.

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@James

Does your comment have any relevance to this article, or indeed to any other article on The Register?

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Stop

re: All very well

They were dead. The only people who were affected were the relatives.

If they realised that the dead didn't care any more and couldn't feel it, there would be nothing to be gained by that act apart from having to get up in the middle of the night and get muddy.

And Indymedia didn't do it, so why are they being punished, along with all the other people affected (like, for example, people trying to get the truth about political prisoners in China being tortured, etc)?

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Anonymous Coward

use lawyer as guards for the server room

Maybe it should be considered to place the legal department in front of the physical access to the computer system.

Then it might be slightly harder for the cops to size any equipment, without proper legal justification.

First good use of lawyers.

remember you read it first at the register

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