28 November 2009


Indymedia is a news aggregate site, much like the Drudge Report or Memorandum, that depends on volunteers to collect news stories to be linked. It's a leftist site, so many of the stories are about protests and marches championing leftist causes.

On January 23rd of this year the network administrator that provides Indymedia with it's server space was hit with a subpoena from the US Department of Justice. The subpoena requested information for "all IP traffic to and from" the Indymedia server, including "IP addresses, times, and any other identifying information" for June 25, 2008.

No reason was given for the request, and no other information other than an order "not to disclose the existence of this request" unless authorized by the Justice Department. Much to their credit the network administrators retained counsel. When the Justice Department was sent correspondence from that counsel they dropped the request, and Indymedia then disclosed the existence of the request.

What should be troubling to all of us, regardless of which side of the political spectrum you fall under, is the ways and means that the Justice Department was attempting to gather data. According to the article linked from CBS News it is likely that this subpoena was issued in violation of regulation, and demanding that the visitor's information (including addresses and social security numbers) be disclosed plus the gag order should raise more than just a few eyebrows.

Anyone who writes for or visits news sites on the Internet should be concerned about this story. Otherwise when they come for you, there may not be anyone left to speak for you.

HT: The Indentured Servant Girl

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