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Censorship

FBI Seeks 2 Days Of IndyMedia Traffic Log 270

Posted by timothy
from the thinking-of-the-children dept.
john_locke writes: "'On the evening of Saturday, April 21, a day which saw tens of thousands demonstrate against the FTAA in the streets of Quebec City, the Independent Media Center in Seattle was served with a sealed court order by two FBI agents and an agent of the US Secret Service.' indymedia.org is a news center where anyone can be journalist, and a lot of leftist discussions about anti-globalization, etc, take place. The Agents were serving a court order demanding the IP addresses of visitors of the site, and indymedia.org was given a gag order forbidding them to talk about this." John points to the informative release at IndyMedia's front page as well, which serves to dispel some rumors. Note that contrary to early reports, there was not an FBI "raid" on the center. (Now: Where have you connected in the last 30 days, by what means? Was it from a static IP? What other sites did you visit? How long were you connected? This is a quiz, test to follow.)
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FBI Seeks 2 Days Of IndyMedia Traffic Log

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I disagree vehemently. Assuming there was some sort of illegal information on a website, handing over the ip addresses of everyone who uses this site as a news source to the FBI is not a solution. It not only does not make sense, but it is at best a scare tactic not fitting of our great nation, one which contradicts both the wording and the spirit of our laws.

    You imply that reading your news online is somehow an abuse of our rights to free speech. This is ridiculous and inflamatory. There is a reason Freedom of Speech is held sacred in this country. And lest we forget, it is first and foremost freedom of pollitical speech that is protected by the United States Constitution.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Actually any news feed can track if you've read it, however you're right, from the poster's point of view, they have no way of knowing.

    Just wanted to make sure you all realized this--if they're going after you, they can still see what you're downloading.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Even 'rm'ing the files leaves most of the information on the hard disk. You want to use shred [die.net].
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This slashdot post [slashdot.org] (from further down the page) seems very relevent. Good luck in the fight.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Thats some pretty funny stuff you got there.

    Its amazing that people thing that vandalizing and theift will accomplish anything.

    "Vive La Resistance!"
    thats just plain funny

    "this shows that the cops think in overly hierarchical, militaristic terms."
    the protesters were the ones who severly beat a traffic cop, threw bricks at the cops, etc

    "Fuck'em! Smash the state on videotape, surrounded by undercovers!"
    Its funny that the only people who got fucked by video were the violent protesters.

    This is just an example of how immature these people are, and that most do not even understand what they were 'protesting'. Its sad that the real protesters got caught up in this crap and had their voices muffled by the anger and hatred of the violent protesters.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I work in the cargo brokerage business, we are required by law to keep 2 FULL YEARS of records on hand. Every year, the large carts come and take away the records. Two years is a long long time...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The order seems to want all the logs, not just weblogs. For example, they want to know who SSHd when and from where. It seems like they're using the Bush incident as a cover to get a whole lot of unrelated information.

    This information could be, very easily, correlated with individual sysadmins involved in IMC. They'd see sysadmins logging in from work or school, or home. They'd be able to build some personality profiles of IMCers. That is, they're very hard working, pretty smart, and spend X hours doing IMC.

    From this, they'd be able to also figure out which sysadmins are also protesters! How about that? They'd be able to figure out that, aha, sysadmin ZZZ was no longer logging in from his job, but was in the IMC in Quebec (or wherever). Yet another important tidbit to add to the FBI file.

    Come the next big protest, a sysadmin might find themselves in jail a lot sooner than expected! YUP. They might become a victim of tactical apprehension of suspicious characters; hit by a preemptive strike against the IMC LAN and webserver. Delete the sysadmin, and the server crashes, and the DSL line stops working.

    Whuups.

    Basically, I'm saying that, more than anything else, the authorities want more information about the individuals involved in organizing the IMC, operating its infrastructure, and basically making the whole thing operate. If you look on the site and on the mail list archives, it'll become apparent that there are individuals who are key players, but that overall, the organization is decentralized, and there are dozens of important participants. It must be a real bitch trying to figure out who the "Che Guevara" or "Mao Zedong" of this project might be! (Clue - IMC is not Communist.)

    (I was there in LA during the DNC when the LAPD issued fake a "bomb threat" to try and evacuate the IMC space during the RATM/Ozomatli concert, where it got teargassed. How bogus was that? The *threat* was a van operated by hippy activists. They found tofu. Can we say "coordinated media blackout?")

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2001 @09:48AM (#259397)
    Your going to have trouble moving the logs to /dev/null, if you want to pretend to know what your doing you might think about 'rm'.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2001 @10:08AM (#259398)
    There is no reason either should have to happen.

    Please re-read the third paragraph of my post; all i was attempting to say in the first place is that you do not have to request removal of information in order for it to be censorship.

    Asking for the posting IP address of the person who broke into the police car would have been relatively reasonable, although i would NOT say it would be sufficient to gain a conviction, since said posting IP address would be incredibly easy for a malicious party-- you know, the kind of person who would break into a police car-- to fake. However, as the government subpoena type thing was FAR, FAR overbroad, it is capable of having the effect of threatening people away from reading or participating in the indymedia site. This is, under the whole chilling effect on free speech doctrine thing, a violation of constitutional rights.

    Had the government asked indymedia for the IP address of the poster of the illegal obtained documents and no more, i doubt there would have been much outcry on the part of the rabid slashdotters. Had the government done things that way and allowed indymedia to divulge the details of the court order under which they handed the log over, i doubt there would have been any outcry.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2001 @10:42AM (#259399)
    I visited the site multiple times during that time period to get updates on the breaking news in Canada. No ohter sources were covering it from the protesters point of view. And, yes, now I feel intimidated. This is BS. The FBI nor SS have no rights to those logs. I don't care what was posted on that or any other website.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2001 @11:09AM (#259400)
    It occurs to me that the FBI or any other U.S. government agency does not have the authority to investigate people inside the U.S. based on a crime which took place outside the U.S. They lack jurisdiction.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2001 @11:53AM (#259401)
    Want my e-mail address, street address, or phone number? It's on public record in numerous places, including my ICQ profile

    Spoken like someone never persecuted for their beliefs
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2001 @11:59AM (#259402)
    After reading the comments for this topic for a few hours, I am quite disappointed in the politically correct spinelessness of the general Slashdot populace.

    I thought you guys were individualists, thinkers, people who went against the grain and found a better way to do things. It turns out that many of these commenters have so little long-term thinking ability that they probably couldn't foresee the output of "hello world".

    The people who visited Indymedia didn't commit a crime, there is no probable cause that they would commit a crime, and there is no justification for the mass log request. If they're looking for one Unabomber, then demand the IP for the one visitor. But everybody who visited the site are not all guilty of anything but independent thinking. But, under this wonderful Bush administration, that is fast becoming a crime.

    If this sort of thing (which is getting more commonplace) doesn't frighten the hell out of you, you are morons.

    You voted for Bush because you thought he'd help your mutual funds. That is truly shallow and pathetic. How short-sighted. I am ashamed of the selfishness, shallowness, and callousness displayed by the so-called intellectual 'elite' on Slashdot today. I bet RMS doesn't even bother reading Slashdot.

    You probably aren't even industrious enough to use Linux. You're probably sucking on Bill's teat with your Win2000 boxes, praising how easy the online registration is.

    Toe the line, cowards, code those NSA backdoors in, do what the government tells you, because you're worthless little dogs fighting for a scrap from the master's table.

    Good fucking riddance.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2001 @09:39AM (#259403)
    So pretty much we are already living in the novel 1984, where you are not allowed to discuss ideas that conflict with official government(Or more like secret society's) agenda's.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2001 @10:32AM (#259404)
    Safeweb.com is funded and partially owned by the Central Intelligence Agency's venture capital company Incutel, to the tune of $1 million. Put two and two together. The government combines secretly acquired information from multiple fronts to create comprehensive profiles of the online patterns of American citizens. Try SilentSurf.com for a non-CIA owned alternative.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2001 @10:51AM (#259405)
    Slashdot and other legitimate news sites...

    Since when was Slashdot anything other than an overglorified webboard? The only original content here is "We had to delete some AC's post", "We refused to delete some AC's post when Microsoft asked us to", and "We are all whiny bitches who, decades later, haven't gotten over the fact that we simply weren't cool in high school"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2001 @12:33PM (#259406)
    I don't have any problem with the FBI knowing that I regularly read Indymedia's pages. In fact, I'd be glad to be listed by full legal name on the Indymedia website as a regular reader. Hell, not only do I read the information, but I remember it. Sometimes I even archive it, send copies to people I know who like to be informed, and so on.

    If the FBI doesn't like it, they can bite my ....

    I WOULD have a problem with people knowing that I regularly read Slashdot ... thus the AC...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2001 @09:43AM (#259407)
    Wow, is that a markov chain? I mean, it's obvious it's a troll-- i don't think i've ever seen so many wave-a-red-flag-at-the-slashdot-bull hit-a-sensitive-spot-and-cause-a-flamewar keywords in one post-- but i have to raise the question of whether there was a human involved in the writing of this at all. I mean, seeing as it was written so quick and all.


    In the tiny tiny chance that you actually mean what you are saying, and aren't just trying to get a bunch of posts pissed off at your usage of the words "illegal content", let me clear a few things for you: No one is saying indymedia did the wrong thing. NOBODY is going to fault you for anything you do when faced with a court order telling you to do something. The issue to be raised is whether the government had the right to order them to do what they did. This is to be asked in context of first amendment issues, the legality of a gag order of what they did, and (as they say) "It is not clear whether federal law allows the Attorney General ever to approve such an investigation of US press entities to facilitate a foreign investigation", or whether they had any particular thing they were investigating.. I would also raise some fifth amendment issues, but we all know the fifth amendment is dead.


    What the government did to indymedia-- demanding the logs-- was censorship, not some "better alternative", even if that made sense. Read the damn release, they explain it better than i do. Ever hear of the "chilling effect" clause? I.e. (at least according to the supreme courts of the last 40 years or so) a law does not actively have to "censor" in a direct way. If it can indirectly scare you into not saying something in the first place, that is constitutionally as bad as if you had said it and the government had arrested you. If it places a "prior restraint" against your speech-- you want to participate in the spreading of expression, but you have the fear that if you do so it will open you up to government scrutiny and perhaps harrassment (for example, let's say there's an online newspaper that the government seems to have an interest in coming in and attempting to track everyone who posts or reads anything there)-- then that is a violation of your constitutional rights. This is not a wild-eyed FSF "things ought to be this way" type rant. This is a simple statement of the way the law works, or worked in the past, and the proper working of the most simple and precious of american values. (I must say though, i've no idea waht would happen if this went to court. The current supreme court seems a bit unpredictable, to be honest.)


    Your next to last paragraph is literal nonsense, and shame on anyone who responds to it in any way.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2001 @09:44AM (#259408)
    THIS MATTER having come before the Court pursuant to the Application of the United States of America, which Application requests that an Order be issued:


    (1) directing that INDEPENDENT MEDIA, and any other provider of electronic communications service and their agents and employees, not disclose to the user of said electronic communication service, nor to any other person, the existence of this Application and Order or the existence of this investigation unless and until otherwise ordered by the Court;

    [other sections omitted...]

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 5(b), that INDEPENDENT MEDIA, and their agents and employees, shall not disclose to the user of electronic communication service, nor to any other person, the existence of this Application or Order, or the existence of this investigation, unless and until otherwise ordered by the Court; and

    IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to Title 28, United States Code, Section 1651 that this Order and the Application be sealed until otherwise ordered by the Court.

    DATED this 24 day of April 2001.

    STEPHEN C SCHROEDER
    Assistant United States Attorney
    UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
    Seafirst Fifth Avenue Plaza Building
    800 Fifth Avenue, Suite 3600
    Seattle, Washington 98104
    (206) 553-7970

    ATTACHMENT A

    All user connection logs for 216.213.32.98 for the time period beginning April 20, 2001, to the date of this Order for any connections to or from that IP address.

    User connection logs should contain the following:
    1. Connection time and date;
    2. Disconnect time and date;
    3. Method of connection to system (e.g., SLIP, PPP, Shell);
    4. Data transfer volume (e.g., bytes);
    5. Connection information for other systems to which user connected via , including:
    a. Connection destination;
    b. Connection time and date;
    c. Disconnect time and date;
    d. Method of connection to/from system (e.g., telnet, ftp, http);
    e. Data transfer volume (e.g., bytes);

    Please Note that the name, professional address, and phone number of United states attorney is given in the court order as given on the site.

    I am sure that sending your opinion on a post card would be useful.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2001 @09:58AM (#259409)
    "The order stated that this was part of an "ongoing criminal investigation" into acts that could constitute violations of Canadian law, specifically theft and mischief." I'm sorry, "theft and mischief?" We are to believe that the _Secret Service_, along with the FBI, are simply upset because people connected with the IMC have been in some way "mischevious?" Frat boys are michevious. This is COINTELPRO. For example, the SS has stated that "the IMC itself was not suspected of criminal activity.", as Indymedia is not the threat itself; it is the vehicle for the threat. It enables the successful organization of events such as the Seattle WTO potests, the DC IMF/WB protests, and most recently, the Quebec FTAA protests. These events are subversive; and we would be foolish to think that (now armed with Carnivore), the FBI and SS are not actively engaged in counterintelligence. The agencies claim that the actions agains the IMC were in response to posts on IMC about stolen documents containing Bush's travel plans. However the posts they refer to only contain "documents detailing police strategies for hindering protesters' mass action". The beuracracy is clamping down here; we need people to be vocal about this and not let this kind of shit slide.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 28, 2001 @12:03PM (#259410)

    Secondly, What the government did to IndyMedia WAS NOT censorship. The FBI did not request that ANYTHING be removed from IndyMedia's website. They were looking for information on an individual who allegedly stole sensitive documents from a police cruiser, and posted their text to the site

    Two options exist that the FBI did not excercise: issue a more specific warrant or issue a warrant stating that all logs must be kept in escrow until a more specific warrant can be issued. Instead the FBI and Secret Service have decided to undertake activities that will result in hundreds of thousands of law abiding citizens wondering if they will be subject to harasment and illegal search and seizure as a result perfectly legal activites.

    What where the documents stolen from the police car? Evidence of unjust behavior by the authorities? The authorities engage in activities to limit the expression of the public against the behavior government, someone get evidence of the unjustified nature of thos activities, and then the FBI issues a warrant to find the identities of people speaking out against the government in the name of finding the person who initial stole evidence of bad activities.

    The issuance of this warrant under these circumstances creates an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty amoung law-abiding citizens how have expressed displeasure at the behavior of their governments. The fear is the fear of harassment and illegal search and seizure. The uncertainty is the not knowing what activities, legal or otherwise, might result in the feared punishment, and the not knowing who will be randomly selected for this punishiment.

    This is an old secret police tactic. Make everyone think your watching them all the time. Make everyone think they could be arrested for doing nothing but disagreeing with the authorities. It's the terrorism of authority.

  • It's not a specific statute, but it can make your defense much harder (though not impossible). If something illegal is traced back to your computer, that's normally evidence that you committed a crime. However, if you run a proxy server and have logs to show that somebody else committed that crime through your proxy, you have an alibi. If you just run a proxy but don't log, this alibi is much more shaky; you could just be running the proxy to cover for crimes that you're actually committing from that computer.
  • they let ANYONE be a reporter.
    I know, it's awful. The idea that any citizen would be allowed to express their perspective to the general populace is both dangerous and irresponsible. Doesn't the consitution have something about press badges in the first amendment? Or maybe it's just about free speach being the special responsibility of media corporatations? I can't recall off the top of my head.
  • The only reason that paranoid Slashdotters fear the FBI so much is because they themselves are less knowledgeable and organized.
    Or maybe because the FBI has a well-documented history of covert domestic operations to sabotage and disrupt politically active groups?
  • I won't bother to argue about the facts that you propose, as opposed to leftist opinions. I doubt that would get anywhere.

    However, I would point out that you seem to utterly miss the real issue.

    The issue here is not whether the protesters are right or wrong, but whether they will be allowed to protest at all. And, in turn, whether anyone who has a strong opinion will be allowed to effectively voice that opinion (as opposed to just writing useless messages in comment sections like this).

    This is a serious attack on free speach. The powers that be do not imprison these leftists (generally), but harass them at every turn. The way pepper spray and other non-lethal deterents have been used is simply torture -- more than once police have applied a pepper spray to the eyes of handcuffed or chained, nonviolent protesters with Q-tips.

    During protests hundreds of people are arrested, but actual trials have been on the order of one or two per demonstration, generally with no convictions. This is obviously an abuse of the system, and systematic unjustified arrests.

    These are the issues at hand. Now the FBI wants to find out who more of these protesters and dissidents are -- it is unlikely that this is because they have any intention of seeking conviction of anyone. The FBI has consistently shown itself to have no respect for basic civil rights, and is commonly used to sabotage and harass dissidents in the United States. COINTELPRO is largest such project by the FBI, continuing over more than a decade. It is well documented, and to my knowlege no one has ever been disciplined at all over this illegal and immoral operation.

    It should also be noted that the FBI and other government institutions have often used agent provacateurs -- government agents and informants that incite dissident groups to violent, and usually self-destructive actions. I would be surprised if this has not been the source of at least some of the (relatively minor) violence.

    These are the issues at hand. And you just seem to side with the thugs, ignoring their immoral behavior.

  • Bah.

    The only way to assult a position is to be heavily armed and strike with overwhelming force.

    The BATF didn't do those things at Waco and look what happened to them...dead agents and a standoff that made martyrs out of very heavily armed nutjobs with a penchant for pedophilia and the Bible.

    Ruby Ridge was also a bad case, but look what happened with the fools in Montana...Heavily armed FBI in huge numbers surround them and there is a peaceful resolution.

    People here sometimes get it in thier head that FBI=BoogieMan . It's not true, they are just doing thier job in this case. If I had a website linked with the Seattle WTO riots and now the FTAA riots, I'd be expecting the FBI or Secret Service (don't call them the SS...that's just rude). If your site was involved with something like this and you didn't expect the FBI to send you a court order...you're an idiot.
  • by sjames (1099) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @12:25PM (#259416) Homepage

    People here sometimes get it in thier head that FBI=BoogieMan . It's not true, they are just doing thier job in this case. If I had a website linked with the Seattle WTO riots and now the FTAA riots, I'd be expecting the FBI or Secret Service (don't call them the SS...that's just rude). If your site was involved with something like this and you didn't expect the FBI to send you court order...you're an idiot.

    Is that something like "just following orders"? Keep in mind that the KGB and Stasi were just doing their jobs also. For that matter, so were the people who's organization shared the same initials as the secret service.

    Let's face it, a great many law enforcement agencies at all levels have a history of operating outside of the laws they are expected to uphold. They also have a history of doing phenominally stupid things hoping for the bust of the century when a little legwork would have revealed that no illegal activities were taking place. In these cases, they also have a history of NEVER even saying they are sorry after the fact, much less making any sort of restitution.

    That would be why people come to believe that FBI == BoogieMan.

    If your site was involved with something like this and you didn't expect the FBI to send you a court order....You believe that the Constitution is more than a bunch of gobblety goop written by a bunch of old, dead doodz.

  • I suggest you check your history again and stop trying to be such a apologist for the FBI. FBI agents collected that information with tax dollars. You can try to split hairs on this all you want on this, but the FBI very much was doing these things. No one at the FBI tried to stop and alot of people knew about it. Thats doubly worse.

    As if for one second it makes it any better that it was only J. Edgar Hoover that was committing these civil rights violations. A man that not only ran the FBI for decades but one for whom the FBI headquarters is named after! Bunch of scum bags the FBI is for not ripping the horrific name down off their headquarters. They wear it like a badge of honor.
    Python

  • by Python (1141) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @01:37PM (#259418)
    Can you provide references to the appropriate US law that requires you to keep logs of what your users do? I'm not aware of any such law and I'm pretty sure it doesn't exist, but I could be wrong.

    Regardless, this is the first I've ever heard of it.
    Python

  • by Python (1141) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @01:57PM (#259419)
    Uh, the last time I checked, in the US anyway, you have a perfect right to disturb any public government conference you want to without fear of Government retribution and long as you don't break the law. Upsetting world leaders by protesting the FTA is just too bad for those leaders. They don't get to have their little meetings in peace and quiet.

    And, as far as I can tell, IMC Seattle didn't break any law, and if they did break some censorship law governing "born secret" content, those laws have been ruled unconstitutional in the past (the H-Bomb article case) and they should be ruled unconstitutional in the future.

    Doesn't it bother anyone that the FBI is purportedly asking for a "readers list" for a media outlet? This is akin to the FBI, if the allegations concerning what the FBI is after are true, walking into the NY Times and demanding a copy of their readership list.

    Not to start down a slippery slope, but again, if the FBI is essentially building a list of all the IPs that connected to IMC Seattle over a period of days, and the documents those IPs accessed, how is this any different from any LEA walking into a library or a video rental store and demanding a list of all the books and videos check out over a period days and the persons that checked them out?

    I'm sorry, but the burden of proof lies with the FBI to prove that this was not only absolutely necessary but that it also was the least invasive means of conducting this investigation - and finally to prove that the law(s) that gave them the imperative to conduct this investigation (witch-hunt?) are really good laws. Any law that requires the creation of a police state, or the functional equivalent to it, is not a good law.

    Again, all of this is really dependent on what the FBI is really getting in its investigation. If the FBI is not asking for web server logs and list of all documents accessed over a period of days, and is instead asking for information about who gave them the document in question, then we are talking about apples and oranges here. But, its not like the Federal LEAs have a track record of overstepping their bounds and snatching up any and every piece of electronic information (and hardware in some cases) without any concern for the rights of the people involved. Some I think its only fair to assume that the FBI is asking for more than they are entitled to. Afterall, who is going to stop them from taking it? Its only after the fact in court that someone can that information thrown out, but that doesn't change the fact that the Federal Government now has it - and unfortunately the US government doesn't have a great track record with respecting the rights of its citizens, especially the FBI. Need I remind anyone of the massive collection of secret files the FBI used to keep on private citizens under J. Edgar Hoover?

    The bottom line is that the FBI should have no right to ask for a list of IPs that accessed the document(s) that allegedly are illegal, and certainly has no right to demand a list of IPs that accessed the IMC Seattle website over a period of days. If they are not asking for this, then we must ensure that they don't get it - and that if a law does not exist specifically forbidding this, then we need to push for one - because sooner or later, some LEA will push for this sort of information. And that is a clear violation of the fourth amendment. The readers of IMC Seattle, or any news site, have committed no crime by reading that website, even if the website contains "illegal" content, and should not be treated to an unreasonable search (and cataloging) of their reading habits.
    Python

  • [...] turn over server logs containing the IP address of the alleged lawbreaker, or

    IIRC, cryptome.org regularly purges its logs to avoid such requests...

    An example to follow?


  • Everybody go visit indymedia.org as often and as many times, IP's etc as you can.

  • It is also confusing that indymedia is just as much populated by anarchists as it is by the nonviolent "peaceful" protestors.

    There are troublemakers who call themselves anarchists, but they're still just troublemakers. See The Anarchist FAQ [infoshop.org] if you want to know what peaceful anarchists mean by the word. Personally I don't buy into the philosophy but I recognise that anarchists have been misrepresented.

  • Anti globalization is one of the FEW things that people on both the far left and far right agree on

    It's worth remembering that another point of agreement is on the need to send "enemies of the state" to concentration camps....
  • Mainstream media can still be biased, in that they may not report stories if it is against some agenda that they have.
  • That is complete bullshit.

    On the first day gas was first used when the fence came down, which was before stones were thrown. The second day they gassed everyone and anyone, as soon as enough people were in a crowd.

    It didn't matter what anyone were doing, they gassed the whole city. Even to the point where it made it up to the conference area.

    It also didn't matter what anyone was doing when police were shooting at protesters and passer-bys alike at their heads. People who expected a peacefull march down the street were more of a target then the more militant protesters. It is the militants who showed courage in their determination and lack of fear.

    Stop being such an apologist for the state.

    New worlds are not born in the vacuum of abstract
  • Indymedia is an excellent example of what groupthink is. Mostly unsubstantiated, poorly written crap that is so badly biased that it is impossible to take anything seriousl

    That sounds just like a description of CNN.

  • by HeghmoH (13204) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @10:21AM (#259430) Homepage Journal
    What a brilliant plan. I can envision the conversation in the FBI office as something like:

    "Sir, I ran the search, and there's over ten thousand posts talking about killing the President, all from different people!"

    "Well, how many were posted before we served the court order."

    "Umm... two."

    "Good then, print them out for me."
  • by Aphelion (13231) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @12:52PM (#259431) Homepage
    Perhaps you are forgetting all about the elaborate system known as Echelon? The CIA piggybacks on the UK to legally spy on US citizens.

    I looked high and low on the site and could find no disclosure that the CIA was funding SafeWeb. If a disclosure even exists, would you mind posting the URL? And believe me, it's quite possible for both SafeWeb and the CIA to track users; to quote [safeweb.com] (and [comment]):

    "In order to guarantee that your SafeWeb surfing experience is as secure as possible, we maintain logs of select information including [but not limited to] the time of requests and certain http protocol headers."
  • publishing classified material is not protected

    Yes it is, the first amendment is apparently more expansive than you believe it to be.

    It is the government's responsibility to keep secrets secret. If the new york times gets classified information that is of interest to the public, it is completely within their rights to publish it (and they have numerous times, and have won before the supreme court).

    If this wasn't so, the government could simply label everything "classified" and *poof* instant state-controlled media.

    ---------------------------------------------
  • ok, well that does not mean that leaking information, or obtaining it through break and enter is alright, and they have evey right to find out who did that

    That's right, they can investigate all they want to find out who leaked the documents, that's their job. But that ability to investigate DOES NOT extend to the ability to force the Times to reveal anonymous sources (again, depending on the actual information and its value to the public versus its importance to the state).

    As well, if classified information was published leading to the death of an american, the times would be walking through very dangerous legal ground

    What, like the PDF file with names "blacked out" that they published, only to find out later that you could easily turn off the annotations and find out the names of active US spies? No one got in trouble (fortunately no one got hurt either -- that the Govt has admitted, anyways).

    ---------------------------------------------
  • Do you really believe that a trial is any absolute proof of anything more than who won the trial? Lawyers play all sorts of games, ranging from screening the jury to fill it with potential allies, to shading the evidence that actually does get presented. A lot of times, who wins depends on who has the most capable lawyers, and a lot of that capability is expensive (e.g., FAST background checks on potential jurors). So if you have a lot of cash, you have a much better chance of winning. Even when it's you against the government, the government generally has a limit on what it's willing to spend and who it's willing to hire, so if you have the cash you have a big advantage.

    So what kind of absolute proof is this going to supply?

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • I have no knowledge of Indymedia, the Canadian protests, etc. But I also have no knowledge of these "unharassed" protests that you mention. I am aware of many in which the harassment is at a marketly lower level, and possibly if the government (i.e., whoever was controlling the particular police involved) actually approved of the goals of the protest, then such a thing could happen. Maybe. But I have strong doubts.

    The police have been trained and conditioned to react in certain ways to large groups of people. Some of these ways are legal. Some of them aren't, but are relatively safe (i.e., they're unlikely to get caught). These generally don't require any special approval from higher ups (at least not very far up). And one of the ways that police have been conditioned is to distrust any large group of people who aren't seated. They don't even like sports events (guess why!).

    The basic form of police conditioning is respect for authority, and the opposite for those who evince disrespect for authority. Laws come into this as a signal of the wished of authority, but they appear to be of secondary importance.

    Is this good? Is this bad? I don't know, it's probably a mix. But it appears to be acutal.
    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • Actually I can't, I can only go by what some fellows at my school went through for running such a proxy and not keeping logs. Perhaps it's not law that you can't do it, but if you can't prove it wasn't you, they consider you to have done it.
  • by Sancho (17056) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @09:43AM (#259440) Homepage
    Because if you run a gateway of any sort (in the US) and you don't log, you're held liable for the actions of anyone using the gateway. That means, in the eyes of the government, if someone threatents the president from your anonymizer, and you don't keep logs, it's just as though *you* threatened the president from your own machine.
  • Actually, if the evidence of an actual crime points to you, then you ARE guilty until you can redirect the guilt by finger-pointing. When national security is at stake, the Secret Service is less likely to beat around the bush or be diplomatic. They (TM)Take Charge(/TM). That's their job. 'sides, if I was the president, I'd do the same thing. If a threat of bodily harm is proven to come from your computer, I'd pray I still had the logs to prove it was someone else. Would you take the fall for the sake of anonymity? I don't think I could serve 10-20 for an Anonymous Coward.
  • I'm assuming that your post is sincere and not a troll, so :

    Anarchy, while appealing to many anti-establishment open-source types is not very practical for a community as large as the Internet has become

    What exactly is it that you mean by anarchy? Do you mean the populist politically slanted meaning of complete disorder and chaos or do you mean the more historically accurate and precise meaning of a voluntary association of individuals agreeing to work together by rules that maximize their personal freedom?

    Why would you assume that there is need for the FBI to have access to the identity of individuals engaged in political discussion in order to protect you from being hax0red?

    we need to have some sort of legal barrier to protect 'us' from 'them',

    Agreed, except that I think that you and I disagree about the identities of "us" and "them". To me "them" is the FBI/police/CIA/politicians/businesses and "us" is the people.

    As regards the net "degenerating" into a cesspool of pr0n, I think that's subjective. My main worry is that it degenarates into a cesspool of business-oriented, low-brow, consumerist boredom in which interesting information is hidden in a layer of spam-dross

  • I see that I've been moderated as "flamebait" for the above. Well I don't think it was. However, here's what I was trying to say:
    If you allow the excuse that 'someone' posted information and that in order to find that person you must know about 'everyone' to be coupled with a suspiciously lame story about the President's itinerary being stolen then before you know it the FBI are posting low-level security documents to *any* and *every* forum. Nice easy way to find out whose using them, eh? Sort of like being able to plant evidence in a house *before* you bust down the door. The "text" was supposed to look like a lame, ignorant policeman's viewpoint of what an "anarchist" might write. Now, I ask you, is THAT flamebait?
  • by crush (19364) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @10:21AM (#259444)
    Good morning citizen, this is FBI Agent S.Upress. I'm responding to the following information from the website "Slashdot".

    Hey everyone, I just done stolen sum docyuments from a poleez cruzer. They is very important detailz bout the prezidument's secret skedule.
    Signed - A dangerous anarchist rioter

    In the light of this information I'd like to have complete access to anything YOU ever said or did, especially information about you're political opinions. Naturally as you have nothing to hide you'll co-operate.

  • by crush (19364) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @10:00AM (#259445)

    Moderate me down only because I've overstepped the moderation guidelines, not because you personally happen to disagree with my--admittedly unpopular--viewpoint.

    Unfortunately your holding of this opinion doesn't make you part of a minority. Censorship can be achieved through the crude, obvious methods of banning publication of particular material, or it can be achieved through harrassing those that express opinions that are deemed undesirable. I don't believe that the FBI thought that they were going to be succesful. They're just trying to intimidate. You are playing along with them. Same as all the other complacent folk that don't know what democracy looks like.

  • by KFury (19522) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @11:33AM (#259447) Homepage
    That's odd. It doesn't look like they're going after server logs at all. It looks like they're trying to get all connection data for a dialup gateway server. They never ask for basic info like pages visited or referrer links, but they do ask for things like connection method (SLIP, PPP, Shell), disconnect time, the remote IPs and methods (telnet, ftp, http) to which the user connected, and so forth.

    Again, this doesn't look like they're going after server logs at all, but rather they're trying to track people who used the IP in question (216.213.32.98) as a dialup connection point.

    This seems to be a completely different story.

    Kevin Fox
    --
  • I'm not falling into anyone's trap. . .I'm nowhere near complacent. . .Watch the movie Cube. It's quite good, and it might open your paranoid eyes.


    I see... you know what's really going on, because you saw a sci-fi flick.

  • Yeah, that whole "innocent until proven guilty" schtick has been a thorn in law enforcement's side for a long time now, huh?

    If I thought for a minute that there was any government on Earth that wouldn't do the same thing given the motive and opportunity, I'd move there tomorrow.
  • by bradfitz (23252) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @09:52AM (#259452) Homepage
    Whoops.

    Guess I get into the habit of typing RAID. That's like how I can't type the word "serve" without typing "server" first and then deleting the "r".

  • by bradfitz (23252) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @09:34AM (#259453) Homepage
    Heheh ---- their box is colocated in the same room as a bunch of mine. If the FBI does RAID it, I hope they don't knock any of my servers around.

    The indy machine looks neat... it's all black and locked up with a sticker on the front that says, "Resist Corporate Greed".

    Sorry, this is hardly relevant.

  • by Platinum Dragon (34829) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @12:09PM (#259466) Journal
    This is from the "I-want-to-disturb-any-conference-I-want-to-withou t-any-governing-powers-looking-over-my-shoulder-wh ile-I-do-it" department.

    Or maybe the "protesting-the-drafting-of-a-document-meant-to-af fect-700-million-people-without-letting-even-1-of- those-people-see-it-beforehand" department.

    Nah. Couldn't be. Those protesters were just kiddies and pinkos. My democratically-elected government knows best. They'd never do anything not in my best interest. Never.
  • by bokane (36382) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @09:45AM (#259471) Homepage Journal
    Wow. What a wonderful way to ensure that the FBI keeps monitoring traffic to the site. Not to mention the likelyhood that you'll put the IMC in a difficult position, and posibly force them to delete posts. Bravo.

  • by Sylvestre (45097) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @09:36AM (#259473) Homepage
    I run a couple proxy servers around the net and they all log to /dev/null. Don't track a thing. All of my web servers are the same for hit counting... after a half hour, the IPs are all gone. Why can't people who are going to taunt the FBI learn something and just NOT LOG A DAMN THING?
  • by anticypher (48312) <anticypher@@@gmail...com> on Saturday April 28, 2001 @09:52AM (#259475) Homepage
    From the court order:

    All user connection logs for 216.213.32.98 for the time period beginning April 20, 2001, to the date of this Order for any connections to or from that IP address.
    User connection logs should contain the following:
    1. Connection time and date;
    2. Disconnect time and date;
    3. Method of connection to system (e.g., SLIP, PPP, Shell);
    4. Data transfer volume (e.g., bytes);
    5. Connection information for other systems to which user connected via , including:
    a. Connection destination;
    b. Connection time and date;
    c. Disconnect time and date;
    d. Method of connection to/from system (e.g., telnet, ftp, http);
    e. Data transfer volume (e.g., bytes);


    If you are running a site with controversial material, the logs will always be of interest by people who wish to do evil. Whether crackers or rogue FBI agents, your logs will always be a weapon in the wrong hands. Because of this fact, any controversial site should have a clearly stated policy of destroying logs on a regular basis. By stating this policy in advance and clearly posting it, it leaves little room for a legal charge of destroying evidence if and when the law shows up. What happens to IndyMedia when they hand over the logs the FBI discover most of that information is not logged? Will they face additional criminal charges, even if apache just doesn't log things like connection method?

    On the down side, by regularly destroying logs, or never logging sensitive info to begin with, it makes it difficult to counter cracking/defacement/troll attempts, but that might be the price a controversial site like IndyMedia has to pay to protect the value of free speech.

    Slashdot and other legitimate news sites will always hand over logs whenever the slightest demand is made. But if slashdot truely wanted to protect its posters, it would destroy the connection information on a regular basis, to thwart law enforcement or civil persecution. But since the acquisition by bendover, /. is just another commercially run site, and Rob and company no longer care about anything other than page impressions and banner revenues. Implementing policies to protect slashdot posters was possible when the site was Taco's and Hemos' pet, but now its just another business.

    the AC
  • by 1010011010 (53039) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @09:25AM (#259481) Homepage
    So, right after running the log analysis -- hourly! -- wipe the logs. And in your stats reports, leave out the "most common visitor" kind of stats.

    - - - - -
  • by Elbereth (58257) <krachtm@yahoo.com> on Saturday April 28, 2001 @11:50AM (#259491) Homepage Journal
    How can I possibly be intimidated by the CIA or FBI if I think they are basically a bunch of clueless government workers with a remarkably small percentage of incredibly talented people?

    I'm not falling into anyone's trap, becoming intimidated by anyone, etc. Pushing your paranoid theories on the populace only creates unnecessary panic. Who's doing more harm? Me or you?

    I'm nowhere near complacent. If the government was keeping detailed records on me, they'd probably have some idea that I'm more of an anarchist than a complacent, lazy citizen.

    Watch the movie Cube. It's quite good, and it might open your paranoid eyes.
  • by arty3 (64523) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @10:09AM (#259494)
    You have to realize of course that I could simply substitute Indymedia for CNN, NBC, ABC, or FOX News into your post, and it would make just as much sense.
  • User connection logs should contain the following:

    1. Connection time and date;
    2. Disconnect time and date;
    3. Method of connection to system (e.g., SLIP, PPP, Shell);
    4. Data transfer volume (e.g., bytes);
    5. Connection information for other systems to which user connected via , including:
    a. Connection destination;
    b. Connection time and date;
    c. Disconnect time and date;
    d. Method of connection to/from system (e.g.,
    telnet, ftp, http);
    e. Data transfer volume (e.g., bytes);

    I don't know about your web server, but mine certainly don't log all that stuff. It especially doesn't log other web site visits other than my own (Some info like that might leak into the Referrer: header, though.)

  • At first when I read the headline and blurb, I thought "Oh no! The bastards!" but then after reading up on the issue, came to another conclusion. Aparently, President Bush's itinary is claimed to have been posted to the web site. Obviously, if it is genuine, this is a very serious security breach of the Secret Service, whose job is, among other things, the protection of the President. They're trying to track the leak to the leaker to prevent it from happening again. Althouhg most of us probablly don't think too highly of George "What industry am I NOT in bed with" W. Bush, he still is the President of the United States and needs to be protected. So, at the risk of being labeled a troll, I've got to side with the G-men on this one.
  • by FalconRed (91401) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @10:28AM (#259501)
    I don't know if the court will buy IM's argument that it's reporters are the same as TV or news reporters and that they deserve the same protection. The organization itself conducts itself in a fairly organized manner. But they let ANYONE be a reporter. You can literally walk in off the street and become "press", with a badge and everything. Or if you've taken some cool picture, you go to the IM center and turn it in, become press instantly (although I doubt retroactively to the moment you took the photo). IM also state that it's ok with them for their reporters to engage in protest activities; this is a big journalistic no-no. I think this is IM's biggest challenge that they will face in court: do their reporters deserve the freedom of press shield?
  • by sunbird (96442) <`sunbird' `at' `riseup.net'> on Saturday April 28, 2001 @04:38PM (#259505)
    The original order did contain a typo, 216.213.32.98, instead of 216.231 etc. This actually makes the whole order unenforceable. But, unfortunately, they discovered their mistake and will be filing a motion to amend next week with the correct IP address.
  • by sunbird (96442) <`sunbird' `at' `riseup.net'> on Saturday April 28, 2001 @10:56AM (#259506)
    I am one of a team of people coordinating the legal response to this. The Seattle IMC has not turned over any logs and plans to fight in court for our right not to turn over even 1 log entry. And while we haven't found any posts with the President's travel info, we did find two posts with classified info, see here [indymedia.org] and here [indymedia.org]. These were the posts the agents were referring to. Their reference to the president's travel information was just plain wrong -- we have looked carefully on all IMC sites and have failed to find any such post. The agents were either lying (likely) or very stupid (also a possibility).
  • by sunbird (96442) <`sunbird' `at' `riseup.net'> on Saturday April 28, 2001 @11:34AM (#259507)
    Unfortunately, it's not quite that simple. Yes, the Privacy Protection Act applies and we plan to rely on it. However, there are cross-border bilateral treaties which gives US law enforcement the authority to investigate a certain subset of Canadian crimes.

    The alleged crimes here are theft and mischief. Mischief is not one of the listed crimes, so there is no jurisdiction for it. However, it is unclear whether theft is or is not. We are currently looking into the scope of the treaty. We have also asked the US attorney to clarify the basis of his jurisdiction. Not surprisingly, he has not responded.

    We did have a press conference on Friday, you can listen to the statement, plus some good q&a with our attorney, Dave Burman. The whole thing is right here [loudeye.com].

  • APR 27 2001

    UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE

    N0. GS 01-184
    ORDER VACATING ORDER OF NONDISCLOSURE

    In the matter of the application of the United States of America for an order authorizing the disclosure of records and other information pertaining to electronic communication service provided by Indymedia

    This court having considered the motion by Independent Media Center to vacate that portion of its order in this case entered on April 21, 2001, which forbids independent Media Center, and its agents and employees, to disclose to any person the existence of the order, or of the application for that order, or of the existence of the investigation which prompted that application.

    It is hereby ordered that the portion of the order in this case entered on April 21, 2001, which forbids Independent Media Center, and its agents and employees, to disclose to any person the existence of the order, or of the application for that order, or of the existence of the investigation which prompted that application, is vacated.

    Dated this 26 day of April, 2001.
    Monica Benton
    UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

  • by strudeau (96760) on Sunday April 29, 2001 @01:47PM (#259509) Homepage
    As an advocate and producer of Independent Media, I feel compelled to reply.

    > 1. 'Independent' people dislike 'globalization' and dislike 'free trade'.

    True. We dislike the current undemocratic trend of globalization that is continuing to exacerbate poverty around the world while making a few rich, while at the same time leading to a race to the bottom in environmental and labor rights regulation.

    > 2. 'Independent' people feel a need to 'reclaim > the streets' on a regular basis.

    Because we have learned, just as the corporate media will not create space for our points of view (hence indymedia site in the first place), institutions of power (political and economical) will not create spaces to share power, especially with those who are most disaffected by trends like globalization. Taking the streets is a way to force them to listen -- and it's fun!

    > 3. 'Independent' people are really psyched up > for May 1 or "Mayday: a festival of labor, > paganism, anarchist ideas, and action! "

    May 1 is historically a day of radical action, so active radicals get excited. What's so suprising or wrong about that?

    > 4. 'Independent' people aren't too worried > about sweatshops this year. (That was all the > rage last year)

    As someone who is still highly active in the anti-sweatshop movement and watching it grow daily, I must dispute your claim as false.

    > The 'Independent Media Center' is little more > than a bunch of spoiled, bored college kids who > are good at complaining, but incapable of > taking any action outside of taking to the > streets. The indymedia people are classic > suburban > activists. The stand against a good many > things, but stand for nothing.

    Your caricature does not fit me well, at all. I am not a college student. I am not "suburban." I take action in many ways beyond the streets -- I serve on local committees, support good politicians, organize educational events, social events, rallies, parades, celebrations, letter-writing campaigns, petition campaigns. I produce independent media, covering issues that get short shrift. I live a life that embodies my ideals: cooperative, healthy and active. And, while I stand against the many unjust and destructive forces and institutions that surround our lives, I also stand for a just and fair world, that empowers people to live freely, healthily to their full potential, free of exploitation. And if taking the streets may be a way to reach those goals (and I think it is), then I'll take to the streets, too. And one more thing, if there is one thing that I am not, it is bored.
  • by _Mustang (96904) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @11:00AM (#259510)
    points to this being a cooperative effort between the US and Canada, with the FBI coordinating the US aspect.
    From the order:
    "IT APPEARING that there is an ongoing criminal investigation into acts which would constitute violations of Sections 322 (theft) and 430 (mischief) of the Criminal Code of Canada, and that one or more of the subjects of said investigation are unknown,..."
    The interesting part, appealing heavily to those conspiracy-theory types is the fact that there has been little or no media on the subject (Quebec City/ conference of the Americas) since last week. And potentially disturbing is the total lack of ANY media reports concerning this specific incident with the court order.
  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @09:59AM (#259522) Homepage
    The Privacy Protection Act of 1980 [usdoj.gov] clearly applies here. (That's the one that got the Secret Service in big trouble in the Steve Jackson Games case.) This order looks like it's outside DOJ's own guidelines, too.
  • by YIAAL (129110) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @09:53AM (#259527) Homepage
    "I'd rather have a sister in a whorehouse than a brother in the FBI." Securities Commissioner Tom Krebs, discussing the heavyhanded Ineptitude of the FBI 20 years ago. Apparently, some things never change.
  • by Wintermancer (134128) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @02:55PM (#259528)
    I always get a chuckle when this is suggested. It assumes that the U.S. government will idly sit on their collective hands because the information the want is in another country.

    The Feds, at various points tried or have done the following:
    1) Kidnap Manuel Noriega. Yup, being the President of Panama had little to do with his "forced extradition." In fact, if the U.S. wants you badly enough, they will kidnap you. They've done it before, they'll do it again. Osama Bin Laden, you listening?
    2) Attempt to steal bank records from offshore banks. Yup. We really want to know who is hiding their undeclared assets offshore where we can't tax then. Who cares if we are breaking the laws of Antigua, Isle of Man, Luxembourg, what-have-you. We're talking tax evasion here!
    3)Break into foreign computers to obtain evidence to aid in the arrest and prosecution of criminals. Wait a minute, wasn't this covered in: this [slashdot.org]?

    Please, the U.S. is dead serious about enforcing their laws. Other countries laws, who gives a damn. We got the bomb!

  • They've got a tough contradiction they are dealing with. On the one hand, their mission is to be alternative media; to let people post news that normally would be squelched in other media realms. On the other hand, if they want stuff worth reading and disseminating, they really need better moderation and editorial control. Any time they start talking about a more restrictive moderation system, I imagine they get in all sorts of arguments.

    The problem with most moderation systems is that they homogenize and get rid of the extremes. What they really need instead of basic moderation (where everyone polices each other and where articles are judged by how often folks agree with them) is some sort of trust metric that is seeded from the people that have the reputations of being the most knowledgable and reliable.

    (While I agree that the "inbred ideas" thing is a problem with groupthink, that isn't the point with indymedia. The whole point is that indymedia is the alternative to the mainstream media. And it's supposed to be more of a news site where they report on happenings that normally go unsupported, rather than a purely editorial/philosophy site where everyone pats each other on the back.)

    But they've got a lot of articles that are really frustrating... for instance, articles that might show some good insight about Palestinian hardships, but that then devolve into some really nasty anti-Semitism. Aside from an example like that being offensive, it's also just a shame because it's a good example of how it undermines its own potential. The site often feels like it demonstrates the stereotype that the protesting population is just continually disorganized and falling off message. It is also confusing that indymedia is just as much populated by anarchists as it is by the nonviolent "peaceful" protestors. There's a lot of infighting going on there, and their aims are very often contradictory.

    But overall I like it better than most protest sites because the motivation behind it is constructive - it's not inteded to be a big "insert-vent-here" like a lot of other left-wing and right-wing sites. And some of their efforts are extremely impressive, like during the election - they had live audio webcasts witnessing Nader's difficulties getting into the presidential debates, for instance, which showed a lot of detail that wasn't in the news. It was very cool. I don't visit often, though - I think I'm holding out for a future version when there is that trust metric and where the discussions are more like sourceforge; where there are political "project managers" visualizing actual goals and mileposts and benchmarks and putting together virtual teams to actually accomplish changes in a methodical constructive way.

    tune

  • by dmccarty (152630) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @09:45AM (#259534)
    ...fool you into thinking that the FBI is a God-like policing agency. They have the same problems, short-sightedness and management of any other organization or business in the world. The only reason that paranoid Slashdotters fear the FBI so much is because they themselves are less knowledgeable and organized.

    And Timothy, ignoramus-kudos to you for posting this under Censorship. This isn't from the "thinking-of-the-children" department. This is from the "I-want-to-disturb-any-conference-I-want-to-withou t-any-governing-powers-looking-over-my-shoulder-wh ile-I-do-it" department.

    (Moderate me down only because I've overstepped the moderation guidelines, not because you personally happen to disagree with my--admittedly unpopular--viewpoint.)
    --

  • by Glowing Fish (155236) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @12:42PM (#259536) Homepage

    At least the Indymedia people don't have the $cientologists at their throats...

  • by Mockery (170888) <mockery0 AT yahoo DOT com> on Saturday April 28, 2001 @11:17AM (#259538) Homepage
    This does not seem reasonable. In their statement the IMC makes a good point that turning over the entire log(s) would expose more IP addresses than just the lawbreaker's. This could be seen as intimidating people from visiting their site just to read it.
    It would seem we need something akin to the (Video Privacy Protection Act [cornell.edu] for internet traffic.


    Unfortunatley in this case that would do no good. Following the link you provided, look under B-2-C (Sorry if that isn't the proper format for a reference) where it states:
    (2) A video tape service provider may disclose personally identifiable information concerning any consumer -

    • (A) to the consumer;
    • (B) to any person with the informed, written consent of the consumer given at the time the disclosure is sought;
    • (C) to a law enforcement agency pursuant to a warrant issued under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, an equivalent State warrant, a grand jury subpoena, or a court order;

    B-3 does say the following, but it seems that it provides little extra protection:
    (3) Court orders authorizing disclosure under subparagraph (C) shall issue only with prior notice to the consumer and only if the law enforcement agency shows that there is probable cause to believe that the records or other information sought are relevant to a legitimate law enforcement inquiry. In the case of a State government authority, such a court order shall not issue if prohibited by the law of such State. A court issuing an order pursuant to this section, on a motion made promptly by the video tape service provider, may quash or modify such order if the information or records requested are unreasonably voluminous in nature or if compliance with such order otherwise would cause an unreasonable burden on such provider.

    It doesn't seem like a similar law for internet traffic would do much good, (At least in this case) unless all this information is "unreasonably voluminous in nature" or providing it is an "unreasonable burden" on the site.
    Sounds like deleting logs is the way to go...
  • by dannywyatt (175432) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @11:32AM (#259541) Homepage
    (3) Court orders authorizing disclosure under subparagraph (C) shall issue only with
    prior notice to the consumer and only if the law enforcement agency shows that there is probable cause to believe that the records or other information sought are relevant to a legitimate law enforcement inquiry.

    Of course, IANAL, but that's the part I meant. The FBI should have to first inform everyone who visited IMC that they would be going after the records. The search should be seen not as one of IMC, but as one of each visitor to the site. If the FBI can't justify searching all of those people, then they shouldn't be able to subpoena the entire logs.

    It's similar to carnivore: they can't read everyone's email and say they're throwing away all but the criminals'. They have to be held to stricter protections against unlawful search and seizure.

    And of course, the inevitable law will probably not protect the people, but the ease of the FBI's search.

  • by dannywyatt (175432) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @09:44AM (#259542) Homepage
    1) turn over server logs containing the IP address of the alleged lawbreaker

    This does not seem reasonable. In their statement the IMC makes a good point that turning over the entire log(s) would expose more IP addresses than just the lawbreaker's. This could be seen as intimidating people from visiting their site just to read it.

    It would seem we need something akin to the Video Privacy Protection Act [cornell.edu] for internet traffic.

  • by firewort (180062) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @04:10PM (#259550)
    There is nobody out to get you. There is no "THEM". There is nobody trying to frame you for accidentally clicking on obscene porn links.

    There isn't anyone out to get me- then why are there cameras on the streetlights? so they can capture my face or my license plate?

    Why are there cameras at the sporting events? so they can photograph my face?

    There's no one out to get me, or trying to frame me by my following links- until they try to do it. Employees get fired daily for clicking inappropriate links. Government targets people for sex crimes by what's on their hard drive browser cache.

    The FBI requesting server logs is a step in the wrong direction.

    A host is a host from coast to coast, but no one uses a host that's close

  • by firewort (180062) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @10:01AM (#259551)
    I very often find myself taken to sites I had no intention of going to (disguised goatse links, anyone?) and don't want to be subject to inquisition by the FBI or other services for those clicks.

    While I admit that I am responsible for my own actions, I submit that clicking on links is as risky as changing channels on a television- You never know what content you'll get unless you've targetted that channel before. If I pass over the sex channel or local-cable access showing paranoid survivalists, should I be held accountable because TiVo shows that I requested that channel for a few minutes before becoming bored and moving on?

    I say that this is an imposition that we shouldn't have to suffer.

    (donning flamesuit now to be ready for the replies)

    A host is a host from coast to coast, but no one uses a host that's close
  • by Alien54 (180860) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @09:49AM (#259552) Journal
    THIS MATTER having come before the Court pursuant to the Application of the United States of America, which Application requests that an Order be issued:

    etc.

    What gets me is that is very similar to the FBI investigations of the Civil Rights movement in the 60s.

    Makes you wonder whose side they are on.

    This irritates me.

    Could someone look at the parent message please and moderate that up?

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

  • by perlyking (198166) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @10:00AM (#259557) Homepage
    Whenever I see a story like this (or napster etc) I always wonder why people dont think of hosting the servers in some other country.
    Unfortunately America whilst having a laudable set of ideals in their constitution also seems to be a country where if you piss off someone in power (political or corporate) you will be slapped into the ground pretty quickly. Don't get me wrong this is not a jibe at America as you would encounter similar difficulties in a lot of "free" "democratic" countries worldwide.
    Now the question is what is a country that actually gives a crap about peoples right to say what they like?

  • by atrowe (209484) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @09:45AM (#259568)
    "If the FBI does RAID it..."

    Wow! The FBI's going to add a Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks to IndyMedia's server. That's quite nice of them. I don't understand why they have such a bad reputation if they're going around giving free hard drives to radical groups.

  • by dnh (210171) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @01:58PM (#259573)
    No, its actually you that is missing the point.

    Its about whether people are allowed to smash open police vehicles, steal from them, and then post classified information to the internet. That is not protest. In fact much of what happened in Quebec was not protest, but rioting, and you do not have a right to riot. A traffic cop war severly betten and large chunks of concrete were thrown at the police. This is what is wrong, not the peaceful protests which you have every right to do. What about my rights to attend a meeting without a rock being thrown at my head. If I was CNN or CBC I wouldn't have given any chance for the protesters to give their side, but both did, something that indymedia did not.

    But back on topic all free speach is not protected, slander and publishing classified material is not protected. You also don't have a right to be heard.

    The only thugs are the violent protesters. They not only hurt people and caused damage to inocent people, but they completely drowned out the voice of the many peaceful protesters who just wanted to make a silent presence, something the media likes to showcase.
  • by Vassily Overveight (211619) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @11:37AM (#259575)
    if someone threatents the president from your anonymizer, and you don't keep logs, it's just as though *you* threatened the president from your own machine.

    Assuming this to be true (and I've certainly never heard of any law or precedent like this), then I think you'd still be within your rights to have a log destruction policy that deletes them after a short time. This is what lawyers are telling their clients to do with corporate email to avoid having it used against them in court. And by the way, what happens if your logging hard disk crashes and you don't have a backup? Seems like going to jail would be a pretty harsh penalty for incompetence.

  • by AstynaxX (217139) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @12:57PM (#259579) Homepage
    . In that instance the president is a bit more important than your precious right to anonymitity.

    Placing the rights of any one person over any other is NOT good, right, just, or however you want to term it. To see someone say otherwise, to blatantly put ANYONE above the rights of others makes it difficult for me to type this and not devolve in spewing vile curses. He's the president, so the [explative] what? He's just another politician, another corporate pawn, and in the the end, just another man like you or I. The powers that be should NOT be allowed to step on our rights, ANY of our rights, for ANY reason. Down that path, does indeed lie 1984.

    Give me liberty, or give me death.

    -={(Astynax)}=-
  • by Eladio McCormick (226942) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @09:31AM (#259584)
    Your post assumes that the IMC handed out the logs. They haven't. Nor have they admitted to there having ever been such a post as the Secret Service and the FBI claimed, that is, a post containing classified info on President Bush's travel itinerary.
  • by Eladio McCormick (226942) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @02:33PM (#259585)

    Again, this doesn't look like they're going after server logs at all, but rather they're trying to track people who used the IP in question (216.213.32.98) as a dialup connection point.

    $ nslookup www.indymedia.org
    Non-authoritative answer:
    Name: stallman.indymedia.org
    Address: 216.231.32.98
    Aliases: www.indymedia.org

    Looks like the order simply has a typo ("213" instead of "231"), and that they are going after the IMC web server indeed.

    The weird requests (SLIP, PPP, etc.) could be explained away by just assuming the FBI has some boilerplate host logs request document. Somebody just grabbed that, plugged in a mistyped IP, and sent it off.

    Which makes the part in the IMC press release which goes

    the court order contained a non-working IP address, rather than an address assigned to any of the IMC sites.
    to be just wrong. Presumably, if the IMC people are knowledgeable enough to do a nslookup on this IP, then they should also be capable of noticing how similar it is to their own server's, right?
  • by corvi42 (235814) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @10:14AM (#259589) Homepage Journal
    The FBI wants YOUR log files ( insert unlce same here )

    So why don't we give them to them? How would things stand if slashdot and 20 other websites just voluntarily submitted their log files to a few select members at the DOJ. Say, one email per page-view, you know, just 'cause they were so interested in seeing them.
    This would give a new meaning to the word slashdot effect.
  • by espo812 (261758) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @01:21PM (#259597)
    https://fugu.safeweb.com/webpage/press_room/in_q_t el.html [safeweb.com]

    It looks to me like the CIA liscensed the product that SafeWeb produces. If you consider a paying customer to be "funding" and "owning" a buisness.. then I guess you could say the CIA owns SafeWeb.
    espo
    --
  • by deran9ed (300694) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @09:42AM (#259604) Homepage
    *sigh* And the US wants to pass this shit too [zingin.com]...

    Maybe you're a civil libertarian, and maybe you're not. Maybe you worry about how the United States exercises its vast investigative and prosecutorial powers, and maybe you don't.

    But if you counsel U.S. corporations on computer-related issues, you should be concerned about a new proposed treaty known as the "Convention on Cybercrime." The Council of Europe, a 43-nation public body created to promote democracy and the rule of law, is nominally drafting the treaty. Curiously, however, the primary architect is the United States Department of Justice.

    The Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation are using a foreign forum to create an international law-enforcement regime that favors the interests of the feds over those of ordinary citizens and businesses. Their goal is to make it easier to get evidence from abroad and to extradite and prosecute foreign nationals for certain kinds of crimes.

    Maybe you trust the law-enforcement chiefs in D.C. to do the right thing. But here's the catch. The same new powers given to the United States will also handed over to Bulgaria, Romania, Azerbaijan, and other Council of Europe nations that-although officially democratic now-don't have a strong traditions of checks and balances on police power.

    Do you want investigators rummaging around your clients' computer systems on warrants issued by former Soviet bloc nations?

    (read full article here [cryptome.org])

    I wonder how many people visit the site using proxies, and if IP addresses are going to be used, I hope Indy Media know how circumstantial thay shit is. I wonder if it can be fought with in court with a demonstration of Packet Replays and Packet Injections, to show how just how shitty using IP addresses as identification can be.

    And people think I'm paranoid about using daisy chaining proxies along with Safeweb [safeweb.com]

    Well for those here who need it (I doubt there's many) here are my privacy links. [antioffline.com]

  • by stefani (308412) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @11:59AM (#259608)
    Yes, it is media. The fact that "ANYONE" is allowed to post does not imply it is not news, not media. The IMC, as far as i have been able to tell, has never wanted to be the same as TV or "news reporters" (what does that mean, newspapers?? ). Being the same as TV news is not the goal of IMC; rather quite the opposite, it is intended to provide news that may not be found on corporately-owned news sources, such as CNN, NY Times, et al. "Independent" does not mean "unbiased", either. That also is a common misperception.

    Not only does IMC allow "ANYONE" to be press, it seems to be a founding principle: "don't hate the media, become the media". So IMC is not defining *who* is and who is not press; I would hope that in the legal matters, it does not allow the courts to think they can determine it either. Simply having a paycheck from some 'official' news agency does not imply one is "press". That concept, in and of itself, needs to be quesioned as seriously misinformed.

  • by freeweed (309734) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @09:32AM (#259609)
    the 'net would be nothing more than a cesspool or porn, warez, and hax0rs, with none of the redeeming content that we so value

    Hmm... I always thought that this WAS the redeeming content of the internet that we so value.

  • by BlueTurnip (314915) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @10:01AM (#259612)
    Because if you run a gateway of any sort (in the US) and you don't log, you're held liable for the actions of anyone using the gateway. That means, in the eyes of the government, if someone threatents the president from your anonymizer, and you don't keep logs, it's just as though *you* threatened the president from your own machine.

    REALLY??? I wasn't aware of any such law. Could you quote the statute and or precidents please?

    I know that law enforcement has been trying to get something like this passed, but I was unaware that they had succeeded yet. Please tell me more.

  • by janpod66 (323734) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @09:37AM (#259613)
    That is one of the many reasons why centralized web-based services are not such a good idea. In fact, we have a perfectly good service for distributing information widely without the ability for anyone to identify readers: USENET. For better or for worse (I think for worse, actually), it is even permanently archived and searchable now. And USENET offers a choice of jurisdiction of where the identity of a poster is protected.
  • by Invisible Agent (412805) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @11:01AM (#259614)
    That's a good idea, but from experience I know that the authorities can easily order you to start keeping such logs.

    Your idea might work to hide any historical data before a search warrant, but once ordered to keep logs (and to keep your mouth shut about it), you have to do so or face the music. They'll get the logs anyway by siezing your property and incarcerating you. Yes, this really happens.

    Invisible Agent
  • by Snodgrass (446409) on Saturday April 28, 2001 @10:41PM (#259637) Homepage

    Pretty big talk for someone without a name. Anonymity is comfortable, isn't it?

    But you see, you're the same thing that you're accusing all of us of being, you're just on the opposite side.

    under this wonderful Bush administration, that is fast becoming a crime

    Quick to blame the current administration for all of your problems. Yeah, that last guy did a whole freaking lot for us. He never did anything that pissed somebody off, did he?

    You voted for Bush because you thought he'd help your mutual funds. That is truly shallow and pathetic

    You assume that all of us voted for Bush because we thought he'd help our mutual funds. That is truly shallow and pathetic.

    You probably aren't even industrious enough to use Linux

    MmmmHmmm...so, because I didn't spend my life at a console and learning to hack my kernel I'm stupid? Now that's deductive reasoning.

    You're probably sucking on Bill's teat with your Win2000 boxes, praising how easy the online registration is.

    Yup, more of the same. I dual-boot windows, so I must be a fricking moron. Boy, Sherlock, you sure got me there.

    If this sort of thing (which is getting more commonplace) doesn't frighten the hell out of you, you are morons

    Not all of us are stupid enough to post a threat to the President on a public forum. Now that's the move of a true moron.

    Toe the line, cowards, code those NSA backdoors in, do what the government tells you, because you're worthless little dogs fighting for a scrap from the master's table.

    Oh mighty one, thank you for showing me the error of my ways. Guess I better get rid of my windows install before the NSA hacks my computer, steals my credit-card number, and passwords, and goes all "The Net" on me, eh?

    Good f*****g riddance.

    Ah, spoken like a gentlemen!

The 11 is for people with the pride of a 10 and the pocketbook of an 8. -- R.B. Greenberg [referring to PDPs?]

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