Tuesday, November 09, 2004


So many things today are like Catch-22 or like 1984. An interesting one concerns the recent seizure of some Indymedia servers in London, England:

The facts of the matter are scanty. On Oct. 7, Rackspace Managed Hosting, an Internet service provider based in San Antonio, was served with a subpoena ordering it to hand over two Indymedia servers physically located in London. Rackspace immediately fired off an e-mail to Indymedia informing them about the servers and noting that it was required to comply, according to something called the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, an international agreement that sets out "procedures for countries to assist each other in investigations such as international terrorism, kidnapping, and money laundering."
In the e-mail, Rackspace noted that it was "acting as a good corporate citizen and is cooperating with international law enforcement authorities. The court prohibits Rackspace from commenting further on this matter."
And that was that. Rackspace refused to provide a copy of the seizure order to Indymedia. Noting that it was under a federal gag order, it refused to even discuss the contents of the order. Indymedia was left wondering which government seized its servers and for what purpose. To this day, the group has no idea what was done to the servers before they were returned, what was being searched for, who did the searching, or why. All they know is that for nearly a week somebody, somewhere, with the assistance of the FBI, had a peek, and maybe more, at their machines.

What you don't know about can't hurt you? This seems to be the very motto of both the Bush administration and those who vote for it. But I can't help feeling that we have strayed quite far from the narrow and difficult path of democracy. Even from the path of freedom that Bush so advocates, although it's true that he never specified who exactly would be free under his rule.