October 17, 2004

Always Gibber, Gibber, Gibber, Eh, Dr. Shalizi?

I kind of thought I was shrill before this weekend. I had no idea what shrillness was about, none. That took the visceral realization that at the center of the government there is a blind, idiot sultan, mindlessly undulating to the piping of demonic flutes, ready at any moment to extend a pseudopod and crush the reality-based community. And then, this shows up in my in-box from the EFF.

Indymedia Servers Mysteriously Reappear, But Questions Remain

San Francisco, CA - Computer servers seized by the US government last week have now been returned to Rackspace Managed Hosting, but questions remain about why and under what authority this outrageous incident occured. EFF, which is representing a coalition of independent Internet journalists whose websites were shut down by the seizure, will examine the servers to make sure that they are secure and to preserve evidence for future legal action.

The seizure, which took place on October 7, was in response to a "Commissioner's Subpoena" issued at the request of a foreign government. Although initial reports suggested that the FBI had taken the servers, the FBI has since denied any involvement. Citing a gag order, Rackspace continues to decline to comment on what happened.

The servers hosted Indymedia's Internet radio station and more than 20 Indymedia websites, as well as several email lists. When they were seized, it silenced numerous political news websites for several days - a clear violation of the First Amendment.

"Secret orders silencing US media should be beyond the realm of possibility in a country that believes in freedom of speech," said EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl....

EFF will take legal action to find out what really happened to the servers and ensure that the media are protected from this kind of egregious First Amendment violation in the future.

"Commissioner's Subpoena"? "Issued at the request of a foreign government"? News sites shut down by secret government orders? The ISP can't say what part of the government shut them down? What the fuck? Look, I find Indymedia useless, but that doesn't matter. This is the kind of thing we had the Revolution to get rid of; we have the Bill of Rights to make sure we stayed rid of it. What next, shutting newspapers down for insulting the government? I'm sorry to swear and repeat myself, but what the fuck? We have to vote these bastards out, but really they should be impeached, now.

Midnight is approaching, and I can tell, by the way the cat is acting, that I have another attack of gibbering blasphemies coming on, so I'm going to end this here. But before I go: the war was doomed from the start, and is chewing up the army to achieve a strategic disaster, in case you had some tiny sliver of hope, or at least non-despair.

The Continuing Crisis

Posted by crshalizi at October 17, 2004 11:45 | permanent link

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