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Dutch state wants indymedia logs
21 oct 2004
Inofficial translation of earlier press statement by the editorial team NL"Overheid wil redactiegeheim Indymedia NL schenden" (Government wants to breach editorial secret of Indymedia),
Indymedia NL won't give the Public Prosecutor and the police access to the webserver-logs of Indymedia NL received a letter from the PP and the police on october 11 2004 in which they demand the access logs regarding an investigation to a newsposting which was published a week earlier on the website. The Indymedia-network does not log data of newsposters, to stimulate the freedom of speech as much as possible. The PP argues Indymedia is according to the Telecom legislation legally bound to save information such as log data and to submit them to the aurhorities upon request. The law forces Internet Service Providers and cable companies to allow the government access to traffic and to sniff their datanetworks. They have to keep logs for at least 3 months.

The Indymedia NL collective and its lawyers regard the way the PP tries to receive private information as an abuse of the law. Internet services which "deliver transmitted content" or which are "controlled" by an editorial team, such as the open-publication newssite, are explicitly exemted from the Telecom legislation. By using threats, the police, with help from the PP, tries to deprive an independent medium of its editorial confidentiality. This is an unacceptable violation to the freedom of press, even more so because the PP "explicitly" demanded to "exclude" the Wet Bescherming Persoonsgegevens (law on protection of privacy).

According to the Indymedia NL collective this incident joins in the pattern of the recent attacks on the worldwide Indymedianetwork. Recently the FBI confiscated at the request of Italian and Swiss authorities an Indymedia-server in London (UK). They compelled the commercial provider Rackspace to put the server of more than 20 Indymediasites offline. The legal basis for this is also questionable, because, for example, the server was housed in London whereas the summons from the FBI can at best be applied to the US only.

The Indymedia-network exists worldwide of more than 150 websites and multimedia-initiatives such as radio, tv and print. Worldwide, no log data is kept, to stimulate the freedom of press as much as possible. Indymedia protects its newssources, even if those sources represent an opinion which the Indymedia editorial team doesn't support. Because Indymedia works with an open publishing system with which newssources are able to publish their information on the newssite directly, more or less the only way to guarantee this protection, is to not log IP numbers. By the way, Indymedia is dependant on Internet Providers and thats why Indymedia cannot guarantee a connection to Indymedia is not tapped via the Internet Provider.

Indymedia is a collective of independent media organizations, that work according to the Open Posting principle: an essential element of the Indymedia project that allows anyone to publish the news they gather instantaneously. The Indymedia editorial team tries to encourage the readers to publish themselves by promoting interesting postings to a prominent position within the site. Only in exceptional cases, a posting will be removed from Indymedia. (See also: )

For more information about the FBI and Indymedia: For information about Indymedia in general: and info ARROBA (without the STOPSPAM)
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This work is in the public domain


Public prosecutor demands log data from Indymedia Nederland
21 oct 2004
Indymedia Nederland, a co-operative that runs a Dutch online alternative news wire, has refused a request from the public prosecutor for telecom traffic data from its web server. This request is in connection with a recent posting on Indymediaâs bulletin board of a death threat to Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician.

The data requested could provide the prosecutor with the necessary IP-address details of recent visitors to Indymediaâs website, and hopefully help track down the culprit.

"According to the principles of Indymedia, log data is not saved, let alone supplied to third parties. It does this to stimulate as much as possible a free press, an important part of freedom of expression,â? said a spokesperson for Stichting Vrienden van Indymedia, the foundation that supports the site.

In a letter to Indymedia, the public prosecutor apparently reminded the website operator that the recent Telecommunication Act obliges it to retain such information as log data, and to make it subsequently available to the state.

According to Indymedia, this claim is inaccurate, something confirmed by Maurice Wessling of Bits of Freedom, a civil-rights lobbying group. "Recent changes to the law only concern ISP clients, and not visitors to a website such as Indymedia," reported Mr Wesseling. What is even more disturbing, he went on to say, a site is not even obliged to retain such information.

Furthermore, Indymedia views the public prosecutorâs action as abusing the law: "The police and public prosecution service are using threats [to force] an independent news media to abandon editorial confidentiality. This is an unheard of breach of press freedom," it said.

The Dutch public prosecution service would not comment on the case.

This incident follows the seizure of a server in London - part of Indymediaâs worldwide network - at the request of the Italian and Swiss governments.
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