This story popped up over the radar over the weekend:
Essentially, a US Attorney subpoenaed an online news organisation with the demand that it turn over all of its traffic records for one day, including all IP addresses, names, credit cards, etc. It also injuncted the said news organisation, Indymedia from reporting that it had been supoenaed to harvest this information. Sound familiar? The fact is, they are not allowed to do this. Nada. No way Jose. There are very specific rules that apply to the Press when it comes to this type of Subpoena, and apparently they were bypassed.
Now, Indymedia is a daft liberal news aggregate site which, in the words of CBS is :
a Web site whose authors sometimes blur the line between journalism, advocacy, and on-the-streets activism
It's the kind that makes Michael Moore look like a paid up member of the GOP. Hence it is not surprising that, when it comes to bending the rules, the authorities should target a left-wing organisation. (I wonder if they were just "testing"?)
The point being made over there is that this is a story that came to light. How many web sites, Indymedia asks, just rolled over, gave the info the Feds wanted and shut up about it?
Over in the UK, High profile libel lawyers Carter Ruck tried the same trick with The Guardian over a damaging report on Trafigura, regarding a toxic waste dumping incident. Carter Ruck not only injuncted the Guardian not to print the story, but injuncted them against telling their readers they had been injuncted.
Already we know that Labour have advanced plans for a super-snooping agency. It will make what happened to Indymedia look like a flea-bite.