A story came out the other day that the department of Justice requested a complete list of the IP address who visited the news site http://www.indymedia.us/. This is a stunning move and it raises a lot of questions. Isn’t the against amendment four in the Constitution? Isn’t it interesting that the Democrats were so outspoken against phone line tapping of suspected terrorists but remain silent when it comes to information round up of website visitors. I visited the site and did not see any reason for the department of justice to need the information. This appears to be an otherwise benign website.
Here is the information they sought according to CBSNews:
The subpoena (PDF) from U.S. Attorney Tim Morrison in Indianapolis demanded “all IP traffic to and from http://www.indymedia.us”; on June 25, 2008. It instructed Clair to “include IP addresses, times, and any other identifying information,” including e-mail addresses, physical addresses, registered accounts, and Indymedia readers’ Social Security Numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, and so on.
The subpoena of the Indy Media site was later dropped in a curious move leaving open a lot of reason to be concerned. These orders, since they involve the media, must go directly through Eric Holder and I assume they withdrew it after sufficient fear of backlash. Hence the reason they initially tried to place a gag order on indymedia.us to keep them from disclosing any information about the government’s request. Very indicative and quite underhanded on the part of the Obama Administration.
We as Americans should have some concern here because there is no telling what could happen. It is unclear why this information we requested. How can you justify the need for credit and bank account numbers in the interest of security. What other sites might be probed in a similar manner? That lives to be seen. Since there are many unknowns, the doors are left wide open for speculation on the matter. Some of which includes the possibility of imprisonment and other concerns simply for expressing opposition views to the government. All of which in no way has been confirmed but keeps Americans feeling uneasy.
We do know one thing tho – the White house has been very open in its criticism of media outlets dispensing information it doesn’t agree with. Administration officials, more specifically, the diversity Czar has cited the democratic media revolution in Venezuela as “brilliant.” Statements like that cannot be taken lightly and could be indicators of things to come. Remember one thing people, stand up for freedom, Protect it and defend it, because will not realize how valuable it really is until you have lost it.