By Lori Price
Citizens for Legitimate Government
CLG’s webhoster, MayFirst, was approached by two FBI agents, not CLG itself. MayFirst responded, “We will not cooperate with any investigation into the identities, activities or perspectives of any of our members or any of the users of our systems.” [Well, I guess that eplains the norfolk.gov visit in the CLG logs on Thursday!]
I received the following email Thursday evening, as a member of MayFirst’s Support Team:
Today, at about noon, two agents of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation came to the May First/People Link offices as part of what they said was an investigation of emailed bomb threats being sent to accounts at the University of Pittsburgh.
MFPL Director Jamie McClelland met them at the door and the two agents showed Jamie copies of three such emails. It appears that the emails were being relayed from a server that May First houses. The FBI identified the IP address assigned to the server with the ECN, a progressive Internet provider in Italy. Among its activities, ECN runs an anonymous email server: a server you can use to send email that isn’t logged or stored.
The agents asked Jamie questions about these emails. He couldn’t answer their questions and still can’t. We have no control over that server and no access to it and since it is an anonymous email server there is no record of who is using it. We simply cannot cooperate because we have no information to share.
But there are underlying issues here that transcend the limitations in this situation. Because even if we could cooperate, we wouldn’t.
May First considers the use of our Internet resources to make violent threats or carry on campaigns that threaten or facilitate violence to be unacceptable and unworthy of support. Not only does most of our membership oppose that type of activity but its propagation over our servers puts our organization and each of its members in severe jeopardy. This is not the purpose of the Internet.
At the same time, it’s the Internet’s purpose that drives our unwavering and consistent position on this type of investigation. The Internet was created for free and unfettered communications and any infringement on the privacy, activities or free speech of anyone is in complete contradiction to that.
We will not cooperate with any investigation into the identities, activities or perspectives of any of our members or any of the users of our systems.
At the moment, we have no reason to believe that this investigation will continue in a way that impacts MFPL members. We’re sending this to you because we are committed to transparency and full communication with our members and we will continue, the best of our ability, to keep you informed as the case progresses.
We believe that the future of the world and the survival of the human race depend on the open, uninterrupted and unfettered communication among the people of the world. We will strongly resist any attempt by anyone, including governments, to mitigate that kind of communication or to use the systems of communication as an investigative or repressive tool.