It's now been seven days since FBI agents barged into the offices of a London based web hosting company and seized computer equipment containing the Sheffield alternative news web site Sheffield Indymedia.
The equipment seized also affected around 20 other Indymedia web sites from Europe to South America. Yet still neither the FBI, the Government or the police have offered any explanation to Indymedia as to why their servers were seized or to where they had been taken.
Rackspace, the web hosting company, issued a limited statement saying that they were acting in compliance with "a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), which establishes procedures for countries to assist each other in investigations such as international terrorism, kidnapping and money laundering". They also said a court order is prohibiting them from making any further comments about the seizure. 
Volunteers from Sheffield Indymedia  are furious about the incident and believe that Sheffield MP and Home Secretary David Blunkett must have sanctioned the MLAT in the first place. They are writing to Mr Blunkett demanding an explanation.
The hard disk drives were returned yesterday evening (Wednesday) to Rackspace but the reason for the disappearance remain a mystery.
Notes for editors
1 Indymedia is believed to be the largest all voluntary organisation
in the world.
2 Good overview in these two articles from The Register
3 Indymedia UK main story:
4 Global Indymedia story http://indymedia.org/en/static/fbi#imcs
5 Interesting Statewatch article detailing legal aspects
6 BBC story http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3732718.stm
7 Guardian story
8 Rackspace's full statement:
"In the present matter regarding Indymedia, Rackspace Managed Hosting,
a U.S. based company with offices in London, is acting in compliance
with a court order pursuant to a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty
(MLAT), which establishes procedures for countries to assist each
other in investigations such as international terrorism, kidnapping
and money laundering. Rackspace responded to a Commissioner’s
subpoena, duly issued under Title 28, United States Code, Section 1782
in an investigation that did not arise in the United States. Rackspace
is acting as a good corporate citizen and is cooperating with
international law enforcement authorities. The court prohibits
Rackspace from commenting further on this matter."
9 http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=11579 David Blunket
criticised by Reporters Without Borders
10 http://www.apc.org/english/news/index.shtml?x=26809 South African
organisation point to abuse of human rights.