Statement on Justice Department Subpoena of Athens IMC
The Department of Justice has issued a subpoena for specific information about a May First/People Link member using a May First/People Link server.
Federal lawyers sent the subpoena on September 5, 2014 demanding specific data and account information about the Athens Indymedia Center.
There have been ongoing communications between our lawyers at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the U.S. Attorney's Office. Federal officials have so far not explained the motivation for the subpoena.
May First/People Link resists disclosure of any member information to the government unless the member directs us to provide that information.
We have discussed this extensively with the member in question, Athens IMC, and have jointly decided on a response to the government to be made on our behalf by our lawyers to federal attorneys. We are awaiting the Justice Department's response.
We believe the release of member data is a violation of our members' right to privacy, a fundamental human right and one that protects the ability of our members to engage in activism and political organizing. In the case of the Athens IMC, there is particular concern since this may be a collaborative effort by the U.S. government to assist the Greek government in activities that may violate our members' rights and even end in criminal action against them.
Facilitating, defending and protecting our members' data and their ability to function as activist organizations is at the very core of MF/PL's mission. We do not cooperate with government intrusions unless the specific affected members agree to such cooperation. It is this policy that guides our actions.
We will keep members posted as to the progress of the case. At this point, most MF/PL members' data is not affected or threatened.
Questions can be directed to Alfredo Lopez at alfredo( at )mayfirst.org.