FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Friday, October 22, 2004

Lessons Learned from Indymedia Server Seizure

The details surrounding last week's seizure of hardware belonging to the independent news service Indymedia remain as murky as ever. According to an article in the UK tech publication The Inquirer, no one seems certain exactly who ordered the seizure, or exactly what was being searched for.

One thing, however, is crystal clear: the Internet is not immune to government control. The article notes that the old Internew saw "the Internet perceives censorship as damage and routes around it" didn't hold up this time. Why? The answer is surprising simple...

Forty percent of Indymedia's servers were hosted at a single location, which made disabling the network a mere matter of unplugging hardware. Where were the failover servers? Why didn't Indymedia treat this as a disaster recovery situation and bring replacement servers back online? Redundancy, then, is the key to surviving any kind of attack, whether it be natural or man-made. Especially for information services that are controversial, designing a redundant architecture and a disaster recovery plan is crucial... even when using peer-to-peer and other protocols that are supposedly decentralized.

Source: Smart Mobs