Privacy is not terrorism
January 16, 2015
On Tuesday 16th December, a large police operation took place in the Spanish State. Fourteen houses and social centres were raided in Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa and Madrid; books, leaflets and IT material were seized; and eleven people were arrested and sent to the Audiència Nacional, a special court handling issues of “national interest”, in Madrid. They are accused of incorporation, promotion, management and membership of a terrorist organisation. However, lawyers for the defence denounce a lack of transparency, saying that their clients have had to make statements without knowing what they are accused of . “[They] speak of terrorism without specifying concrete criminal acts, or concrete individualised facts attributed to each of them.”  When challenged on this, Judge Bermúdez responded: “I am not investigating specific acts, I am investigating the organization, and the threat they might pose in the future” ; making this yet another case of apparently preventative arrests. Four of the detainees have been released, but the remaining seven have been jailed pending trial. The reasons given by the judge for their continued detention include the posession of certain books, “the production of publications and forms of communication”, and the fact that the defendants “used emails with extreme security measures, such as the server RISE UP.”
There were several cases in the last decade where people were accused because of "conspiratorial behaviour". In Germany, in 2007, 4 people were arrested. One of them because he met with another suspect twice more than in the previous five months, leaving mobile phones at home for some meetings, and so on. 
Nearly the same thing happened in Austria in 2008 when 13 people were arrested. One reason was: they were using encrypted e-mail.
In both cases and in several others this kind of "conspiratorial behaviour" has been used as a reason to keep people in jail during the investigation period. In the eyes of investigators, every meeting/email/phonecall of which the contents are not known, is “conspiratorial.” The legitimate protection of the private sphere is criminalised and – in the eyes of state prosecutors – constitutes proof of terrorist organisation.
We are appalled that the use of our services – and privacy measures in general – is considered tantamount to terrorism. No one is a terrorist because of protecting ones privacy. In a world where our every move is monitored by state and corporate interests, the use of encryption is an essential self-defense towards maintaining personal integrity. As such, every email provider should enable “extreme security measures”. We as hosting provider commit ourselves to protecting the data of our users in every way possible for us. We will not sell or hand out the data of our users. The state may thus think of us as supporting terrorism, but the only terror we see connecting the aforementioned cases is that of arbitrary repression aimed at those who do not want to voluntarily expose their private lives.
News: 6 May 2013
Statement by the plentyfact collective regarding "German actor Til Schweiger vs ucrony.net"
You might have noticed that since last Friday ( 3 May ) the domain
ucrony.net, including multiple subdomains, emails and mailinglists, are
offline. the ucrony folks have issued a press release
about what is going on.
What happened? Last week German actor Til Schweiger, known for his
German teen comedies in the nineties and a rather failed Hollywood
career, sucessfully applied via his lawyers for an injunction in a German Court
( Landgericht Berlin ) to remove an article from the multi-language
Blog directactionde.ucrony.net. The injunction, however, was not
served to ucrony's postal contact in Germany, but to ucrony's domain
registrar ( Key Systems
), who subsequently shut down the
Top Level Domain on Friday morning.
Ucrony.net is a loose collective of people offering subdomains and
mailinglists to non-commercial initiatives, technically supported by
us, the plentyfact collective. Hence all subdomains are currently
affected by the legal action.
What is this all about?
Some Background: One of those subdomains was used by a multi-language
blog called directactionde.ucrony.net. A couple of weeks ago this blog
reported about a paintball attack by some activists against Til
Schweiger's house, a protest apparently related to some positive
comments Schweiger made about the German Army in Afghanistan. The
incident was widely reported in the German mainstream media.
Schweiger's lawyers claim that the article spoke too positive about the
incident and also quoted from a statement allegedly written by those
As we take little interest in the life of an actor with rather mediocre
skills like Til Schweiger, we do not know all the details about what he said where and when,
as we think that this is beside the point anyway.
How Til Schweiger reacts in case of fire
What we indeed do care about is the fact that Til Schweiger, by his
legal action, has shut down about 21 Websites and the communication
tools ( Emails, Lists) of several musicians, photographers, video
collectives ( including reelnews
Into the Fire
) and local initiatives in
Schweiger's lawyers do not specify which German law was broken by the
US-based Blog. However, legal action against a domain registrar to
remove unwanted content seems to be a new level of confrontation in the
more and more repressive climate for bloggers. Even more, Schweiger's
lawyers also threaten ucrony with further legal action in case they use
the legal action "for publication", apparently attempting to silence
any possible bad media for Schweiger.
If the shut down of infrastructure such as domain registrars becomes a
common way to remove unwanted articles from the internet, we expect
google.com to closed very soon due to comments on plus.google.com. Of
course this is not going to happen, as such action not surprisingly
normally only happen against independent and non-commercial websites.
To avoid affecting so many uninvolved people, the
article in question was in fact removed from the blog less then 24
hours after the injunction, but this had no effect on the availability
of the domain anymore.
Lawyers are currently in talks with the domain registrar to clarify the
legal situation, howerer at this point we can not say when the domain
will be available again.