As of recent months, there have been many accounts of Progressive news sites and Progressive sites in general experiencing difficulty on the Web. Some sites have been completely censored off the web for a period of time such as BushFlash.com which last week was offline and in place of its home page was a Department of Homeland Security logo. The statement from the government was the site was under investigation for violations of the Patriot Act. The site was started in March 2003, after the publisher watched the corporate media completely ignore the groundswell against the coming Iraq war.
Another site owned by a prominent figure known not only to attend but organize anti-war rallies is Perceval Press, owned by Actor Viggo Mortensen. This evening Mortensen posted a note on the site stating, “Apologies to anyone who has been temporarily blocked from connecting with percevalpress.com by something called ‘(Content)Watch,’ which apparently involves state censorship dictated by moral judgments on what ‘(Content)Watch’ calls ‘Hate/Violence’ and ‘Pornography.’ I haven’t the faintest idea what could have roused the watchdogs, and, frankly, do not care to know. This is the world we live in. I certainly hope it wasn’t the recently-posted Sun-Sentinel link regarding restoration of constitutionally-guaranteed voting rights for ex-cons in Florida. We at Perceval Press will continue to provide whatever information we see fit to post on our site. Hopefully you will be allowed to view this information at your personal discretion so as to be able to draw your private conclusions with regard to ‘content.’ Happy Easter.”
In the name of National Security, numerous sites have been removed from the Web including Raisethefist.com, an alternative media site conversing on a diversity of subjects including anarchism, activism, and current events not reported by mainstream media.
The site is active again and states, ” On Jan 24, 2002 the FBI, Secret Service Los Angeles Joint-terror Task Force armed with sub-machine guns, shot guns, and bullet-proof vests raided the home of Sherman Austin (former webmaster of Raisethefist.com and founder of RTF Direct Action Network). Sherman Austin was 18 years old at the time. Federal agents came armed and ready to kill with the house completely surrounded and guns drawn before approaching the front door. They left with all computer equipment and political literature seized. A week later he attended the World Economic Forum protests in New York where he was arrested by the FBI for “distribution of information related to explosives or weapons of mass destruction”. However Sherman never distributed or authored any information about explosives. In fact the FBI referred to a completely different site authored by a completely different individual (whom they visited and questioned in person) but purposely lied, fabricated evidence, and lied in court documents to frame Sherman and paint him as a terrorist. He was eventually convicted and sentenced to a year in federal prison on Aug 4, 2003. He was released a year later with 3 years of strict probation which prohibits him from having access to a computer as well as knowingly associating with individuals who “espouse violence for political change.”