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RAISETHEFIST.COM ADMINISTRATOR INDICTED OVER WEBSITE CONTENT
Posted 31 Aug 2002 04:33:16 UTC

RaiseTheFist.com administrator Sherman Austin, 19, has been indicted again by the US Federal Government over information posted on his web site. Austin's case first came to national attention last January when FBI and Secret Service agents raided his Los Angeles home and seized his computer, shutting down his web site. In early February, immediately after protests countering the World Economic Forum in New York City, Austin was arrested, charged, and transported back to Los Angeles, where all charges against him were dropped.

Austin was charged under Title 18 852(p)(2)(A) of the US Criminal Code, which prohibits the distribution of information about bomb-making if that information is intended for use to commit a violent Federal crime and under Title 26 5861(d), which prohibits the possession of an unregistered firearm. These charges are apparently related to the "Reclaim Guide" section of Austin's site (mirror at CMU thanks to David Touretzky).

According to a statement released on his site, Austin rejected a plea bargain offering one month in jail, five months in a "half-way house", and three years on supervised release. If convicted at trial, he faces up to four years in prison.

It is not clear why Austin is being targeted; more detailed and potentially destructive bomb-making information is readily available at public libraries or on Amazon.com. If such books are legal to publish, it seems odd that Austin would be prohibited from publishing similar information on his website - unless, as he asserts, he is being targeted for his politics.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
RaiseTheFist.com Statement
Update anonymously sent to Dave Touretzsky
USA v. Austin Court Docket

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