Authorities in the United States and Mexico appear to have conspired to take down a political website, and the incident is being swept under the rug, setting a dangerous precedent. 1dmx.org, a site featuring user-submitted content on police abuse at political demonstrations in Mexico, was blocked from December 2013 through March 2014 by its domain host GoDaddy. Despite repeated requests by Access and our local partners, agencies on both sides of the border have refused to comment. In December, GoDaddy stated that it blocked the site in response to a request by a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Agent at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.
On December 1st of 2013, the Mexican protest site 1dmx.org celebrated its first anniversary with a banner headline: “One year of struggle… and counting!” It was a simple site documenting the mass demonstrations in the wake of President Nieto’s inauguration. Scroll through, and you’d find YouTube videos documenting activist arrests and police brutality, a collectively edited stream designed to organize the opposition. But the next day, the group got an unpleasant surprise: the site was taken down, abruptly unplugged from its hosting service. Ever since, 1dmx has been scrambling to figure out why. GoDaddy sent an enigmatic email saying the group had violated the terms of service, but didn’t say how. When the site’s owners pushed for more information, GoDaddy told them they were part a criminal investigation triggered by the Department of Homeland Security’s Mexico City branch. Somewhere, someone had tagged them as a threat to national security, and taken down 1dmx.org in the process.