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Fwd: Re: Internet Freedom Shut Down [UPDATE]

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>From: George Koulikis <georgek@ndirect.co.uk>
>To: fight-censorship <fight-censorship@vorlon.mit.edu>
>Subject: Re: Internet Freedom Shut Down [UPDATE]
>Message-Id: <34214B30.EBFDDE1@ndirect.co.uk>
>Date: Thu, 18 Sep 1997 18:39:29 +0300

INTERNET FREEDOM's UK operation was shut down by Easynet PLC.

This UPDATED Press Release was issued by Internet Freedom today.

18 September, 1997


Update: Internet Freedom Web Site Shut Down

Yesterday Internet Service Provider Easynet PLC shut down Internet
Freedom's UK site.

Easynet claimed they had been instructed to shut down the site by the
"Anti-terrorist Branch" of the London police. No attempt was made to
contact the Campaign by email before closing the site.

Easynet have now denied their original story and claimed that they had been
alerted to the site after a critical email last week and "were merely
cleaning up our servers".

The shutting down of the site followed a feature on the Euskal Herria
Journal - a New York based political publication. The online magazine
supports Basque independence and contains maps of the region, cartoons and
an online petition to the Spanish government.

The Journal had been originally suspended by its US Internet Service
Provider following an extended email campaign which brought the host server
to a standstill. In opposition to its censorship, Internet Freedom, along
with a number of other organizations and individuals, hosted a copy of the
suspended site or 'mirror site', together with a bulletin board for Net
users to express their views.

As a consequence of Easynet's actions, Internet Freedom was forced to move
its news operations to the US at <http://www.netfreedom.org> where anybody
with access to the web may examine the site and judge the content for

Since the story was released, and following publicity of their actions,
Easynet has negotiated to temporarily reinstate the site from later today.

The events demonstrate the consequences of a climate of caution and the
trend for Internet Service Providers to become moral arbiters of content.

Chris Ellison, co-founder of Internet Freedom, said:

"Internet Freedom wholeheartedly condemns any attempt by Internet Service
Providers to arbitrate as to acceptable content. If it were not for the
vigilance of the Campaign and the prompt support of the Internet community,
it is very likely that the web site would have been shut down indefinitely.

There is a growing climate of conservatism among many Internet Access
Providers. As a result some seek to censor or suspend anything which is
remotely controversial, or which does not meet with their moral approval.
This is clearly an abuse of their power - Net users should be allowed to
make their own judgments."

For further comment call Chris Ellison on 0956 129 518


Internet Freedom

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