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[FYI] Easy to publish, 'almost impossible' to remove


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Thursday, May 13, 1999 Published at 12:41 GMT 13:41 UK 


             Easy to publish, 'almost
             impossible' to remove 

             Uploading a Website onto a new ISP can take just minutes 

             The UK Government has been playing cyber catch-up
             with renegade spy Richard Tomlinson since the end of last

             As soon as they shut down the former MI6 man's
             Swiss-based Website - because he was believed to have
             revealed the identities of other spies in it - he merely
             uploaded the site onto another internet service provider
             (ISP), Geocites. 

             Even though Geocites soon became aware of the
             injunction taken against the Swiss-based site, and
             promptly evicted Mr Tomlinson from its cyberspace,
             theoretically it could only be a matter of time before he
             sets up again with another ISP. 

             "It is incredibly easy to set up a Website, especially
             with free ISPs," said Nicholas Ispanayis, of

                                 "Free ISPs can allow you to
                                 have your site up and running
                                 within minutes - and it can be
                                 very difficult to know who has
                                 set up the Website if they
                                 have registered online. You
                                 could very easily give false
                                 personal details in the
                                 registration procedure. 

                                 "Basically, anyone can log
                                 on to a free ISP, provide any
                                 kind of identity, and set up a
                                 site. If that site contains
                                 illegal information, it may be
             shut down, but then it is very quick and easy to upload
             all the code onto another ISP." 

             ISPs are only too aware of the problem. The vast
             majority of the Internet's bad press comes from the
             relatively small amount of illegal information which is
             published on it. 

             Nicholas Lansman, General Secretary of the Internet
             Service Providers Association, says the industry is
             making great strides in the area of self-regulation. 


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