(X-posted on a couple of sites)
International Herald Tribune
By Doreen Carvajal
Published: October 7, 2007
Bloggers beware when you criticize the rich and powerful
The daily Web log, or blog, of the former U.K. ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, vanished after Murray's British Internet provider received a flurry of ominous legal letters demanding the removal of "potentially defamatory" information about Alisher Usmanov, a mining mogul with a rising stake in the English soccer club Arsenal.
Two weeks later, Murray is not blogging, but his blistering opinions are about to surface again through a Dutch Internet provider that offers refuge to controversial bloggers in the United States and in England, where libel laws are more lax. And with that journey, Murray has stirred support and a common outrage among bloggers and Internet service providers who complain that chilling demands from companies are becoming more frequent in a number of countries.
"I'm personally predicting that the next growth area is not censorship of bomb-making Web sites," said Richard Clayton, a computer security researcher at Cambridge University and part of the OpenNet Initiative that tracks Internet filtering around the world, "but complaints about defamation and civil suits."
More letters followed and by the fourth complaint, Fasthosts simply deactivated the Web site - along with two other servers, shutting down more than a dozen other sites, including that of a British member of Parliament.
Craig Murray -- Writer and broadcaster
Murder in Samarkand - by Craig Murray
We can all see where this is going, eh? If you can get a few high-priced lawyers, you can shut down websites?
I haven't yet read enough about Craig Murray to know his political position, but he certainly is against any Iran war.
Are we going to let this continue? I just sent a message to the UK firm Fasthosts, informing them that all of their URLs are now blocked by my firewall.