Uzbek billionaire Usmanov censors critic and many UK MPs' blogs

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11 Responses to “Uzbek billionaire Usmanov censors critic and many UK MPs' blogs”

  1. Ian Holmes says:

    You can find the censored article reposted at Rebellion Sucks and Sabretache.

    It is quite interesting reading. I am sorry Murray’s blog is down & hope it pops up again somewhere else. He’s a character and he had jaw-dropping things to say about Uzbekistan.

  2. vertigo25 says:

    I don’t understand how Murray’s host can legally do this. Is there something like the DMCA in the UK that allows for potentially libelous content to be edited or censored?

    He says that he’s sympathetic to his hots *having* to change his posts. Why do they *have* to?

    That’s some scary shit, when someone with enough money or clout can silence their critics so easily.

  3. Compulsive Reader says:

    Bloggerheads got taken down as well. The offending article is at Lenin’s Tomb as well. BB should post it.

  4. Teresa Nielsen Hayden/Moderator says:

    I know UK libel law is very different from US law. I don’t know whether there are other laws involved.

  5. tyk says:

    I’m in the US; rich political manipulators here cannot block blogs. They can sue and seek damages, but they cannot get postings taken down. How is UK law different on this? It seems so futile — counterproductive — anyway. Such postings are instantly cached on hundreds (thousands) of servers, aren’t they. And the flap just calls attention? tyk, Ann Arbor MI US.

  6. doctorvee says:

    Just a slight correction. As far as I know, only one MP’s site (Boris Johnson’s) was taken down — although one of the other sites was that of a local councillor, Bob Piper.

  7. Julian Bond says:

    One of the sites I’ve created is an RSS aggregator of UK Political blogs. I had the phone call from somebody who claimed to be from Schillings demanding that a potentially libelous article shown on my site about Alisher Usmanov was removed. It took quite a while to work out what she was talking about and it turned out to be a copy of Craig’s article that had been picked up by my RSS robot. She also claimed to have sent me a fax and email though neither have ever turned up.

    She made the comment that it was proving very difficult to find all the copies, references and links. Particularly when Arsenal are involved so this was all over the football discussion forums. I’d been found via Google and then my Whois entry.

    The whole story.
    http://www.voidstar.com/node.php?id=3014

  8. softcurrency says:

    It might be very interesting to ask Usmanov’s lawyers whether they have done their due diligence on him. Lawyers, amongst others are subject to the stricture of anti-money laundering legislation. Let me just say that having visited Uzbekistan and knowing of the many ‘multiple-exchange-rates’, I would be exceptionally surprised if his money was clean.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Vertigo25, the British system is entirely different than the American system. There’s no First Amendment in Britain, for instance.

    Under British law, something can be held to be libelous if it causes damage, even if it’s true. In the US, truth is an absolute defense against libel action but that’s not the case in the UK.

    In the US the DMCA holds common carriers blameless for material that passes through their networks. I believe that’s not the case for the UK. So since the hosting company could be sued for true-but-damaging material posted by one of their customers, it’s hardly surprising they’d be hustling to change or delete it.

  10. Crunchbird says:

    I can understand a web host taking down a blog in response to a legal notification of some kind, but I find it astonishing that they would actually go in and edit his text and still leave it up. If there’s a chance the post is libelous, then just take it down and archive it on your servers. Putting up an “officially-altered” version is downright scary, and smacks of a blatant attempt to re-write history. Does this sort of thing (hosts editing the posts/pages of their clients) happen often in the UK?

  11. MrDNA says:

    Last week’s edition of the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘The Choice’ focussed on Craig Murray and the circumstances which led up to his making the decision to blow the whistle on human rights abuses in Uzbekistan. You can listen to it here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/thechoice/pip/gopau/

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