Letter: Internet freedom

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The Independent Online
NO DOUBT Lord Irvine of Lairg is satisfied that he has prevented James Hulbert from exercising his right to freedom of speech ("Irvine closes down anti-judge website", 7 November). Along with Tony Blair, he fails to understand the internet. The pages he objects to are on Mr Hulbert's computer, at home. It so happens that they were published, until Lord Irvine's intervention, on the server provided by Kingston Internet Webmaster, which internet service provider (ISP) has now removed them.

However, Mr Hulbert, using a different (free, UK-based) ISP could sign up to any number of free website host servers based in the USA, Australia, indeed almost anywhere in the world. He could then simply post his pages on to one of those sites.

So Lord Irvine will insist that "someone" will have to spend untold sums of (public) money discovering how Mr Hulbert has manoeuvred his pages on to a computer based in another country. Available to view, of course, wherever there is an internet-linked computer.

Governments around the world are failing to realise that they are, little by little, losing control of the countries they believe they represent. A freedom of information Act is irrelevant in the UK when I could find the same (UK-barred) information published on a site in America, Russia, or almost anywhere else.


London SW11