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Anti-abortion fanatics threaten use of Web cam

Pictures of women using clinics will be posted on sites inciting violence

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The anti-abortion fundamentalists behind the Nuremberg Files -- a Web site that issued death threats to more than 200 US doctors who performed terminations --have vowed to take their crusade to Europe. Extreme pro-life activists have said they will take pictures of women visiting abortion clinics in the UK using a Web camera and will post their pictures on anti-abortion Web sites. The cameras will either be carried by activists calling themselves "Sidewalk Counsellors" -- who keep a vigil-like guard outside clinics -- or they will be mounted on walls outside clinics. This threat to personal privacy comes less than a week after a federal judge found the American Coalition of Life Activists and the Advocates for Life Ministries -- the people behind the Nuremberg Files site and this latest move -- guilty of inciting violence. More than a dozen US anti-abortion activists who used the Internet to publicise their opinions were ordered to pay more than $100 million in damages by the US court. Although the Nuremberg Files site was finally pulled late last week by host ISP MindSpring, Neal Horsley, the man behind the site, said it will be back up again this week. He also said he has received offers from other ISPs willing to host it for him and he used this opportunity to confirm that the Nuremberg Files would expand it presence and that the Web cam feature in Europe, the US and Japan would be a part of that. A representative of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service -- which has 36 clinics around the UK and carries out 50,000 abortions each year -- admitted that she was concerned by the threat. She said the activity in the UK was not as extreme or on the same scale of protests seen in the US. "The notion of filming women in this way is despicable and inhumane," she said, "It completely undermines a woman's right to privacy." Although the activists in the US claim they have a legal right to publish such information under the First Amendment of the American Constitution, a spokesman for the Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) organisation said this is not a question of freedom of speech. Any attempt to publish such personal and private information in the UK would be in breach of the Data Protection Act, he said. ®

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