Feeds

Council accused of gagging Web site

Freedom of speech v defamation

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A Merseyside man claims his Web site has been gagged over allegations that it defamed local councillors.

Mick Dempsey runs Kirkby Times, a fiercely independent news site which provides "local news, not spin-doctored rubbish". It receives contributions from local people and takes particular relish in keeping tabs on the activities of the local council.

Last week, though, site host Telewest pulled the Kirkby Times site after receiving a letter from Knowsley Council.

Mr Dempsey managed to get the site hosted elsewhere and is continuing to publish, but is furious at the way he's been treated.

"At no time did Knowsley Council or any of their officers or councillors ever contact me direct to complain about any content," he said. "Knowsley Council pay lip service to democracy, but when confronted with real democracy, in the form of free speech, they seek to gag it."

In a statement Knowsley Council defended its actions.

"Knowsley Council has not closed down Kirkby Times website. The authority had raised the issue of defamatory remarks about officers and councillors on this site with the Internet provider and asked that they deal with it in an appropriate manner.

"The request was that any necessary action was taken for the removal of these remarks; the subsequent action taken by the Internet provider was their decision," it said.

A spokesman for Telewest confirmed that it had been contacted by Knowsley Council concerning the site.

"We took legal advice and decided to remove the site," he said. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.