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Cyber cops crush plod-snapper site following Millbank riot

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The Metropolitan Police have tried to ban an anti-police website in the wake of the student protests against spending cuts last week.

The Met's public order branch, CO11, contacted web host Just Host.com to request the site be removed because it was: "being used to undertake criminal activities".

The host was then contacted by the Met's e-crime unit, which said the blog was providing "guidance" to offenders. As a result Just Host have suspended Fitwatch's hosting account, while dozens of supporters have reposted the blog.

The e-crime unit wrote to JustHost.com, in a letter seen by the Guardian: "We hereby request [you] de-host this website for a minimum period of 12 months. The website is providing explicit advice to offenders following a major demonstration in central London. The demonstration was marred by violence and several subjects have already been arrested, with a major police operation under way to identify and arrest further offenders."

After the protests, Fitwatch posted an article which advised anyone worried about being arrested after the demonstrations to stay calm, not hand themselves in to police and to get rid of clothes they were wearing at the demo. Protestors were also advised to stay away from similar events.

It advised anyone who had already been arrested to contact the legal support team.

The Fitwatch site has long campaigned against what it sees as heavy-handed tactics from the Forward Intelligence Teams - the police photographers who grab snaps of protestors.

Unsurprisingly to everyone but the police the blog has now been re-hosted by almost the whole internet.

There is a Google cache of Fitwatch here.

Or you can read it on Facebook, Urban75, Indy Media, or any of these other blogs. Don't tell the Met though...

There are more links to it on Twitter than even Stephen Fry can muster.

We've spoken to Scotland Yard and emailed Just Hosts and will update this story when we hear back. ®

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