Saw a piece on NTK about a site which had been shut down at the request of a Jim Pearce from the met’s Obscene Publications Unit (though the fax header seems to say “clubs and vice” whatever that means…). All that Jim had to do to shut down this site was send a fax.
Nobody was charged, no warrants issued, nobody arrested. In other words, no crime committed.
The site’s publisher is understandably pissed off that his host shut him down without a warrant. Whether or not the whole incident is a scam, a hoax or a publicity stunt, it does raise some important questions about freedom of expression.
From the author’s open letter to the police:
…If you seriously believe that thinkofthechildren.co.uk is likely to incite violence or public disorder then I would be grateful if you would do me the courtesy of attempting to prosecute me for the offence. Proper legal channels exist for this purpose and I’m sure you know how to use them. You are also welcome to apply for a warrant to close the site pending a trial, subject to the Human Rights Act 1998…
All that, and while ‘heavy-handed’ the site is undeniably funny:-)