23 Aug 2010

Spoof Tattoo website forced to close

A wee while ago I covered the spoof website on the Royal International Air Tattoo - well as the Wilts and Glos Standard and Glos Echo both reported the website was removed following threats of legal action. Indeed Cotswolds Connect say: "RIAT bosses promptly sent a letter to Mr Lister's internet supplier, Tense Internet, threatening to take them to court unless the site was removed."

I've been meaning to blog on this as the comparison between this and the recent news reports about internet restrictions in countries like Iran and China immediately sprung to mind. You can read lots more about what is going on around the world on Index on Censorship. Coming soon on this blog is news of a campaign for a world-wide ban on military air shows.

Fake air tattoo claims posted on web - from the Wilts and Glos Standard

AN EXACT replica of the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust website has been removed from the internet on the instructions of lawyers. On the front page of the phoney website was a letter that appeared to come from the Royal International Air Tattoo chief executive Tim Prince saying that the airshow this year was the final one.

Kevin Lister, who stood for the Green Party in the general election in the Cotswolds constituency, created the phoney website because he believes the airshow creates unacceptable amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

The website offered a full refund to those who had bought tickets for this year’s airshow. The fake website was on the internet for four days and was removed following a letter from the RAFCT’s solicitors to the internet service providers.

Mr Lister said he believed the website was obviously a spoof and said that airshow chiefs had no sense of humour. "It was obvious to everyone who read the page that it was a spoof and the worst that could happen to the Tattoo is that someone asks for their money back," he said.

RAFCT spokesman Richard Arquati said the website was removed to protect the interests of the company and beneficiaries of the charity.

"Last week we received reports that RAFCTE’s website had effectively been cloned, but altered to include a number of false statements wrongly attributed to the company’s chief executive. In order to protect the interests of the company, its donors and sponsors, its parent charity and, ultimately, the beneficiaries of that charity, notwithstanding the many thousands of people who plan to enjoy the event on July 17-18, we required the website to be taken down. This was duly done."

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