Lawyers acting for the Barclay brothers, Withers, instructed the takedown to Acidity via mail last night, citing the Acceptable User Policy. The takedown will be bolstered by the Godfrey vs Demon precendent, where an order can be made and it will be done instantly. Of course, if the website was being hosted in the USA it would be much harder to order the instant takedown. You'd think though, that if the allegations were moonbat untrue there would just be a "point, laugh and call them ridiculous" strategy rather than ordering a takedown to gag Nadine from saying it. This is especially the case I would've thought because once Recess is over, Nadine would be free to say such things in the House and be protected by Parliamentary Privilege. By taken her down like this the Telegraph will have fed the very idea of some sort of hidden agenda. Suppression, whether it is of speech that is right or wrong, is usually counterproductive.
This reminds me of the Usmanov case where a Russian Oligarch had a British blog's site taken down by its hosts because it didn't like what that particular blogger was saying. The whole British blogosphere rowed in behind him to support his right to free speech. I wonder if the same will happen here.
As I made clear yesterday, I didn't agree with all of what Nadine was saying on her blog yesterday. But so what. I defend her right to say it, no matter how ill advised I think some of it might have been for her personally. Can it really now be illegal or libellous to question a newspaper's agenda and motives, or those of its owners? Is it really illegal to accuse someone of a witchhunt? I don't happen to think that the Telegraph is undertaking a witchhunt, but I can quite see why some MPs do. Those who believe Nadine's main accusation, which is that the Telegraph has an agenda to boost UKIP and the BNP, may, at first sight, have their views reinforced by this morning's edition which has a lengthy profile of UKIP leader Nigel Farage. Reading it, however, it's not quite the paen of praise it might first appear.
Internet Service Providers needs to develop some cojones in the face of legal threats from big companies. If this had been an American ISP they would have probably laughed at the letter sent by the Telegraph.
Interestingly, the rest of the media seems to have become a little more sympathetic to Nadine's stance - something which the Telegraph's action will only accelerate. She has an article in the Independent this morning, and that newspaper's main leader is headlined THE PURSUIT OF MPs IS BECOMING A WITCHHUNT. The Times's Danny Finkelstein agrees with Nadine that suicides are quite possible.
No doubt, more later...