Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I am not Spartacus, but I know his URL

Craig Murray, our former ambassador in Uzbekistan and the author of Murder In Samarkand (another book of which I'm proud to have a signed copy) has had his blog closed down. He had written an uncomplimentary post concerning Alisher Usmanov, friend of dissident-boiler Islom Karimov and now part-owner of Arsenal FC, and Usmanov's lawyers began a campaign of intimidation. I call it intimidation because they have decided not to bring any kind of legal action against Craig Murray, but nevertheless threatened Fasthosts, his ISP. Even though Murray had pulled the offending post, Fasthosts closed down his blog. For good measure, they took down a number of others with which it shared a server, including that of Boris Johnson, Conservative candidate for Mayor of London. Read the story here and here.

A number of bloggers, mostly ones domiciled outside the UK or who have no seizable assets, have posted the text of Murray's post directly on their blogs (in an I-Am-Spartacus campaign which is being cited as a case study in cyber-activism). Not falling into those categories, I shall confine myself to this link.

Though I can't resist linking to this just for Craig Murray's comment in the final paragraph. To help you understand what he means, here's a picture of Mr Usmanov.