by David Nodwell, firstname.lastname@example.org
British authorities have put the squeeze on a British Columbia man for linking his personal Web site to a report they want kept secret.
The report details the findings of a British "Joint Enquiry Team" (JET) that investigated children's claims of sadistic, ritual, Satanic abuse stemming from a 1989 sexual assault case. Three British journalists acquired a copy of the JET report, and defied the law by posting it on the Internet. A court injunction forced them to take it off their Web site, and remove all links to for sites that had mirrored it. But by then the cat was out of the bag, and running loose in digital domain.
Enter Jeremy Freeman, a 21-year-old student and network engineer in Summerland, B.C. Five days ago, Freeman found the JET report and posted it on his own Web site.
Then he got an email from the Nottingham County Council, which owns the report in question. It said to remove the report, or face legal action.
Freeman removed the report, and replaced it with a link to a site that had posted it elsewhere. But yesterday, the British authorities sent another email demanding that the link be removed as well.
Now, Freeman's Web site has detailed descriptions of his car, and his list of the 11 most beautiful women in the world, but no link to the JET report. He has posted a description of how he found the report, and why he posted it himself.
"I believe that any information concerning the public should be made available for the public to read", writes Freeman on his Web site. "I despise the fact that they made the reporter take down links to mirror sites... They used big government intimidation and scare tactics to force the burial of the report."
Freeman backed down because he doesn't want a law suit. But he says he's consulting with Electronic Frontier Canada, and hopes media attention on the story will teach the Nottingham County Council a lesson.
"The whole fiasco has nothing to do with what's contained in the report", said Freeman in an email to The Convergence. "It is because they are trying to censor a public document.... I thought because I lived in Canada I was beyond their reach."
- Relevant links:
- Jeremy Freeman's chronology of events,
the English journalist's Web site,
the JET Report.
Copyright © 1997 by Convergent Publishing, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.