Friday, April 29, 2011
ERISA DAUTAJ ŞENERDEM
ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
The TİB sent a list of 138 words Thursday to Turkish web-hosting firms, urging them to ban Internet domains that include such words.
The TİB sent a list of 138 words Thursday to Turkish web-hosting firms, urging them to ban Internet domains that include such words.
A request made Thursday by the Turkish Telecommunications Directorate, or TİB, to ban a total of 138 words from Turkish Internet domain names has no legal basis and has left companies unsure of what action to take, according to experts.
‘Providing a list and urging companies to take action to ban sites that contain the words and threatening to punish them if they don’t has no legal grounds,’ Yaman Akdeniz, a cyber-rights activist and a law professor at Istanbul Bilgi University, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review in a phone interview Friday. Akdeniz said no authority could decide that an action was illegal just by association.
The TİB sent a list of 138 words Thursday to Turkish web-hosting firms, urging them to ban Internet domains that include such words. The directive leaves tens of thousands of Turkish websites facing the risk of closure.
‘Hosting companies are not responsible for monitoring for illegal activities; their liability arises only if they take no action after being notified by the TİB – or any other party – and are asked to remove certain illegal content,’ Akdeniz said.
The TİB cited the Internet ban law number 5651 and related legislation as the legal ground for its request. The law, however, does not authorize firms to take action related to banning websites.
‘The hosting company is not responsible for controlling the content of the websites it provides domains to or researching/exploring on whether there is any illegal activity or not. They are responsible for removing illegal content when they are informed and there is the technical possibility of doing so,’ according to Article 5 of the law.
On Thursday, following the heated debate surround the ‘forbidden’ list, the TİB said the list was sent to hosting firms for informatory purposes. But the statement further confused the situation, as the body threatened companies with punishment if they did not obey its directions regarding the list in the first letter sent to service providers.
‘The TİB’s press statement is not clear, nor is it satisfactory,’ Akdeniz said, adding that it was a pity the directorate was still standing behind the list.
The TİB’s action is inconsistent with the related law and bylaw, and its subsequent statement contradicted both the request and the legislation,’ Devrim Demirel, founder and chief executive officer of BerilTech, Turkey’s leading domain name and business intelligence company, told the Daily News on Friday. He added they were still confused and did not know what their next move would be.
Demirel said they had no answers to the questions from hundreds of his company’s customers from Turkey and abroad, including Google’s com.tr and Yahoo’s com.tr services.
The TİB’s letter said the body would punish companies for not taking action to ban domains containing ‘forbidden words,’ but it did not specify what kind of punishment it implied, according to Demirel. ‘It is still not clear whether there will be administrative or other sanctions.’
Noting that the implementation of the TİB’s request on the forbidden names list could have many negative technical implications, Demirel said, ‘I think the TİB personnel who worked on the issues related to banning access are not endowed with the necessary technical knowledge and skills.’
He said customers had not taken any illegal action, but domains that include the words TİB wants to filter and then ban could incur losses.
‘There is no guarantee in the existing related legislation that I will not be asked to compensate the company in such a case,’ Demirel said, adding that there were many other complex technicalities like this one that could emerge should the TİB’s request be implemented.
Demirel said he received TİB’s letter via an email, which he said was neither ethical nor secure.
‘Do we have to make a technical check of the sender’s identity each time the TİB sends us an email? Requests with such important implications should be sent officially to each company’s office address, with the respective seal and signatures,’ he said.
Despite the problems, Demirel said banning websites in itself was the wrong approach. ‘Banning access to websites is in itself a censuring service.’
The TİB’s latest request also implied censure, he said.
Banned words have many scratching heads
The effect of the TİB’s request could see the closure of many websites that include a number of words. For example, the website ‘donanimalemi.com’ (hardwareworld.com) could be banned because the domain name has the word ‘animal’ in it; likewise, ‘sanaldestekunitesi.com,’ (virtualsupportunit.com) could be closed down because of the word ‘anal.’ Websites will also be forbidden from using the number 31 in their domain names because it is slang for male masturbation.
Some banned English words include ‘beat,’ ‘escort,’ ‘homemade,’ ‘hot,’ ‘nubile,’ ‘free’ and ‘teen.’ Some other English words would also be banned because of their meanings in Turkish: ‘pic,’ short for picture, is banned because it means ‘bastard’ in Turkish. The past tense of the verb ‘get’ is also banned because ‘got’ means ‘butt’ in Turkish. Haydar, a very common Alevi name for men, is also banned because it means penis in slang.
‘Gay’ and its Turkish pronunciation, ‘gey;’ ‘çıplak’ (naked); ‘itiraf’ (confession); ‘liseli’ (high school student); ‘nefes’ (breath) and ‘yasak’ (forbidden) are some of the other banned words.
The Telecommunication Communication Presidency banned 138 words and terms from the internet. The list also includes words used in everyday life. The number of access bans is expected to increase; also food home delivery sites or football supporters’ clubs will be affected.
Ekin KARACA, email@example.com
Istanbul – BİA News Center
29 April 2011, Friday
The list of ‘banned words’ is the latest outcome of a series of oppressive applications that day by day restrict internet freedom in Turkey more and more.
In a notification sent to all service providers and hosting companies in Turkey on Thursday (28 April), the Telecommunication Communication Presidency (TİB) forwarded a list of banned words and terms. Yet, this list also includes a number of ‘ordinary’ words that can be deemed indispensible in usual everyday life.
According to the list, names like ‘Adrianne’, ‘Haydar’ or words like ‘Hikaye’ (‘Story’) fall under the ban. Assoc. Prof. Yaman Akdeniz, lecturer at the Bilgi University School of Law, applied for the right to information to the Internet Department of the Telecommunication Communication Presidency as part of the Information Technology and Communication Council.
Internet expert Akdeniz requires information on controversial list
Akdeniz required information from TİB on several issues. The list comprises a total of 138 ‘forbidden words’ and is classified in three different groups. Akdeniz inquired why the first names ‘Adrianne’ and ‘Haydar’ from group II on the list were added in particular.
In the scope of Law No. 4982 on the Right to Information, internet expert Akdeniz also questioned who the names ‘Adrianne’ and ‘Haydar’ actually belong to.
Again in accordance with Law No. 4982, Akdeniz demanded to obtain the entire range of information and documents related to the preparation of the list.
In the same context, the internet expert requested information and documents regarding the execution of the new application.
Akdeniz put forward that the above mentioned information and documents were of immediate public interest and available at the Telecommunication Communication Presidency as part of the Information Technology and Communication Council. ‘The explanation of these documents is of public interest’, he stated and referred to Article 1 of Law No. 4982 that enshrines ‘the right to information according to the principles of equality, impartiality and openness that are the necessities of a democratic and transparent government’.
State forbids the word ‘forbidden’…
Several words on the list of ‘banned words’ are part of everyday life, e.g. the words Adrianne, Animal, Hayvan (‘Animal’), Baldiz (sister-in-law’), Beat, Buyutucu (‘enlarger’), Ciplak (‘nude’), Citir (‘crispy’), Escort, Etek (’skirt’), Fire, Girl, Ateşli (‘passionate’), Frikik (‘freekick’), Free, Gey (‘gay’), Gay, Gizli (‘confidential’), Haydar, Hikaye, Homemade, Hot, İtiraf (‘confession’), Liseli (‘high school student’), Nefes (‘breath’), Nubile, Partner, Pic, Sarisin (‘blond’), Sicak (‘hot’), Sisman (‘overweight’), Teen, Yasak (‘forbidden’), Yerli (‘local’), Yetiskin (‘adult’) etc.
According to the notification of TİB, domain names containing the words on the list will neither be assigned nor used and access to the existing ones will be suspended.
Sites of supermarkets or football supporters’ clubs affected as well
Considering certain supposedly ‘obscene’ words, the list is expected to cause a significant increase of censored internet sites.
Accordingly, words that overlap with two or three-word terms that are considered ‘obscene’ will be affected by the ban, too.
As reported by tknlg.com, also websites related to food home deliveries, online grocery shopping, IT, football supporters’ clubs or sites of advertising companies will be affected by the list of banned words. (EKN/BB/VK)
Dorian Jones | Instanbul April 25, 2011
Turkey already bans more websites than any other European country. Now the government is set to introduce new controls that officials say are needed to protect children. Critics fear they represent an effort control the web.
The Turkish government calls its new Internet controls Safe Use of the Internet. They are scheduled to take effect in August and will require all Internet users to choose from one of four filter profiles operated by their server provider. Law Professor Yaman Akdeniz at Bilgi University in Istanbul says the measures open the door to government censorship of the Internet.
‘We are concerned that the government [will] enforce and develop a censorship infrastructure,’ said Akdeniz. ‘Even the standard profile is a filter system and the problem is government mandated, government controlled and there are no other countries within the EU or Council of Europe that has a similar system. And the decision also states if anyone who tries to circumvent the system, further action may be taken.’
Government officials say the new regulations are needed to protect families, particularly children, from pornography. But critics say it is unclear which websites can be banned and for what reasons, and the regulations can also be used to silence political websites. Nadire Mater is the head of the Turkish human-rights web page Bianet.
‘Depending on the government, depending on the ministers, one can be put on the blacklist,’ said Mater. ‘This is not a democracy. We’ve experienced this before, because police, from time to time, they distributed these blacklists, and in some Internet cafes or companies we were getting the complaints from the visitors they were saying that we don’t have any access [to] Bianet.’
Bianet criticizes the government for establishing the new measures by decree, rather than by a vote in parliament and is challenging the new controls in court. Web freedom is a concern within the European Union, which Turkey is seeking to join. EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fule stressed those concerns before the EU parliament earlier this year.
‘Freedom of press means guaranteeing a public space for free debate, including on the Internet,’ said Fule. ‘The European Parliament’s draft resolution rightly underlines these issues.’
That concern centers on Turkey’s record of courts banning more websites than any other European country. In 2009, the state stopped releasing figures, but the latest number is believed to be in excess of 12,000. Again, Professor Akdeniz.
‘Several thousands web sites have been blocked,’ said Akdeniz. ‘And although the government claims that they predominantly block access to pornographic websites, several hundred alternative-media websites, especially websites dealing with the Kurdish debate, are blocked access to for political reasons.’
BBC News – Digital Economy Act court challenge fails: “Digital Economy Act court challenge fails
20 April 2011
A legal challenge to the Digital Economy Act has failed get the controversial legislation overturned.
The judicial review, requested by BT and Talk Talk, rejected claims that Parliament had overstepped its powers with anti-piracy measures.
However, Mr Justice Kenneth Parker upheld one of the objections, relating to who pays for the law’s enforcement.
Today’s ruling was welcomed by copyright holders who said that it would help reduce illegal file sharing.
The act, which was rushed through Parliament before the 2010 general election, obliges internet service providers (ISPs) to co-operate with rights holders in identifying computer users who may have downloaded music, software or videos illegally.
BT and Talk Talk mounted a legal challenge in the High Court, claiming the legislation violated several European laws on commerce and privacy.
Justice Parker rejected four of the five points put forward by the ISPs but ruled in their favour regarding a piece of associated legislation that makes service providers liable for 25% of the cost of policing their users.
The government will now be forced to re-examine the draft costs sharing order, however it is unlikely that will significantly delay the implementation of the Digital Economy Act.
In a statement, BT expressed its disappointment with the ruling.
‘Protecting our customers is our number one priority and we will consider our options once we have fully understood the implications for our customers and businesses.
‘This was always about seeking clarity on certain points of law and we have to consider whether this judgment achieves these aims,’ said a BT spokesperson.
The government said that it was ‘pleased’ with the High Court’s decision and that it would set out the next steps for implementing the law shortly.
Prior to the Digital Economy Act, content producers, such as record companies and film studios, had argued that the UK needed legislation to help them pursue illegal file sharers.
Continue reading the main story
This judgement gives the green light for action to tackle illegal downloading in the UK.’
End Quote Geoff Taylor British Phonographic Institute
What they eventually secured was a law that compels ISPs to write to their customers at the rights holders’ behest, warning them to cease their behaviour.
If the the customer does not comply, their ISP may eventually be asked to limit the user’s internet access or, in extreme cases, make their personal details available so legal action can be taken.
Opponents of the Digital Economy Act claimed that it allowed for severe sanctions against computer users, based on little more than the word of a large corporation.
They pointed out that the act also failed to clearly define a route of appeal for those users targeted.
Rights holders argued that rather than contesting the law, companies like BT and TalkTalk ought to have worked with them to try to iron out these problems.
One such group, the British Phonographic Institute (BPI) which represents record companies, welcomed Wednesday’s ruling.
BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor said: ‘This judgement gives the green light for action to tackle illegal downloading in the UK.
‘It confirms that the DEA is proportionate and consistent with European Law.
‘Shareholders and customers of BT and TalkTalk might ask why so much time and money has been spent challenging an act of Parliament to help reduce the illegal traffic on their networks.’
Washington – April 18, 2011
Cyberattacks, politically motivated censorship, and government control over internet infrastructure are among the diverse and growing threats to internet freedom, according to Freedom on the Net 2011: A Global Assessment of Internet and Digital Media,a new study released today by Freedom House.
These encroachments on internet freedom come at a time of explosive growth in the number of internet users worldwide, which has doubled over the past five years. Governments are responding to the increased influence of the new medium by seeking to control online activity, restricting the free flow of information, and otherwise infringing on the rights of users.
‘These detailed findings clearly show that internet freedom cannot be taken for granted,’ said David J. Kramer, executive director of Freedom House. ‘Nondemocratic regimes are devoting more attention and resources to censorship and other forms of interference with online expression.’
Freedom on the Net 2011,which identifies key trends in internet freedom in 37 countries, follows a pilot edition that was released in 2009. Freedom on the Net evaluates each country based on barriers to access, limitations on content, and violations of users’ rights.
The study found that Estonia had the greatest degree of internet freedom among the countries examined, while the United States ranked second. Iran received the lowest score in the analysis. Eleven other countries received a ranking of Not Free, including Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand. A total of 9 of the 15 countries in the original pilot study registered declines over the past two years. Conditions in at least half of the newly added countries similarly indicated a negative trajectory. Crackdowns on bloggers, increased censorship, and targeted cyberattacks often coincided with broader political turmoil, including controversial elections.
Countries at Risk:As part of its analysis, Freedom House identified a number of important countries that are seen as particularly vulnerable to deterioration in the coming 12 months: Jordan, Russia, Thailand, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe.
* Explosion in social-media use met with censorship:In response to the growing popularity of internet-based applications like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, many governments have started targeting the new platforms as part of their censorship strategies. In 12 of the 37 countries examined, the authorities consistently or temporarily imposed total bans on these services or their equivalents.
* Bloggers and ordinary users face arrest: Bloggers, online journalists, and human rights activists, as well as ordinary people, increasingly face arrest and imprisonment for their online writings. In 23 of the 37 countries, including several democratic states, at least one blogger or internet user was detained because of online communications.
* Cyberattacks against regime critics intensifying: Governments and their sympathizers are increasingly using technical attacks to disrupt activists’ online networks, eavesdrop on their communications, and cripple their websites. Such attacks were reported in at least 12 of the 37 countries covered.
* Politically motivated censorship and content manipulation growing: A total of 15 of the 37 countries examined were found to engage in substantial online blocking of politically relevant content. In these countries, website blocks are not sporadic, but rather the result of an apparent national policy to restrict users’ access to information, including the websites of independent news outlets and human rights groups.
* Governments exploit centralized internet infrastructure to limit access: Centralized government control over a country’s connection to international internet traffic poses a significant threat to free online expression, particularly at times of political turmoil. In 12 of the 37 countries examined, the authorities used their control over infrastructure to limit widespread access to politically and socially controversial content, and in extreme cases, cut off access to the internet entirely.
‘The ability to communicate political views, organize, debate, and have access to critical information is as important online as it is in the offline world,’ said Sanja Kelly, managing editor of the report. ‘A more urgent response is needed to protect bloggers and other internet users from the sorts of restrictions that repressive governments have already imposed on traditional media,’ Kelly added.
Other Important Country Findings:
* China: TheChinese government boasts the world’s most sophisticated system of internet controls, and its approach has become even more restrictive in recent years. Blocks on Facebook and Twitter have become permanent, while domestic alternatives to these applications have risen in popularity despite being forced to censor their users. The authorities imposed a months-long shutdown of internet access in the western region of Xinjiang during the report’s coverage period, and at least 70 people were in jail for internet-related reasons as of 2010.
* Iran: Since the protests that followed the flawed presidential election of June 12, 2009, the Iranian authorities have waged a fierce campaign against internet freedom, including deliberately slowing internet speeds at critical times and using hacking to disable opposition websites. An increasing number of bloggers have been threatened, arrested, tortured, or kept in solitary confinement, and at least one died in prison.
* Pakistan: In recent years—under both military rule and an ostensibly democratic civilian government—the authorities have adopted various measures to exert some control over the internet and the sharing of information online. In mid-2010, a new Inter-Ministerial Committee for the Evaluation of Websites was established to identify sites for blocking based on vaguely defined offenses against the state or religion.
* United States: Access to the internet in the United States remains open and fairly free compared with the rest of the world. Users face very few restrictions on their ability to access and publish content online, and courts have consistently held that prohibitions against government regulation of speech apply to material published on the internet. However, the United States lags behind many major industrialized countries in terms of broadband penetration and connection speeds, and the government’s surveillance powers are cause for some concern.
Belgian ISP does not have to filter out copyright-infringing traffic, says ECJ advisor: “Belgian ISP Scarlet should not have to filter copyright-infringing traffic from its service because to do so would invade users’ privacy, an advisor to the EU’s top court has said.“
(Via OUT-LAW News.)
The US State Dept’s annual human rights report exemplifies exactly what’s wrong the controversial Combating Online Infringement & Counterfeits Act (COICA). The report, entitled the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, is meant to highlight rights violations abroad, but instead highlights violations here at home.In it the State Dept warns of foreign govt’s increasingly curtailing access to a range of sites on the Internet, using regulations and technology ‘designed to repress speech and infringe on the personal privacy of those who use these rapidly evolving technologies.’Saudi Arabia, in particular, has taken site filtering to the next level, allowing average citizens to submit the names of objectionable sites for consideration.’The official Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) monitored e-mail and Internet chat rooms and blocked sites deemed incompatible with Sharia and national regulations,’ reads the report. ‘In addition to designating unacceptable sites, the CITC accepted requests from citizens to block or unblock sites. According to CITC’s general manager, authorities received an average of 1,800 requests daily to block and unblock sites.’Saudi authorities claimed to have blocked more than 400,000 sites.Notice the govt is blocking sites considered ‘incompatible with Sharia and national regulations.’ The COICA currently being considered in Congress also sets up a filtering regime to deal with so-called ‘rogue sites‘ deemed incompatible with US copyright law.The double-standard wasn’t lost on the Center for Democracy and Technology which warned after the legislation was first introduced last September that it would set a precedent that any country can seize or order the blocking of a domain name if some of the content on the domain (even if located elsewhere) violates the country’s local laws.‘The effort to protect the rights of Internet users, human rights defenders, and citizen journalists to speak and access lawful content online will be critically harmed,’ it said.Saudi Arabia is doing just that.According to the report the government has blocked access to and criminalized the publication or downloading of sites that it ‘deemed offensive (such as sites involving sex or pornography); contrary to the principles of Islam and social norms, including radical religious sites or sites with controversial religious content (including pages about Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, and radical Islam); politically sensitive (including human rights); or offensive to the government or members of the royal family.’The COICA also likely violates free speech protections since it removes entire sites, and therefore possibly noninfringing content. It also extends the reach of US’ courts far outside its borders, and dims the hopes that accused parties will be guaranteed a full and fair trial.Turkey also has egregious web filtering mechanisms in place. It’s illegal to insult the Turkish nation or its founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and any site that contains such content faces blocking. For nearly two years Turkish citizens couldn’t access YouTube because of a video that purportedly did the latter.Though that block was at least based on the rule of law, last August Turkey banned Playboy magazine’s website without a court order. It was based solely on ‘a legal evaluation’ that it violated the country’s obscenity laws.Sound familiar? The US’ Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) has seized nearly 100 sites as part of its ongoing ‘Operation in Our Sites‘ campaign targeting online infringement. The problem is, however that in every case no court order was obtained and the seizures were made after ICE investigators making their own legal evaluations.A group of lawmakers from both the Senate and House Judiciary Committees recently vowed a renewed effort to pass the COICA to ‘protect US jobs,’ but hopefully the irony of their well-intentioned, though ill-conceived efforts is highlighted with the release of this report.Stay firstname.lastname@example.org “
To the dismay of many, the Netherlands, an erstwhile bastion of freedom and inhibition, is now moving to usher in a new era of repressive Internet filtering and copyright crimes.Fred Teeven, the Secretary for Security and Justice, wants to ‘modernize’ the country’s copyright laws to build ‘confidence in the copyright organizations,’ and to ‘enhance the position of authors and performers.’Dutch law currently only outlaws uploading copyrighted material; it’s considered illegal ‘distribution.’ Downloading copyrighted material for personal use is legal, at least for content other than games and software, but the govt wants to add movies and music to the list.In exchange for adding music and movies the govt would eliminate the private copying levy currently added to the price of blank media like CD-Rs and DVD-Rs. It would also make new levies on new technologies, in his words, ‘undesirable.’‘Technology has overtaken the private copying regime,’ he says. ‘ There is therefore no room for the private copying levies. New levies on devices such as MP-3 players, laptops, DVD recorders and USB sticks will Teeven undesirable. The same applies to a tax on Internet subscriptions.‘The govt also wants to address copyright infringement abroad. It says that ‘owners will soon be able to ask a court for an order to block a specific website or service once it is confirmed that they acted unlawfully, and then Dutch access providers will have to block access for their customers to those sites.’He adds that it would only be a measure of ‘last resort,’ and that site administrators and hosting providers would have a chance to dispute the allegations.In a nod that copyright holders are also part of the problem, he says that copyright license reform is also necessary if the govt is to encourage legal alternatives to online infringement.‘New online services now have 27 EU member states to obtain a license,’ he says. ‘Its is a marked contrast to the boundless nature of the Internet and is an obstacle to the provision of legal digital creative services.‘He also calls for an incorporation of a ‘fair-use’ exemption in any legislation to ‘encourage creative reuse of works.‘Dutch anti-P2P group BREIN, which has successfully targeted illegal downloaders and shuttered a number of piracy sites over the years, said it is a ’supporter of the ban’ because it removes one of the last defenses offered by P2P sites and services which had argued they only ‘facilitate the downloading of illegal content [for personal use]‘ which is legal in the Netherlands.Stay email@example.com “
By The Associated Press – 06.04.2011
BERLIN — Germany’s governing coalition says it will delete websites that feature child pornography, dropping a plan to attempt to block such sites.
The plan to block child porn sites was drawn up in 2009 by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s first-term ‘grand coalition’ of right and left but never took effect.
Critics including the junior partners in the current government, the Free Democrats, argued that blocking the sites was ineffectual and raised concerns over Internet censorship.
Coalition leaders on Tuesday night agreed to change the government’s approach.
Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger told Bavarian radio Wednesday that ‘blocking on the Internet is something that rightly causes rejection and distrust.’
She says deleting child porn sites is the ‘correct and effective’ approach.”
By Nicole Kobie
Posted on 4 Apr 2011 at 14:29
The High Court has awarded damages to a man wrongfully caught up in the Operation Ore child porn investigation.
Operation Ore kicked off in 1999 in the US, with a list of suspects accused of paying for access to a ‘child pornography’ site handed to UK police in 2002, leading to more than 1,400 prosecutions.
However, the evidence used to convict the accused paedophiles was flawed. Writing in PC Pro in 2005, computer expert and investigative journalist Duncan Campbell revealed that many of the accused were nothing more than victims of credit-card fraud.
British police were aware the evidence was flawed within months of starting the investigation, according to a new report published today on The Register.
Jeremy Clifford, now 51 from Watford, was one of thousands of people accused during the investigation, after his credit-card details were fraudulently used on the site in question. He was arrested in 2003.
Illicit images were found in the temporary internet files folder on his machine, but a police computer expert said at the time the thumbnail images could have been placed there without Clifford’s knowledge.
Despite the expert finding no evidence that Clifford ever downloaded child pornography, Hertfordshire Police still proceeded with the charges, which were eventually dropped.
The court awarded Clifford £20,000 in damages, while the police force faces up to hundreds of thousands of pounds in costs.
‘In my opinion it is an absolute disgrace that the police have been allowed to spend huge sums of public money recklessly and without apparent check or merit attacking Mr Clifford, in order to deflect from their own shortcomings,’ Andre Clovis of Tuckers Solicitors, told the The Telegraph.
‘This course of conduct caused costs to escalate. There appears to be no control mechanism over police spending in such circumstances, but this does not mean that the Chief Constable and his legal department should not be called to account for their actions.’
A spokesman for Hertfordshire Constabulary said: ‘Legal advice was taken beforehand and it was advised and expected that we had a reasonable chance of winning our case.’
Of the over 7,000 originally accused in the Operation Ore investigation, 3,744 people were arrested, 1,848 were charged, and 1,451 convicted. As many as 39 people committed suicide after being accused.