[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

Control & Sensorship

May 15, 1999 04:27 PM
by M K Ramadoss

In the past, people and governments and organizations -- business,
religious, spiritual and other -- and people with vested interests --
routinely controlled and sensored and/or distorted the information and
facts that reached the public. Common reason given is for the protection of
the world, country, religion, cult, organization and the recipient person.
Even so called religious and spiritual organizations resorted to this. You
can happen even today, only if you care to carefully look. It is how many
of the sacred literature was kept by the select few from the public -- the
control led to discrimination based on various factors. The first major
breakthrough came when printing was invented. There was an exponential
increase in the printed material being available to the lay man/woman. The
next major breakthrough is when Internet took off. Internet broke all the
traditional lines of control overnight. All that one needs to see is what
happened last week. I hope those who have spent their lifetimes in
controlling/editing/distorting/withholding information for whatever
justification they have in their mind, do not get a heart attack by seeing
how Internet is breaking down all the traditional barriers and rules. 

Here is the story that some may be interested to read.

             How secrets slip through
             the Net 

             The Internet helped pierce the government's veil of secrecy 

             The British Government's failure to stop the publication of
             a list of alleged Secret Intelligence Service or MI6 agents
             has turned out to be a classic study of the power of the
             Internet to overcome controls. 

             Although the government was successful in closing
             some sites, they had already been copied and rapidly
             appeared on mirror sites. Indeed, the more the
             authorities tried to suppress the information, the more
             sought after it became. 

             The treasure hunters in cyberspace became determined
             to find their prize and they did so. The question has to
             be asked as to whether the publicity given by the
             government to the list in the first place only increased
             interest in it. 

                                 The British Government has
                                 publicly accused a
                                 dismissed MI6 officer,
                                 Richard Tomlinson, of
                                 providing the 116 names, and
                                 it appealed to the British
                                 media not to publish either
                                 the names or the websites
                                 on which they were

                                 This appeal was put out by
                                 the Defence, Press and
                                 Broadcasting Advisory
             Committee, which is sometimes known as the D notice

             The committee - run by two retired Royal Navy officers,
             Rear Admiral David Pulvertaft and his deputy,
             Commander Francis Ponsonby - "advises" the media on
             security issues. 

             The appeal has been generally complied with, but they
             have been in turn badly holed by the stealth tactics of
             the Internet. 

                                 It started when Richard
                                 Tomlinson opened a website
                                 with GeoCities, which allows
                                 users to set up personal
                                 home pages for free. 

                                 GeoCities removed the site
                                 saying that Tomlinson had
                                 violated its usage policy, but
                                 he was able to repost the
                                 site to another address on

                                 The California-based hosting
             service closed the second site by Wednesday evening,
             but not before it was copied and mirrored to other sites
             on the Internet. 

             This site named several MI6 officers previously accused
             by Tomlinson of having information about Princess
             Diana's fatal crash in Paris. These names were not new. 

             They had been released in an affidavit Tomlinson had
             delivered before the investigating judge, saying that the
             driver of her car Henri Paul, who also died in the crash,
             had been an MI6 informer. 

                                 The site also promised to
                                 publish a longer list of MI6
                                 officers, but did not in fact do
                                 so, following a court order in
                                 Switzerland where Tomlinson
                                 now lives. 

                                 The list did emerge, however,

                                 The Executive Intelligence
                                 Review, a magazine
                                 published by maverick
                                 political figure and
             conspiracy theorist Lyndon LaRouche, displayed the list
             briefly on its web site. 

             The EIR site said that the information had come
             unsolicited by e-mail from an "honest man who had left
             MI6" (presumably Tomlinson). 

             Shortly afterwards, this site, too, was closed. The editor
             of EIR, Peter Sigerson, told the BBC that this was on
             legal advice after a request from the British government. 

             But EIR had already, on Wednesday, sent out 9,000
             copies of its magazine with the list in it, said Mr

             It was also too late, because the EIR site had already
             been copied and mirrored elsewhere, and it is here that a
             defining characteristic of the Internet is shown. 

             Whenever an interesting site appears, you can be sure
             that someone, somewhere will copy it in seconds. In
             this, case several people did. 

             And one of them sent it to a New York architect named
             John Young, who runs a group dedicated to publishing
             security and intelligence documents on its website. 

             Mr Young told the BBC that he had circulated a request
             for the list and in due course it arrived by e-mail. It was a
             copy of the EIR site. 

             He said he did not think the people named were at risk,
             and that such information should be published in any
             case. It was not long before other sites around the world
             began displaying the list. 

             The cat was not only out of the bag, it was running away


[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application