Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Note to chair of APPG on extraordinary rendition

I've written to the chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Extraordinary Rendition, Andrew Tyrie MP, explaining Virgin Media and Twitter appear to be still blocking access to their website.

Dear Mr Tyrie,

Just a short note to let you know that my efforts to access the website of your All Party Parliamentary Group on Extraordinary Rendition last night proved futile, since my communications service provider, Virgin Media, were blocking access to it. I basically got re-directed to a page saying:

"Sorry, Web Safe has blocked this site
This site has been blocked by Web Safe because it's listed as having malicious content. It could put your personal and financial information at risk or cause damage to your files.
Find out more about Web Safe Sign in to My Virgin Media to change your Web Safe settings If you don’t think this page should have been blocked, let us know.”

Additionally when I attempted to post a couple of notes about this on Twitter, Twitter blocked those too with the following message:

"This request looks like it might be automated. To protect our users from spam and other malicious activity, we can't complete this action right now. Please try again later."

I then noted on Twitter what had happened without using your website address and it accepted that.

Virgin Media have informed me via Twitter today that they are not blocking your website. I nipped home from the office at lunchtime to check that and found my home computer still being redirected to their warning about malicious content when I attempted to access the APPG site. Twitter also appears to be continuing to block posts containing the web address of your site

I suspect the problem is automated filtering software rather than any deliberate attempt by these companies to deny access to the APPG materials. Nevertheless, I would suggest asking your technical experts to look into the problem and perhaps follow up with Virgin Media and Twitter.  The irony of the APPG being censored, accidentally or otherwise, on the day the Senate Intelligence committee released the executive summary of their report into CIA interrogation and detention programmes will not be lost on you. The work you are doing in the APPG is extraordinarily important and it would be unfortunate if public access to it is inappropriately curtailed.


Ray Corrigan

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