Posted by: Witch Doctor | July 23, 2011

When does The Internet cease to be The Internet?


Those poor sods that have persevered reading My Black Cat’s rants will be well aware that she chases Intertwinglements in the way that more sensible cats chase balls of wool.

These devoted readers of My Black Cat’s conspiracy theories will also have read about The Intertwingled Triplets. Whether you enter the darkness of Black Cat Conspiracy Theories or stay in the twilight of the Witch Doctor’s Networking Creep, there is no doubt that these closely Interwingled Triplets originate from the same stable.

The Triplets are:

Common Purpose
The Media Standards Trust.

It so happens that The Media Standards Trust seem to be on high alert regarding the Telephone Hacking Scandal which in itself seems to have an Intertwingling life of it’s own. Who knows whether Telephone Hacking Scandal intertwingles with The Intertwingled Triplets or not? Perhaps this recent scandal Intertwingles all by itself in another galaxy somewhere in a parallel tangled networking universe.

One thing is certain. The Media Standards Trust was way ahead of the curve regarding telephone hacking. It seems that in anticipation of an inquiry into phone hacking, Martin Moore of The Media Standards Trust registered the domain name on 15 June 2011. The site is called “Hacked Off.”

It wasn’t till 4 July 2011 that a lawyer for the Dowler’s family reported that the police had told him that their deceased daughter Milly’s voicemail messages had been hacked. On the 5 July it was reported that there there were concerns also that phone hacking may also have occurred at the time of the Soham murders.

On July 8 David Cameron announced there would be two inquiries into the hacking scandal.

It seems therefore that The Media Standards Trust anticipated there would be a phone hacking inquiry some weeks before the News of the World Telephone Hacking went viral.

This premature knowledge might not be at all surprising to those in the media, to those in government, or even to senior members of the police force who for years seem to have intertwingled with each other.

You can find a list of some of the supporters of “Hacked Off” if you surf around the website for yourself. The Witch Doctor does not have permission to link directly to it.

There has been some speculation regarding the effect the hacking scandal will have on the freedom of the press. Will it become so regulated that some important freedoms will be lost?

It is inconceivable nowadays that any legislation or regulation regarding the press will not be applicable to the wider Internet community also. After all, most newspapers have an Internet presence as well as paper copy, so why should bloggers not be regulated in a similar way?

Is that what society wants or needs?

Can you imagine, for example, as in the Media Standard Trust’s website, that linking is only allowed to the home page. Can you imagine if this is the rule throughout the whole of the World Wide Web?

Can you imagine if, before linking to any website at all, a blogger or another website has to ask permission to do so.

Can you imagine what would happen if a website requesting a link to another was forced by law to ask permission to link a post that criticised the website concerned?

Would they be given permission?

Probably not.

If the requirement to ask permission became the norm, hyperlinking would be doomed.

Hyperlinking is what The Freedeom of The World Wide Web is about.

Without Hyperlinks, the Internet as we know it would be doomed.

Wouldn’t it?

Well, My Black Cat, you need to cast your mind back to one of our previous posts over a year ago when we offered a pudding prize?

Here it is:

Well, My Black Cat, referring to our last two posts, I see that you were correct about the Terms and Conditions regarding the Common Purpose website. It is indeed necessary to obtain permission from Heather Reagan before placing a link to their site. And the link can only be to the Home Page.

This seems unusual.

The Witch Doctor has checked up on seven other sites (seven being The Witching Number). Six of these sites, as is usual procedure, gave disclaimers about the content of sites they themselves were linking to. That was all.


The seventh site, however, required that written permission be given before linking. Full details of the request should be e-mailed to Gavin Freeguard. And like the Common Purpose Website, permission, if granted will only be to link to the Home Page.

Now, My Black Cat, here is a riddle for you! Name this other website that restricts links unless permission has been granted.

I’ll give you seven guesses!

And here is the answer:

The Media Standards Trust

So, My Black Cat you will recollect that two of Intertwingled Triplets in March 2010 had restrictions on those wanting to link to their websites.

Since then, these restrictions have changed. Permission does not need to be asked but the link must be to their home page only.

That suggests to The Witch Doctor that, even though they have now changed their wording, The Media Standards Trust is harbouring some reservations regarding the freedom of the World Wide Web.

It is interesting that one of the founders of The Media Standards Trust, has been appointed a member of the Hacking Inquiry by David Cameron? He is Sir David Bell. 

Do you suppose as a result of an inquiry we will be left with an Internet where it is illegal to link without permission, My Black Cat?

Will hyperlinks be controlled?

Or is that just too, too stupid to contemplate?

Even if The Media Standard Trust and the Common Purpose websites operated in this way a year ago?

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You say you are not the only one chasing Intertwinglements, My Black Cat?

Today someone writing in The Telegraph is at it too!

“A key part of the campaign to “reform” the press is being financed by senior Labour figures with direct personal and professional interests in muzzling the media.”

“Hacked Off makes no mention of Sovereign Strategy on the “funding” section of its own website, but one of its leaders, Brian Cathcart, a journalism professor at Kingston University, confirmed Mr Mortimer’s role and Sovereign’s help with administrative, hotel and taxi expenses.

Separately, The Sunday Telegraph has also learned that one of the key members of Lord Justice Leveson’s inquiry into privacy and the press is chairman of a charity which was itself censured for multiple breaches of privacy laws.

Sir David Bell is one of a six-strong panel appointed by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, to assist Lord Leveson in his work.

However Sir David chairs a charity, Common Purpose, which was reprimanded by the Information Commissioner in 2009 for six probable breaches of the Data Protection Act.”

And so is someone in The Guardian!

“When it comes to pluralism, the Leveson inquiry is hardly a shining example”

“Any qualitative test of Leveson’s independent advisers against independent PCC members shows no great difference one way or the other. But the independence difficulty gets a tad more vexing once you look at his media trio.

Don’t get me wrong. I like and respect them all. But I already know what David Bell, the former chairman of the Financial Times, thinks about press regulation, because he chaired the Media Standards Trust, which issued its own detailed reform prescriptions in 2010.”

For pities sake, MY Black Cat, have they nothing better to do?

redapple.jpg a red apple ……………………

The Witch Doctor – Link to a random page





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  1. “she chases Intertwinglements in the way that more sensible cats chase balls of wool.”

    Wouldn’t it be more sensible then if Witch played ‘tangle’ with the purrry puss?

    Quite an enjoyable game too, you know!

    … play till you all get sooo tangled, you, or Cat, no longer know which is witch 😉

  2. MBC has just discovered that folks writing in the Guardian and Telegraph today are chasing Intertwinglements too! She is about to put links to these articles since this procedure is still permitted on the WWW.

    Heavens Sam, it might well be more sensible if we all just concentrated on chasing balls of wool!

  3. Why the ‘cold’ chase when you can ‘tangle’ and be right in ‘it’?! See all from ‘within’, and that ‘warmth’ too … ‘tangle’ is a win win game …. for all

    • Oh dear, Sam, we witches think tangles can sometimes lead to “Creep” and that upsets us all.

      We might resort to a tango though from time to time to cheer us up.

  4. […] When does The Internet cease to be The Internet? […]

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