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Wednesday, 30 December 2009 11:49

Canada cracks down on satire sites

Written by Nick Farell

Image

Tough on parody, tough on the causes of parody


The Canadian
government has decided to censor those who take the Michael out of its glorious environmental policy. It a move worthy of a humourless autocratic regime. The once glorious British colony which beat off attacks from the French and the Americans shut down two comedy sites and took down 4500 other websites in the process.

Mike Landreville from Environment Canada in an email to the German Internet Service Provider (ISP) Serverloft claimed that the two websites, "enviro-canada.ca" and "ec-gc.ca", are "directly connected to a hoax which misleads people into believing that the Government of Canada will take certain actions in relation to environmental matters." Landreville demanded that ISPs purge any further attempts concerning other environment-related domains from their servers.

Apparently Serverloft was so spooked it turned off a whole block of IP addresses, knocking out more than 4500 websites that had nothing to do with the parody sites or the activists who created them. The hoax was clearly a joke to get attention to the issue of Climate Change. It was run by the Climate Debt Agents of Action Aid, and The Yes Men.

They used press releases and fake websites to announce that Canada would adopt science-based emission targets - reducing emissions by 40 per cent over 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050. The site claimed that countries most impacted by climate change would get some cash. Ironically the site claimed that Canada had created a so-called "Climate Change War Room," which was supposed to deliver rapid-response messaging to any negative media coverage around Canada's role at the Copenhagen climate change negotiations.

Normally this sort of thing would have been widely ignored but for the fact that two lazy newspapers failed to check the press releases before printing them as real news. The nation which routinely clubs cute fluffy harp seals to death is being widely criticise for its increasingly deplorable climate policy.

Nick Farell

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