The UK Nottinghamshire County Council is continuing to go after others who either have picked up the report or who are linking to it. Nottinghamshire County Council, initially has threatened legal action for copyright infringement against Jeremy Freeman, a 21-year-old Canadian student and network engineer, for creating a mirror site of the original report and for linking to Professor Peter Junger’s web site in the USA.
The last victim of the County Council is Nils Kammenhuber who has mirrored the site in Germany at http://fsinfo.cs.uni-sb.de/~hirvi/mirror. The County Council has written him the ‘famous letter’ on Wednesday 11th June 1997 but because of technical errors in the system Nils received the mail only yesterday 16th of June 1997. He has removed the report immediately as the letter threatened him with an action in 24hrs if he did not do so. He stated in his almost a week reply that:
‘As your e-mail was sent to a special mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org) whose mailbox is checked only about once every week, I received the mail this morning, 11 a.m., and read it about half an hour ago. So I apologize for this delay—I am really very sorry to not having been able to keep the 24-hours ultimatum set up by you: it simply was not possible for me to do so.’
It is not known whether the County Council already has taken action against Nils but it seems likely that their irritating and intimidating letters are working with some of the mirror sites but not with the likes of Professor Peter Junger who has stated in his reply to the County Council that:
‘In the end though, I found myself unable to pretend that I am so naive as to be able to take your threats seriously. If I regret this, I at least have the consolation of knowing that you did succeed in bullying poor Jeremy Freeman, a young Canadian who is not learned in the law, into removing the report---and later a link to my mirror of the report---from his web site in British Columbia, with the foreseeable consequences.’
Yaman Akdeniz, head of the Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties (UK) group stated that ‘The availability of the JET Report is not like putting John Grisham’s latest bestseller on the Internet and distributing it through mirror sites all around the world. The Internet community would not do such a thing. The issue in the availability of the JET Report is public interest and freedom of information. After all the genie is out of the bottle and everyone on the Internet knows about the JET Report. The central question remains as whether the JET Report had been made more widely available to social workers and police in 1990, would later cases have been handled differently or better?’
‘As far as the Internet is concerned actions by individual governments can have a profound effect on the rights of citizens around the world’ stated a recent Global Internet Liberty Campaign leaflet. The GILC leaflet continued to say that ‘users of the Global Internet must work together to protect freedom of speech and the right of privacy’. The wide availability of the JET Report on the Internet is just another of this kind of colloboration by the netizens on the Internet against nation-states and their local bodies.