Take Down Notice

Here’s an interesting one.

I was contacted by my hosting provider this morning about an ISPA Take-Down Notice (TDN) regarding a post from 2009 on 6000 miles…

Now, first off, let me say that I fully understand that my hosting provider has signed up to the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) of South Africa, and as part of that, they are obliged to follow the rules of that organisation. Those rules state that when a TDN is issued against a site that they host, they must ask that site to remove (take down) the content, and in the event of the site not doing so, “disable the whole site”.

I mean, it’s completely over the top, but that’s what they agreed to, and (presumably) that’s what I agreed to when I signed up with them.

What alarms me is the way in which the ISPA handles these requests: basically, you can force removal of any content on any South African hosted website simply by filling in a form. No evidence required.
Literally, all that the ISPA will do with that form is to check that you filled in all the fields, make sure that the ISP involved is in their association and decide whether the remedial action requested is feasible (e.g. “take down a post” vs. “set light to all the servers in Johannesburg”).

They will then pass it on to the ISP concerned, who are bound by the terms of their ISPA membership to act upon it, and that’s how anyone can fill in an online form and have the content of any SA-hosted  website without question.

The ISPA even boast about how successful their policy is:

In approximately 95% of all cases, lodging a valid take-down notice results in the removal of that content.

“Valid” in this case meaning that you fulfilled those three criteria above, not that the reasons for your request have any veracity or are in any way reasonable.

Of course, as the website owner, you can contest the notice, but notably only after you have taken down the content in question:

If you wish to contest this take-down, you will first need to comply with it and then take this up with the complainant, who’s [sic] information is supplied below, should they not be compliant in finding an amicable solution you then will need to make this a legal matter and address it in court.

Given that the post in question here is about a guy whose company tried to rip me (and it would seem, plenty of other people as well) off for (in some cases) several tens of thousands of Rands (and is apparently still at it), I can’t see this “amicable solution” happening.
And is the legal thing really worth it? Only if it’s sponsored by someone with a lot of time and money, I suppose. Does anyone have any experience of fighting these sort of cases – please get in touch (Email: 6…@6…o.za).

Looks like the only way immediate way around this is to host the “offending” content somewhere away from the unreasonably draconian paws of the South African ISPA then.

Like… I dunno… Google Drive for example.


Here are some things that you might like to read.

Topless of the Pops
90s girl band All Saints today made shocking allegations about the BBC’s Top of the Pops programme:

They said the music show’s makers wanted to film them from the shoulders up to create the illusion they were performing naked.
“They were filming images of us to use as a backdrop and they wanted us to take our tops off.”

This took place in the late 90s, but there was no mention of this in 2006 when All Saints reformed, disastrously. However, since the Jimmy Savile story broke in 2012, Top of the Pops is now known not to have had the cleanest of reputations. Still, it’s taken All Saints an additional four years to come forward with these allegations, coincidentally in the same month that they relaunched their band.

Sun in an 8
Here’s what the sun looks like if you take pictures of it at the same time each week for a year.


Pretty cool, ne?

This tracking pattern of the sun is called a Solar Analemma and is formed as a result of the earth’s axis’ 23½º tilt. Useful images (like the one above by Jesús Peláez) include a local landmark (like the one above incorporating Burgos Cathedral in Spain) to provide perspective and avoid any sort of “drift”. You can delve as deep as you want into this one – here’s an interesting site.

Peninsular Removal Services
Are apparently still up to their no good tricks.

Malik Jalal is on the Kill List
The fascinating story of a man the USA are apparently trying to kill. 

The next attack came on 3 September 2010. That day, I was driving a red Toyota Hilux Surf SUV to a ‘Jirga’, a community meeting of elders. Another red vehicle, almost identical to mine, was some 40 meters behind. When we reached Khader Khel, a missile blew up the other vehicle, killing all four occupants. I sped away, with flames and debris in my rear view mirror.

Two sides to every story, and sure, this is his (in the Independent, the biggest misnomer since Pussy Galore), but maybe while he’s over in Blighty, the US might at least like to hear what he has to say.

Staying with death…

The Assad Files
A long, LONG, harrowing read, but worth it if you have the time. The story of those trying to bring Bashar al-Assad to justice for war crimes in Syria. And those who are trying to help from within, together with the sometimes comical difficulties they face:

Large extractions often depend on friendly countries to negotiate openings in otherwise sealed borders, so captured documents can remain hidden for months. On one occasion, several thousand pages of evidence were left with an old woman in a remote farmhouse in southern Syria, but the investigator didn’t explain the significance of the files. When winter came, Wiley said, “in fairness, she was cold, so she burned the whole lot of it as fuel.”

That’s the lighter side, and there’s not much of it.

New $5 note upsets Aussies
Yeah… that is pretty ugly.

NGB5_Queen_side_-_mock_up_specimen_image_-_blue_background_-_JPG_300dpi   NGB5_Parliament_side_-_mock_up_specimen_image_-_blue_background_-_JPG_300dpi

The E.coli are apparently actually wattle, and the technicolour bird is an eastern spinebill (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris).


Now, you’re up to speed.