An anonymous reader writes: Alisher Usmanov, who is trying to buy Arsenal football club, has managed to shut down several blogs, including the site of a Tory London mayoral candidate, by threatening web hosting company Fasthosts. The firm was home to the blog of Craig Murray, who has accused Usmanov of being a gangster, a racketeer and a rapist. The original is no longer available but it just keeps popping up. Others shut down, including Boris Johnson MP and Labour councillor Bob Piper (who is now backup), were not involved in the action by legal firm Schillings, but were caught up in the cross fire. Mr Johnson said the action was a "serious erosion of freedom of speech" and added: "This is London, not Uzbekistan... It is unbelievable that a website can be wiped out on the say-so of some tycoon. We live in a world where internet communication is increasingly vital, and this is a serious erosion of free speech." As things stand, any Russian oligarch can come to the UK and build a wall of silence around them, if they have enough money. Time to get around to that libel law review, hmm?
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