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Collateral damage

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Feb 15, 2010 | From the print edition

imageA hilarious prank led to Canada pulling the plug on thousands of websites in the first week of January. The Canadian government wiped out 4,500 websites in early January as it frantically grappled with a climate change hoax by the Yes Men. During the Copenhagen climate change conference the anti-corporate pranksters had some fun at the expense of Canada. They created a fake website of the country’s environmental agency which promised ambitious reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The Canadian government was not amused and it convinced web service provider, Serverloft, to take down two fake Yes Men websites—enviro-canada.ca and ec-gc.ca—by referring to them as phishing scams.
   

Severloft, which hosted the two sites in question, did not ask for an explanation from Yes Men. It also knocked off 4,500 other websites, just to be extra safe. Most of these sites were those of small business outfits. They were restored after a day.

Mike Bonanno of Yes Men blasted the takeover. “The Canadian government will not take action to stave off climate change. They also don’t care much for free speech,” he said.

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