back to article Oh My GOD! Have the TORIES ERASED THE INTERNET?*

A story that the Conservatives “made the internet disappear” has ignited news channels today. In fact, the story demonstrates yet again how ignorant most journalists are of the basic workings of the internet - and it demonstrates how the thirst for conspiratorial thinking dominates political news. Perhaps not surprisingly, this …

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Anonymous Coward

Hmmmm

Three authors to pick on an ex-Reg hack?

Me thinks someone neglected to by their round of drinks before leaving....

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Re: Hmmmm

Or they made sure to properly research the story in order to show the idiot up?

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"he had to leave some years ago, but we remember him well."

"Had to leave"?

"We remember him well"?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "he had to leave some years ago, but we remember him well."

They could have used the old stalwart. 'Left to pursue other Opportunities' - Carefully refraining from stating whether said opportunities involved remuneration of any sort.

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Re: "he had to leave some years ago, but we remember him well."

Remembering someone well doesn't mean your memories of them are good, or vice versa.

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Re: "he had to leave some years ago, but we remember him well."

Left to pursue...?

He probably wasn't right enough to hang around The Reg.

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Next thing Dave and George will be drunkenly typing "google" into Google.

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WTF?

I'd say the Guardian's headline is rather less ridiculous than the present article suggests:

>Conservative party deletes archive of speeches from internet

>Decade's worth of records is erased, including PM's speech praising internet for making more information available

Come on, Andrew, the Tories can fight their own battles. You don't need to win the next election for them...

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And I support the Gruaniad mentioned Labour had done the same too?

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No, somehow they forgot that little gem.

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Windows

The article reads a bit too much like a hatchet job on the CW author, which is a shame as it gets in the way of the story.

The issue here is that there seems to have been a pretty cynical and hypocritical attempt to hide information, with a dash of incompetence thrown in (because the attempt is not going to be successful as there are other copies out there). If El Reg is not interested in cynical, hypocritical, incompetent moves in the technological sphere made by our political masters, then I don't know what it is interested in.

The whole thing has a whiff of Grant Shapps about it, and we all know how malodorous that can be. It's a story of interest not because they have redesigned their web site but because they have also tried to make the material disappear from archive sites. While I'm sure that Labour and various journalistic organisations have copies of all the speeches, it's just become harder for Joe Public to look up what the Tories said about something when they were trying to get elected last time around.

It is also a valid point that the record of things on the Internet is fragile. I personally wasn't aware that a robots.txt would retrospectively remove content from archive.org - that's one of the more interesting things I've found out from this.

If Labour have done the same thing, then shame on them too.

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Anonymous Coward

Theres a difference between deleting your own speeches which contradict what you are saying now with deleting stuff your predecessor said that you now presumably think are wrong.

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It looks like a lot of the old Labour speeches are still there, just not easy to find. Here is Ed Balls' speech on child poverty from 2007.

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Oh no -- they stole the Internet!! (capitalised please)*

But we all knew this day would happen -- it was on the IT Crowd where I last saw the Internet, so they must have stolen it from them.

Bastards! With no Internet (did I mention capitalisation?) what will I do?

[*] Read W Richard Steven's TCP/IP vol 1 if you don't know why. Or just count up how many internet's (little i) there are.

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Re: Oh no -- they stole the Internet!! (capitalised please)*

That's nothing. A young woman in our office got herself a new internet there last week. She's very happy with it. It's much faster than the old one. I was very happy for her when she told us the story over lunch.

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Megaphone

*Headlines to which the answer is no.

I've decided to stop reading all articles on the BBC news website where the headline is a question. At the moment there are these (below) inspiring headline questions to which I will never find out the answer. (Clue, answer is "No")

Does size matter? Buying brains? Would $4,000 make poor children cleverer? Can animals make real music? Is the UK's recovery too robust? Why do people put traffic cones on statues? Are grammar schools answer to elitism?

STOP IT FORTHWITH!

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Re: *Headlines to which the answer is no.

Betteridge's law of headlines.

But... "Why do people put traffic cones on statues?", "No". Makes me smile.

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Re: *Headlines to which the answer is no.

Headlines with questions are nearly always going to be filled with that outlets editorial slant/biases. It's that way regardless of the outlet. I'm not sure when that became the norm (it is really, really moving into tabloid territory) but it has been that way for at least a few decades. I guess it is a way to let authors be creative, but it certainly doesn't add any value.

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Re: *Headlines to which the answer is no.

"I've decided to stop reading all articles on the BBC news website where the headline is a question.

I cancelled my subscription to New Scientist for the same reason.

Was Darwin Wrong?

Was Einstein Wrong?

etc.

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Re: *Headlines to which the answer is no.

Next thing is the tabloids will pick up on this trick. Imagine a world in which the newstands have endless made up stories about Diana/Madeleine/Shergar/Lord Lucan with lurid headlines ending in question marks.

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How many Reg hacks does it take...

Why does it take the three of you to produce an article? And about a blog entry, no less.

Try this headline: "Muppet puts head up arse," or, "Internet found to work as advertised on the tin."

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Stop

What about the copy in the British Library?

Are these deleted too?

http://www.webarchive.org.uk/ukwa/

Tory speeches start here (as of April 2008):

http://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20080410100951/http://www.conservatives.com/tile.do?def=news.speeches.page

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Re: What about the copy in the British Library?

I imagine that if you wanted to hold any given MP to account you could also rely on Hansard as the official record of parliament, which will include references to policies proposed in speeches by both government, opposition and independents

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/hansard/commons/by-date/#session=73895&year=2013&month=10&day=19

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Trollface

ORGASMIC...

Bet when the Editor and staff over at The Daily Mail read

that Headline, they must have thought all their Christmas's

had come at once.

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Big Brother

Have the TORIES ERASED THE INTERNET?

Not yet, but they're working on it, together with their friends and/or blackmailers at GCHQ and NSA

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Re: Have the TORIES ERASED THE INTERNET?

GCHQ and the NSA don't want to erase the Internet - it'd make mass surveillance too much like hard work. They just want to know everything that's on it.

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Cant they just pop down to silicon roundabout for a quick explanation?

Turd Sandwhich Vs Giant Douche - GO!

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They can change pages entirely, but even that won't stop things being stored elsewhere. Take this for example:

http://www.changedetection.com/log/uk/co/talktalk/help2/about-talktalk-homesafe-kids-safe-and-homework-time_log.html

TalkTalk chose to remove the following sentence from their HomeSafe related page:

'Kids Safe will also block secure versions of sites like Facebook and Twitter ( those that show https:// in the web address) although in these cases you will see an error message from your internet browser instead of the normal HomeSafe blocking page.'

An implicit admission perhaps that content filtering will never work - especially if SSL is used - and is just as much an exercise in futility as trying to remove anything from the internet?

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But..

I have seen it claimed elsewhere ( http://www.jwz.org/blog/2013/01/shes-a-flight-risk-2/ ) that the Wayback Machine excludes things based on the CURRENT robots.txt. Surely it shoul be excluding things based on the THEN robots.txt?

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Re: But..

If you go to the wayback machine and read the FAQ you will find out that they do drop things from the archive based on the current robots.txt. It's not a secret.

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Re: But..

> It's not a secret.

No, but a bit odd.

When I change robots.txt it's because the structure of the server has changed, not because I suddenly want to keep things from being indexed.

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Anonymous Coward

google

Just use the Google archived data functions. Or ask for anyone who mirrored the site (there'll be a few out there!)

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Dr?

Keeping a copy of political promises on their websites. I might see if I can do it with ITTT.

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You can bet that Labour has a copy of the Tory promises..

.. and vice versa. This just makes it easier for the other side to claim you said what they'd like you to have said.

Plus, would you trust a bunch who broke the links to their website to run the economy without breaking it?

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Re: I'm guessing

You're not......

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Paris Hilton

Not just journalists

For most people, a PC is still a magic box and the Internet even more so.

Don't even ask about phones and the internet.

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Re: Not just journalists

"For most people, a PC is still a magic box"

So is Westminster.

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Devil

"the story demonstrates yet again how ignorant most journalists are"

You could have stopped there.

Current Reg employees aside...

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Big Brother

"If you've got nothing to hide you've got nothing to fear"

I wonder why they're trying to hide their past...

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Re: "If you've got nothing to hide you've got nothing to fear"

David Cameron has backed down from so many promises, any promise he makes in the future is worthless. Thus he needs to get rid of his old speeches in the run up to the next election.

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Anonymous Coward

Erm, the point is they dumped the speeches from their website. This is so they can be hypocrites and not have people referring them to old speeches they made.

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Flame

Exactly. These are some of the things that were promised, that have been broken and they are now trying to remove the evidence:

1. No frontline cuts

2. Protecting the NHS budget

3. 3,000 more police officers

4. Keeping VAT at 17.5%

5. Keeping the Future Jobs Fund

6. Keeping Education Maintenance Allowances

7. Preserving tax credits for middle earners

8. Removing the “couple penalty”

9. Scrapping tuition fees

10. No bonuses for bank directors

11. 3,000 more midwives

12. Three more army battalions

13. Pupil Premium additional to the schools budget

14. Keeping Child Benefit universal

15. Stopping A&E and maternity closures

16. A Post Office Bank

17. No new nuclear power stations

18. Removing high marginal tax rates

19. No cuts to the Royal Navy

20. Automatic prison sentence for carrying a knife

21. Cutting rail fares each year

22. Keeping the Child Trust Fund for the poorest families

23. No more top down NHS reorganisations

24. No cuts to public spending this year

25. Increase teachers by 30%

26. Reducing 'special advisors'

27. Flood defence spending

28. Flat rate pensions

29. BBC World Servic

30. Post Office Bank.

31. Extra child care allowance

32. Inheritance Tax.

33. Increase front line budget for schools.

Fortunately the Conservative party have all the technical ability of a tuna sandwich and people have already scraped and saved huge amounts of the site.

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The question marks in headlines thing is probably the fault of the long-dead Innovations catalogue that used to fall out of the sunday papers.

"Is this the end to garden rodent misery?"

"Could this be the best tomato polisher ever?"

etc.

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"Is this the end to garden rodent misery?"

Prozac for rats?

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In the end, the Tories still removed some old speeches from scrutiny.

That something is possible, even easy, to do, does not suggest it's all above board.

I've yet to see any larger source pull publicly posted material for any other reason than ass-covering. That the material has become something the source wants to hide and forget.

This may not have been as bad as the Ron Paul campaign washing Pauls insane racist campaign letters off the net with DMCA takedown notices, but obviously the content of these speechs is such that the Tories no longer want them disseminated.

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Is this supposed to be a tech site?

"Except it would only be fair to note that the Labour Party has "erased the internet" too. Labour’s housecleaning has removed almost everything prior to the start of the current leadership, and the Wayback Machine (sorry, "the internet") is pretty empty of Labour's past as well as that of the Tories."

Only because your search is based on their new structure, using the search term http://www.labour.org.uk/news-archive

If you were to search on http://www.labour.org.uk/ lo, history re-appears. Here's 6 May 2010, http://web.archive.org/web/20100506034527/http://www2.labour.org.uk/vote-labour ah! heady days.

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