back to article Botched judge threat probe downs Fathers 4 Justice website

The government faces accusations of technical incompetence and waste after it went to the High Court and shut down the Fathers 4 Justice website, wrongly claiming campaigners had threatened to publish the home addresses of 237 judges. Lawyers for Matt O'Connor, the controversial group's founder, are now preparing action …


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  1. James Pickett


    "The government faces accusations of technical incompetence"

    You mean there is still room for doubt?

  2. Bad Fish

    Who's Who

    If you want the address of a judge, just look in Who's Who. Your local library will have a copy.

    Unless, of course, the library service has been shut down by the government on the grounds that it is posting secret information.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Perceived Unfairness?

    The biggest problem with the Family court system is that there is a lack of perceiving altogether. You would think any democracy would be opposed to secret trials where judgmenets can't be scrutinised and where all participants are under gagging orders, but you would be wrong.

    There is something rotten in the state of Britain.

    If it's all for the good of the children, then why is there no openness to ensure that is best for the children actually happens? As it stands now the only thing that the gagging orders protect are the scrutiny of the judgements themselves.

    Droid from the future, because we don't live in the 20th century anymore.

  4. Terry 9

    Plenty of Incompetence to go arourd

    OK, so MoJ are incapable of performing their job. I'm not sure that's really news, but whatever.

    If we expand that a bit, seems the High Court is also utterly UNQUALIFIED to wield the power the "guys with guns" have granted them. Their should be (gosh I wish I had a quarter for every time that is said) some form of actual punishment against the HUMAN BEINGS who willfully performed the attack against an innocent citizen. Making every football fan in the country cough up 10 quid doesn't effect "the government" AT ALL. In fact if they screw up big enough, and lose enough civil lawsuits.... guess what.... THEY get to RAISE TAXES to cover the expense.

    How about we fire EVERYONE involved in this sorry affair? Then at the minimum THEY won't do it again. And who knows maybe their ex-coworkers will exercise at least the tiniest bit of common sense before lashing out with the destructive might the government.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Mad Mad Mad

    "I shall not make windows into men's soles" Now we are guilty untill proven inocent. Could the last person to leave the contry tern off all the lights

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was it faked?

    Simple for a Father for Justice member to

    1. Create webmail account via anonymous proxy in internet cafe

    2. Send threatening email to judge, faking From header

    3. Watch website taken down by incompetent civil servant

    4. Report story to media

    5. Profit ???

    I have to say though I do support these guys. My father fought tooth & nail to get joint custody of us when he got separated. It took bloody ages, but became one of the first men in the Rep. of Ireland to do so. I also know a few fathers that are far better parents than their previous halves, but hey ho, the courts are always right.

  7. Michael 36

    There is no justice in Britain

    "lawyers immediately began an appeal against the injunction and fought for the Ministry of Justice to disclose the email at the centre of the case".

    So the MoJ obtained a court order without having to provide any evidence to the accused?

    Stalin and Hitler seem to have won the war after all.

  8. I didn't do IT.
    Thumb Up

    @ (AC) Mad Mad Mad

    > "I shall not make windows into men's soles"

    Wow. Hopefully that was not a typo or spell-check correction, because that philosophically is gold, my friend.

    Pure. Gold.

  9. Ally J

    Another F4J spurious rumour....

    Beautiful. I recall the 'Fathers 4 Justice plot to kidnap baby Leo Blair' story had no foundation in truth either, but was gleefully accepted by the red-tops and plod as gospel truth.

    It seems anyone that's pissed off the government is subject to a lower standard of proof of criminal intent than, say, ooh, anyone who's *in* the government.

  10. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    @Terry 9

    I also wish I had a quarter for every fool who doesn't know the difference between "their" and "there".

  11. Stephen Jones

    It's worse than that

    How on earth was the injunction to take down the F4J website going to do anything? This is the internet, the information could have been posted in any one of thousands of places. Words cannot express the sheer level of incompetence shown by the civil service or the courts here.

  12. alain williams Silver badge

    @Perceived Unfairness?

    You are quite correct about the family courts being unfair. Grave injustices are regularly done, the only people who benefit are those in the legal system: judges, cafcass, social services (keep jobs) and parasitical solicitors who wind things up to drag things out as long as possible so that they can charge more fees. Those who are unfortunate enough to be caught up in it rapidly learn the lie about courts being just or there to protect you. Judges & cafcass are interested in protecting their own backsides and not the kids.

    If you are stuck in it you may wish to look at:


  13. Gavin 14

    Auto Generated Reply?

    Anon @ 12:22 was your comment lifted straight from the comment generator on the "Speek you're branes" web site?

  14. David Simpson 1
    Big Brother


    They are vindictive, this was the government flexing its muscles and shutting down something that was causing them annoyance.

    We live in a Police state where Gordon says "these new laws will only be used against terrorists"

    then he uses the new anti-terror laws against Icelandic banks !

    We are all next don't argue with the government, I mean FATHER or in his wisdom he will shut us down.................

  15. matt 49

    take any website offline

    so you could essentially take any uk website down with this ploy. Send a badly faked mail saying your the admin and you'll post something nasty. Site will be forced down, then its up to the owner to prove them self innocent...

  16. Dave Bell

    Something doesn't add up.

    The injunction doesn't have to force the website to be shut down. If the information isn't already posted, then all that should need to be done is to not publish it.

    So what haven't we been told? A shut-down-now injunction, which has to be withdrawn by a court before the website can reappear, seems to be badly breaking the limits set by the Human Rights Act, unless there was evidence the material was already there on the site.

  17. lukewarmdog

    Judges Addresses

    You may address them as The Right Honourable whatever their title is OR if you are in court you can merely address them as Your Honour, My Lord or Lady.

    I know it's the police and they can do what they want in Kent but sharing the information with the judges seems out of order before the crime has been investigated. What did they say to them? "Some vague threat may have been made, the language isn't transparent but we suggest you take the appropriate action". Such as pre-emptively locking up all F4J members maybe.

    I bet you could get their addresses from 118800 if it was still up.

  18. neb

    matt 49 @13:26

    surely you meant to end your'e comment

    mwah hah hah ha!

    see what i did their?

  19. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Time to off-shore those websites.`

    So the govt. has demonstrated (maybe to it's surprise) that it's possible to get a website removed for what amounts to no reason.

    [as an aside: so where *did* this email originate - if the headers are available, and the cops have the ability to associate IP addresses with people for anti-terror or anti-paedo reasons, they should be able to do it in this case, too],

    ... No doubt we can expect them to flex their muscles in this arena again ..... and again. I would expect this sort of action to become a common occurrence as the Olympics (oh goody! 3 years today!) gets closer, to protect both the sponsors and olympics "good name" - by squashing any and all criticism under a wall of litigation. Luckily british law only extends as far as the seaside, so maybe people should give serious thought to siting their websites on servers in countries were there is still at least the semblance of freedom.


    it's a peculiarly british way to execute censorship: neither as efficient nor as all-encompassing as a great-firewall-of-britain, yet draws as much flak - at least among the digitally literate.

  20. Richard Porter

    "A 10-year-old could have done it"

    Yes, but that doesn't mean a government IT expert could have done it!

  21. Slugster

    Terrorists Go Home!

    We dont need you. We are fucking everything up ourselves.

  22. Adam Salisbury

    @ Richard Porter

    Good call, drawing comparisons between 10 year olds and Govt IT staff is deeply offensive to 10 yeald olds

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Why use a UK website?

    If I was going to do something that stupid^Wdrastic then I'd put it on a web host in another country where it would be much harder for them to take it down without a lot of fuss first.

    Google will censor its searches on receipt of legal paperwork, but they do let you know it's been done and try to provide a link to the takedown notice.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    If judges have nothing to hide

    they have nothing to fear.

    or something

  25. Luther Blissett

    @AC 12:27

    Either your final paragraph is lying, or your experience has made you unusually cynical. No rational person is going to smear themselves for fame or treasure. Where exactly did you learn the tactic of faking a crime in which you are the victim?

  26. Anonymous Coward

    "F4J" website down?

    What, as in the ex-US Navy Phantom jet fighter/bomber? I knew our Government was reluctant to discuss military acquisitions but that's a bit harsh!

    Oh wait, it's just someone being too bloody lazy to tyoe "Fathers For Justice". Didn't you lot learn with the Y2K issue that shortening stuff is a Bad Idea?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Grease Monkey /

    >> also wish I had a quarter for every fool who doesn't know the difference between "their" and "there".


    The same goes for Terry 9's use of "effect" instead of "affect".

  28. andy 45

    @AC 14:33 - dont you geddit?

    "If I was going to do something that stupid^Wdrastic then I'd put it on a web host in another country where it would be much harder for them to take it down without a lot of fuss first"

    -- dont you understand AC? It wasnt Fathers4Justice

    They dont need a web host in another country because they are innocent!

  29. John Bayly

    @Luther Blissett

    Sorry, I though I'd used the joke icon, and I've reading slashdot a little too much recently (I'll use that as the excuse for the cynicism). I did leave out the ??? item:

    Actually, I feel my experiences have made me a pretty well balanced individual. I just have a habit of coming out with ridiculous comments and insane conspiracy theories that even the most unhinged of individuals would have issues in believing.

    As for the "tactic of faking a crime in which you are the victim?", even though I really don't believe a Fathers 4 Justice member did this on purpose, look at the result. It's made them look like a victim of an inept judiciary.

  30. kain preacher

    Next time

    Next time they will be smarter, the gov that is.They will put it on the secret net filter list.

  31. John Bayly

    @Luther Blissett

    Just to clarify: I have a penchant for the ridiculous and conspiracy theories because it amuses me, not because I'm a card carrying member of the tinfoil hat brigade. I'll blame Monty Python for that.

  32. Steve Renouf

    Grammar Police!

    "@Grease Monkey / #

    By Anonymous Coward Posted Monday 27th July 2009 14:51 GMT

    >> also wish I had a quarter for every fool who doesn't know the difference between "their" and "there".


    The same goes for Terry 9's use of "effect" instead of "affect"."

    Not to mention things like "would of", "could of", "should of", etc., instead of "would have", "could have", "should have", etc..

  33. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Pete 2 Posted Monday 27th July 2009 13:54 GMT

    Time to off-shore those websites.

    Luckily british law only extends as far as the seaside, so maybe people should give serious thought to siting their websites on servers in countries were there is still at least the semblance of freedom.

    Well thats just given me a great idea that hopefully will earn me 1000's of quid

    Buy myself a suitable large ship, stuff it full of servers while taking care to use the sea as somewhere to dump the waste heat, couple it into a nice fat internet cable , then sit in international waters and host away.

    Then, after I've earned many millions, I can buy myself a government(the british one seems quite cheap at the moment) and build an on shore site.

    Ps nice to see our civil service is just as incompetant as it was in my day

  34. This post has been deleted by its author

  35. Terry 9

    @Grease Monkey

    Fair Enough!!

    You have caught me doing something I despise in others. The one that upsets me the most is the inability to use "then" and "than" properly.

    I "never" make mistakes like this. But clearly between the excitement of being the first one to post (which didn't turn out anyway) and general outrage over the story... I had two grammatical misadventures in one tiny post.

    I am deeply sorry to the Queen for my part in killing her language.

    P.S. Reg: I would love to know how I got a "9" on the end of my ID. Think I'll try to fix that, but not until after my public apology for sounding like an illiterate "tool".

  36. Martin 6 Silver badge

    In other news

    The register was blocked when it was detected that it started with the same address "http://www." as a child porn site.

  37. David 45

    Technical incompetence"

    "The government faces accusations of technical incompetence". This from the same herberts who are planning to have us all stitched - put on a database for the ID card scheme. Over my dead body.

  38. Anonymous Coward

    @Grease Monkey

    Theirs no satisfying some people.

  39. Michael 36

    Grammar police

    While we are at it, what about the incorrect use of apostrophe's?

  40. Anonymous Coward

    speek your branes

    @Gavin14 - you shagger, I've just spent the last hour laughing at


  41. Steve Roper
    Thumb Down

    Taking websites down

    Noting with interest the comments by matt49 and Pete2 regarding the issue of being able to take down any website with a faked email, this is not the case. Fathers 4 Justice is a men's-help site; i.e. a feminist's nemesis. Since Western governments in general pander to the feminists it's not hard to see why this site was taken down on so little evidence. Try sending a fake email pretending to be from a feminist website threatening to reveal judges' names and see what happens. Won't be much, I'll bet.

  42. Anonymous Coward

    Grammar police

    How come amanfrommars never gets told off?

  43. Anonymous Coward


    "Since Western governments in general pander to the feminists it's not hard to see why this site was taken down on so little evidence."

    Here's the thing. If you want government (or anyone else) to listen to your concerns, you have to get up off your arse, go outside, and start shouting. Women became rather good at that. 2000 years of abuse will do that to a gender. Men seem to think that whingeing from an armchair will accomplish something. It doesn't work for the football, and it doesn't work in real life.

    I know that some of it isn't that fair to some modern men. But I'm going to advance the notion that if you're the sort of chap who willfully removes the 2000 years of abuse from the equation, you're probably the sort of chap who deserves the rough end of the "the feminists" agenda.

    And by the way, there is no "the feminists". There are more schools and currents within feminism than there are linux distros.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    it wouldnt happen to a pro female site

    Having been through the mill of the family court system I actually found the mothers for justice boards a really useful source of ammunition for defeating the mad ex wife.

    Having seen the naming and shaming of judges on those boards and the publication of court officials details etc alongside calls for direct action which would breach both public order and terrorism legislation you have to wonder how a site like F4J can be taken down so easily when we have pro women sites that carry on with impunity.

    The simple answer is that we have a feminist appeasing agenda where the law is written to allow them to break the law. Or, worse, it allows them to get away with breaking the law with no fear of retribution.

    My sympathy is with the judges who have to make decisions based on the rubbish that social workers spout and I was fortunate to have a string of judges both male and female who could see through the pro feminist sh**e and actually make the right decision for my child.

    Its also interesting that none of the major news channels carried the story yesterday or today.

    Paris, my idea of what a true feminist should be.

  45. Steve Roper

    @ John Dee

    1. I have been actively campaigning for men's rights in my country (Australia) for the past 15 years, including participation in rallies, support for Men's Rights Australia, Fathers Australia and similar organisations as well as writing to politicians. So don't call me an armchair commentator, OK?

    2. There is no 2000 years of abuse. There is maybe a million years of men do this, women do that. That is not abuse. That is biology. Now we have the means to change it. That doesn't mean any feminist or anyone else has the right to punish me for how my great-great-granfather might treated women or not. In fact, he was probably a lot more chivalrous and respectful of women than I am.

    3. Yes, they are "the feminists". FEMinism is about rights for women. FEMinism is NOT about rights for men. Whether they call themselves radical feminists, liberal feminists, post-modern feminists, or New Age Reformed Episcopal Born-again Free-thinking feminists, that is what they believe in. Rights for women are their agenda. Rights for men are not. End of story.

  46. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @ John Dee

    One more time - feminism does not equate to misandry. Most people who want a better deal for one group do not want that at the expense of another. And so it follows you can be pro-men's rights without being anti-women, because they're not all anti-men (even if some of them are). Can't you?

    Being anti- any group in particular, wholesale, is always bullshit and helps no one. And if you think a group is anti-you, why be anti-them in return? You're only sinking to their level. If you feel they are unfairly condemning you as a member of a group, you'll only be doing the same thing. Most people are decent and they want a fairer and better world where everyone is happier just like you do. There are problems with individuals and with cultures and societies, yeah, but you've got to identify them correctly and focus on them and not make vast sweeping statements and consider that the end of it.

    Boy oh boy. This really isn't the place to do this, is it.

  47. Steve Roper
    Big Brother

    And the Bee stings...

    I did not say feminism equates to misandry. Not caring about men's rights is not the same as actively opposing them. I agree that only the "radical" feminists actively oppose men having any rights at all; that is misandry. But I have never seen any group self-labelling as feminist actively supporting any measure that would ensure equal treatment of men in fields where women have dominance. Example: a few years ago, the government here started a campaign to get more male teachers in schools, because there is an overwhelming preponderance of female teachers. The campaign was shot down, not just by radicals, but even your "moderates" - even the so-called "Equal Opportunity Commission" opposed it as being "discriminatory". Only Men's Rights Australia (which incidentally has more than a few female members) and a few egalitarian politicians spoke out on TV in favour of the campaign, but no group self-labelling as 'feminist' gave any support at all; they either opposed it or stayed silent. But a similar campaign to get more women into IT received overwhelming support from all those quarters.

    Ms. Bee, I understand the point you're trying to make, but I put it to you that if you really support equal rights for both genders, you would be egalitarian, not feminist. Nobody can convince me that a movement whose name explicitly correlates to 'feminine' has anything to do with either men or true equality, however persuasive the trickery employed. The action (or lack of it) by any feminist group in regard to true equality for both genders speaks for itself. If you can point me to any feminist group actively supporting equal rights for men as well as women I will review my position on this, but not until then.

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