Since we are worried about the threat of internet censorship by the UK Government and the European Commission, we are also worried about blog censorship via vague legal threats to internet hosting companies, who, understandably do not want to get involved in legal expenses which are likely to outweigh any profit they make from an individual cheap, web hosting package, so , belatedly, here are a few comments about the Alisher Usmanov and Schillings debacle.
See a sample of the bloggers and others who are now taking an interest in this scandal via Chicken Yoghurt
When Alisher Usmanov comes begging for political asylum, when he inevitably falls out with Vladimir Putin's "silovicki", what Wired magazine calls Russia's Espiocrats, he will find that he will be treated with the contempt which he deserves, by the very people in the British political blogosphere who might otherwise have been sympathetic to him.
Schillings are a very expensive firm of solicitors, who specialise in high profile libel cases involving minor media celebrities. However, despite the spurious claims of expertise on their website, they appear to have displayed utter incompetence with their counterproductive shyster threats against British political bloggers and their internet service providers.
Remember that there has been no actual case of libel brought by Schillings or anyone else, against Craig Murray, the former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, for his, presumably well founded, allegations about Usmanov's criminal past, neither against his blog postings, which are now mirrored all over the web, nor against his book Murder in Samarkand. Craig Marray's now censored blog postings indicate that he would welcome the chance to see Alisher Usmanov in a British court.
There has also been "collateral damage" to bloggers across the political spectrum, such as the Conservative MP and a strong contender to be the next Mayor of London , Boris Johnson, and other such as the somewhat
reactionary radical Labour Councillor for Bearwood in Birmingham, Bob Piper, who had not, up to then, written anything about Alisher Usmanov at all.
It was particularly stupid of Schillings to try to censor political blogging pioneer and online campaigner Tim Ireland, who has probably forgotten more about the internet campaigning and things like Search Engine Optimisation etc. than Schillings have ever known. No doubt Bloggerheads will soon re-appear online and will excoriate Schillings and their shady client.
Instead of a couple of obscure postings on Craig Murray's blog, Schillings have now vastly increased the number of people who are asking questions about the criminal past of their rich Uzbek client, and his attempts to control Arsenal football club., and his corrupt relationships with Islam Karimov the brutal dictator of Uzbekistan and with Putin's regime in Moscow.
Questions should also now be asked about the other business associates of Alisher Usmanov here in the UK, such as those involved in the Red and White Holdings Limited company which is being used as the investment vehicle to try to control Arsenal plc.
Hopefully the Serious Organised Crime Agency will be taking an interest in the true sources of the money behind Red and White Holdings Limited and will investigate. Alisher Usmanov and his business partners such as David Dein (who sold his block of Aresnal shares and is acting as chairman of Red & White), the other Iranian born investor in Red & White, former Deloitte accountant Farhad Moshiri and the firm of Field Fischer Waterhouse who have "advised" on the original deal.