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London Evening Standard: On cyberpicket lines: DON’T GET MAD GET EVEN

Evening Standard

28 September 1998

On cyberpicket lines

IN THE NET

DON’T GET MAD GET EVEN

WE’VE got Internet banking, Internet sex, Internet hype (aplenty). Now say hello to cyberpicketing, the most fashionable way for little people to get their own back.

Hacking for Girlies recently sabotaged the New York Times website, replacing the usual sober journalism with a rant in support of imprisoned hacker Kevin Mitnick.

At BP, for instance, they were surprised to discover a new website, www.britishpetroleum.co.uk. that was eerily close tn appearance to their corporate home page,www.bp.com. However, all the site’s links led to information about one Mr Bunt, and how his car had been damaged in the carwash of a BP (franchise) garage.

BP was perturbed. Legal soundings were taken, Bunt’s Internet service provider was contacted and the site was suspended. But BP did contact Commercial Union (the insurers of the franchisee). Bunt got his repair. David 1, Goliath nil.

When McDonald’s notoriously sued a pair of eco-pamphleteers, not only was the year-in, year-out publicity appalling, bnt it gave birth to www.mcspotlight.org. The case is long gone, but the site is stlll expanding.

And so to Mr Donovan, director of a marketing company whIch used to think up ideas for Shell. Convinced that some of his ideas seemed to have been adopted by Shell as its own, he started to complain to the company.

The full acrimonious saga can be enjoyed at http://www.don-marketing.com.

Does Mr Donovan have any pointers for an effective cyberpicket?

Flrst, it needn’t cost a fortune. Donovan’s site is the work of 19-year-old Nick Gill, who replied to an ad for an Internet wizz. The site has cost hundreds rather than thousands of pounds. Second, don’t forget to register the sIte with all the search engines, otherwise your target’s lawyers may have trouble finding you. Third, don’t look too professional: it spoils the aura of plucky amateurishness.

Neil Courtis

Original Article

On cyberpicket lines

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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