The websites of two prominent pro-choice organisations campaigning against smoking bans have been targeted by hackers who redirected traffic to the NHS Smokefree website. The high level and sophisticated hacking technique affected all UK based internet service providers.
Andy Davis, Vice Chairman of Freedom to Choose, one of the affected websites, says: “It appears that Freedom to Choose has annoyed someone high up; it seems they don’t want the truth to get out.”
Stephanie Stahl, President of Forces International, the other site, states: “To re-direct our UK visitors to an anti-smoking website shows that the antismoking movement must be very nervous about the information our pro-freedom groups provide. Domain names are sacred on the free-spirited information super highway; we trust that those responsible for this serious violation will be identified and held accountable. ”
Both groups campaign against government interference in private life and property, maintaining that blanket smoking bans are based on fraudulent scientific claims about passive smoking. According to Andy Davis: “Five out of six studies show second hand smoke to be entirely harmless. In the UK the ban is needlessly devastating the hospitality and entertainment industries, yet modern air filtration can remove 99.97% of airborne particles and make indoor air cleaner than outdoor, regardless of smoking.”
The hacking incident has been reported to the relevant authorities and is under investigation. In the meantime, both www.freedom2choose.info and www.forces.org have restored normal service.