Chris Ward's statement

Chris Ward, the journalist who wrote what turned out to be an excellent news item, posted the message below to the mailing list on 4 February 1998. It's nice to have support!

I want first to apologise to Alastair: he's known about the story I was writing for The Times for a couple of weeks, and this has made much of the discussion since then redundant. He is a good person.

Second, the story posted on his page is true; I have posted it also on my personal web page here [URL removed] to confirm it.

I am a journalist of nearly 20 years standing, and have the relevant legal notes for the entire story, should they ever need to be challenged in court (I have experience of this sort of thing too). Like Alastair, I was very surprised that CWC came straight out (eventually) and gave me this line. My experience suggested I should expect a lot of prevarication and bluster and no real answers.

The only conclusions I can draw are as follows: I called the CWC press office for a quote, telling them about Alastair's page; they claimed no knowledge of it, and went away to read it; they got the frights and produced a statement tailored exactly to Alastair's demands; the free calls are safe for as long as you want them.

Chris Ward
Times Interface

PS I should declare my personal interest in this story: I use free phone calls on the ex-Videotron contract to access the Internet and it was while researching a story about ISDN that I came across Alastair's page.
Text by Chris Ward and Alastair Scott

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