Published on 17/05/12 at 19:37:39 GMT by Redaksjonen
Norway: morsmal.org has several times notified Minister of Education Kristin Halvorsen, both directly and through her advisors on a project that was launched in 2009 under the auspices of Education Directorate. The project has copied its name, contents and functions directly from our news site.
Halvorsen was informed of some important ethical challenges associated with the project that are related to impartiality and corruption, but now proposes to use 5 million from taxpayers' money on the site. The editor of the news site morsmal.org intends to appeal the case to the U.S. authorities and ask to shut down the entire site.
Morsmal.org has several times notified Minister Kristin Halvorsen on a project under the auspices of Directorate of Education which is violating both Norwegian and international laws. Halvorsen was informed of violations of laws regarding impartiality, corruption and lack of public calls for proposals both for the project itself and the positions.
Education Minister Kristin Halvorsen, illustration photo: morsmal.org
The Education Minister informed on Tuesday in a statement that in connection with the revision of the national budget in Norway, she now wants to use 5 million ( approximately 1 million USD) from taxpayers' money on the site.
In connection with the matter that was discussed for on Aftenposten, Klassekampen and Digi.nomorsmal.org has emphasized in several occasions to Halvorsen and the Ministry of Education about these and other related legal violations of the project:
- There were never announced calls for proposals for the project itself - All positions in the site were never announced - Employees of the project were using their positions in public committees to promote the project - Counterfeiting of information and server data to give good impression about the number of visits to the site - Disinformation about the project to the government in connection with the last national budget proposal - Disinformation for public committees about the project - Complaints about threats from employees in the project - Offences in connection with the domain name registration when it comes to declaration upon site registration - Violation of copyrights in connection with the domain name and use of content in multiple pages on the site - Appeals against disqualification and libelous steps from two employees in the project - Unethical practice in accordance with government duplication of existing minority language news site
On Elpeleg, editor-in-chief of morsmal.orgis surprised about Halvorsen's statement and said that he will appeal the case to court.
- We will call for a special meeting with our members to discuss the matter. We received advice from former Education Department to enter into a constructive dialogue with the Directorate of Education, but it's a bit difficult to enter into such a dialogue when both the Education Directorate and the Education Ministry do not to investigate the serious violation of administrative laws, Elpeleg said.
Elpeleg believe that the case should be appealed both in Norway and to the U.S. authorities
- The case is about breach of Norwegian law in accordance with the Public Administration and domain name registration, but when it comes to copyright, it is more appropriate to require the closure of the illegal site directly through the U.S. authorities on the basis of the U.S. Copyright Act, the so-called "Digital Millennium Copyright Act "(DMCA) Act. We will also consider whether to appeal to the Ombudsman in Norway and the European Court in Luxembourg, said Elpeleg.
Elpeleg does not think the worst of this matter are law offenses.
- I think that the worst of this case is the clear intention of Halvorsen to take over or compete with an independent minority language news site. It is not surprising to me that recent polls show that SV (Social Democrats in Norway) are below the threshold of being elected again to the government. I recommend both Halvorsen and the new leader of the Socialist Party, Audun Lysbakken, to wake up from this aristocratic dream they live in and listen better to their voters, concludes Elpeleg.
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