Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


WTO Director General Moore Deplores Fake WTO Sites

WTO DG Moore deplores fake WTO websites: They "undermine WTO transparency"

WTO Director-General Mike Moore has severely criticized recently-created websites which mimic the WTO’s websites and create confusion among the public. He says the WTO welcomes criticism and change, but is concerned that the confusion created by the fake sites with their misleading Internet links is a disservice to the public. This could disrupt a much-needed debate by making WTO information more difficult to obtain.
This is the text of his statement:

"I am deeply concerned about the recent appearance of anonymous websites which copy important design features of the WTO’s official websites. This causes confusion among visitors looking for genuine information from the WTO, disrupting a much-needed democratic dialogue. It’s illegal and it’s unfair to those who have a genuine case in criticizing the WTO, an organization that only functions with the authority of sovereign governments.

"By creating confusion, the fake websites are interfering with the public’s ability to obtain information from the WTO. They have copied the WTO website’s design, and they use domain names such as ‘’ and page titles such as ‘World Trade Organization / GATT Home Page’ which make it difficult for visitors to realize that these are fake pages. Whereas the WTO uses the image of the official logo of the WTO Ministerial Conference as a hyperlink to the official conference website, these fake sites use it to link to anti-WTO material — further misleading web users.

"The WTO and its members uphold the rights of others to criticize and comment on WTO affairs, including the right to protest publicly. The WTO is, after all, a forum for governments to debate and negotiate trade issues, reflecting the various concerns and interests of their citizens.

"Confusing the public is another matter. Contrary to critics’ allegations, the WTO is highly transparent. The WTO website already contains over 60,000 official documents in the three official languages (English, French and Spanish), including minutes of meetings, and some 200,000 visitors per month download the equivalent of millions of pages of documents in addition to browsing regular web pages. The vast majority of these documents are released to the public immediately and the rest are derestricted within about six months. The WTO Secretariat receives and replies to thousands of enquiries each week by telephone and email, a large number coming through the WTO website, either directly by email or via the contact telephone numbers on the website.

"Those who wish to see the WTO become more transparent should join me in deploring any action which makes it more difficult for the public to gain access to WTO information. It’s ironic that while the WTO is accused of lacking transparency, some critics who put out misleading or false information are camouflaging their identities.

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Reese Erlich: Foreign Correspondent: Trump Plays Both Sides Against The Middle

Is he a hawk? Is he a peacenik? The President keeps us guessing . By Reese Erlich President Donald Trump has convinced Republican isolationists and hawks that he supports their views. That’s a neat trick, since the two groups hold opposing positions. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Waiting For The Old Bailey: Julian Assange And Britain’s Judicial Establishment

On September 7, Julian Assange will be facing another round of gruelling extradition proceedings, in the Old Bailey, part of a process that has become a form of gradual state-sanctioned torture. The US Department of Justice hungers for their man. The More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Sorry Plight Of The International Education Sector

Tourism and international education have been two of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic. They’re both key export industries. Yet the government response to them has been strikingly different. There has been nothing beyond a few words of ministerial condolence and a $51.6 million package (details below) to get the sector through the pandemic...

Binoy Kampmark: Google’s Open Letter: Fighting Australia’s News Media Bargaining Code

Tech giants tend to cast thin veils over threats regarding government regulations. They are also particularly concerned by those more public spirited ones, the sort supposedly made for the broader interest. Google has given us an example of this ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Trump’s Current Chances Of Re-Election

By now it seems clear that National have no fresh ideas to offer for how New Zealand could avoid the Covid-19 economic crisis. As in the past, National has set an arbitrary 30% ratio of government debt to GDP that it aims to achieve “in a decade or so,” ... More>>

The Conversation: Rogue Poll Or Not, All The Signs Point To A Tectonic Shift In New Zealand Politics

Richard Shaw AAP(various)/NZ Greens (CC-BY-SA)/The Conversation Strong team. More jobs. Better economy. So say the National Party’s campaign hoardings. Only thing is, last Sunday’s Newshub-Reid Research poll – which had support for the Labour ... More>>

The Coronavirus Republic: Three Million Infections And Rising

The United States is famed for doing things, not to scale, but off it. Size is the be-all and end-all, and the coronavirus is now doing its bit to assure that the country remains unrivalled in the charts of infection . In time, other unfortunates may well ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Altars Of Hypocrisy: George Floyd, Protest And Black Face

Be wary what you protest about. The modern moral constabulary are out, and they are assisted by their Silicon Valley friends in the Social Media club. Should you dare take a stand on anything, especially in a dramatic way, you will be found out ... More>>