WTO alert on fake website

CHENNAI, NOV. 1. The World Trade Organisation (WTO), which has been crusading for fairer trade practices and more ethical intellectual property rights (IPR) regime discouraging piracy, has itself become the victim of piracy of its IPR and unfair practice on the Internet.

On Wednesday, the WTO sent alert messages to journalists registered on its website against a ``fake WTO Internet site'' with the address ``www.gatt.org'' (suggesting that it had nothing to do with the predecessor to the WTO - the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade - and thus with the WTO).

The alert pointed out that the fake site used a format and logo which were identical to that of the WTO but with distorted text and alleged that it was designed to ``obtain your email address''. It advised journalists to avoid the search facility in the purported ``www.gatt.org'' as it would enable the operators of the site to send misinformation on the WTO.

A visit to the site on Wednesday showed its portal page having not only the same colour scheme and content format as that of the WTO site but also an ``alert'' to its visitors about a fake ``wto.org'' site in exactly the same manner as the official WTO site carried its alert on the fake site.

Today, the ``fake site,'' suspected to be operated by campaigners against globalisation, has a different format on its portal page but this too resembles the one often used by the WTO on its website. The WTO site now carries a warning about the fake site as being a ``nuisance to serious users.''

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