The Tax Justice Network Intertax list – an apology

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The Tax Justice Network has just put the following note on its blog:

We would like to apologise to our Intertax subscribers - and others - who have suffered a stream of emails bouncing through the system since the early evening of Friday 17th August.  We were alerted to this problem early on Saturday morning, but not before hundreds of emails had bounced across the system - many from people who are not on the system.

It is possible that this was a deliberate attempt to swamp users' email boxes with irritated and sometimes offensive emails.

It is unclear at this stage what, if anything, is wrong with the Intertax email bounce system, but we have simply switched the system off, and it will remain off until we have reviewed how the problem occurred and whether a new system is required.

I have not been involved in running the Intertax list, but took an active part in trying to solve this problem. TJN readily admits it does not know what happened on this list on Friday. What is even more confusing is that so far four out of five people who have asked to unsubscribe - obviously completely genuinely - do not appear to be on the list in the first place.

It seems that some sort of attack on the list took place, sending mails to people inappropriately as a result, but what or how we do not know. Rather than risk this happening again it is likely that the list - now an outmoded method of communication, to be honest - will be replaced with something much more secure. In the meantime we all hope nothing else occurs and TJN is doing its best to stop that happening.