Friday, July 2, 2010
Vatican in Hot Water as Neighbors Accuse it of Blocking Internet Access
The Vatican is accused of blocking internet access for Italians bordering the tiny sovereign.
Hundreds of neighbors have complained that the Holy See is trying to control their online lives. Some of the websites reportedly blocked are protestantplanet, famousirishpopes, waferology (which has recipes for smuggled-home wafers), and Scientology.org, the official site of the Church of Scientology.
Why the Church of Scientology is blocked is not a mystery to Bernardo Respetti, a self-described conspiracy theorist and author who lives in nearby Rome. Respetti said someone hacked into the Vatican's main computer last year and nearly got away with all its secrets. He said the church suspects it was Scientology. A few weeks later, the Vatican reportedly hacked into Scientology's main website to see what it could learn, and managed to get to "Level 47." Armed with each others' secret knowledge, the churches allegedly settled on a truce, where neither can acknowledge the other.
On the day of the truce, a memo was sent by the Pope to all priests, declaring it verboten to discuss the Church of Scientology in any way. The memo was intercepted by Israeli agents and forwarded to Jerusalem before working its way back to Rome.
In the meantime a petition was filed by 50 neighbors with a list of blocked websites, and stapled to the Vatican's main entryway. So far, the Vatican refuses to comment.