Letter to ATOS Legal Department

Please see copy of letter sent to Legal Department –

21st Aug 2011

FAO  – ATOS Legal Department

CarerWatch is an internet forum for sick and disabled people and their unpaid family carers. This is a private forum and only members are allowed to make/read posts.

We understand from the organisation that hosts our forum that they received a letter from your solicitors threatening to sue us for libel. The provider immediately closed our site down.

We have many members who are very fragile and the sudden disappearance of a support group has caused a lot of distress and fear. Some are ringing us in tears. We cannot get in contact with all of them though as we have lost their contact details through the closure.
All this distress could have been avoided if you had had the courtesy to contact us first and tell us what had been posted on our site that you considered libellous. Obviously if any post was possibly libellous we would have removed it and all this distress could have been avoided.

We imagine this distress is unintended and hope you will work with us in looking at the problem and finding a solution.

Please note that this letter, and any reply received from yourselves, will be posted on our website. It is the only means left to us to reach some members and keep them updated.

It is vital we have our forum up and running again to reach those that are isolated.


On behalf of CarerWatch members

12 Responses to “Letter to ATOS Legal Department”

  1. Atos moves to shut down criticism | Tentacles of doom Says:

    […] this action against them, CarerWatch have published their reply to Atos, which I reproduce here. (I hope they won’t mind.) 21st Aug […]

  2. Atos moves to shut down criticism » DPAC Says:

    […] this action against them, CarerWatch have published their reply to Atos, which I reproduce here. (I hope they won’t mind.) 21st Aug […]

  3. Dawn Willis Says:

    Whilst I can understand them ‘cribbing’ about the use of their *snort* hallowed name, I can’t understand the approach they used to ensure you could not operate.

    As you reasonably state it would have been useful if they had contacted you in the first instance to ask you to amend any content they found ‘offensive’ and see if there could have been a compromise.

    Scary times indeed.

  4. CarerWatch Forum – latest takedown by Atos | The Creative Crip Says:

    […] CarerWatch Letter to Atos Legal Department […]

  5. Paul Says:

    Recommend contacting Amelia Gentleman at the Guardian newspaper as she has written several articles on ATOS.

    On the plus side , it’s interesting to note that the System actually monitors all ” Dissident ” sites.

    Democracy the British way ….. ?

  6. Charities slam DWP contractor Atos for shutting down disability support group | Political Scrapbook Says:

    […] its hosting company was contacted by lawyers acting for multinational technology firm Atos. In a letter to the contractor, which has an annual turnover of £4.4 billion, the site’s owners described the devastating […]

  7. Index on Censorship » Blog Archive » Benefits test company threatens critics with libel action Says:

    […] has now written to Atos Healthcare asking for an explanation. She said: “Many members who are very fragile and the […]

  8. Anony Says:

    Please become acquainted with this website:


    It is there to help in precisely these sorts of situations. As it says on its front page:

    “Do you know your online rights? Have you received a letter asking you to remove information from a Web site or to stop engaging in an activity? Are you concerned about liability for information that someone else posted to your online forum? If so, this site is for you.”

  9. Anony Says:

    Also, @bengoldacre has been posting about the closure on Twitter. He is a highly respected Guardian journalist and he’s not on At*s’s side. I’m hoping he will help get a story in the paper.

  10. Discussions with Atos « Carer Watch's Blog Says:

    […] We contacted Atos and our initial letter to them can be read here […]

  11. Mo Stewart Says:

    This may also all just be a smoke screen and a distraction. Atos assessments are a duplicate of those used by UNUM Insurance, a discredited American corporate giant who were previously known as Unum Provident Insurance, as well as other names.
    The plan was to flood the UK with mass marketing for Income Protection (disability) insurance adverts as we move closer to the American model of health. Despite a diabolical reputation, and being identifed as the 2nd worst insurance company in America by the American Ass of Justice, Unum have been “advisers” to successive UK governments since 1994 and fund the previous DWP Chief Med officer in the UNUM research centre at Cardiff Uni.
    They are about to launch nationwide massive marketing, so get ready as it will be hitting your door steps soon.
    I am not a regular member of this group but I seriously doubt if there was any libellous content, but the uproar caused has distracted all attention from the main aim which is to introduce American style health funding into the UK

    Good luck. Mo Stewart

  12. ‘Distress’ for disabled after legal threat shuts web forum | HomeCareJob Says:

    […] a minute to a Atos authorised team, Carer Watch pronounced members had been phoning forum organisers in tears since of a fear and […]

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