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Barbados Shocked To Find It's Home To Striptease News Show

by Leroy Baker, Tax-news.com, New York

08 June 2001


Few people have ever heard of eGalaxy Inc, a Barbados-registered International Business Company, but people make six million visits a month to its famous Toronto-based web news service, nakednews.com.

Barbadian IBCs (like most IBCs) are tax-exempt, but are not allowed to trade with Barbados residents, or with residents of allied countries in Caricom. NakedNews runs sophisticated software to prevent Caribbean residents from subscribing ($10 a month, since you ask). But now an enterprising reporter on the Barbados Sunday Sun has managed to sneak past the news channel's defences and become a subscriber, breaking the rules.

The Barbadian Ministry of International Business said it will investigate how the journalist gained computer access to NakedNews .com in apparent violation of Caribbean foreign investment law. "It is a matter that has to be looked into as well as the aspect of content," one official from the ministry said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "If the company is doing business domestically it would be in breach of the legislation governing International Business Companies."

To add to the legal infraction, Barbados is a straight-laced country very proud of its conservative British traditions, and the Internet show which stars four women and one man who remove their clothes as they read the news may find itself in the soup with the Barbados authorities.

Kathy Pinckert, spokeswoman for NakedNews, attributed the Barbadian Internet access incident to a "technological booboo" and said eGalaxy is a "straight up company that complies with the rules. Some people go out of their way to do something that is sensationalistic, and sadly, this is that kind of situation."

Heaven forbid that anyone should stoop so low as to 'do anything sensationalistic', and of course all our sympathies go to poor old NakedNews.com in their undeserved predicament.

"We were unaware that there was a chink in the armour and we're glad we found out about it although we don't like the accusatory way that it was done," said David Warga, Toronto-based lawyer for NakedNews. "You can't fix a problem unless you know it is there. As an IBC we are obliged to block out Internet server access from the Caribbean and we thought we had found all of the doors, but sometimes new doors open."

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