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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 24 September, 2002, 10:09 GMT 11:09 UK
Online demand high for Iraq dossier
Demonstrators in Iraq
Opinion is divided on what evidence in dossier shows
UK Government websites are struggling to cope with demand as large numbers of people attempt to access its dossier on Iraq online.

Originally put up on the Foreign and Commonwealth site, public interest in the document meant many surfers were unable to access it.

The government has now created nine mirror sites to carry the document which purports to provide evidence on Saddam Hussein's military plans to use chemical and biological weapons.

Surfers unable to access the dossier at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office can try alternative sites at the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Defence, Number 10's website and the government's flagship UK Online.

Built to cope

"We are expecting a high level of interest and the sheer number of people may be making it a bit slow," said a spokeswoman for the Cabinet Office.

She assured the public that they would be able to access the evidence online.

"UK Online is deliberately built to cope with a large number of visitors," she said.

BBC News Online is also now carrying a full copy of the document.

Some of the most popular public sector websites have proved embarrassing for the government which is intent on getting all its services online by 2005.

An innovative Inland Revenue site was beset with problems and failed to attract interest from tax-payers.

The Public Records Office's 1901 Census site was unable to cope with the millions which tried to access it and had to be closed down to be rebuilt.


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See also:

24 Sep 02 | Politics
24 Sep 02 | Hardtalk
24 Sep 02 | UK
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