Pages with tag Freedom of Speech

Attacks on anti-Fascist and pro-Fascist websites stifling free speech

Web hosting provider Dreamhost is fighting a Dept of Justice order to release broad-ranging data about visitors to a website that organized protest rallies in Washington DC on January 20, 2017. That was Trumps inauguration day, and saw large protests, which the Dept. of Justice's Search Warrant called riots, against Donald Trump. The information demanded by the DoJ is "highly untargeted" and includes visitor IP addresses, along with contact information, email content, and photos of thousands of people. According to Dreamhost, the web hosting provider, the DoJ's search warrant is an attack on freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of association.

Last weekend a protest by NEO-Nazi white supremacists in Charlottesville Virginia was intended to "protect" a statue of Civil War leader Robert E. Lee. That protest turned very violent, including an incident of a car used as a battering ram to drive into a crowd of peaceful anti-fascist protesters, killing one and injuring dozens of other people. In the wake of that protest the Daily Stormer website, billed as the most Genocidal website on the planet, has taken offline by web hosting provider GoDaddy over Terms of Service violations. Reportedly the Daily Stormer's staff has tried to shift web hosting to other providers, but has yet to find an agreeable hosting provider. Seems that publishing a website encouraging people to violence is against the terms of service.

What's common from these extreme ends of the political spectrum is the role the web hosting provider plays in implementing our right to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of association.

Any group denied the ability to host a website cannot speak their message to the world. Guaranteeing freedom of Speech and the other freedoms means guaranteeing that freedom for everyone, including those with whom you disagree.

British Home Secretary makes chillingly authoritarian response to 'terror' attack Last week an angry man of Islamic descent (but born in Great Britain) rented a car, drove through a crowd on Westminster Bridge, killing several people, before killing a Police officer guarding Westminster Palace, after which he was shot and killed by other police officers. The killer may have been ISIS-connected (ISIS claims responsibility). In response British Home Secretary Amber Rudd named several online sites as hotbeds of online terrorism communication and radicalization. Her list included blogging platform Wordpress.com of all things. Her chilling message is there should be no secret places to hide.
Daily Stormer's new domain registrar wrings hands and cancels dailystormer.lol domain

A week ago a hate-filled group of fascist KKK nazi protesters descended on Charlottesville Virginia, supposedly to protect the existence of a Robert E. Lee statue. That statue is one of many commemorating "hero's" on the losing side of the Civil War, Robert E. Lee being a famous General in the Confederate Army. Why do we even have statues commemorating figures from the Confederacy? In the early 1900's a group of people seeking a revisionist reframing of Civil War history got these statues installed. So when a KKK fascist nazi white supremacist group takes to the street to protect such a statue, they're not acting to preserve history but to continue whitewashing history.

In any case -- the Daily Stormer website actively promotes the KKK/fascist/white supremacist cause, and was deeply involved in promoting the protest rally last weekend. Since then, the Daily Stormer's domain registration has been canceled, and they've lost several other important services from at least Cloud Flare, Google and Zoho. For awhile the Daily Stormer website was available only through the Dark Web, and later it had a .ru domain (Russia), and then they registered a .lol domain. But now their new registrar, Namecheap, has canceled that domain registration.

Namecheap's CEO, Richard Kirkendall, wrote a long blog post about his decision. In it he says that no Domain Registrar should be making such a decision but that even though he recognizes there will be a strong backlash against Namecheap that he feels he made the right decision. That's because while the Daily Stormer website deserves as much free speech protection as the next guy, free speech protections should stop when there's an incitement to violence. The content of the Daily Stormer website is clearly aimed at increasing violence and hatred and inciting violence.

Republican Presidential Candidates want massive violation of First Amendment and other American legal freedoms We're in a silly season of U.S. presidential electioneering - of all people, Donald Trump is the leading Republican candidate for President, for example. Last night, civil liberties and the right to privacy was gravely threatened in the latest Republican Presidential candidates debate. Most of the candidates demonstrated they care nothing for our personal freedoms, and are willing to destroy American's freedom's in the name of "Fighting Terrorism". Donald Trump wants to shut down parts of the Internet, vaguely lacking in details. Sen. Ted Cruz says the recent San Bernardino happened because the FBI (et al) didn't do enough surveillance of online discussions. Carly Fiorina says that Silicon Valley needs to cooperate with Federal Officials to make sure they can tap into any conversation they want, and therefore spy on anything we say online.
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