Net Neutrality Group Fights Ban of Neo-Nazi Internet Site

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has spoken out against the banning of the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer, after back-end web infrastructure companies like GoDaddy and Google cut services to the site for political reasons.

Silencing one group could lead to the silencing of others whose opinions companies don’t agree with, the EFF warned, adding that this kind of corporate overreach was dangerous.

“Protecting free speech is not something we do because we agree with all of the speech that gets protected. We do it because we believe that no one – not the government and not private commercial enterprise – should decide who gets to speak and who doesn’t,” EFF argued in a blog post titled “Fighting Neo-Nazis and the Future of Freedom of Expression” on Thursday.

“Any tactic used now to silence neo-Nazis will soon be used against others, including people whose opinions we agree with.” 

“Those on the left face calls to characterize the Black Lives matter movement as a hate group. In the Civil Rights era, cases that formed the basis of today’s protections of freedom of speech, the NAACP’s voice was the one attacked,” EFF wrote.

The EFF defends the right of anyone to choose what speech they provide online, as it is protected under the First Amendment of the US Constitution, the Foundation said.

Their response comes after the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi site, reported favorably about the death of a counter-protester during the weekend’s violence in Charlottesville. GoDaddy, a domain name host, told the site’s owners they had 24 hours to leave their service.

Daily Stormer subsequently moved to Google’s domain management service, but within hours, Google announced that it too was rejecting them as a customer. It also placed the dailystormer.com domain on “Client Hold,” preventing the website’s owner from activating, using or moving the domain to another service.

Cloudflare, whose services are used to protect a site from denial-of-service attacks (DDoS), also reversed its long-held policy to remain content-neutral and dropped the Daily Stormer as a customer.

“This was my decision. This is not Cloudflare’s general policy now, going forward,” CEO Matthew Prince told Gizmodo.

In an email Prince sent to staffers, he explained that he “woke up this morning in a bad mood and decided to kick them off the internet… it was a decision I could make because I’m the CEO of a major Internet infrastructure company. Having made that decision we now need to talk about why it is so dangerous. No one should have that power.”

What’s new and different about these latest actions is that its not been carried out by social media providers, like Twitter and Facebook, but rather the companies that serve as the backbone of the Internet, as the register of website names and services.

“The domain hosting is a relatively rarely focused-on chokepoint for political pressure,” Eric Goldman, law professor at Santa Clara University told Slate.”Turning on or off content at that level is much deeper into the infrastructure layer than we’re used to seeing.”

The EFF said that what GoDaddy, Google and Cloudflare did was “dangerous” because internet intermediaries, especially those with few competitors, “control so much online speech, the consequences of their decisions have far-reaching impacts on speech around the world.”

It said the domain name system is enabled by an often-fragile consensus among many systems and operators, and using that system to “edit speech, based on potentially conflicting opinions about what can be spoken on the internet, risks shattering that consensus.”

It is problematic when those decisions are being made with little oversight or transparency, the EFF said.

“If entities that run the domain name system, started choosing who could access or add to them based on political considerations, we might well face a world where every government and powerful body would see itself as an equal or more legitimate invoker of that power.”

According to Slate, groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League have been pushing various web providers to cut off services to openly racist and anti-Semitic sites for months. And after Charlottesville, they got their first breakthrough.

Crowdfunding site GoFundMe has raised thousands of dollars to help pay for medical expenses of the Charlottesville victims, but has since removed several campaigns to raise funds for the legal fees for James A. Fields, the man of accused of killing Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others, stating those campaigns violated the company’s terms of service.

PayPal also made the decision to ban “hate groups” from raising money using its services.

Twitter suspended accounts related to Daily Stormer and Facebook reportedly removed eight pages.

The hacktivist group Anonymous announced Tuesday they were going after those aligned with white supremacist groups, and said it hacked the site when Daily Stormer briefly set up with a Russian-based domain name.

Meanwhile, Word Press stopped hosting bloodandsoil.com, the website of a fascist group in which Fields claimed membership.

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  • tonye

    Linux, baby, Linux. Get a direct line with your local cable company and host your own domain over a static IP address. Run your own DNS server too. The local cable/phone companies are regulated as utilities. Your own DNS.

    If the DNS services try to blacklist you then you say the dailights out of them.

    Register your domain name with ICANN..

    The Internet per se is decentralized… use it.

    • Would you feel comfortable registering your website with the IANA’s administrator if you were anti-establishment? What does Linux have to do with it?

      • tonye

        That’s the whole point, isn’t it?

        A lot of private companies have sprung up, they make your life easier by hosting your domain but they can run roughshod over your “rights” since they are unregulated “private companies” (*)

        (1) I’ve been using Network Solutions for my own domains since ’95. They tend to be very non political. Register your domain there. Pay more but get the real thing.
        (2) It’s very easy to set up DNS and a reliable web server (Apache) in a Linux box. Plus there are all types of tools in LInux. That way you don’t have to pay anyone to host your site.
        (3) Since the cable company and the phone company are regulated utitlites, they can not operate as private companies and must follow laws… hence get your own static IP from either one and a fat enough pipe for your needs. They can NOT filter you based on your content.. You may have to look into running a porno site… might cost you more.
        (4) DNS servers are not allowed to filter based on politics (unless you’re in China).
        (5) If you want to go the easy way, move your domain registration and hosting offshore.

        (*) However, running the show this way… I won’t be surprised if they get sued big time and/or regulated.

        • Do you know what IANA is?

          • tonye

            Yes, I mistyped. I was thinking of Internet Solutions (IS in my mind) and I was blasting the characters onto the keyboard.

            I’ve been doing Internetworking and working with RFCs since the time DARPAnet was evolving to the Internet.

          • “On July 26, 2006, the United States government renewed the contract with ICANN for performance of the IANA function for an additional one to five years.[22] The context of ICANN’s relationship with the U.S. government was clarified on September 29, 2006 when ICANN signed a new Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Department of Commerce (DOC).[23] This document gave the DOC oversight over some of the ICANN operations.”
            wikipedia.org/wiki/ICANN
            ICANN isn’t in a position to act like a private entity.
            The DARPAnet (sic) didn’t evolve into the Internet. When the USSR went down, DARPA lost interest in a survivable 3C system and abandoned the development of the ARPAnet to the university geeks that picked it up and ran with it to create the Internet. Then CERN created the WWW and the rest is history.

          • tonye

            And the point is? We don’t want ICANN to act like a private entity AT ALL! We want them to operate under some laws.

            The DNS servers are operated under some direct control over the US Gov… thank God… regardless of what Obola tried to do. There you got the domain name and the registration. Your registration can not be pulled out because ICANN objects to your political views.

            The telcos and cable companies are regulated as well, so they can not capriciously cut service because they don’t like the content (OK, porno might require a big payment). Here you get the static IP address that gets published in DNS.

            You don’t need to pay anyone to host. You can host it yourself. That pulls out the ONLY private party out of the equation. I recommend Linux.

            Sure, NSA knows everything… so what? You can use hard encryption.

          • If they are doing the government’s bidding, as the quote indicates, they won’t be acting like a private entity, more like a government shill.
            Did you also mistype, “A lot of private companies have sprung up, they make your life easier by hosting your domain but they can run roughshod over your “rights” since they are unregulated “private companies””
            Only the government has to honor your rights.

          • tonye

            I did not mistype. Look at Facebook, YouTube, etc… they do whatever they want. No way for you to do anything about it. IMHO, the Gov still has a much higher threshold to come down on you.

          • They all have back doors for the NSA if they don’t host a Narus machine in their data centers.

    • ProudAmerican

      Alternatively… learn the tools necessary for internet privacy and anonymity.
      Harden your Linux kernel. (Consider a Sepio https://combatstudiesgroup.blogspot.is/2017/03/sepio-secure-laptops.html )
      Use VPNs that keep no logs and are not in the “5 eyes”
      Learn TOR, Zeronet, I2P (Invisible Internet Project).
      Use distributed (no servers to attack) communication tools, e.g., Bitmessage, Tox, I2P-bote, WIre, etc.
      When able, use truly anonymous cryptocurrencies, e.g., DASH, Monero, Z-cash.

      Consider GroundRod Primer and Ground Rod 2. https://combatstudiesgroup.blogspot.is/p/courses.html

      • ProudAmerican

        The Master Race seeks control… of everything…

        Israel attempts international control of internet content
        “The participating countries would be part of a loose coalition that would keep an eye on content and where it was being posted, and members of the coalition would work to demand that the platforms remove the content that was posted in any of their countries at the request of members.”
        Israel eyes world coalition to force social media platforms to block incitement
        by David Shamah, The Times of Israel, January 19, 2016 http://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-eyes-world-coalition-to-force-social-media-platforms-to-block-incitement/

        …even your life! http://judaism.is/who-is-human.html

        • Meltonmark

          Most of the problems of this world can be traced back to the ZOGs.

      • tonye

        Yes, that’s all great for an USER… I use some of that already, but the issue here is hosting a domain name (web, email, ftp, etc…).

        • ProudAmerican

          You can make “eep sites” on Zeronet and I2P and, for encrypted file transfers and email, use I2P-bote, susimail, etc., that do NOT depend upon servers—anonymous, distributed, and uncontrollable, no servers to be attacked or shut down. Seriously, learn about I2P: geti2p DOT net/en/download The Ground Rod classes I recommended give attendees a huge jump start on cyber-privacy and internet freedom.

          As an interim, consider host sites in free speech and internet privacy havens, like the only country in the world that jailed their thieving banisters instead of rewarding them with trillions.

    • NonYo Business

      Well said. If people knew how easy it was to bring up their own services.

      • Judithnford

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      • Marisawdunbar

        Room154s

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  • Clementine

    They would not have been censored if they were not Caucasian… plain and simple. Its all about that “white” genocide! Just as planned…

    • Meltonmark

      Yes it is. I agree.

      • lee ho fook

        me too

  • Rayven Wrathchild

    I read the article. Even the EFF too freaking socialist to admit the issues caused by anti-fa and BLM. All they wish to comment up is white nationalist not the anarchist and other miscreants.

    I agree with the article but their politics are apparent.

    • Annajblalock


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  • Kendoaz

    The biggest criminals out there are Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook. Our elected officials have let them run unchecked for as long as I know. Think of this, would our parents have let the US Post open their mail to look at everything before it was delivered? Whats even more amazing is that they collect a hell of a lot more than just our emails.

    Right now my computer is blocking Amazon, Google, Twitter, Facebook, and about 18 other unknown entities that are trying to collect information on me. The strange thing is that I don’t use any services from those companies, yet they still want my info.

    If you use Windows, they are constantly connected to your computer 24/7 sending info out, and if you terminate the connection it just comes right back.

    • If you know enough about their crimes to prove them, aren’t you helping them cover the crimes up by not enumerating them? If you don’t connect a computer to the Internet, it isn’t connected to the Internet. If you never drive or ride in a vehicle, you will never be injured in a vehicular accident. Choose your risks carefully, or you’ll have to find a scapegoat for your poor judgement.

  • RandyJ/ProudSurvivor

    “I woke up this morning in a bad mood and decided to kick them off the internet.” This from a private citizen who didn’t like someone’s speech. What makes anyone think these matters should be left to the government to decide?!

  • SP_88

    I don’t like these racists, and I certainly don’t agree with their message, but the first amendment doesn’t just protect the free speech we like or agree with. It is there to protect the free speech that we don’t like or agree with too. In fact, I would argue that it is more important for protecting free speech that we don’t like or agree with. If it only applied to speech we liked and agreed with, we wouldn’t need it, because nobody is going to shut down speech that everyone likes or agrees with. It’s the speech people don’t like or agree with that needs to be protected from those who would try to shut it down.
    It is also important to consider that whoever’s free speech is being shut down today, could be the ones shutting down free speech tomorrow. That’s why it’s important that nobody has the power to shut down anyone’s free speech, no matter how unpopular it may be.

  • Gil G

    This is apparently where Conservatives should stop listening to Libertarians about privatizing everything. Private businesses don’t have to abide by freedom of speech and the press hence there should public forums where the 1A apples.

  • THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH YOU DON’ FA
  • There isn’t a video hosting site on the internet that doesn’t have a proscription against “hate speech” or “racism”. Even the new supposedly free-speechy vidme. Which, of course, means National Socialists have to rely on the tender mercies of youtube. Which has actually had the most kindly policies, lol. That’s fine, though. Everyone else have your vids, and rack up those patreon shekels. Ve haf (other) vays.

  • THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH YOU DON’ FA