Adam Internet defends antisemitic hosting

Adam Internet defends antisemitic hosting

Summary: Adelaide-based ISP Adam Internet has defended its decision to continue to provide web hosting services to a holocaust denier, despite a federal judge ordering years ago that his site be taken down.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Legal
9

Adelaide-based ISP Adam Internet has defended its decision to continue to provide web hosting services to a holocaust denier, despite a federal judge ordering years ago that his site be taken down.

Yesterday the Federal Court handed down a ruling which said that holocaust denier Andrew Tobin was in "wilful and contumacious" contempt of court for not obeying a Federal Court decision in 2002 which ordered him to take down his website expressing his beliefs that the holocaust never happened.

(Gavel image by Elaine Y, CC2.0)

The site had been running for years, despite the original court order. It is hosted by Adelaide-based ISP Adam Internet.

Queried by users of broadband forum Whirlpool on the issue, Adam Internet managing director Scott Hicks wrote that he believed his company was in the right for not taking the site down itself. He said that Adam had consulted with the Australian Communications and Media Authority over the matter.

"Due to the continuing nature of this site and its sensitivity, Adam hasn't simply been sitting back waiting to see what happens. I have made regular correspondence with ACMA over the last two to three years in relation to this site and to ensure Adam is doing the right thing; needless to say, we are," he said.

He was also seeking legal advice, although he said he hadn't heard anything on the matter aside from the string of posts he had been responding to on the broadband forum. Users of the forum claimed Adam Internet should have cut the site off because its acceptable use policy stated users shouldn't use the service to make content available which offends any class of people.

The posts also maintained that Adam Internet had acted against the court's wishes by letting the site be, because the court order had said that the respondent be restrained from publishing by himself "or by any other agent".

Hicks said that his leaving the site up had nothing to do with any money the company might receive. "For us its about ISPs not being moderators or responsible for what our customers do," he said, in a statement reminiscent of the iiNet case currently being carried out against the ISP by a consortium of movie studios and content owners.

"If it comes to that point, should the petrol station or the car manufacturer be responsible for the two cars involved in the drag racing incident on Magill Rd a few weeks ago?" he asked.

Topic: Legal

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

9 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Quite Correct

    All the while the customer is paying the account and the court has not ordered theISP to get involved, Adam is doing gthe right thing here. As much as people find the content abhorrent, the responsibilty does not lie with th ISP.
    anonymous
  • I'd be offended if Adam did take it down

    I'd be offended if Adam did take it down.

    I don't believe the holocaust denial conspiracy theory - in fact I despise it.
    But I despise censorship more.
    Adam taking this site down would be very anti liberal democracy.

    Its bad enough that Conroy wants to censor the 'Net without ISPs doing it for him.

    The only justificationI can see for an ISP removing hosted content, is if there is a takedown notice.

    Even then it sucks, but at least the ISP has no legal choice, so it is understadable that they would comply.

    However a few people who are offended by a site? Bah humbug.
    I'm offended by a lot of the politically correct crap we see posted everyday and I can't get that taken down.
    Nor should I be.
    I don't have to read, I can always click away

    As for terms and conditions, I've not read Adam's but most also say something about the ISPs discretion.
    .
    Good on you Adam.
    Stick to your guns!
    anonymous
  • Hypocrites

    Those Whirlpool users ranting at Scott about taking down that website are probably the very same ones who are screaming about censorship. You know, if those people had been told that Conroy's filter would prevent them from seeing that same site they'd be raving blue bloody murder.

    Freedom of speech means standing up for someone's right to speak even when you find what they say offensive. Otherwise, if you would silence someone because you don't like what they say, you have no right to complain when they silence you because they don't like what you say. Scott is doing absolutely the right thing here - he knows, and those idiots on Whirlpool should know, that the moment he takes down that site without a DIRECT order from the court to do so, he opens himself and every other ISP up to excesses of censorship and anti-piracy legislation, and then we can all kiss our freedoms goodbye!
    anonymous
  • ACMA Blacklist

    It makes you wonder if someone emailed the ACMA complaining about it whether it would be added to the blacklist, there are already a few politically based sites on it so it wouldn't come as too much of a shock if this one or one like it was added.

    Note I'm not for the site and I don't support the topic of it, however I do believe that people should be allowed to express their views no matter how absurd the general public think they are.
    anonymous
  • Hypocrites

    I suspect those people foaming at the mouth for the takedown are part of an orchestrated campaign that manifests everytime Israels cherised beliefs are threatened. Holocaust denial is easy to fix - a contest of evidence. However as the German Judge remarked in the Zundel case - Truth is no defence - the deck seems to be stacked on one side at the moment.
    anonymous
  • Free Speech

    Yeah so much for free speech, so long as it does not offend anybody.
    anonymous
  • Correct decision

    in all the yrs i've lived in this country, time and time again i've been led to believe that it is a free country. however, it is so full of red tape and such useless laws that it isnt so "free" anymore. now, with more regulation, it is slowly loosing that freedom. if the isp is standing firm, then let it. anyone should be able to have their expressions aired if they so wish. once you start silencing those voices, you start negating freedom of speech and becoming like a neo natzi communist state.
    anonymous
  • re correct decision

    "becoming like a neo natzi communist state"

    Perhaps you could cite one ;-)

    I think your mixed up a little bit mate

    The German National Socialist (NAZI) party despised communists and the Russian communist party despised the NAZI's.

    One is extreme right wing the other extreme left.
    anonymous
  • Blind Leading the Blind

    Censorship is not the evil some "think" it is, actually more thought is required by those so quick to be offended over "their" freedoms.

    We coexist in a society of people, not in our own little castles as some would like to see it. This means that we must (well should) show compassion, sympathy and understanding to those around us. Adolf Hitler and the Nazi's did not do this - clearly.

    Therefore it follows that no one has the right to air whatever they like, only whatever does not hurt, offend, slur or in any other way put down or demean others. The denial of the holocaust is most assuredly this, it is disgusting, immoral and repgunant in everyway.

    As a long time supporter of Adam Internet I am equally disgusted by its lack of social conscience. Hick's claim ""If it comes to that point, should the petrol station or the car manufacturer be responsible for the two cars involved in the drag racing incident on Magill Rd a few weeks ago?" he asked."; is utterly ridiculous and cannot be remotely compared to this one as Adam Internet has a direct link to the perpertraitors of the assault - indeed they are co-conspirators as they provide the means to perpetuate the offence.

    Society has gone down a very dark road where the stops have been pulled out in the pursuit of money and the ever growing need for more and more extreme hedonism. If it shocks its hot it seems without any thought for the damage being done to the fabric of society. Make no doubt we are slowly losing our souls - to the devil, to the darkside? Not sure, but what is sure is that we are not heading towards the light, towards a brighter future for humanity - and neither did Nazism or the extermination of 6 million Jews.

    Shame on you Scott Hicks and Adam Internet for not having the moral fibre to stand up and be counted. What next rape sites? Child porn sites? Other racial hate sites? Your lack of intelligence, spiritual fibre and morals is beyond disappointing it is detestable. Wake up Australia, it's time to get back to values that take into consideration other people.

    My grandfather and many other beautitul Aussies fought hard and long to repel the Nazi (and Imperial Japanese) invasions, many good Aussies died in that fight only to see those that now enjoy the fruits of their sacrifice piss it away, in some cases to the enemy - ie. hate, intolerance and greed.

    I no longer believe in JC but sometimes I wish he would return just to slap some sense into the morons that run this society and ISP's.

    So now I know about this I am left wondering if I can further support Adam Internet despite the doubling of download quotas. What was TPG's number again?

    Long live those who bring positivity and light to humanity, and a quick demise to those who choose to darken it. - Shane S., 2009
    anonymous