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.

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.

Topics: Legal

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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 t... Full Bio

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