Network Solutions censors anti-Koran film site

Network Solutions censors anti-Koran film site

Summary: Network Solutions has blocked the Web site promoting an incendiary film by Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders, which presents his view that the Koran (Quran?) is "Facist," AP reports.

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fitna_gpd_490229c.jpgNetwork Solutions has blocked the Web site promoting an incendiary film by Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders, which presents his view that the Koran (Quran?) is "Facist," AP reports.

"In this situation with the dialogue that's happening throughout the world we've made the choice to suspend the site as of last night," said Susan Wade, spokeswoman for Network Solutions. "This site is suspended so people can't see the content right now but the customer still has access to their site. They can make whatever changes are necessary as we complete our investigation."

Wilders' reponse, when he was reached in Amsterdam by Dutch wire service ANP:

"How many ways are there left for me to be worked against? If necessary, I'll go hand out DVDs personally on the Dam," he said, referring to Amsterdam's central square.

Accept for the sake of argument that I'm sure the film, Fitna, is reprehensible, racist and hateful. Even so ... bad speech should be dealt with more speech, not censorship. Network Solutions is pretty close to a state actor in Constitutional terms ... for years it enjoyed a domain registrar monopoly; it's still the dominant registrar. If NS were a government agency, there's no doubt that the film would be protected speech. To allow violent protests to control what may be said is far more reprehensible than anything the film may contain.

For Muslims to try to block all criticism of the religion -- or at least its state practitioners -- is akin to the American Jewish lobby claiming all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism. They are both unacceptable stifling of legitimate speech, in my opinion. And Network Solutions should not be a party to religious suppression. The NS terms of service apparently ban "objectionable material of any kind or nature." But who is NS to say what is "objectionable?"

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96 comments
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  • you're sure its racist?

    on what basis?

    you not only deem yourself judge and jury, but you are also EXECUTIONER without seeing the evidence!

    RIDICULOUS.

    you should retract that idiotic tripe and apologize. until you see it and know, what you have done here is wrong.
    MrSinatra
    • You are so clueless

      True Islam creates peace, utopia and fuzzy little puppies.
      True Christianity creates the KKK.

      Sheesh.
      frgough
      • You forgot...

        [i]True Islam creates peace, utopia and fuzzy little puppies.
        True Christianity creates the KKK.[/i]


        And Scientology creates... Jumping Tom Cruise. Ba-dum-dum!
        Hallowed are the Ori
        • Check your history

          I think you should learn history.
          That "Religion of Peace" has harassing, maiming, killing, in the name of their religion since Mohammed. You don't want to learn history, alright right now they "religion of Peace" teats women like amnimals, they kill them for any reason.
          bsttsch777
          • I think you replied to the wrong post.

            I've never once defended Islam, aka the religion of nut-jobs the world over.
            Hallowed are the Ori
  • RE: Network Solutions censors anti-Koran film site

    Network Solutions did the right thing, but it shouldn't of had to, the Dutch government should prosecute such hate propaganda. Richard Koman is a Zionist looking it introduce Jews like himself into the discussion. Criticizing Israel is correct. Israel is a terrorist state that has occupied and oppressed millions of people for decades - much worse than South Africa (see leading peace activist and humanitarian Jimmy Carter's book on the topic). Jews and Israel are two separate issues as is free speech and hate propaganda. I'm sure Wilders also supported the Dutch treatment of the South Africans too.

    For Wilders to say he is not against Mulims, just Islam is like saying one is not against Christians, just against Christianity. The man is a biggot and should not be allowed to spread hate under the guise of free speech.
    zakimar
    • Censorship is never the right thing.

      If you don't like the content of a web site just don't go there.
      bjbrock
      • There are times when censorship is appropriate

        Discussing a religion that produces terrorists by the millions
        is not one of them.
        frgough
      • While I agree with that

        the fact is that hate speech is difficult to ignore, and it incites those who agree with the hate to further act out. And it's difficult to rebut their statements when they have complete control of the content. It's a touchy subject, and I agree that it's better not to censor and expose them for who they are, but when the people they are offending are willing to fight back, and not just with words... well like I said, it's a touchy subject, and these days even one death is considered politically unacceptable even when fighting for a just cause. And in this case it's there is no just cause on either side.
        Michael Kelly
      • Censorship is often necessary...

        ...but it's inappropriate for Network Solutions, which is a quasi-governmental agency, to deny domain name registration because of religious objections to the content, though I think it appropriate to do so in the case of libel, upon receipt of a valid court order.

        Unfortunately, "censorship" has come to signify any restrictions on content whatever, public or private, to include bookstores and libraries deciding what kinds of books they want to stock. A lot of it would better be termed "self-restraint" and is completely legitimate.
        John L. Ries
        • I think the objections are fear-based

          The rioting over the cartoons has produced a huge sense of paranoia in the west. A fear of outraging the mobs again. While it's true that these things have repercussions, such fear can't dictate controls over such neutral venues like the Internet. Assuming this is hate speech -- and having not seen it nobody really knows (but I seriously doubt that discussion of a religion would likely qualify as the equivalent of mere "fighting words," without any redeeming qualities) -- but I totally agree with your first point. If it is hate speech, let a government try to censor it and put it through western constitutional strainer.

          The reason this has not happened is because the Dutch govt knows to do so would be against the basic principles of free speech that have developed since the US First Amendment.
          rkoman@...
          • you admit it again

            again you admit you have not seen it but you still declare it to be hate speech!

            FOOLISH NONSENSE FROM YOU.

            if it is hate speech, it should be condemned, but not censored, but no matter what, YOU NEED TO SEE IT FIRST TO KNOW THAT NUM NUTZ!
            MrSinatra
          • Richard: I think you have a "friend".

            Would be nice if his criticisms were accurate.
            John L. Ries
          • not accurate?

            what isn't accurate?

            here is what he said:

            "Accept for the sake of argument that I?m sure the film, Fitna, is reprehensible, racist and hateful."

            has it occurred to you that the author has edited his story since he first published it btw?
            MrSinatra
          • Not accurate

            You accuse him of calling the film and website "hate speech" when he said no such thing; he merely quoted NS' rationale (his article was in opposition to NS' decision to block the domain name).

            If you're going to harass the man (and that is what you're doing), then let it be for what he actually said.
            John L. Ries
          • I Agree to Part and Disagree to Part

            I agree that too many are fearful of retaliation. And why are they? Because Islamo-Fascists and other religious extremists are intolerant sociopaths, they have terrorized the entire world with violence and the threat of violence. Do we allow such cowards to control the free world or do we suppress the fear by exposing those cowards and their cowardly actionsopen communication?

            Why do I call them cowards? Because they are insecure in their beliefs, they are afraid of anyone different from themselves, they are afraid to hear anything that might expose errors in their beliefs, they are afraid of reason, they are afraid they would lose in honest debate, they are afraid to face those who disagree with them, they are afraid they might be convinced to change their beliefs, they are afraid of their own shadow, or they are afraid of any possible number of other causes. Bottom line: The are filled with fear.

            I disagree with the concept of "hate speech." Speech uses words. Words are neutral. The meanings of words are within each individual person. The only way to control the emotion each person attaches to words is to control their thoughts and emotions or desensitize them to their overly strong emotional attachments to those words. Admittedly, rhetoricians without adequate social morals will use words to which they know portions of their audience attach specific emotions for the purpose of eliciting certain responses. However, the foundational problem lies not with the words or the rhetoricians but within the hearts of the audience that reacts violently to those words used.

            Mud-pit wrestling might be a safe method to exhaust sufficient tension between the opposing parties. Whatever method is used, the objective is to eliminate enough of each party's "internal noise" that they are able to indulge in dialog and participate in fully transactional communication in which each party not only transmit their own words but receives, listens thoughtfully, and responds to the feedback they receive from other parties to that dialog.

            Perhaps all remaining intolerant sociopaths unwilling to engage in such transactional communication should be deported en masse to Antarctica without food, water, or shelter? Sharing the struggle to survive can unite declared enemies...or reduce their population. (Just one potential solution to mollify their extremism.)
            Isocrates
      • I Agree

        This is the purpose of Domain Name Extensions (DNE). They should identify type, topic, or category of content found on sites using each DNE. ISPs can then create packages with specific DNEs filtered out, and users can choose whatever ISP package they desire based on the DNEs filtered out.

        If I do not wish to fill my mind with what I consider to be lies contained within the Qur?an, I do not visit sites that publish them. On the other hand, if I wish to avoid ignorance and a tiny, closed mind, I will seek out such sites with the intent to increase my understanding. If any opinion, for or against any topic, is unavailable, my understanding will be incomplete by that missing amount.
        Isocrates
    • Tell us

      Who gets to decide what is and is not a "correct" criticism? What sort of criteria would you support?
      John L. Ries
      • Criteria

        I support the criteria set up by the US Supreme Court: Fighting words and "hate" speech are not protected, pure hard-core obscenity is not protected. Commercial speech is weakly protected (no right to lie). Most other speech that intersects in any way with issue of public concern are protected.

        The standard is not the correctness of the criticism; it is an inquiry into whether the criticism is unalloyed hate speech -- designed solely and purely to engender bigotry, hatred and violence -- or not. Only the former should be banned.

        That is a standard for governments. NS is arguably a quasi-govt agency. In a suit, it should be found to be a "state actor" and its decision prior restraing in violation of the First Amendment.
        rkoman@...
        • Generally agree

          I think the definition of "hate speech" is so vague as to invite suppression of honestly held opinions (incitement to violence, or other criminal activity is a better criterion), but I agree otherwise. I was looking for a reaction from the poster, though, on the theory that Socratic dialogue is the best reaction to a statement that appears to be based on sincere belief (as radical as it might seem). It would at least be useful to see what sorts of restraints he would favor.
          John L. Ries