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.
"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?"