U.S. digital rights group slams tech firms for barring neo-Nazis

by Leon Thompson August 19, 2017, 6:38
U.S. digital rights group slams tech firms for barring neo-Nazis

The Electronic Frontier Foundation warns the decision by Google, GoDaddy and Cloudflare to expel white supremacist site the Daily Stormer from their services has worrying free speech implications.

Private companies and organizations do control how most people use the internet, which allows them to control how people communicate with each other.

"We agree", the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a California-based digital rights organization, reacted Thursday. "But we must also recognize that on the internet, any tactic used now to silence neo-Nazis will soon be used against others, including people whose opinions we agree with".

The SPL has a full list of active hate groups nationwide.

The EFF's comment comes as Silicon Valley struggles to balance protecting free speech with curbing hate speech.

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Obeidallah said he has been threatened online because of the Daily Stormer, with one person saying he should be hanged. This company's spokesperson stated that it in a major way violated the provider's terms of service. And some companies have complied-GoDaddy and Google have refused to provide hosting services for the Daily Stormer; Twitter has suspended a number of accounts; and Apple has cut off its services to white supremacists.

Without such protection, websites can sometimes be knocked offline.

GoDaddy isn't The Daily Stormer's host, which means the site's content isn't on the company's servers, according to Race.

"This was my decision". "I made the determination on Wednesday morning that life was too short to deal with jerks like this". Having made that decision we now need to talk about why it is so risky.

The website also turned to Russian social media website VK, widely known as Russia's Facebook, after being banned on Facebook and Twitter. "That makes the domain name system unsuitable as a mechanism for taking down specific illegal content as the law sometimes requires, and a perennially attractive central location for nation-states and others to exercise much broader takedown powers".

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This strong position was also one of the reasons why Cloudflare was dragged into various copyright infringement court cases.

It is problematic when those decisions are being made with little oversight or transparency, the EFF said. Tor is created to defend human rights and privacy by preventing anyone from censoring things, even us. And after Charlottesville, they got their first breakthrough.

Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince told CNBC on Friday his web service company ended its relationship with a neo-Nazi propaganda site once it became "a massive distraction". Meanwhile Facebook and Reddit have started targeting hate groups, and the gaming chat app Discord shut down the accounts linked to the attack.

Users of the Daily Stormer website have reportedly moved to a dark web version of the site. After people discovered that The Daily Stormer moved to a Tor onion service, the Tor Project released a statement affirming its commitment to defending all types of speech, even if it's hateful.

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

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