In our view: Internet Censor Wednesday, May 7 1:00 a.m. COLUMBIAN EDITORIAL STAFF A Florida man's heart might be in the right place, but he is misguided in his bid to get a Vancouver Internet service company to drop a Somali-language Web site. Bill Warner, a Sarasota private investigator ( www.wbipi.com ), wants Dotster Inc. of Vancouver to refuse service to www.kataaib.net.
Warner, who has launched similar purge efforts in other cities with
other Internet companies, says kataaib.net supports an al-Qaida organization in Somalia, where war and genocide are tragic facts of daily life."There are groups like this one that associate with al-Qaida through Web sites that help promote the ideology, help find new recruits and help the effort to support terrorism," Warner said in a Tuesday Columbian story by Courtney Sherwood. "It's not freedom of speech. This site should not be hosted in Vancouver."
Another problem with Warner's approach is the danger of it
leading to abuses. If Web service is denied because of protests from concerned citizens, what would be next after kataaib.net ? Political-advocacy pages? The ACLU? The National Rifle Association? Minor political parties?"We can't just arbitrarily go in and shut down sites based on what someone finds offensive.
Sunday, May 11, 2008, OPEN LETTER TO "DOTSTER CO, THE COLUMBIAN NEWSPAPER AND REPORTER COURTNEY
SHERWOOD. SHUT DOWN THE AL-SHABAAB WEBSITE IN
VANCOUVER WA USA, YOU ARE PROTECTING A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION OPERATING FROM INSIDE THE USA !