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Google Cancels Domain Registration For Neo-Nazi Website Daily Stormer (businessinsider.com) 677

Google has cancelled the domain registration for The Daily Stormer, the company confirmed to news outlet BusinessInsider. After GoDaddy kicked the neo-Nazi website off its service on Monday, a "whois" search for the domain had noted that the website had moved its domain registrar to Google. In a statement, Google said, "We are cancelling Daily Stormer's registration with Google Domains for violating our terms of service." Last week, The Daily Stormer posted an offensive article about Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old legal assistant, who was killed by a car that 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. drove into a group of protestors at the Unite the Right white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday.

A message purportedly posted by hackers appeared on the Daily Stormer a few hours ago, The Guardian reported. Anonymous hacker group has taken credit for "hacking" the website, according to the message posted on the website, which adds that the editing rights of the website are now in the hands of Anonymous. It remains unclear, however, whether the site has actually been hacked.
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Google Cancels Domain Registration For Neo-Nazi Website Daily Stormer

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  • Clearly they are now responsible for content hosted on domains they register, since they've exhibited the ability and willingness to filter based on certain standards. Have fun with that, Google.
    • by cryptizard ( 2629853 ) on Monday August 14, 2017 @01:45PM (#55010309)
      Nope. It has been ruled under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that ISPs and hosting providers can act to remove harmful or objectionable material but are under no strict obligation to do so. This happens all the time when Google takes down sites that host malware, but they are not held liable for not taking down other sites (or not taking them down fast enough) that end up causing widespread damages.
    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      What makes you think Google was ever a common carrier?

      ISPs are common carriers, but Google is not an ISP; they provide services and they have their hooks deeply into the content on those services in a way an ISP does not.

    • So where would you draw the line? It seems pretty generally accepted that child-porn is beyond the pale. Indeed there are laws in place against it. When you have a company in a competitive market with a global "image" to maintain, at what point do you say, "Sorry, I can get along without your business" -- especially in the wake of a domestic terror attack on a crowd of protesters?

      I don't know if Google was right or wrong in this case, but I would guess they gave it some thought before pulling the trigger on

    • No, common carrier means that they're not automatically responsible for things passing through their systems. Imagine if Google had to filter every e-mail, video, and other piece of information for threats/mentions of illegal activity/copyright violations/etc. You couldn't run a system like that without a team of lawyers looking at everything uploaded. Even posting a simple cat video to YouTube would result in a months long delay while it worked through the system.

      When Google is notified of something illega

    • Clearly you don't understand the difference between violations of Google's Terms and Conditions, which they can enforce as they choose, and being responsible for content. Or maybe you think there isn't a difference.

    • Just try to find anything about name registration here. [wikipedia.org] I dare you.

  • The alt-right was all about getting the Islamist off the internet. Well the road to censorship is a one way downhill one
    • by aliquis ( 678370 )

      Since I already live in a country without freedom of speech (Sweden) and have seen and had the need to express my opinion I've all the time been for it even if that meant Islamists were free to express their opinions too.

      I think the defense should be in liberal constitutions and protection of liberties, not in banning things.

      And we know at-least for now that the socialists/globalists/anti-whites won't get banned so ..

      Banning things doesn't even achieve what they claim it defends. Some claim it's "protecting

  • by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Monday August 14, 2017 @01:40PM (#55010257) Homepage Journal

    The internet has always been an open discussion forum of all ideas.
     
    I dislike the idea of posting hate speech online just as much as the next, and in principle I agree with what GoDaddy and Google did here, however if you can cancel someone's domain over unapproved speech, what protections do others have with holding their domains when they speak ill of the government of otherwise? Restricting speech is a slippery slope, if you remove it for one nutjob (like GoDaddy and Google did here), however awful it might be, you're opening the door for the government to shut down other domains that are critical of them.
     
    Is Hate Speech very specifically called out as an exception to freedom of speech? I'm curious what their rationale is here, and how easily others can link this case to shutting down other people's view points on the internet as well.
     
    Would love to hear how this is or is not a slippery slope towards censorship. Thanks.

    • I dislike the idea of posting hate speech online just as much as the next, and in principle I agree with what GoDaddy and Google did here, however if you can cancel someone's domain over unapproved speech, what protections do others have with holding their domains when they speak ill of the government of otherwise? Restricting speech is a slippery slope, if you remove it for one nutjob (like GoDaddy and Google did here), however awful it might be, you're opening the door for the government to shut down other domains that are critical of them.

      How? They were shut down for a violation of the already existing terms of service. It looks like Stormfront agreed (twice) to not promote violence against other people on their web site, then broke the agreement (twice). It's not a slippery slope to enforce the rules that were already written explicitly to handle this situation. It could be a slippery slope, for example if existing rules were being contorted to get the desired result, or if new rules were being written to handle this situation specifica

    • Google isn't the government. They're a private business. "Freedom of speech" means that the GOVERNMENT can't arrest you for having unpopular thoughts. It does not mean that private business can't ban you, or that private citizens have to listen to you.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 14, 2017 @02:10PM (#55010529)

        Am I the only who is increasingly worrying about this argument towards freedom of speech?

        I mean, if every single public forum is owned by a company, this would mean that any company could dictate what can be talked about on their forums. All you need is people from the government being "good friends" with the media (or the other way around, media lobbying politicians and becoming "close friends") to began widespread internet censorship.

        I know is an extreme, but given the current circumstances, it seems "being able to" create a mass censorship apparatus is each day closer, all of this with the approval of most people. And hey, it scares me.

        • by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Monday August 14, 2017 @02:16PM (#55010587) Homepage Journal

          This is sort of what I was thinking of. If you're trapped in your house, and have a phone that can only receive calls, and suddenly your phone is removed from every phonebook, every phone index, even if everyone disagreed with you, how would they be able to find you to hear your opinion?
           
          Sure freedom of speech is specifically limited to government, but DNS is managed by private companies, and effectively all access to the internet and DNS is provided through private companies, not the government. If you can't register your domain on the internet, you don't have a voice here anymore.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Monday August 14, 2017 @02:19PM (#55010635)

      I dislike the idea of posting hate speech online just as much as the next, and in principle I agree with what GoDaddy and Google did here, however if you can cancel someone's domain over unapproved speech

      Who is "approving" speech?

      Google is simply distancing itself from a group it finds distasteful.

      This isn't a free speech issue, no law states that you have to do business with everyone. In fact being able to choose who you do business or associate with within reason is a freedom that is at serious risk being trampled by the mistaken belief that you can say anything with no consequences.

      Freedom of speech does not protect you from the consequences of your speech. This isn't people being censored, its people being told their arseholes and they don't want anything to do with them.

      Beyond this, falling back on the free speech defence is pretty much handing the argument to your opponent on a silver platter. It says the best reason you have for saying what you are saying is that it is literally not illegal for you to say it.

      Think of it this way, you are able to walk into a restaurant and demand to call everyone who works there Mr or Mrs Cunt... This is not illegal but don't at all be surprised when you're asked to leave. Keep it up and you'll find yourself banned from every restaurant in town. Just because its not illegal to say something does not mean everyone else has to silently put up with you. Free speech has never protected you from criticism.

    • I believe the rationale is that the article in question went beyond protected speech when it targeted Heather Heyer specifically. Espousing one's beliefs is one thing, no matter how repugnant they might be. However what they wrote is probably considered defamation and therefore illegal.

      Basing my opinion on what I've read about what prompted the take down, I have not read the article in question.

      IANAL

    • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Monday August 14, 2017 @02:31PM (#55010777)

      Is Hate Speech very specifically called out as an exception to freedom of speech?

      Here's the thing, Hate speech is not actually codified in law, unlike freedom of expression.

      I live in the UK, you'll never be charged with "hate speech", hate speech and hate crimes are a catch all label used by the media, if you're charged with what the Daily Mail would call a "hate crime" you'll be given a specific charge by the court which is usually less offensive to the type of mouth breather that reads the Daily Mail. Usually its a crime like assault, vandalism or harassment that specifically and maliciously targets a protected class (I.E. race, gender, political affiliation, religion, et al.). The "hate" isn't a crime, you can be as hateful and bitter as you like. The crime is the crime, a hateful motivation is a modifier for a harsher penalty.

      However this explanation makes too much sense and is not likely to get the knickers of the Daily Mail/Fox News crowd into a knot.

    • by m00sh ( 2538182 )

      The internet has always been an open discussion forum of all ideas. I dislike the idea of posting hate speech online just as much as the next, and in principle I agree with what GoDaddy and Google did here, however if you can cancel someone's domain over unapproved speech, what protections do others have with holding their domains when they speak ill of the government of otherwise? Restricting speech is a slippery slope, if you remove it for one nutjob (like GoDaddy and Google did here), however awful it might be, you're opening the door for the government to shut down other domains that are critical of them. Is Hate Speech very specifically called out as an exception to freedom of speech? I'm curious what their rationale is here, and how easily others can link this case to shutting down other people's view points on the internet as well. Would love to hear how this is or is not a slippery slope towards censorship. Thanks.

      Free speech? This is terrorism.

      Guy drove his car into a crowd and killed people.

      They're celebrating and asking more people to do the same.

      If someone celebrates Boston bombings and says more people should do the same, that is not free speech.

      Just imagine what would have happened if the car driver was Muslim and the website was a jihadist website. Would you still say free speech?

  • You could always register your domain with DreamHost [dreamhost.com]. But I doubt extremist content would pass their TOS.
  • by uncqual ( 836337 ) on Monday August 14, 2017 @02:01PM (#55010453)

    Perhaps it's time for the USPS to implement a domain registration service that will insure viewpoint neutral service and foster open communication? We need a true public forum available to all and we seem to be losing this.

    In the old days, one could go to the town square, get on their soap box, and speak their mind and be jeered, cheered, or both or even just ignored by those passing by.

    Unfortunately, now access to the "town square" requires finding a domain registrar who won't impose their political views on their patrons -- much as if a gas station refused to sell gasoline to someone because the patron was going to use the gasoline to drive to a protest for an unpopular presidential candidate.

    • by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Monday August 14, 2017 @02:13PM (#55010559)
      I think it is high time for there to be a public domain name registrar that does not restrict people's rights to free speech. I dislike white supremecists, neo nazis, and their brethren but they have a right to speak their minds. I am Jewish and it might sound crazy that I am defending them but America should not be about free speech as long it is not inconvenient or offensive. If racists want to go around hooting and hollering like idiots, then it is their constitutional right to do so. Besides, by blocking and censoring these groups, they only become martyrs for their own cause, emboldened, and angered. Blocking their speech just gave them a huge publicity boost. Plus, these guys are like whack-a-mole. Block one and another pops up.
      • Do you have a problem with ISIS recruitment websites, including those showing beheadings and calling for death to apostates?

        The Daily Stormer is beyond offensive. It promotes violence and hatred. It's close to the proverbial yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater. Society does and should have limits to speech. We can't merely ban the actually blowing up of people with a bomb and stand by allowing people openly discussing and planning blowing up people with a bomb. Where that limit should be is debatable,

  • by hduff ( 570443 )

    Do we need this twice?

  • Hello, Babs. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Orgasmatron ( 8103 ) on Monday August 14, 2017 @02:26PM (#55010733)

    I hate to quote Game of Thrones, but...

    "When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say." (Meme related [blogspot.com])

    This seems to be related to the Streisand Effect. And /pol/ has memes about how nearly everyone there now first went there to see for themselves what was so terrible that everyone condemned it.

    My guess is that Google and GoDaddy have just delivered publicity and an endorsement the likes of which those guys couldn't in a hundred years have been able to purchase.

    • "When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say." (Meme related)

      Sure, but there's more than one reason to fear what a man might say. You might fear the truth, if you have done wrong; but you might also fear a lie, if it's a good enough one that it makes stupid people do bad things.

      My guess is that Google and GoDaddy have just delivered publicity and an endorsement the likes of which those guys couldn't in a hundred years have been able to purchase.

      Well, on one hand, they say there's no such thing as bad publicity. And on the other hand, that's a lot of nonsense. Most of the people who would agree with these dillholes already know who they are and what their URL is, because it's part of their little echo chamber reality already.

  • Oh the irony (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Monday August 14, 2017 @02:53PM (#55011027)

    I don't agree with the opinion or agenda of neo-nazis, but unlike Google I defend their right to have and express one.
    What Google is continuing to do is blatant radical left-wing peecee censorship/silencing of any alternative opinions.
    It seems highly ironic to me that Google take the stance of being strongly against naziism yet take a notably similar approach to censoring freedom of speech.

    • Re:Oh the irony (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo&world3,net> on Monday August 14, 2017 @04:02PM (#55011765) Homepage Journal

      Freedom of speech isn't absolute. Not in any country on Earth. Even the US has laws against some speech, like harassment, fraud and incitement.

      Those are the bare minimum for a functioning society. Google goes a little further, but not much, by declining services to Nazis. Would you let BLM use your lawn to protest from if they asked? If you wouldn't, you are a hypocrite.

  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Monday August 14, 2017 @03:02PM (#55011097) Journal

    ...all you want, but don't pretend you understand what Free Speech is about.

    It's the most odious, most repellent, most hateful speech that we MUST protect. It doesn't mean that we listen politely, it doesn't mean that we must give it a fair listen at all.

    But to shut it down completely? You're going to a dangerous, dangerous place.

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