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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
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    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    Can a Government force ICANN to ban some domains? | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 77 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Can a Government force ICANN to ban some domai
    by Richard_Henderson on Saturday August 31 2002, @03:55AM (#8845)
    User #3269 Info | http://www.atlarge.org/

    In the case of these websites, what law is being broken? And where? And does Spanish law have a right to tell an American organisation what to do? I don't think so!

    Surely, the activities of people IN Spain (viewing the Internet, writing for websites) is an internal matter for the legal processes there.

    But beyond Spain they have limited powers.

    Of course, nation states choose at what level they are going to intervene in censoring online material. For example, grotesque and brutal child-porn would obviously invite intervention on its perpetrators within most countries.

    But what about freedom of speech and the right to engage in political debate?

    Presumably the US Government either has - or is considering - granting itself greater powers to ban websites on its systems which contravene certain criteria (specific terrorist activities for instance?). In such case, presumably the Government of another country can request the removal of a site on those grounds, should the US Government at its discretion be willing to intervene.

    But it is a very dangerous area. One persons subversive is another persons freedom fighter. Would the dissidents in the old Soviet Union have been regarded as subversives or heroes?

    What about Chinese dissidents today?

    Would the Christians in the early Roman Empire have had their websites banned if they'd been online in those days?

    Is the IRA a group of freedom fighters or are they enemies of the state?

    I'm shortly planning to develop a site at Mugabe.info to invite open dialogue about Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. I'm interested in the right of open discussion and freedom of speech : I don't seek a partisan approach either in favour of Mugabe or against him.

    Personally, I favour this freedom of speech being afforded even to organisations I am opposed to.

    The most dangerous precedents for the future of the Internet include the claims of governments to censor what people may or may not access, and the claims of government to access the private mail and computers of citizens who legitimately demand some privacy.

    Therefore - notwithstanding the war on terror - I hope the US Govt and US courts would resist moves to "take down" these websites unless there was specific operational reference / incitement to terrorist activities.

    Holding a different opinion to somebody is not, in itself, a sufficient reason to ban their freedom of speech.

    As for ICANN : well, it refuses even to regulate its own registries or accredited registrars... how then, can we expect it to regulate the rest of the world!

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    More news
    by BasqueBoy on Saturday August 31 2002, @10:08PM (#8867)
    User #3477 Info
    The most important Spanish ISP company, Telefonica, is forbidding users to access 'batasuna.org'.

    The story, at this link (in Spanish).
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    by Anonymous on Sunday September 01 2002, @01:19PM (#8893)
    We are not talking about a Political Party, we are talking about a terrorist Party. In my opinion every server administrator should deny any access to terrorist party, Also we should make a blody list, that is, a list where al the terror and pephoifilic pages were listed, so every root could DENY ANY ACCESS.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    They«re asking to ban a dictionary word...
    by Anonymous on Sunday September 01 2002, @09:55PM (#8909)

    The Govt«s attorneys have allegedly asked ICANN to prevent any future registration of the name BATASUNA, among others (a spanish news reference).

    Well, that«s not only the name of a political party, it«s also a common Basque word. It means "unity" or "union".

    So, this is an attempt to ban a dictionary word. I wonder if all possible translations of Batasuna/Unity in other languages risk being banned...

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Can a Government force ICANN to ban some domai
    by Anonymous on Monday September 02 2002, @12:20AM (#8914)
    We can not forget that this is a legal matter. The national judicery can close a website hosted in his country, even if the owner is a foreign citizen. If the page is hosted outside, there are two possible ways:

    In one hand, if the owner is a spanish citizen, a judge can order him to close the site. If he does not want to cooperate, it can be prosecuted as not carring out the magistrate´s decision. But so as to close the page, in this case and in the case of being a foreign citizen, spanish judicery must request a help order to the foreign country. The foreign country will follow its legal procedures and maybe can order to close the site.

    In my opinion, considering legal aspects, ICANN can not ban domains and ISP´s or carriers must ban pages only if national judges or laws empower that action. Otherwise, it is an ilegal request.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Can a Government force ICANN to ban some domai
    by fnord (groy2kNO@SPAMyahoo.com) on Monday September 02 2002, @08:52AM (#8927)
    User #2810 Info
    A google search on batasuna returns about 79,000 hits. So do you ban google too? Well, China seems to think that's a swell idea. And China will outnumber all other internet users put together in 5 to 8 years if one believes the projections of VeriSign and others. If China then demands that ICANN or its successor block a domain, d'ya think ICANN will listen? If they don't, d'ya think China will listen to ICANN?

    And I've ranted before about getting google.ca (.ca=Canada, which is where I am) even when I request google.com. Google.ca returns an additional 5,000 hits for batasuna. One wonders what those using google.com are missing. Internet balkanization is already well underway.

    And using Ben Edelman's China filtertest tool, both google.com and google.ca are reported as inaccessible. Yahoo, which according to the Reuters article, makes use of google searches, is accessible. AOL search, which is powered by google, is also presently accessible. Routing around internet balkanization is also well underway. -g

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Very Simple Solution In the US
    by Anonymous on Monday September 02 2002, @11:00AM (#8930)
    Like it or not, the US Treasury Department has compiled a convenient list of organizations and individuals with whom it is illegal to do business in the United States. If the party appears on the list at http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/
    then, yes, if they are hosted by a US company, then they most certainly can be shut down. This is not rocket science, and hardly involves a lot of the overworked handwringing among these comments. US law can certainly be enforced in the US, and there should be no surprise at that.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Batasuna is cooperating with a TERRORIST group in
    by Anonymous on Wednesday September 04 2002, @09:49PM (#9038)

    The spanish government is trying to illegalize a political party called "Batasuna". That illegalization includes all their web sites.
    Why is the spanish government trying this? Because Batasuna has been supporting for over 20 years a terrorist group in Spain, called E.T.A.
    E.T.A is responsible for the killing of over 2000 people in Spain since 1970.

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Spaniards: what are u afraid of?
    by 38size on Sunday September 08 2002, @10:22AM (#9122)
    User #3486 Info
    why the obsession of censuring a web page? I thought Spain was a democratic country.

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Can a Government force ICANN to ban some domai
    by Anonymous on Sunday September 08 2002, @01:59PM (#9123)
    Mr. Henderson, please find a job and spend less time writting stupidities. Let us (the spanish) ban wathever we want, if it practises fascist propaganda. I think you dont know very much about the Basque's situation and the information about this subject is alwais corrupted out of Spain, but batasuna is paying (with the quoters money) sites for the terrorist who kill everyone that don't think like they.

    And if batasuna.org is a tool for publish the injustice of these terrorist, in fact, <b>it must be banned</b>, here and everywhere.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]

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