Bad Sites Can't Find a Host

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Number Six
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Bad Sites Can't Find a Host

Postby Number Six » Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:32 pm

It looks like some of the more egregious of the "hate" sites are R.I.P. without many mourners: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stormfront_(website)


All it took were some smart lawyers to question the terms of service. Why did this take so long?
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Re: Bad Sites Can't Find a Host

Postby Jeffrey » Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:38 pm

I can think of at least one reason to mourn the loss of Stormfront, thanks to their public searchable forum we were able to get a fair amount of dirt on Dean Clifford. I can guarantee law enforcement has probably gotten a fair amount of use out of the website as well.

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Re: Bad Sites Can't Find a Host

Postby bmxninja357 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:31 pm

like it or not it should still be up. its a free speech issue. if you dont like their content dont go to the site. simple.

or should this place be closed as an anti ->insert outrage of the day here<- problem of the day site. the censorship has gone to far. folks need to toughen up. if you dont like cnn no one made you go to their website. and i might not like what stormfront posts but sir i will defend their right to post it. on their site. that you dont have to look at.

to remove a basic freedom from one group is to remove it from all groups.

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Re: Bad Sites Can't Find a Host

Postby notorial dissent » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:06 pm

Howsumevers, the innerwebs while a public medium requires the the use of proprietary sites, i.e servers/webhosts/etc. Those ARE NOT public gov't entities, they are private for profit entities, and as such have EVERY right to set the standards and requirements for their service, and to choose who they serve and who they don't, and if they decide that being an asshole is against their policies, it is their right to shut said asshole down. Now if Stormfront of whoever wants to pony up for their own server then they can certainly do so and carry on as per usual, or they can go back to mimeograph or whatever. Free Speech as such applies only to the gov't, not private entities.
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Re: Bad Sites Can't Find a Host

Postby eric » Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:32 pm

I'm inclined to agree with bmxninja on this one. As I get older I realize my father was a wise man. With respect to censoring of free speech I relate this anecdote told to me by him. In the 1930's, as a teenage farm boy in the wilds of the Upper Ottawa Valley he was given a copy of Mein Kampf by the local librarian in the hope that he would read it and understand how the world was changing, not necessarily for the better. Yes, I have a copy, due to my nature it ended up on my bookshelf beside my volumes of books by Herman Hesse. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermann_Hesse

IMHO, giving these idiots free reign on the net to publish their beliefs exposes them to the ridicule they so honestly deserve.

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Re: Bad Sites Can't Find a Host

Postby Chaos » Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:47 am

'freedom of speech' issues in the US are just as ND described them. and there is nothing stopping this site from being shutdown should enough people come up with a justifiable complaint.

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Re: Bad Sites Can't Find a Host

Postby HardyW » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:19 am

eric wrote:IMHO, giving these idiots free reign rein on the net to publish their beliefs exposes them to the ridicule they so honestly deserve.


as in horse not as in queen.

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Re: Bad Sites Can't Find a Host

Postby NYGman » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:32 am

I do agree that private companies can set their own standards, but I find it problematic to deny anyone the right to free speech, no matter how hateful it may be. As long as the speech isn't calling for violence, and is information and opinion based, we should allow it to exist. I don't want this speech to go underground, and people should be able to find it, if only to understand how idiotic it really is. Speaking out against these ideas to me, is far more powerful that preventing their distribution. Preventing it can backfire, and really doesn't stop those who want to participate in the type of talk being stopped here, as they will just go somewhere else, harder to find for those that may be interested in observing.

So while I agree they were within their rights, and companies need to answer to shareholders and even the public sometimes, I don't agree with the result. I think the guy from cloudflair wrote a good blog on his decision to pull ddos protection from stormfront and how he could do so, but should it be a power he should have.

It is an interesting issue.

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Re: Bad Sites Can't Find a Host

Postby Chaos » Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:42 am

HardyW wrote:
eric wrote:IMHO, giving these idiots free reign rein on the net to publish their beliefs exposes them to the ridicule they so honestly deserve.


as in horse not as in queen.



and yet, it's really 'free range'

Image

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Re: Bad Sites Can't Find a Host

Postby bmxninja357 » Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:58 am

its just a severe case of mindless business cowering to the antifa left wingnut terrorists. and im pretty sure these idiots need a thread.

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Re: Bad Sites Can't Find a Host

Postby Jeffrey » Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:58 am

Free speech is a broader concept that isn't only limited to government action. Webhosting and that type of thing is more of a semi-public or basic service, it's along the lines of a civil right it can't be interfered with by other individuals. It's one thing to ban people from your own web forum since they have the ability to just create their own forum, but blocking them from obtaining webhosting means they can't even have their own forum. I can't defend the actions against Stormfront ideologically and even on a practical level, I'm not sure if having the skinheads retreat to either the darknet or god knows where they may go is a smart move. Alienation might trigger the ones that are on the edge of going on a killing spree.

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Re: Bad Sites Can't Find a Host

Postby Judge Roy Bean » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:06 pm

Jeffrey wrote:Free speech is a broader concept that isn't only limited to government action. Webhosting and that type of thing is more of a semi-public or basic service, it's along the lines of a civil right it can't be interfered with by other individuals. ...


I'm sorry, but web hosting and related internet services are not semi-public or basic services nor is the use of them a civil right. They are purely commercial enterprises that have the right to set their own standards and policies and then live with the consequences of their enforcement decisions.

People with bizarre and hateful ideas who want to publicize their views are not being stopped from publicizing them in this situation; unless or until someone covers their mouths with duct tape and takes away all of their marker pens and cardboard for signs, their rights are not being violated.
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Re: Bad Sites Can't Find a Host

Postby Famspear » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:08 pm

Judge Roy Bean wrote:
Jeffrey wrote:Free speech is a broader concept that isn't only limited to government action. Webhosting and that type of thing is more of a semi-public or basic service, it's along the lines of a civil right it can't be interfered with by other individuals. ...


I'm sorry, but web hosting and related internet services are not semi-public or basic services nor is the use of them a civil right. They are purely commercial enterprises that have the right to set their own standards and policies and then live with the consequences of their enforcement decisions.

People with bizarre and hateful ideas who want to publicize their views are not being stopped from publicizing them in this situation; unless or until someone covers their mouths with duct tape and takes away all of their marker pens and cardboard for signs, their rights are not being violated.


Judge Roy Bean is right.

To clarify even more: The First Amendment constitutional right to free speech is indeed limited to the right not to have your speech abridged by government action. There is no such thing as a general constitutional right not to have other individuals "interfere" with your speech or expression.

Of course, there are common law rights and statutory rights (not constitutional rights) in certain situations. Example: If you say, "The state legislature is wrong to pass a law on such and such" and the guy next to you hears you and immediately punches you in the face because he disagrees, you have a common law right to recover damages from him for your related medical bill, by suing him in court and obtaining a judgment. (Of course, the other guy has also committed a crime called assault, but that is a separate problem.)

I haven't studied the common law and statutory law principles involved with the legal obligations (if any) of web hosters or internet providers to afford access to their services, but I am pretty confident that there is no general constitutional right that you as an individual have (1) against a privately owned web hoster, or (2) against a privately owned internet provider, or (3) against another individual, with respect to your "free speech."
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Re: Bad Sites Can't Find a Host

Postby Famspear » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:37 pm

Jeffrey wrote:....It's one thing to ban people from your own web forum since they have the ability to just create their own forum, but blocking them from obtaining webhosting means they can't even have their own forum....


My response is: So what if they can't have their own forum? There is no general constitutional right to have your own internet forum.

The general constitutional right of an individual to free speech is not the right to have another private individual or private company provide the individual with access to an internet forum. The general constitutional right to free speech is the right to be free from government interference for expressing oneself and the right to be free from punishment by government for expressing oneself.
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Re: Bad Sites Can't Find a Host

Postby The Observer » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:48 pm

What happens if a federal court rules a provider as a utility?
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Re: Bad Sites Can't Find a Host

Postby Famspear » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:58 pm

The concept is not new, either.

The internet is new. In terms of general public access to the internet, that really didn't occur until the mid-1990s, particularly around 1995. On line access by the general public in the 1980s was much more limited. Personal computers were not even widely available until the early 1980s.

Before the internet, essentially the only media of mass communications were: broadcast radio, broadcast television, paper magazines, and newspapers. There has never been a general constitutional right of an individual to use any of those media to express the individual's beliefs about anything. For example, there wasn't even a constitutional right to force a newspaper to publish a "letter to the editor." If the newspaper decides not to publish your letter, that is too bad.

In the case of broadcast radio and TV, there were certain statutory or regulatory obligations of the owners of the radio and TV stations to afford some access for "opposing views," etc., but even those statutory or regulatory obligations were not owed to everyone in general. If you sold time to one political candidate for a given office (or gave free time), you pretty much had to sell or give equal time to his or her opponent. And, there was something called the "Fairness Doctrine."
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Re: Bad Sites Can't Find a Host

Postby Famspear » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:01 pm

The Observer wrote:What happens if a federal court rules a provider as a utility?


Yeah, I haven't studied the law on utilities. I assume that the right to have reasonable access to a utility such as electricity or water (as long as you pay for it) is some sort of statutory right, but I don't know.
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Re: Bad Sites Can't Find a Host

Postby Jeffrey » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:12 pm

There is no such thing as a general constitutional right not to have other individuals "interfere" with your speech or expression.


Gotta disagree, the government has an obligation to protect speech from interference such as assault and threats of violence and it's done daily in this country. Cops regularly provide security for marches and political demonstrations, to protect that speech from interference from other individuals.

I would agree with you guys ten or twenty years ago but nowadays internet access is more of a utility as Famspear implied. Try filling out job applications without an e-mail for example. The "fairness doctrine" case also applies here given that the internet is a government subsidized and government regulated platform. Plus the right to " impart information and ideas through any media" is already recognized in Article 19 of the UN declaration of human rights, even if it's a private entity doing it, it's still a violation of Stormfront's human rights to do this.

Not to mention that the basis of the denial of service is arbitrary here, there's no intellectually consistent way of justifying denying Stormfront a forum that wouldn't equally apply to dozens of other political groups.

And more broadly, the strict literalist interpretation of the first amendment misses the point. It's not a principle that's limited to government, it's a broader concept that is central to american life that allows republicans and democrats and whatever else to live in the same neighborhood without descending into sectarian violence. Protecting the "free flow of ideas" isn't just a government responsibility, it's a public responsibility of citizens.

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Re: Bad Sites Can't Find a Host

Postby Judge Roy Bean » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:39 pm

The Observer wrote:What happens if a federal court rules a provider as a utility?


A provider? Trying to make a single provider a "utility" is most likely impossible; none of them can operate without the others. They are interdependent in so many ways and do so many different things that there isn't one you could point to to bring suit to declare them, or what they do, a utility on the level of an electricity or water provider.

Try the tracert function in your windows command prompt - say to quatloos.com. From here, there are 12 hops. Three of them belong to different companies. Try another, say, amazon.com. Different routes, different companies. And two days from now or a week from now, chances are they won't be the same. Network loads get shifted to adapt to traffic. Which one of them would be declared a utility in order to grant a group of individuals a "right" to internet service?

Utilities arrived at their regulated state to accommodate their position as inherent monopolies; it made sense not to have redundant water, sewer and power infrastructure. In order to raise capital (investors) there had to be some protection from competition. (The same concept applied to telephony until AT&T was broken up.) There is incredible competition in the internet marketplace and any such attempt to take over the breadth of infrastructure required via a judicial fiat would, IMHO, be doomed.
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Re: Bad Sites Can't Find a Host

Postby Judge Roy Bean » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:55 pm

Jeffrey wrote:...

Not to mention that the basis of the denial of service is arbitrary here, there's no intellectually consistent way of justifying denying Stormfront a forum that wouldn't equally apply to dozens of other political groups. ...


Their reasons for not providing service centered on stormfront's misrepresentation of Cloudflare's alleged "support" for their message.
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