Back to home page click here

EXTREMISM ON THE NET


There are some strange people on the Net:
Picture from the Body Worlds exhibition

Contents


WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

The Internet is overwhelmingly a power for good. It provides cheap and easy access every moment of every day to a vast reservoir of information and entertainment and it is transforming the nature of commerce and Government. However, with approximately one billion users worldwide accessing around 75 million Web sites, there is bound to be some offensive, and even illegal, use of the Net.

There is a dark side to the Internet. It would be naïve to deny it and alarmist to exaggerate it.


"There is a dark side to the Internet"

There is – and probably cannot be – any precise or objective definition of what constitutes extremism on the Internet. However, for most people, the term refers to the propagation of extreme views, usually of a political or religious nature.

Such views would encompass political fascism, skinhead fascism, white power, white supremacy, militia groups, race hate, anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial, world conspiracy, religious cults, Islamist militancy, virulent anti-homosexuality, pro-anorexia/bulimia, virulent anti-abortionism, violent propagation of animal rights, sports hooliganism, violent political activism, bombmaking information, and suicide assistance.

Of course, some of these categories merge into one another or overlap. For instance, many white supremacy sites endorse conspiracy theories and many Islamist militancy sites are anti-Semitic.

Dan Gannon established the first far Right hate site in Portland, Oregon, USA on December 1991. Today, according to the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Los Angeles, there are “more than 1,400 problematic Web sites”. The European Union's Racism and Anti-semitism Monitoring Unit puts the figure as high as 2,100.

It is generally accepted that the number of extremist sites is growing. The filtering company SurfControl has been monitering the Net since 2000 and suggests that extremist sites have grown by about 300% since then. On the other hand, the Intelligence Project in the United States believes that the number of such sites is simply growing at the same rate as Internet usage overall.

It will not be surprising that the majority are hosted in the USA because there are so many Internet users there, there are so many extremist organisations there, and the First Amendment to the US consitution provides protection for such ‘free speech’. Another major source of extremist material on the Net is Germany and one estimate suggests that there are now some 800 sites run by German far-right organisations.

However, it might surprise many to know that Sweden is also an important centre of race hate material on-line. Other countries with such sites include Austria, Australia, Canada, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, South Africa and the Ukraine.

Ray Franklin, the Assistant Director of the Police Training Commission in Maryland, USA and an Internet consultant to law enforcement organisations throughout the world, compiles a Hate Directory [click here] as a guide for parents, teachers and police.

The subject of race hate on the Internet has now become a subject of academic study and, at Emerson College in the United States, Professor Robert Hilliard has opened a communications class called “Hate.com”.

WHAT ARE THE FORMS OF EXTREMISM?

Political Extremism

In the UK, there are at least 200 Web sites that propagate politically extreme views. These include the British National Party, the British Movement and the National Revolutionary Faction. Towards the end of March 1999, the BNP actually held an Internet Conference Weekend.

One site called Blood and Honour attacks what it calls “ZOG” – the “Zionist Occupation Government” which describes “the assortment of traitors and Zionist lackeys who control most of the white nations on this planet”. They take a broad view of the enemy: “A typical example is the Blair Government in the ‘United Kingdom’ and their willing collaborators in the police, media, civil service and local councils who enforce their anti-White laws on the British People”.

This particular ‘essay’ concludes with what sounds suspiciously like a call to arms. In large capital letters, it proclaims: “Now is the time to regroup! Go underground and train for the counter-offensive! Whatever it takes. Combat 18”. It is not fanciful to imagine Combat 18 as involved in violence – in February 1997, Combat 18 member Christopher Castle was killed by two of the group’s own members.

Another site is run by Kevin Quinn, self-styled National Director of the November 9th Society which is Britain's Nazi Party. The homepage proclaims: "We will never flirt with public opinion, by changing to suit half frightened people in order to gain public support. We are National Socialists - We will not abandon the Fuhrer, ever! To show our contempt to all that have abandoned Adolf Hitler, we have designed a Logo that can be printed on any item of clothing you like. Everyone will know you are a N9S Nazi, so order your T-Shirts now!"

The site proclaims: "The foundations of the November 9th Society are the concepts of National Socialist doctrine as propagated by Adolf Hitler and Houston Stewart Chamberlain. It is our unshakable belief that the white Aryan race is superior to all others and that we, the British people form part of that race whose very foundation was indo-European. In National Socialist Aryan Great Britain, all non-Aryans will be expelled back to their own countries and will have their British passports and citizenship taken from them. No non-Aryan will be allowed to call themselves British that being the privilege of our ancestral tribes - namely the English, the Welsh, the Scottish and the Irish".

A comprehensive manifesto sets out the organisation opposition to abortion, homosexuality and Israel, its wish to nationalise the press, the banks and oil companies, and its intention to abolish the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

A more recent development has been the emergence of sites that target UK anti-racists but do so from jurisdictions other than the UK (usually the USA where they are protected by the First Amendment). Some of these sites are so detailed in the information they give about the home and work locations of the British activists and so inflammatory in the language that they use about them that, in effect, they can be seen as an incitement to violence against those individuals. The site of this nature which has attracted the most attention is Redwatch.

Links:
Blood and Honour click here
November 9th Society click here
Redwatch click here

White Supremacy

One of the earliest and most prominent White supremacist sites is Stormfront which was set up in 1995 by Don Black (sic). Black is a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan who served a prison sentence for plotting to overthrow the Government of a Caribbean island to set up an all-white state. While in prison, he learned his computer skills and – now based at West Palm Beach, Florida - he even operates his own server.

One of the essays on the Stormfront site is entitled “Who Rules America” and the text makes it clear that the organisation believes that Jewish businessmen have an “alien grip on our news and entertainment media”. The site has sections for “white singles”, women and even kids – the last run by Black’s 10 year old son who has been pulled out of local schools because of the ‘unacceptable’ teaching.

Another classic example of a White supremacy Web site is that of the National Alliance which is based at Hillsboro, West Virginia, USA. The leader of the National Alliance organisation was - until his recent death - William Pierce, the holder of a doctorate in physics, a former American Nazi Party officer, the author of the infamous novel “The Turner Diaries” (which Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh found so fascinating), and a man described by the “Los Angeles Times” as “the most powerful and dangerous white supremacist in America”.

The site advocates white supremacy – based on the ‘natural supremacy’ of the Aryan race and the Law of Inequality – and white separatism – with “a racially clean area of the earth” known as “White Living Space”. Predictably the National Alliance opposes “the sickness of multiculturalism” and identifies the “enemy” as including communists, feminists and the Jews. The site offers for sale some 600 books, audio and video cassettes including US Army manuals on the manufacture of explosives and booby traps, munitions and guerrilla warfare. The recommended reading included “Mein Kampf” and there are seven foreign language sections of the site.

Links:
Stormfront click here
National Alliance click here

Holocaust Denial

There are quite a number of sites on the Web which challenge the truth of the murder of some six million Jews and others as a planned, systematic programme by the Nazi regime. Such Holocaust denial is explicitly illegal in 10 European countries - including Germany and France - and in Israel and implicitly prosecutable in countries like Canada and Australia. However, in most countries of the world – including the UK – the law has nothing to say on the Holocaust as such.

One of the most infamous Holocaust denial sites in the world is the Zundelsite run by the Toronto resident Ernst Zündel. He was eventually extradited from Canada to Germany where he was prosecuted for Holocaust denial and incitement to racial hatred. In February 2007, he was found guilt on 14 counts and sentenced to five years imprisonment. A major opponent of such sites is Ken McVay who runs the Nizkor Project which is based in Toronto as well.

Some of the denialist site names are almost ‘academic’: Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust and Institute for Historical Review. The most infamous UK revisionist historian is David Irving who runs his own site. In April 2000, at the end of a 32 day trial in London, he lost a court case claiming that his reputation had been damaged as a result of an academic attack on his views by the American historian Deborah Lipstadt (whom I have met). Mr Justice Grey ruled that the British author was “an active Holocaust denier, that he is anti-Semitic and racist, and that he associates with right-wing extremists who promote neo-Nazism”. In February 2006, Irving pleaded guilty in a Vienna court of denying the Holocaust, based on a speech and interview he gave in Austria in 1989. He was found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison (although he only served one year before being released).

Links:
Zundelsite click here
The Nizkor Project click here
Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust click here
David Irving’s site click here
Deborah Lipstadt’s trial click here
Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research click here

Religious Cults

For both pro- and anti-cultists, the Internet is a battleground for ideas that sometimes has fatal consequences. The Heaven’s Gate community was a cult based in Rancho Santa Fe in California which supported itself by designing web sites. When the Hale-Bopp comet appeared in March 1997, the community took it as a sign that they were ready to “graduate” to a space craft tailing the comet and flashed the words “Red Alert” on their own site. Some 39 members of the community then committed mass suicide. They left an “Exit Press Release” on their site explaining their decision. However, the cult survives and the Web site is still active.

Other cults are continuing and thriving with the aid of the Net. The Raëlian movement was founded by Claude Vorilhon, a former French racing driver, who claimed that in December 1973 he witnessed the landing of a flying saucer and met an extraterrestrial who renamed him Raël. The visitor revealed that life on earth was designed and created in extraterrestrial laboratories by an advanced people from space called the Elohim.

The Raëlian movement claims some 55,000 members spread throughout 84 countries, including Canada (where Raël now lives), Switzerland (location of the group's headquarters) and Japan (where it is particularly strong) and the organisation's Web site uses no less than 36 languages to deliver its message. Members are expected to make an annual donation of 10% of their income and the Internet plays a major part in raising finance. The money goes towards the building fund for the planned embassy for the Elohim. The cult came to new prominence in December 2002 when it claimed to have produced the first cloned baby.

Links:
Heaven’s Gate click here
Raëlian movement click here

Islamist Militancy

Obviously Islam is an established religion with many hundreds of millions of peace-loving adherents, but some supporters of Islam have an extremist agenda which extends to anti-Semitism and terrorism and the Internet is one part of their armoury. Several of these sites use password protected or encrypted communications. The terrorist groups Hamas and Hizbollah both use the Internet as a part of their decentralised and internationalised command and control structure. The official Hamas site contains a “Glory Record” detailing almost a hundred armed exchanges; whenever an Israeli soldier is killed, this is described as “extermination” and, whenever a member of Hamas dies, this is characterised as “martyrdom”.

The terrorist group al-Qaeda has made massive use of the Internet to communicate and propaganize. Web sites show terrorist attacks and suicide bombings, as well as the execution of foreigners, in an attempt to enthuse other young Muslim men to join the cause and take up arms and explosives. One of these sites Azzam.com - now removed - was in the English language and would have appealed particularly to young Muslims in countries like the UK and the USA. By a bitter irony, many of these sites are hosted by US companies.

Link: Hamas click here

Anti-homosexuality

A particularly offensive site in this category is that run by the Westboro Baptist Church in the USA which has the URL “godhatesfags”. On the homepage, it declares in capital letters that: "Sodomy is an abominable sin, worthy of death". This site attacks “the soul-damning, nation-destroying notion that ‘It is OK to be gay’”. Its targets include “fag churches” which are described as “the most evil institutions on earth” and “fag companies” which are those “that support sodomy”. The site even has sound clips of pastor Fred Phelps speaking.

Link: Westboro Baptist Church click here

Anti-abortionism

The most infamous case of a site propagating virulently anti-abortionist views was The Nuremberg Files based in Georgia, USA. The homepage had lurid images of dripping blood and called abortion clinics “baby butcher businesses”. The language was one of religious fundamentalism: “Satan gets very angry when his favourite food (sacrificed human babies) fails to be delivered”. The site collated and published names, addresses and other personal details of all those believed to have any connection with abortion clinics and talked in terms of prosecuting them at some future point.

At one stage, the organisers of the site intended to install Web cams outside clinics as a further act of intimidation against workers at such locations. Since some of those named on the site were subsequently murdered, a court in Oregon judged that the site represented a physical threat and imposed a fine of $108m. Shortly afterwards the ISP hosting the site removed it, but it still exists in ‘mirror’ form.

The Web site run by the Army of God extolled as "an American hero" Paul Hill, a former Presbyterian minister, who was executed by the state of Florida in September 2003 for mudering a doctor who carried out abortions and his driver.

Links:
The Nuremberg Files click here
Army of God click here

Pro-anorexia/bulimia

There are about 400 Web sites worldwide that actively promote such eating disorders as anorexia and bulimia. Most of them are believed to be the work of a close-knit group of American teenagers. The sites have names such as Anorexic With Pride, Starving For Perfection, Wasting Away on the Web, and Dying To Be Thin. There are newsgroups, like Beautiful By Bones, and e-mail groups, like Puking Pals, with the same life-threatening messages.

On such sites, there are tricks about how to cheat doctors and professionals and how to make it seem as if one is eating. Chat rooms are used to buddy up in pairs and to encourage each other to lose weight and to keep going. Such sites and groups have their own terminolgy, so "Ana" is anorexia and "Mia" is bulimia.

Internet portals such as Yahoo! and MSN now take down such Web sites. Fortunately the Web also hosts sites which seek to help those with eating disorders (some 1.15M in the UK and about 8M in the US), such as the UK-based National Centre For Eating Disorders and the US-based National Association for Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.

Links:
National Centre For Eating Disorders click here
National Association for Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders click here

Animal Liberation

Many caring people campaign peacefully against the use of animals for scientific testing, but there is a fringe element that espouses and supports violence against property and even sometimes against persons in furtherance of their aims and some of these groups use web sites to propogate these views and organise relevant actions. The material can come close to an incitement to violence when the names and addresses of people are highlighted, organising actions with language like: "Be prepared to travel from one location to another taking the fight to both the business & home addresses of those that allow HLS to continue their puppy killing business. Visit puppy killers where they work. Visit puppy killers where they live. Visit puppy killers where they play."

Links:
Speak group click here
Arkangel group click here
Animal Liberation Front click here

Sports Hooliganism

Those who wish to incite violence at sports events have found the Internet a convenient tool to organise like-minded hooligans. This is particularly the case with football ‘fans’ in Europe, notably Britain. One such site was that run by the notorious Carlisle United supporter Paul Dodd. On his site, he talked of “the ‘buzz’ – the feeling of getting the fist, boot or pint glass into the anonymous face of a rival yob” and boasted of having being jailed over 17 times.

Links:
Mob Handed click here
Czech Hooligans click here
Terrace Links click here
Kick It Out campaign against racism in football click here

Weaponmaking Information

There has been detailed bombmaking information on the Internet as long as the Net has been a public network but, in the UK at least, the situation only really excited concern with the revelation in June 2000 that the Soho nailbomber David Copeland had downloaded two relevant titles from the Internet.

The original and most infamous site “TAC” was in fact published in book form in 1969 before the same material went on the Web and the book has sold more than two million copies. On the Web, it is now in version 4.14 and ‘mirrored’ in many sites around the world. It is an horrific compilation with more than 200 sections advising on everything from fertiliser bombs to landmines with other headings like “Electronic terrorism” and “Kill with your bare hands”.

“TAC” is far from alone – a search through a search engine like Google with the phrase “How to make bombs” results in over 1,400 offerings. To take one more example “TOTSE”, there is guidance on everything from natural poisons to chemical weapons and sections on how to make a rocket launcher for under $5 and how to make an atomic bomb in 10 steps.

Irony 1: the original author of the book “TAC” William Powell claims that his prime source was the New York City public library. Irony 2: Powell has fundamentally changed his views and has now called for the book to be taken out of print and for websites carrying such information to be closed down. Irony 3: when fulminating about the existence of such sites, the media frequently give such detail that locating the sites is then very easy.

In May 2003, a New Zealand model aircraft enthusiast, Bruce Simpson, decided to go public on the Web about how easy it would be for terrorists to build their own cruise missile and to demonstrate the fact by constructing one himself for under $5,000. If you want to see his reasoning click here.

In May 2013, the world's first gun made with 3D printer technology was successfully fired in the United States and the controversial group which created the firearm, Defense Distributed, announced plans to make the blueprints available online.

Suicide Assistance

In some countries – notably Japan and South Korea – there has been a problem of web sites and chatrooms offering information to assist those contemplating suicide. In Japan, in 1998, the operator of a web site selling cyanide killed himself after the police questioned him about a customer’s suicide and, in 1999, a man and a woman killed themselves after making a suicide pact on the web. On one day in October 2004, nine young people - seven of them at one location - committed suicide, following arrangements made over the Internet. In Japan, 34 people made suicide pacts in 2003 as a result of such on-line contact; in 2004, this figure rose to 55; in 2005, it went up to 91. In South Korea, there are around 30 web sites, including ones that advertise for “suicide partners” and ones that arrange “contract suicides”, and police are investigating a spate of web-assisted suicides.

Some of these sites even have "backdoor codes" which allow users to access more extreme pages. The web addresses use numbers instead of words, making them impossible to find unless one knows they are there.

In May 2002, a 35 year old man from south London, Michael Gooden, jumped to his death from the top of Beachy Head cliffs, while accompanied by a friend Louis Gilles fom Glasgow whom he had met through a US-based suicide chatroom and whom he expected to jump as well. Gilles was later charged with aiding Gooden's suicide, but himself committed suicide through hanging on the day the case was due to come to court.

Barbara Boffey of Birmingham, whose son Phillip killed himself in 2003 after becoming embroiled in suicide chat rooms, has campaigned for such sites to be banned. The mother of 17-year-old Carina Stephenson has launched a campaign to outlaw these sites because she blames them for her daughter's hanging in Yorkshire in 2005. Also, in 2005, a suicide pact was entered into by Chris Aston (25) and Maria Williams (42) following contact which they first made with one another on the Net.

In Britain, although suicide itself is not an offence, Section 2(1) of the Suicide Act 1961 makes it an offence to aid, abet, counsel or procure another to commit suicide, or attempt to do so. Anybody who commits such an offence is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years. However, providing information which would enable someone to commit suicide does not necessarily amount to aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring.

Links:
UK campaign against suicide sites click here
Prevention of Young Suicide click here

Schlock Sites

Finally, there is what I can only describe as – for want of a better expression – “schlock sites”. These are sites which seem to go out of their way to shock by celebrating criminality or perversion or mocking the mentally or physically challenged.

One example is the American site Mayhem.net which has a special section on murderers, called “Internet Crime Archives”, with categories such as “serial killers”, “mass murderers”, “killer cults”, bodycount” and even “cannibals”. Although the material is essentially factual, one can only speculate as to the motives in collating and presenting such sickening details.

A site called Rotten dot com states that it “collects images and information from many sources to present the viewer with a truly unpleasant experience”. Perhaps the most revolting section is one called “The Final Taboo” which claims to show the eating of babies. Another site called Freakfarm seems to be a kind of portal to a collection of sites ranging from the bizarre to the sick.

Yet another site, "The Gallery Of The Grotesque", speaks for itself: "The Gallery is a subversive work; it is as offensive as the reality that it exposes. If its iconoclastic contents make you scream out of despair, then your visit was not wasted. If you are convinced that this is simply a collection of disturbing images for your own personal amusement, then you are truly lost".

In the aftermath of the US/UK invasion of Iraq in 2003, a number of foreign nationals were kipnapped and executed and a site called Ogrish.com actually went so far as to make available footage of these executions which included beheadings.

Links:
Mayhem.net click here
Rotten.com click here
Freakfarm click here
Gallery of the Grotesque click here
Ogrish.com click here

WHAT IS THE LAW IN THE UK?

Section 23 of the Public Order Act 1986 makes it an offence for a person to possess written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting with a view to it being displayed, published, distributed, shown, played, broadcast or included in a cable programme service, if it is intended or likely to stir up racial hatred. Section 19 of the Act makes it an offence to publish or distribute written material with intent to stir up racial hatred or which is likely to stir up racial hatred.

In Section 17, the Act defines “racial hatred” itself as “hatred against a group of persons in Great Britain defined by reference to colour, race, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origins”.

Although there is no case law relating to the distribution of racially inflammatory material via the Internet, it is likely that the courts would find that computer data (which can be reconstituted to form text, sound or visual images) would be covered by the 1986 Act.

However, there are very substantial limitations in respect of the application of this law to race hate Web sites:

Internet users coming across material which they believe to be racially inflammatory can report it to the Internet Watch Foundation [click here] which will view and assess the material and, where there is doubt, consult with the Home Office. However, given the current state of the law, in the three years that such material has been within the IWF's remit, none has been found to be hosted within the UK and in apparent breach of UK law.

Link: Comprehensive Home Office guide to the law on racial inflammatory material on the Internet click here

WHAT IS THE LAW IN THE USA?

Race hate on the Internet is virtually unprosecutable because of the protection to free speech provided by the First Amendment to the US Constitution. It is widely believed that the only type of legal case that can be reasonably sure of succeeding is one claiming incitement where it can be demonstrated that the site offers a direct reward for acts of violence.

A horrific example of what is possible in America is the case of Bonnie Jouhari who originally lived in Pennsylvania. She and her daughter were forced to flee their home when she was attacked on a Web site run by Philadelphia neo-Nazi Ryan Wilson. Wilson – who once ran the now-defunct neo-Nazi United States of America Nationalist Party – posted Jouhari’s picture on his site, called her a “race traitor” for her work against housing discrimination, and labelled her daughter as a “mongrel” because her father is black. The site showed an image of Jouhari’s office exploding and provided a link to instructions for constructing home-make bombs. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development is now suing the Web site operator alleging violation of Federal fair housing laws.

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

Broadly speaking, there are two schools of thought about how one should treat extremist views – most especially race hate – on the Internet.

The ‘American’ view – exemplified by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – is that one must clearly distinguish between speech and conduct, that the former should not be criminalised, and that the answer to hate speech is more speech.

The ‘European’ view is that hateful words have serious consequences, that in any event signals should be sent that race hate is unacceptable in a democratic society, and that therefore certain types of racist expressions should be made illegal and where possible prosecuted.

Clearly, in a free and democratic society, we should accept a wide diversity of views including those with which we strongly disagree. It would be wrong to censor or criminalise views which, however offensive to many, do not infringe on the rights of others. However, many forms of extremist expression – especially rate hate – do infringe on the rights of those attacked to live their lives free of discrimination, fear and hurt.

In my view, all jurisdictions - but most especially the United States (where most of the problematic material is hosted) - need to review the adequacy of their laws and the effectiveness of the enforcement of those laws. Ultimately, however, the law cannot provide anything more than a very partial solution.

Therefore, when grossly offensive material is brought to their attention, hosting companies should ask themselves whether they really want to host such material. Understandably such companies do not want to appear to be acting as moral guardians or censors. However, I believe that, where the creation of such material involves abuse or harm or where viewing such material may well encourage or incite the viewer to commit harm, there is an obligation on the company to think very hard about their responsibility. Every hosting company has a contract with the creator of the material it hosts and every Internet service provider has a contract with the subscriber to whom they are providing access to the Net; use of these contracts could limit the availability of harmful (or grossly offensive) material without the need for recourse to constitutions or laws.

Here, in the UK, although the chances of prosecutions are low, cases of racism on the Internet should be reported to the Internet Watch Foundation [click here]. If the site is clearly in breach of the criminal law, the IWF will advise the relevant Internet service provider to close down the site and, if a criminal prosecution seems possible, the relevant information will be passed on to the Attorney General’s office.

Failing that, it might be that - even though the offending material is not illegal - it is a breach of the abuse policy of the Internet service provider hosting the material. Therefore a complaint to the relevant ISP might result in the closure or amendment of the site.

In Canada, another approach has been to bring complaints before the Canadian Human Rights Commission alleging a breach of the Candian Human Rights Act. This has succeeded in at least two cases. First, a cease and desist order was issued by the Commission against Canadian citizen Ernst Zundel in respect of rate hate material on his Holocaust denial site. Second, the Commission required Canadian citizen Fred Kyburz to remove anti-Semitic material on his US-hosted site.

In November 2001, the Council of Europe, with the involvement of non-European nations like the USA and Japan, adopted a Convention on Cyber-crime and the Additional Protocol to the Convention On Cybercrime, which seeks to prohibit "racist and xenophobic material" on the internet, defines such material as "any written material, any image or any other representation of ideas or theories, which advocates, promotes or incites hatred, discrimination or violence, against any individual or group of individuals, based on race, colour, descent or national or ethnic origin, as well as religion if used as a pretext for any of these factors".

Another approach is for parents and teachers to use filtering software to block access to sites with particular ratings [for more information on rating and filtering click here]. The Anti-Defamation League in the USA has developed the ADL HateFilter which blocks access to web sites that advocate hatred, bigotry or violence towards Jews or other groups based on their religion, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation [click here].

Perhaps above all we need to create better awareness about the existence of such extremist sites on the Internet and promote the availability of sites which contain counter-material and promote tolerance and multiculturalism.

FURTHER READING


"The Internet, Law And Society" edited by Yaman Akdeniz, Clive Walker & David Wall (Longman, 2000), especially Chapter 11

Links:
Cyber-Rights & Cyber-Liberties in UK click here
Internet Centre Anti-Racism Europe click here
Electronic Frontier Foundation in USA click here
Anti-Defamation League in USA click here
Simon Wiesenthal Center click here
International Network Against Cyberhate click here

ROGER DARLINGTON

Last modified 7 May 2013

Back to home page click here