May 06, 2008

Dotster CFO Hosting Terrorists = Freedom of Speech

Via The Columbian:

Dotster officials said they pass along all complaints to law enforcement agencies, but unless required by law, the company does not remove its customers’ content from the Internet.

kataaib.net.JPG

The site under fire, kataaib.net, is associated with the Shabab movement in war- and genocide-torn Somalia, according to reports from the BBC and Reuters. In addition to praising Islamist militants, the site lists news about battles and bombings in Somalia. “Kataaib” is Arabic for “Brigades.”...

...“We are not in a position to judge and be a jury on what content may be legal or acceptable,” said Brian Unruh, chief financial officer at Dotster. He would not comment specifically about kataaib.net, except to say, “We feel we have escalated this to the right authorities.”

...Dotster routinely receives complaints about Web sites it hosts, and evaluates each complaint before forwarding on potentially criminal sites to law enforcement agencies, Unruh said.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the right to freedom of speech and expression, and for that reason Dotster attempts to be very careful about balancing the rights of its customers with other concerns, Unruh said.

“We don’t censor people based on what they say, as long as it’s legal,” he said. “We may not agree with some activities our customers do, but we are not in a position to be judge and jury. If the authorities issue an order to take down a site, we follow that order.”

The first amendment to the constitution does not cover the speech of foreign nationals located outside the US. Kataaib.net, being a foreign terrorist entity in Somalia, is not protected.

The authorities Doster is talking about are the FBI. The enforcement of kaatab.net is a matter for the Dept of Treasury, Office of Foreign Asset Control.

When Dotster was first notified of the site it was a business matter. Apparently Dotster considers the business gained by hosting terrorists to be more important than the lives lost in Somalia to the al-Qaeda linked group al-Shabab! The site has clearly been illegal since al-Shabab was formally declared a "specially designated foreign terrorist entity in February 2008.

This site is a pure propaganda outlet. There is little intelligence value to be gained from it. Its purpose is simply as an outlet for al-Shabab's terrorist propaganda. To glorify "martyrs" and to help recruit more to their cause. So far as we know the website has nothing to do with the recent air strike against al-Shabab's leader as his death was announced on the website soon after he was killed.

In my contacts with Dotster, the employee I was dealing with was sympathetic and even tipped me and English version of their webpage on Wordpress that appears to be maintained by a terrorist sympathizer outside of the US. But obviously his hands are tied by management.

So the bottom line is since al-Shabab was officially declared a terrorist organization, Doster is in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) in the US. Each IEEPA violation can carry a fine of up to $250,000."

But in the mean time Dotster has made a business policy judgment, that protecting the speech of foreign terrorist organizations, with whom we are at war, is more important than the lives lost. Islamic extremists have murdered no less than four Christians in Somalia recently.

You can make a business judgment as well, To not do business with Dotster so long as it considers the a few dollars from al-Shabab and foreign terrorists' speech rights more important than removing kaataib.net.

Previous:
Imperial Good News: al-Shabab Leader Dead as a Rock
al Qaeda's Somalian affiliate, al-Shabab, Websites Dead
U.S. Designates Somalian Terror Group While U.S. Host's Official Website
Islamic Terrorists Behead 3 Somalian Soldiers & Have U.S. Based Website
Six Somali Terror Suspects Arrested in Scandinavian Internet Cafe Raid
GIMF: The AMERICAN Leader of al Qaeda in Somalia (& its U.S. Website)!!
African Taliban Desecrate Ethiopian Soldiers' Bodies
Florida, Michigan Companies Hosting African Taliban Website

By Howie at 12:34 PM | Comments |