[Update] 3/25/08- Czech Party Offers to Host "Fitna"
The highly controversial release of the short film created by Geert Wilders, has just entered a new stage of controversy.
NetWork Solutions, which is a website name registrar has pre-emptively censored and disabled a site registered to provide an outlet to the Wilders' film.
Prior to the site's being closed down this weekend, its only content was a picture of a gilded Koran along with the text "Allahu Akhbar," (God is Great), and the words "Geert Wilders presents Fitna - Coming Soon."
When you click on the site now, this is what you get:
This site has been suspended while Network Solutions is investigating whether the site's content is in violation of the Network Solutions Acceptable Use Policy. Network Solutions has received a number of complaints regarding this site that are under investigation. For more information about Network Solutions Acceptable Use Policy visit the following URL: http://www.networksolutions.com/legal/aup.jsp
The problem here was not the content, because the Wilders film had not been released yet.... the problem was Network Solutions letting themselves become a pawn for political correctness because people that did not want the film released pre-emptively complained about what they had "heard" the film would be about.
Geert Wilders' film, which supposedly will be shown on a split screen, with verses and suras from the Koran on one side and examples of Sharia law being carried out on the other, including a beheading and a stoning
Susan Wade, spokeswoman for Network Solutions, said, "In this situation with the dialogue that’s happening throughout the world we’ve made the choice to suspend the site as of last night. This site is suspended so people can’t see the content right now…”
The Dutch film-maker is still planning on releasing his 15-minute movie by the end of the month, despite the fact that the one Website that has agreed to promote the anti-Islamic film has been temporarily shut down. The movie is entitled “Fitna” and nobody really knows any details on it, except maybe for the Dutch film-maker’s view of the Qur’an as being fascist.
In a Washington Post article, a few relevant questions are asked about this censorship, or "pre-censorship" decision on the part on Network Solutions:
To me, this raises the question of what Network Solutions would do if dozens of people who'd registered domains through the company spontaneously decided to mirror the controversial movie once it goes live. Wade declined to speculate on such a situation, saying the company would respond to each complaint on a case-by-case basis. Furthermore, there must be other sites registered by the company that host content that violates the company's AUP or would be seen as offensive to some individual or group.
If it's not patently illegal material, where does a registrar draw the line? Is Network Solutions opening a can of worms here?
Network Solutions has put itself in a bind here by allowing themselves to be intimidated into censoring material before that material is known or seen, thereby censoring a persons right to free speech and freedom of expression before anything had even been published.
To contact Network Solutions to make your feelings know about this type of pre-censorship, I am listing the contact information below.
Network Solutions can also be reached by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the U.S. and Canada call:
Outside the U.S. call:
Also: Network Solutions Horror Stories reports that you can reach the executive Center at 1-570-708-8700, just ask for Rick at ext 8162 or Kim at 8162.
Contact form for General Support.
Contact form for Technical Support.
[Update] The Jawa Report called and reports the conversation he had with Network Solutions.
Bloggers have joined in a blogburst type actions against Network Solutions which includes: