February 01, 2005

This is a Bad Thing

This is really bad thing, if it signals a trend among service providers and weblog hosts.

My initial concern was that the web host either bowed to pressure from the mullahs or their proxies to drop the access, or were accepting monies or the promise of favors in return from these same entities.

Even worse was the possibility that it was at the request of the perfumed parlor-snakes of Foggy Bottom as a means of ingratiating themselves with the Revolutionary Guard to appease them out of a nuclear program.

Why all of a sudden does a server completely disconnect these people? It's not like it's an Iranian or Saudi or Syrian server, controlled by the government. It's a server in Texas, for Chrissakes, the state with the most fiercely independent people in the nation. This is the state where at any time they could decide they want to be a sovereign nation (again) and secede with impunity. Hard to imagine that a person or a group of persons in a state like Texas would silence the voices of an entire nation as it cries out for freedom and justice.

Yet this company, The Planet, has done exactly that and cut-off access to the Iranian bloggers, the only real voice of the people in the country and the only portal for freedom and free information into the country. And the real reason?

They're afraid of Homeland Security. Seriously.

Aaron Weisburd, of Carbondale, Ill., who tracks down websites affiliated with Islamic terror groups for his organization, Internet Haganah, suspects The Planet may just be "trigger happy" at the moment following recent reports in the Dallas media. Web servers operated by The Planet were said to have hosted some Al Qaeda-affiliated sites whose owners had bought space through middlemen.

A day after a story aired on The Planet in November on the Dallas CBS affiliate station, two Al Qaeda websites and two for Hamas were no
longer available. The sites were located by Mr. Weisburd, who says if
anything the US authorities actually pressure providers to keep suspect sites
online so they can be monitored - an approach he criticizes

The article goes on to state that Iranian bloggers listing other countries as their location are putting along just fine, but that Iranian bloggers listing Iran as their location were given only 48 hours in which to find new servers (and quite likely to also get full backups of their archives so not to lose them completely) before shutting down the sites.

We as individuals and as a nation value free speech and hold it more dear than most of our other rights under the constitution. It is the right of free speech which helps us to preserve all of those other rights. And yet out of fear of losing a buck, the ability to exercise just a little bit of this freedom was ripped from the fingertips of a people that yearns in the darkness for the light of liberty and self detimination.

It is time to place that shoe firmly upon the other foot.

Posted for Mama

Posted by Delftsman3 at February 1, 2005 06:52 PM

Interesting story, Delfts. Scary that people can be so knee-jerk at times. But... bad link. Couldn't read the CSM story.

Posted by: Beth at February 1, 2005 07:19 PM

You're right, things seldom go right once the government intrudes, another helping of taking away freedoms in the interest of public safety.

Posted by: Jack at February 1, 2005 10:57 PM

I'd take that claim of Homeland Security with a whole salt-shaker of salt. Remember the New Jersey school that was claiming that No Child Left Behind was why they were dropping spelling bees, because only one child could win? They get a twofer: lower standards and blame it on BusHitler.

Similarly, I'd really like to get a take on the politics of this ISP's owner(s). After all, BusHitler likes the Iranian dissidents, so they must be evil.

Posted by: SDN at February 3, 2005 11:47 PM

Kinda makes a person wonder if this server isn't the same one who went way out of its way to protect IndyMedia when some of their participants made threats construed as of a potentially dangerous nature. But since the Iranian bloggers tend to be pro-American, they're the real enemy, not the twits and asshats at "that other site."

SDN, I do believe you are on to something here.

Posted by: Mamamontezz at February 4, 2005 06:39 PM
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