Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Network Solutions Denies It Censored Site Critical Of Koran

Posted by Tom Foremski - March 25, 2008

Jeff Nolan, over at Venture Chronicles took on Network Solutions, one of the largest US web hosting companies over its closure of a controversial web site.

Reuters reported: "A U.S.-based web service, which Islam critic and Dutch right-wing lawmaker Geert Wilders planned to use to show his film critical of the Koran, said on Saturday that it had inactivated the site due to complaints."

Jeff Nolan took a look at Network Solutions' Acceptable Use Policy in his post "Network Solutions’ Double Standard"

I don’t imagine Network Solutions would be so quick to shut down a website critical of the Bible or the Torah. Even so, since when is Network Solutions chartered with monitoring speech on the Web? I looked up their Acceptable Use Policy and it’s a stretch to suggest that this film or any other could fit one of the specific sections.

The truth is more like Network Solutions simply caving to extremist pressure.

It wasn't long before a Network Solutions representative left a response:

Hi Jeff,

I am the Network Solutions Listening post in the Social media. I saw the Link to this post on Twitter and wanted to point you the clarification we posted :http://tinyurl.com/2zfgm6

Hope it explains the action.

Thanks,

Shashi

[It's interesting that Twitter is already being monitored by corporations.]

Jeff Nolan replied:

Shashi, With all due respect, this explains nothing.

1) What were the nature of the complaints?

2) What were the statements the domain owner made that suggested they would violate your use policy?

3) What makes Network Solutions believe that they should be in the business of reviewing lawful content?

4) Do you suspend every site while investigating a complaint?

5) How many sites have you suspended under similar circumstances?

This posted statement only makes Network Solutions appear to be on even softer ground. Having said all that, I appreciate you taking the initiative to post a comment.

It is now 24 hours later and still no follow up from Network Solutions. It's incredible that it can take such actions and get away with it. I wonder if other ISPs would have done the same, I wonder how many times this type of thing happens.

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