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NSI: "Don't Taunt Them, Kill Them"

John Berryhill

Clearly whatever it is that Dutch politician Geert Wilders wants to talk about in his film is going to be the end of the internet. The news that Network Solutions decided to pre-empt his use of a domain name registered through them for the purpose of promoting his film need not be re-hashed here.

However, before bemoaning yet another registrar freely deciding, as is its right, with whom it chooses to do business, it's important to look at the big picture. No, it is not "censorship" for Network Solutions to decide how it wants its services to be used. There are a number of internet registrars all over the world, and as recently demonstrated with eNom having been notified by the US State Department that, yes, the OFAC SDN list means something, one might do well to select one's registrar based in part on an understanding of the legal climate where that registrar is located.

But, perhaps we might understand Network Solutions policy more clearly by looking at domain names registered through NSI which freely promote killing Muslims rather than merely making films about them. Take for example the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam, affectionately the Tamil Tigers — a nearly universally recognized terrorist group perhaps best known for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, but which has engaged in far more numerous outright massacres in predominately Muslim areas of Sri Lanka.

The Tamil Tigers maintain at least two, if not more, domain names through Network Solutions - eelam.com and eelamweb.com. Here, one can learn the answers to all of your frequently asked questions about ethnic cleansing such as at: http://www.eelamweb.com/faq/ which states "Muslims have been asked to leave the Tamil Eelam territory until the independence of Tamil Eelam." This polite request is normally made at gunpoint during operations of the Tamil Tigers.

So, the takeaway from these two actions of Network Solutions: (1) prohibiting an NSI domain name to be used to promote an anti-Muslim film, and (2) permitting two NSI domain names to be used to promote the mass eviction and murder of Muslims in Sri Lanka; indicates that one needs to apply a balanced perspective of how NSI would like its domain name services to be used, before making rash judgments of alleged "bias". If the continued operation of eelam.com and eelamweb.com is any indication, NSI's view would appear to be that Mr. Wilders just isn't going far enough.

Next up, the Islamic Army of Iraq, and their Louisiana brigade, courtesy of iaisite.info, registered through Directnic.

By John Berryhill, Attorney
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Re: NSI: "Don't Taunt Them, Kill Them" Enrico Schaefer  –  Mar 24, 2008 7:04 PM PDT

When it comes to the First Amendment, people get pretty animated.  But as you correctly point out, NSI and other registrars are in a unique market where the shear volume of domain name registrations makes it very difficult to apply policies with any consistency.  And at some point, black and white becomes a very grey area where the policies getting harder to apply. 

Companies such as NSI and other registrars are and should be able to create their own policies concerning the use of their services.  The market will provide alternatives base don demand.  T

here are certainly registrars out there who could care less what content goes on your web site.  As long as there are alternatives, a knee-jerk cry of censorship will remain unfounded.

Re: NSI: "Don't Taunt Them, Kill Them" John Berryhill  –  Mar 24, 2008 11:01 PM PDT

Companies such as NSI and other registrars are and should be able to create their own policies concerning the use of their services.

By and large, that is correct. 

However, what NSI is doing in the case of eelam.com is quite literally illegal.

The LTTE is on the OFAC SDN list http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/sdn/sdnlist.txt, and the identified registrant, "TCC" in Paris, France is the Tamil Coordinating Committee:

http://www.priu.gov.lk/news_update/features/20001004British_charities_fund_terrorists%20.htm

The US State Departmentâs Global Terrorism report lists the World Tamil Association (WTA), World Tamil Movement (WTM), the Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils(FACT) and the Ellalan Force as known terrorist fronts of the LTTE. One of the constituent organisations of the Federation of Associations of Canadian Tamils(FACT) is the Tamil Eelam Society of Canada. (TESOC).

The Canadian branch of the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation(TRO) operates out of the same offices as the Tamil Eelam Society of Canada (TESOC), 861 Broadview Avenue, Toronto M4K 2P9, Ontario and is headed by Mr E Gunananthan a well known LTTE activist in Canada.

In Sweden and several other European countries, the front name of the LTTE is TCC, (Tamil Co-ordinating Committee.) The Swedish office of the LTTE is located at Glomminge Grand-25, 3rd Floor, 16362 Spanga, Sweden. The British Charity TRO has its office at Glomminge Grand - 29, 1st Floor, 16362 Spanga, Sweden.

It is the OFAC regulations which caused Enom to recently de-activate a number of domain names utilized by a Spanish travel agency in connection with travel to Cuba.

GoDaddy provides registration services for the following:

AL SUNUT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY (a.k.a. ALSUNUT DEVELOPMENT COMPANY),
No. 1 Block 5 East, Khartoum 2, P.O. Box 1840, Khartoum, Sudan;
Website www.alsunut.com (Sudan);

...in violation of the Sudan sanctions program, and Enom remains the registrar of record of another Sudanese state organ:

GIAD AUTOMOTIVE COMPANY (a.k.a. GIAD AUTOMOTIVE AND TRUCK; a.k.a.
GIAD AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY COMPANY LIMITED; a.k.a. GIAD CARS & HEAVY
TRUCKS COMPANY), Gazera State (40 km distance from Khartoum), P.O.
Box 444/13600, Khartoum 1111, Sudan; Website
www.giadmotors.com/giad_auto.html [SUDAN]

These Sudanese organizations made their way onto the OFAC list due to their participation in genocide which, again, is not likely to find its way onto the list of ICANN priorities anytime soon.

You see, there are people using the internet to infringe trademarks.  What's a few dead villages, more or less, in Africa?

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