Go take a look at Brian Krebs’ latest Security Fix post about Network Solutions censoring an anti-Islam website. This issue is very controversial on both ends.
If you don’t remember, it was about a year ago when a bunch of cartoons depicting Muhammad in a bad light were published in Danish and Norwegian newspapers. Many Muslims were offended, and there were many acts of violence following the publication of the cartoons. Citing a fear of resurgence of violence, Network Solutions shuttered the website fitnathemovie.com. The website was registered to Geert Wilders, the leader of a Dutch political party. Mr. Wilders is leading a movement to ban the Koran in Holland, and this website would have hosted a movie that he was goign to use to rally support for the movement.
First, censorship is not ONLY performed by government. Yes, freedom of speech is a concept that applies only to the protection of censorship by government. However, censorship can be performed by any entity with the power to do so. And Network Solutions without a doubt has that power. And it has exercised that power in this case. Therefore, Mr. Wilders has been censored.
Third, NS is an AMERICAN business that is using its censorship power throughout the world.
Fourth, Mr. Wilders may have caused violence with this movie.
Fifth, Mr. Wilders is encouraging of censorship by a governmental body by asking for the banishment of the Koran.
Sixth, seventh, eighth…
There are a bunch of points that can be made here, but it all comes down to which side of the fence you fall on (or which fence you are riding). NS is stopping a website from being displayed because it is afraid of offending Muslims. That is censorship, and many view that as wrong no matter what. Many people see a world-wide anti-Muslim campaign becoming popular, and they want to head it off. And many simply worry about their companies or countries becoming targets for terrorism and other violence.
It is hard for me to take sides here. I am somewhat conflicted. I don’t believe NS should censor the site. At the same time, I am a believer in freedom of religion as well as freedom of speech. And of course, that brings up fifteen hundred other arguments. And the Army veteran in me wants to just blow ‘em all to hell (the radical terrorists, not mainstream Muslims). So, I guess consider this post as informative rather than argumentative.