Ottawa lawyer loses CRTC bid to block access to U.S. website

Neo-Nazis calling for man’s death

An Ottawa lawyer who has been the target of death threats on two U.S. neo-Nazi websites will have to count on American authorities for protection after Canadian regulators refused to block access to the websites in this country, says the head of the Canadian Jewish Congress.

“We’re hoping the criminal justice system might kick in in the United States, which to me, seems logical,” said Bernie Farber yesterday. “This man counselled murder. I can’t imagine he hasn’t been in violation of his own laws.”

On his website, American Bill White has posted the home address of Ottawa lawyer Richard Warman and called for his murder, and that of all Jewish people, Mr. Warman said in a petition requesting that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission block access to Mr. White’s sites.

In his petition, which has been supported by the Canadian Jewish Congress, Mr. Warman said Mr. White’s websites caused him to fear for his safety.

The CRTC can order Internet service providers (ISPs) to block websites from Canadian Internet users, but has rarely done so.

Mr. Warman first approached the providers and requested that they take down the websites, but they refused to do so without a CRTC order.

Calling Mr. Warman’s request “unprecedented,” the CRTC denied his petition on Thursday. The regulatory body said it would be “inappropriate” to order blockage of the websites “in particular without affording Canadian carriers and all other interested parties the opportunity to comment.”

Mr. Farber said the response from the Internet providers and the CRTC is unacceptable.

“I think many Canadians are surprised that ISPs have refused to take action in this case and that the CRTC has refused to take action in this case,” he said.

“All we wanted was for the CRTC, an organization that was set up by the government to protect consumers, to protect a consumer here. And they failed miserably at it,” he said.

Mr. Warman and the Canadian Jewish Congress are considering appealing the CRTC decision, said Mr. Farber.

Google, which hosted one of Mr. White’s websites through its Blogger program, disabled the content on that website last week.

Mr. Warman was unavailable for comment yesterday.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
The Ottawa Citizen, Canada
Aug. 27, 2006
Alexandra Zabjek

Religion News Blog posted this on Sunday August 27, 2006.
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