Progress in Fighting Internet Censorship
News from the Institute for Historical Review
October 13, 2010 (Updated)
In keeping with its long-standing policy of support for free speech, the Institute for Historical Review in late August launched a campaign to fight internet censorship.
Across the US, some businesses, agencies, school districts and other institutions routinely block access to the IHR website and other "politically incorrect" sites. For example, when someone at a Wells Fargo company office or branch tries to log on to ihr.org, a notice comes up saying that access is denied because the site promotes "violence/ hate/ racism." (The Wells Fargo online notice is shown below.)
In letters, by telephone, and in face-to-face meetings, the IHR has been contacting businesses and other institutions that block access to the IHR website to explain why this practice is unfair, defamatory and harmful, and to call on them to stop it.
In the weeks since it was launched, this campaign has been making headway:
-- In southern California, the Anaheim Union High School District responded to the Institute's expressions of concern by unblocking access to the IHR website.
-- In Columbus, Georgia, a local activist successfully persuaded the city's library system to unblock access to the IHR site.
-- Some businesses have responded positively to IHR letters and meetings explaining why blocking access to the IHR site is bigoted and unfair.
-- The IHR is gathering more documentation about the one-sided and bigoted standards used by major web content filtering companies to censor the internet.
-- The Institute is considering legal action against schools, businesses or other entities that do not respond positively to IHR's expressions of concern, but instead insist on blocking access to the IHR website.
"We're encouraged by the backing we're getting for this project," says IHR director Mark Weber. "People across the country are providing helpful information and advice."
"This project is much more than a battle for the IHR," says Weber. "By exposing and fighting this censorship of partisan special interests, we are defending internet freedom for all Americans."
"Especially outrageous," he adds, is blocking of "politically incorrect" sites by public schools and taxpayer-funded libraries.
The IHR project has attracted overseas media attention. A reporter for the English-language service of Iran's foreign broadcast service interviewed the IHR director about the problem of internet censorship in the US, and the Institute's initiative to counter it. The IHR initiative has also, predictably, prompted Zionist complaints.
Information about businesses, school districts and other institutions that block access to the IHR website should be sent to the IHR office. (Of course, the identity of everyone who helps is kept strictly confidential.)
Standards of online censorship are unprincipled. Institutions that block access to the IHR site permit free access to websites of Zionist groups, such as the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Anti-Defamation League, that have long and well-documented records of support for Israeli policies of oppression, and occupation based on ancestry -- policies that most of the world regards as outrageous and illegal.
Far from promoting "hate" or "racism," the IHR has a long record of staunch opposition to hate, bigotry and censorship. It reaches out to, and receives support from, people of the most diverse racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds. The IHR, which is recognized by the IRS as a 501 (c )(3) public interest educational enterprise, has itself been a victim of hate and bigotry.
INSTITUTE FOR HISTORICAL REVIEW
Tel. 714 - 593 9725
At the Wells Fargo company, this notice appears on screen when someone tries to access the IHR website: