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Shofar FTP Archive File: orgs/american/wiesenthal.center/press/vancouver-sun.071996


Start Vancouver Sun July 19, 1996

[http://www.southam.com:80/vancouversun/news1.html]

B.C. Internet provider is the largest Canadian site for racist material

Jeff Lee Vancouver Sun 

An international human rights group says a small Internet provider 
in B.C.'S Okanagan region has become the largest site in Canada for 
white supremacist and Holocaust-denial material.

At least 12 groups promoting white supremacy and hate against 
minorities are using the Fairview Technology Centre in Oliver to 
promote their views, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre said Thursday.

Fairview's site includes two host web pages called Freedom Site and 
Skin-Net, which provide access to the pages of a dozen other similar 
groups. The main page of Skin-Net contains a large image of a Nazi 
brown shirt charging into battle against a backdrop of fire.

The organizers of some of the web pages are connected to Ernst Zundel, 
the Toronto holocaust-denier, said Sol Littman, the Simon Wiesenthal 
Centre's Canadian representative.

Littman said his group is alarmed that so many white-supremacist 
groups are lodged under one roof on the Internet.

"It has got more of these guys on it than we've seen anywhere else in 
Canada," Littman said. "It is offensive. It is crude, it is Fascist and 
it mirrors the Strmer, the most infamous of Nazi newspapers."

Littman wrote to Bernard Klatt, owner of Fairview, to tell him he didn't 
have to provide service to such groups and that he may not be aware 
they are using his site.

But Klatt said in an interview that he knows about the groups. Asked 
if he was concerned, he said: "Not yet, should I (be)?

"I am aware they are there. I probably should go look at them."

Fairview acts as a local Internet provider to a number of legitimate 
Okanagan businesses and groups, including the Oliver Chronicle newspaper, 
Okanagan Cable TV and the Oliver Amateur Radio Club.

Six groups, including the Heritage Front, the Euro-Canadian Defence 
League and the Canadian Patriot's Network are hosted at the Freedom Site, 
which is run by Marc Lemire.

The others, under Skin-Net, include such groups as White Power Skinheads, 
Berserk, New Order and Nordland. A preface page to the site warns the 
"racially weak-at-heart" not to go any further if they are offended.

Last month, Lemire was removed from a Toronto Internet service after 
the owner received complaints about offending material.

Ashok Calle, the owner of Toronto's Pathway Communications, said he 
didn't know Lemire had loaded Freedom Site on to his service until 
other clients started complaining.

Calle, an Indo-Canadian, said he was offended by what he found at 
Freedom Site on his server and immediately removed Lemire's access 
priveliges.

Canada has no anti-hate laws governing material on the Internet, but 
that doesn't mean he should carry the material, Calle said.

   "It is not illegal to be verbally abusive. But that doesn't make it 
   right.  Things like (Freedom Site) may not be illegal but it doesn't 
   make they right. It was something we don't want on our server."

Lemire could not be reached for comment.

Littman said the Simon Wiesenthal Centre couldn't ignore the concentration
of so many groups under one roof.

   "We found the longer you leave these groups unexposed, the longer 
   they fester and the more they infect others and the only way to deal 
   with them honestly and forcefully is to expose them to the light of truth."

Littman said he wants to see if Klatt will remove the groups from 
Fairview voluntarily before the centre takes any other action. 

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