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Shofar FTP Archive File: people/z/zundel.ernst/press/ban-backfires.020396


Canadian Press, Feb. 3, 1996
Victoria Times-Colonist (A8)

Freedom of Speech
Ban of Zundel Writings on world net backfires

The Canadian Press
Ottawa

Cyberspace junkies across North American [sic] are going
on-line to say they abhor Canadian Ernst Zundel's Holocaust
revisionist writings.

But they're battling German government efforts to censor him
on the Internet to protect freedom of expression on the
worldwide computer network.

Their weapon of choice? Proving to Germany that censoring the
Internet is impossible. Zundel's material has found new
Internet sites that aren't blocked by the German ban.

"The main message is it's backfired," says David Jones, a
professor of computer sciences at Hamilton's McMaster
University and a member of Electronic Frontier Canada, which
works to protect freedom of expression on the Internet.

"It's ironic that although the idea is to control this
information, it's causing the opposite - for it to be spread
around."

Last week, the German phone giant Deutsche Telekom AG blocked
access to Web Communication in California. It carries Zundel's
material, but under German law his writings are outlawed.

A day after access was blocked, a student at Carnegie Mellon
University in Pittsburgh acted.

Declan McCullagh, who calls himself an "on-line activist"
against censorship, picked up Zundel's material and put it on
Internet sites at the university that Germans still have
access to.

"I don't agree with what Zundel says, but I support his right
to say it," McCullagh said Friday. "The best way to respond is
through rebuttal. State censorship has no place in a free
society."

McCullagh's protest quickly spread to Stanford University, the
University of Pennsylvania and the University of
Massachusetts, where computer users created Zundel sites.
Germany now has to ban access to all these sites to censor
Zundel.

"This is a very important censorship point," said Rich Graves,
a computer technician at Stanford who created a Zundel site.

"All of the important civil rights inroads over the last
couple of decades have come from some very unsavory
individuals. But if their views can be oppressed, anyone's
views can."

There's no question the ban has given Zundel a soapbox -- just
the opposite of what Germany intended, Jones said.

"Citizens worldwide are beginning to realize they need to
offer shelter to persecuted and suppressed ideas," Zundel said
in an interview.

Rob Gelphman, a spokesman for Web Communication, said
Germany's move has made Zundel's pages so popular there is an
overload, making it difficult to even call them up.

=30=


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