The Globe & Mail
Friday, January 16, 1998
page A7

B.C. urged to shut Internet provider

by Ross Howard

VANCOUVER - The B.C. government should use existing hate-crime laws to shut down a local Internet service provider that has become the largest source of hate sites in Canada, says a spokesman for a Nazi-hunting organization.

Fairview Technologies Centre of Oliver is providing Internet links to more than a dozen Canadian Web sites that express overtly racist and anti-Semetic sentiments, said Sol Littman, Canadian director of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre.

The Web sites include one that contains a cartoon "clearly directed at young children", Mr. Littman told reporters yesterday.

Bernard Klatt, whom Mr. Littman identified as the owner of Fairview and who is listed as the operator of Fairview in Internet links, did not return telephone calls yesterday. But he has said he's being victimized because he refuses to act as a censor.

Several of the Canadian and U.S. sites available through Fairview express neo-Nazi, anti-immigrant and far-right political sentiments, Mr. Littman said. A search yesterday of Fairview's home page and links confirmed this.

The Fairview menu of immediately available links included services such as Cable News Network and Agriculture Canada, and some thing called the Kids' Page.

Also listed are a pair of right-wing organizations that provide multiple links to more extreme views.

During the past two years, many Canadian companies providing Internet services have voluntarily removed clients with offensive home pages and links to pornography, racism, and violence, Mr. L ittman said. Some of those expelled groups, he added, have ended up on Mr. Klatt's service.

Mr. Littman said Mr. Klatt refused a request a year ago from the Wiesenthal Centre to remove some of his clients, calling them inoffensive and citing free speech.

There has never been a prosecution of a so-called Internet hate site in Canada.

A spokesman for the hate-crimes unit established by the B.C. government to co-ordinate police efforts said the Wiesenthal Centre's complaint is being examined now.

Copyright © 1998 by The Globe & Mail. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.