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The Sudbury Star
Wednesday, July 8, 1998

Website draws ire of anti-hate group

by Terry Pender

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies is going after the operator of a sudbury Internet website called the Northern Information Exchange.

The website features material from holocaust denier Ernst Zundel, a recipe for making the deadly biological agent Anthrax, detailed plans for a high-powered cattle-prod called "The Blaster", links to the Michigan Militia, The Terrorist's Handbook, The Official Hand Grenade Reference, and instructions for building automatic weapons in your home.

Wiesenthal centre spokesman Sol Littman said: "One of the things we are going to do is write to the Internet provider, and say, 'Hey, take a look at this guy's site, and do you want him on?' Generally speaking, most Internet providers have been very cooperative about this."

Most Internet providers get the material off the website, or close it down, he said.

The Northern Information Exchange is the website of John Dwyer of Sudbury. Dwyer could not be reached for comment.

The Toronto-based Wiesenthal centre closely monitors the Internet looking for any messages of hate, said Littman. When it found that the Northern Information Exchange includes a Zundel site it sounded the alarm.

"Whenever we run across it we try to ensure the public is alerted to it so it doesn't operate unwatched or covertly", he said.

Zundel's website is based in California because the information he pumps out violates Canadian laws. The Sudbury website carries Zundel's material.

Zundel is renowned for saying that the holocaust is a hoax perpetrated by an international conspiracy of Jews. He was twice convicted of publishing false information that promotes hatred against an identifiable group. But the law was struck down by the Supreme Court of Canada as an unconstitutional infringement on the right of free speech.

Currently, Zundel is defending himself before the Canadian Human Rights Commission against a complaint that he publishes messages of hate.

Cyberbeach president Kurt Schafer said he hasn't heard from the Wiesenthal centre, but he's concerned with what's been discovered on the home page of one of his company's clients.

"It is our policy to provide a free web page to our clients, however this type of behaviour is definitely not condoned by us", said Schafer. "At the very least there will be a 'cease and desist' order coming from us regarding his page."

In the past Cyberbeach has received two complaints about home pages, or websites. Both complaints were about pornography. In one case the offending material was removed. In the second, a warning was posted about the material.

"We don't actually police our clients' pages, and I hope it would never come to that", said Schafer.

The Canadian Association of Internet Providers has about 120 companies covering 80 per cent of the country's net users. The CAIP has a voluntary code of conduct for its members that the Wiesenthal centre helped write.

"Generally, most Internet service providers don't want those clients on their site and will shut them down", said CAIP president Ron Kawchuk. "The Internet reflects society to a certain degree. There are all kinds of people on the Internet - good, bad, indifferent."


Copyright © 1998 by The Sudbury Star. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.