The Sudbury Star
Tuesday, July 14, 1998

Website creator decries his critics

by Terry Pender

John Dwyer is looking for a new home on the Internet to post controversial material that prompted a complaint last week from a Toronto-based anti-hate group.

"I am not going to cave in to the harassment of Jewish groups, or special interest groups, or anybody depriving me of my rights to freedom of speech", said Dwyer Monday in his first interview since the Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies raised concerns last week.

Sol Littman, a representative of the centre, publicly protested Dwyer's website, called the Northern Information Exchange.

The website, or homepage, included links to the Zundelsite - the website for holocaust denier Ernst Zundel, American militia organizations, plans for building a high-powered cattle prod, plans for making automatic and semi-automatic weapons, and information on how to obtain the Terrorist's Handbook and Hand Grenade Reference.

The site also included "A Recipe for Anthrax". But Dwyer said there was no recipe on how to make Anthrax, a deadly biological agent. The "recipe" was a satirical take on American presidential politics.

But none of the other controversial material, such as the Zundelsite information or plans for making weapons, was satire, he said, and he's looking for an Internet service provider in the United States to post it.

At the request of the operators of Vianet, a Sudbury firm that provides access to the Internet, Dwyer agreed to remove that material from his website. That happened within one day of the Wiesenthal Centre going public with its concerns about Dwyer.

Vianet acted after the media carried stories about Dwyer's website, but before it was contacted by the centre.

All of this leaves Dwyer, a self-described Libertarian, fuming. He's particularly upset with Littman.

"I am fully aware of what Littman and his gang think of me, my website, and what I stand for. And I say to that: Big deal! What's he going to do? Send a hit-team of mossad killers after me? If Sol Littman thinks he has such a big beef against me I am more than willing to meet him one-on-one alone somewhere", said Dwyer in an e-mailed letter to The Sudbury Star.

Littman said that Dwyer and people who post such material on the Internet in Canada are shrinking in numbers. The number of such Canadian sites peaked at about 100, but far fewer remain today.

"I can say with the exception of half a dozen Zundel mirror sites, and two or three guys out west, we have pretty well cleared the Canadian Internet services of most hate material. We consider this an absolutely remarkable achievement", said Littman.

But Dwyer said he's more concerned with freedom of speech.

The Northern Information Exchange carried information on groups from "the extreme left to the extreme right" as a public service, said Dwyer. The links to the Zundelsite were there as a statement in favour of freedom of speech.

"That's the attitude of groups like the Wiesenthal Centre and The Anti-defamation League", said Dwyer. "If you so much as look at them cross-eyed (they say): 'You're a reacist, you're an anti-Semite, your're a terrorist.' Well, gee, fine, you want to think I'm a terrorist, you want to think I'm an anti-Semite, get out of my way - you know."

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