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Follow up to the Jihadi website post
Posted by: McQ on Friday, July 20, 2007

Warren Meyer, who runs the libertarian and routinely excellent "Coyote Blog" takes a bit of exception to what he interprets as my intent with the "let's get these jihadi websites down" post. So let me respond to this objections with an eye of clarifying my position.

I have a number of problems with this. Of course, in a free society, one can choose an ISP any way one likes. However, given the nature of the Internet, this is one of those suggestions that may sort of feel good but have no chance of having any kind of impact. Even if wildly successful, all you are going to do is drive these sites to offshore hosts, and I sure hope no one is talking about setting up Chinese-type filters and firewalls at our borders.
I'd be perfectly content with driving them off shore. And no, I'm not talking about any type of filters or firewalls. What I'm talking about is pointing out to ISPs or web host that these sites are the sites of extremist enemies who are preaching harm against Americans and their nation.

What the ISP does is up to them. I, however, as a consumer, have some options if they don't take action. I can take my business elsewhere since I don't find it in my best interest to be subsidizing a business which supports those who would do me or my countrymen harm. That's the intent here.

Warren's second objection:
Further, there is nothing I like more than having my ISP blissfully ignorant of, and apathetic to, whatever it is they are hosting for me. I DO NOT want to gear up ISP's to start reviewing and disallowing content. That is a horribly slippery slope that will only end badly, as we have started to see with video banning at Google and YouTube. In fact, given the precedents we have seen at YouTube, I would be willing to guess that if ISP's did start** putting a filter on sites and start** banning them based on public complaints, that McQ is not going to be happy be my sense is that their political filters are different than his. Just look at campuses today — many universities have defined a new right not to be offended that trumps free speech. Do we really want to bring this horrible "innovation" to the Internet?
I don't want them to gear up and do that either. But here's a reminder: we're at war with al Qaeda and muslim extremists. Imagine if we had this technology during WWII. Would we consider it to be in our best interest to allow Nazi propaganda and recruiting sites to work off of servers in our country? Wouldn't we expect our web hosts to be open to removing that sort of content?

That's the point here. We have never allowed that during war and I have to admit I'm at a loss as to why it is suddenly a 1st amendment problem now.
Finally, I think its awesome and what makes America great that we are so tolerant of speech from even the nuttiest of our worst enemies. I had kind of hoped that GoDaddy would be on his list, just to experience the cultural irony of GoDaddy girl meets fundamentalist Islam.
Well it's never been "awsome" in past wars. I wish someone would name a single enemy of war's past which has been allowed the ability to freely propagandize this country from within our boundaries.

Just one.

One of the reasons we're losing the propaganda war so badly in this new interconnected age is many of us are still applying 20th century paradigms to a 21st century propaganda war. And that's not an attempt to insult Warren, that's just a general observation.

Many of us forget to acknowledge we are involved in war, and it is a new kind of war in more ways than one. I'm not asking this be applied across the board with content filters and every web site monitored. I'm asking that when we find the sites of enemies with which we're at war on our servers we remove them.

I honestly don't think that's a radical request or too much to ask at all.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

I wish someone would name a single enemy of war’s past which has been allowed the ability to freely propagandize this country from within our boundaries.
I know-it’s a struggle. Just trying to meet your challenge.
I really believe that sometimes you will gather more support in an effort to shut down anti-jihadist sites then to shut down jihadist sites. In fact, Warren mentions the youtube/google banning of videos. Those were primarily Michelle Malkin. How many of those critical of Mcq’s post here have been critical of youtube and their banning of Michelle? Can you provide links to your posts?
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
I wish someone would name a single enemy of war’s past which has been allowed the ability to freely propagandize this country from within our boundaries.
1. I seem to recall lots and lots of enemy propaganda being disseminated from within our borders during the Cold War and its’ hotter intervals, Korea and Vietnam. From, strangely enough, those bastions of free expression known as the MSM, and 90% of our universities. Heck, until Hitler attacked the Soviets, they didn’t have a problem with working on his behalf.

2. McQ, you have a whole Fifth Column in this country who either don’t believe we are at war, or they’re on the other side. See #1. That being the case, they are naturally all in favor of being allowed to continue using our system against us. Until we recognize this, and secure the home front, we will always be hamstrung.
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
What I don’t like in this is the suggestion that if you don’t like something about a company with which you’re doing business of whatever kind, you’d be wise to withhold any and all complaint until you’ve (1) established that your complaint will solve your problem, and (2) thought the whole matter through from every angle, with an eye toward assuring that your complaint won’t somehow lead to erosion of your basic rights.

Respecting this situation — ISP hosting of jihadi web sites — Meyer points out that complaints to ISPs (1) fail to solve the problem because the jihadis can take their business to offshore hosts, and (2) could lead to ISPs in the US filtering content that the complainers themselves might wish to see or to post.

Well so what? Complain anyway. If you don’t want to do business with an ISP that provides service to those who advocate and glory in the murder of your countrymen, tell them about it and let the chips fall where they may. Or, hell, if you don’t appreciate some ISP with which you’re not doing business hosting a jihadi web site, drop them an email and tell them that too. Tell them that you’ll never do business with them ever and that if you wake up one morning and feel like it, you’ll use any and all legal means at your disposal to disrupt their business. And let the people who run that company do with that information what they will.

Why be so intellectual and timid? And ineffectual? And scared of rocking some go*damned boat? Why not just get it off your chest secure in the knowledge that no punk internet service provider or YouTube or whoever will survive any effort to abridge your rights. Given, I mean, that your rights — even to view and post what you want to on the web — are not dependent on what they do. If some ISP or host starts filtering your content or access or doing anything at all that you don’t like, you can, like the jihadis after all, take your business elsewhere.

Again, put this down on the table for the jihadi service providers to deal with in whatever way they think best. And don’t underestimate the importance of doing something "that may sort of feel good" just because you’re concerned that it may "have no chance of having any kind of impact." It certainly won’t have any impact if you don’t do it. Any more than it’s going to hand your basic freedoms to some internet company if you do.
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
I think that there is disagreement about whether we are "at war" or involved in a military intervention in Iraq that most of the country believes is misguided. Also, if we’re "at war" it’s a war where only a tiny percentage of the population reallly feels any pain or limitation. Most of the country goes on with its summer as it did in the 90s, with Iraq or al qaeda just an annoyance on the news that can switched off. I also don’t think it’s appropriate to use war as a metaphor for counter-terrorism.

Now, should we crack down on internet cites that try to incite violence or promote terrorism, regardless of whether or not they are "jihadist?" That’s a legitimate question, war or no war!
Written By: Scott Erb
Linda - what you said x 2.
Written By: McQ
Which would be easier for US intelligence to monitor, domestic or offshore? In a logistical sense one would think domestic but privacy rules might not apply offshore.

Since these sites will find a home, whichever home makes it easier for us to monitor who posts or reads these sites would get my vote.
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://

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