From Iceland — ISNIC Cites Business Reasons For Closing Islamic State's Domain

ISNIC Cites Business Reasons For Closing Islamic State’s Domain

Published October 20, 2014

Manager was concerned about the reputation of .is-ending

Manager was concerned about the reputation of .is-ending

RÚV reports that Isnic closed the domain of militant group ISIS/Islamic State for business reasons, according to Jens Pétur Jensen, ISNIC’s manager. The decision was made following a staff meeting. Jens Pétur says that around half of ISNIC’s ten staff members were opposed to the decision, and would either have preferred the company wait for a legitimate order from State authorities or not close the site down at all.

This was heard at a meeting of Alþingi’s Enviroment and Transportation Committee. Jens Pétur told members of Alþingi that the business reasons behind the decision were concerns about the reputation of the .is ending, which would be endangered if employed by the Islamic State.

Private vs. public

The closure of the Islamic State’s website marks the first time an Icelandic domain is pulled down due to its content. The lack of protocol has raised concerns about freedom of speech.

Jens Pétur has already been quoted explaining that: “We take this decision [to shut them down] because we can choose who we give service to. We are a private company. And we have no intention to serve this organisation.”

Various reasons cited

According to Vísir’s more extensive report of the meeting, different partners of ISNIC cited different reasons for the closure. CEO Ingimundur Sigurpálsson seems to have spoken in unison with the manager, saying that ISNIC feared that the Islamic State was attempting to take over the .is ending. He also said that it was hard to take this decision, because of ISNIC’s general policy to ignore content.

The company’s lawyer, Steindór Dan Jensen, however, referred to the company’s domain registration rules, which state that “the right holder is responsible that the usage of the domain is in accordance with current law and regulation.”

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