Published September 21, 2017
ISNIC, the company which oversees .is domains, is looking into their options with regards to The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi site run by Andrew Anglin, a white supremacist who is currently facing a lawsuit on charges of harassment against a Jewish woman.
For the record: The Daily Stormer is not being hosted in Iceland. Their IP address currently points to Wyoming, where they are hosted by a company called BitMitigate, through the ISP FranTech Solutions. It is only Daily Stormer’s domain registry that is registered in Iceland, by the registry company ISNIC.
Grapevine spoke with ISNIC CEO Jens Pétur Jensen about the matter.
“What we are doing right now, in this particular situation, is we are writing to the National Police,” Jens told us. “We are asking them if or how we should respond and asking them for guidance.”
One of the reasons why this matters is because Iceland does have hate speech laws; specifically, Article 233(a) of the Icelandic Penal Code specifically forbids the dissemination of speech that in “a ridiculing, slanderous, insulting, threatening or any other manner” targets an individual or groups based, amongst other things, on their race or religion.
Jens emphasises that this is a delicate situation with serious implications. He says though that ISNIC has received some complaints about DailyStormer, and he therefore feels compelled to respond.
“What we worry about is the reputation of the .is domain,” he says. “Of course ISNIC does not want to have the reputation that we’re a safe haven for criminals. That’s something we’re constantly looking into.”
In fact, ISNIC has closed domains before. In 2014, they closed two domains related to the Islamic State. “We didn’t close them because someone asked us to,” Jens tells us. “We closed them to protect the company, and to protect .is as a top level domain.”
Another operation that ISNIC has done is asked the registrant – in this case, Anglin himself – to correct his registration, by providing proof of his identity in the form of legal documents. He has one week to do this, otherwise the domain will be closed.
“He has to provide ISNIC with legal documents of his being,” Jens says. “This is something all registries can do, but it has nothing to do with the content. It only has to do with the registration itself. If [Anglin] doesn’t reveal himself and prove his being, we will close his access to the domain. After two weeks, the domain itself will be moved from the DNS that is hosting it now onto the ISNIC’s parking site. It will be unable to connect to any DNS server whatsoever, and it will automatically expire. We wouldn’t be taking the domain from him; we would just not enable him to renew it.”