Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Free Speech & The Blogosphere.

The blog Harry's Place is down at the moment as a result of legal threats made to their hosting service. They are currently at this address.

The reasons require a bit of background information which I shall attempt to summarise briefly:
  • The lecturers union the UCU launched an academic boycott of Israel a few years ago whilst under the influence of a hard left faction before the more moderate members reversed that policy some while later.
  • The issue has remained extremely significant within the union and there is some discussion list where the issue gets discussed.
  • One member of that list is leaking the content to Harry's Place, who have published some of it.
  • This includes posts by one anti Israel activist, Jenna Delich a Sheffield based academic who has been circulation material from the website of David Duke, the notorious former Klansman. She also links directly to Duke's website so there is no possibility that she didn't know the source of what she was circulating.
Either her or her supporters complained to the hosts of the domain and got the site shut down this evening.

The best way to respond to threats to free speech is to give what is trying to be suppressed as much publicity as is possible so as to defeat the purpose.

Update: Just before I pressed "Publish Post", I checked again and see that they are back up for now.

4 comments:

JuliaM said...

"Either her or her supporters complained to the hosts of the domain and got the site shut down this evening."

So that's why they've been down. I was wondering if they were having some kind of technical problem.

"The best way to respond to threats to free speech is to give what is trying to be suppressed as much publicity as is possible so as to defeat the purpose."

Agreed. The more people that put this up, the more publicity this disgusting attack on free speech gets.

"Just before I pressed "Publish Post", I checked again and see that they are back up for now."

Must have gone down again, I'm not getting them on the old address...

bob said...

"The best way to respond to threats to free speech is to give what is trying to be suppressed as much publicity as is possible so as to defeat the purpose."

Absolutely. Everyone would have forgotten about Jenna Delich by now, but now her name is mud, even amongst the most avid pro-boycotters.

JuliaM said...

"Everyone would have forgotten about Jenna Delich by now...."

Google never forgets.. ;)

Ross said...

"Everyone would have forgotten about Jenna Delich by now"

Yes, I had only skimmed the story last week and couldn't have recalled the name Delich until HP got taken down.