The ongoing program to censor the internet of all dissenting views took another step forward today with the news that the “Stormfront” website—one of the oldest pro-white sites on the web—has had its Domain Name Servers (DNS) seized, only a few weeks after the “Daily Stormer” domain was seized in similar fashion.
Whatever one thinks of either of the sites in question, the precedent has now been set that any website, espousing any view, can be forced offline through this method—with apparently no recourse whatsoever.
“Stormfront’s” DNS is held by the Network Solutions company, and, as explained on that company’s website, a Domain Name Servers (DNS) is the “Internet’s equivalent of a phone book.” This server “maintain[s] a directory of domain names and translate[s] them to Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. This is necessary because, although domain names are easy for people to remember, computers or machines, access websites based on IP addresses.”
The DNS associated with a domain name translates it into a “machine friendly” IP address (which is a string of numbers separated by decimal points) and directs an internet connection to the correct website.
As shown on the “Whois” domain lookup service, Network Solutions has placed the “Stormfront” website’s DNS in a “clientDeleteProhibited; clientHold; clientTransferProhibited; clientUpdateProhibited” status.
According to the “Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is the nonprofit organization responsible for coordinating the maintenance and procedures of several databases related to the namespaces of the Internet, a “clientHold” status “tells your domain’s registry to not activate your domain in the DNS and as a consequence, it will not resolve. It is an uncommon status that is usually enacted during legal disputes, non-payment, or when your domain is subject to deletion.”
The other status reports (“clientRenewProhibited,” “clientTransferProhibited,” and “clientUpdateProhibited”) all make it impossible for the legal domain owner to move or even access the domain. This is, without any doubt, pure theft of a legally-owned domain name.
This was also exactly what happened with the “Daily Stormer” website as well.
It is unclear whether this was the result of the domain registrar companies or of ICANN. The latter organization used to be under the control of the US government, but it was transferred into private ownership in late 2016—a move which has left the right to be on the internet in the hands of a handful of tech industry companies.
Ultimately, this means that any website, anywhere, could at any time, have its domain name seized by unknown and unseen people, and effectively be erased from the internet. It is an issue which goes far beyond “left” or “right,” and cuts to the very core of fundamental rights of speech and freedom of expression.
Clearly, the only solution to this matter is to put ICANN back under government control, in the same way that government issues driving licenses, building permits and so on. Leaving the right to determine who can, and who cannot, be on the internet, to the whim of a handful of big tech company individuals, is a highly dangerous step which can have ramifications far beyond a handful of “white nationalist” websites.
* The “Daily Stormer” website has, at time of writing, found a way around being scrubbed off the internet, by being hosted on the unindexed web (wrongly called the “dark web”) and has some link of rebound link which works on ordinary internet browsers, at the domain https://dstormer6em3i4km.onion.link/