Should Domain Registrars Ban Hate Speech?

Although hate groups have organized online since the beginning of the internet, there has been an increased awareness of their activities since the deadly “Unite the Right” protest earlier this month in Charlottesville, Virginia. One of the most prominent of these “white nationalist” websites calls itself the Daily Stormer, and was a home for neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other “alt-right” groups online.  Groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League had been pressuring domain registrar GoDaddy.com to drop the Daily Stormer as a customer. Following the violence in Charlottesville Daily Stormer editors posted a vulgar and insulting editorial about Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed when an alleged white nationalist drove into a crowd of anti-racism protestors at the rally. This proved to be the last straw for GoDaddy, as the company promptly removed the Daily Stormer domain and blocked the website from using its services. The Daily Stormer switched registrars to Google, who also promptly cancelled their registration. Although the site still exists on the dark web, its online presence has been drastically reduced, with Twitter, Facebook, and payment networks suspending Daily Stormer accounts. The actions of these tech companies has been praised by those who oppose hate speech online, the SPCL and Anti-defamation League for example, but has caused others to raise free speech concerns.  Digital rights watchdog the Electronic Frontier Foundation has come out against the tech companies that removed Daily Stormer from the internet, arguing that their actions create a dangerous precedent that could be use in the future to threaten the free speech of other politically unpopular groups online.  The EFF cities examples...

The Most Tech-savvy Government in the World

Estonia, a small country on the Baltic Sea, has faced subjection by larger, more powerful countries throughout its history. Following decades of occupation by the Soviet Union, the country emerged free and independent at the end of the Cold War. Since its independence in 1991, the country has embarked on a major efforts to change the way governments and citizens interact through technology. Estonia was one of the first countries to mandate the use of personal digital identification and moved nearly all aspects of civil and commercial life online. Every person over the age of 15 is required to have a chip ID card. The cards are encrypted and give every Estonian citizen the ability to electronically sign any government document as well as access to their bank accounts and personal records. On the other side of the transaction, every single element of the Estonian government must accept this digital signature; no citizen can be forced to sign a paper copy. Taxes are all handled digitally and automatically; employers report employment taxes every month while banks and charities do the same with deductions. Tax refunds are digitally transferred back into citizens’ bank accounts within two days of filing. This online government extends further than just providing services or collecting taxes. Citizens can vote in Parliamentary elections online, with nearly 24% doing so in 2011. Drafts of legislation are placed online where citizens can see the substance of every change as well as which lawmaker made the change. This technological focus extends to personal privacy and national cyber security as well, with the NATO Cooperative Cyber Security Defense Center headquartered...