Domain registrars emerging as the internet's moral enforcers


It is not a First Amendment issue. I would say it is still a free speech issue, but the problem is with other parts of the system than the government. They start with this to get everyone behind it, and next it will be people talking about drugs, or being “anti-government,” that they shut down. I think most of the people you will find here n BB have been on the radical fringe of the open web movement since the early days, and have a problem with this in principle, not because they are nazis.


I’m not convinced it is a free speech issue. The fact that a small number of corporations control a huge amount of what we currently regard as the public sphere is a problem that, as you say, open-web enthusiasts on BB have been complaining about for a long time. But saying it’s about “free speech” is putting the emphasis on the wrong place.

We can probably imagine serious consequences to allowing this kind of control of the web. Someone taking down my blog to deny me “free speech” would be a relatively trivial consequence.


Kind of like the multitude of registrars that popped up because Network Solutions decided to take the evil and greedy options when they had a monopoly on it?


So, the thing about the first amendment is that it states that the government is not allowed to restrict your right to free speech. It’s in place originally to allow people to publish newspapers, speak publicly against their government.

There are laws on the books at the federal level about things like the (infamous) Riot Act, which the US has a version of ( which allows federal police to lock up people who try to do things like holding rallies which end in portions of the city being leveled, on fire, (or both) and a death toll to match. (I might be exagerrating a tiny bit.)

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