Friday, June 02, 2006

On Demand Take Down (Censorship) in Canada?

The Globe and Mail is reporting a very strange aspect of the "APO Joe" $5,400 piggy bank scandal.

Apparently, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority) and Canadian Domain Name Services (CDNS) responded virtually on demand to take down a satircal site called - which no longer works.

The Globe reports that:

Mr. Volpe's campaign had the site shut down without knowing, it seems, who put it up: "Hi Everyone," wrote Brenden Johnstone, who is with the Volpe campaign, in an e-mail to other leadership campaigns. "There has been concern about how the issue of the Volpe donations was reflecting on the leadership race.

"My Office has had the website suspended through CIRA [Canadian Internet Registration Authority] and CDNS [Canadian Domain Name Services] and it will be down as soon as 6 p.m. I think the issue with the website has been dealt with..."

It will be very interesting see what proves to be the basis for this apparently on demand take down. This is not the way the system is supposed to work. CIRA and CDNS should explain right away what is going on here. Do we now have instant and apparently on demand political censorship in Canada? Even in China, things don't usually work this fast..

It is possible that the website owner "voluntarily" took it down - but that's not what the Globe is suggesting. Volpe's office is taking credit for having it "dealt with..."

An explanation would seem in order...this is being looked into...stay tuned...this could potentially be as interesting as the piggy bank debacle itself...

UPDATE at 4:15 PM

I indeed contacted Michael early today and he indeed looked into this promptly - Michael is indeed on the Board of CIRA. This is what he reports...

CIRA's response still leaves some questions in my mind. Is the system always this fast to respond when "The registrar advised CIRA that it made this request because its registrant would not provide valid Canadian contact information." ????




  2. This is how quickly registrars and ISPs can react when they think there is a real chance of legal action or bad press. It is quicker and easier to just cut their customers loose without the benefit of investigation than to try and stand up to legal threats from large organizations.

    The sad part is that legitimate complaints from individuals about outright and brazen violations of the ISPs terms of service will rarely go anywhere. Indeed, why investigate when you might have to cut loose a customer and lose their payments?