Auschwitz denier zundel’s website is also banned under canadian law

Under the Human Rights Act, a website was also banned in Canada for the first time on the grounds of racial hatred, but whether the ruling can be enforced seems questionable

The Canadian Human Rights Commission ruled last week that hate sites on the Internet should be banned "no place in Canadian society" have. According to the Canadian Human Rights Act, it is forbidden to use state telecommunications systems to disseminate racist content, according to the verdict in the trial of notorious Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel.

Ernst Zundel, who was born in Germany in 1939 and lived in Toronto until recently, is considered one of the most active spreaders of the "Ausschwitzluge" and belongs to the right-wing extremist spectrum. Zundel owns a publishing house, he also spreads his revisionist views through radio broadcasts on rented frequencies and satellite television. Moreover, there has been a Zundel site on the Internet since, on which many texts and corresponding offers to buy can be found. Since there is also anti-Semitic content, which is punishable in Canada, the site is officially run by his collaborator Ingrid Rimland (author of the book "Habitat"), which showed a monthly check from Zundel of 2.000 US dollars. The website is hosted by a provider in the USA.

Zundel had tried to obtain Canadian citizenship. He was considered a threat to the security of Canada by the Immigration Department, which rejected the application. By the end of December, the Supreme Court had confirmed this decision. To avoid deportation to Germany, Zundel moved to the USA in 2001. He reportedly married his co-worker Ingrid Rimland after his divorce. Zundel’s website was one of the sites that the media regulator of North Rhine-Westphalia wants to have blocked for German citizens through filters to be set up by providers (The Good News of Mr. Bussow).

In 1996, the Committee On Community And Race Relations and Sabina Citron, a Jew and Holocaust survivor, filed a lawsuit against Ernst Zundel as the operator of the Zundelsite, because it spreads racial hatred, which is prohibited by the Human Rights Act. According to section 13 it is prohibited to, "by telephone" communicating content or repeated communications with "Telecommunication means" to "cause", persons to the "hatred" expose. In a detailed and, in part, because of the peculiarities of the law, somewhat grotesque explanation of the ruling, the court had to clarify not only whether the content on the site constituted prohibited racist remarks, but also whether Zundel was the operator of the website at all and, even trickier, whether the publication of a website could be considered a telephone communication.

13. (1) It is a discriminatory practice for a person or a group of persons acting in concert to communicate telephonically or to cause to be so communicated, repeatedly, in whole or in part by means of the facilities of a telecommunication undertaking within the legislative authority of Parliament, any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.

According to the ruling, it is beyond doubt that the content of the website calls for racism and therefore falls under the prohibition under the Human Rights Act. The freedom of expression restricted by the ban for the defendant is minimal and justified. The court also amed that the Internet and the Web are based on telecommunications connections and that telephone communication is not limited to voice communication. Since the contents of the website can be accessed repeatedly, it is a matter of "repeated communication" On the objection of the defense that the site is "passive" and that data is transmitted only as a result of a call from an Internet user, the court replied that this is the same as dialing a number and then receiving a pre-recorded message from an answering machine. It cannot be amed that an Internet user causes communication by calling up a website, because the website was created by the operator for this purpose.

Moreover, the law does not require that the website be legally owned by Ernst Zundel in order to make him responsible for its content. Suffice it to say that "controls". The use of the name "Zundelsite", the logo, the grammatical use of the first person, Zundel’s address (still in Canada) and the invitation to send comments to his email address are sufficient indications that Zundel is responsible for the site. The defendant’s relationship with Rimland and their payment strengthened the evidence for the court.

Michelle Falardeau-Ramsay, chairwoman of the Human Rights Commission, said of the ruling that it showed that "Hate messages and propaganda have no place in Canadian society" have: "We now know that the Internet is not a ‘law-free zone’ and cannot be used to spread racial hatred." However, this sounds sharper than it corresponds to the factual situation, which is also described in the grounds for judgement. It is not known whether this ruling is really enforceable, especially since Zundel no longer lives in Canada, the U.S. has no comparable legislation and a website could easily be copied by others and put back online. Mirror sites, which can be made for various reasons, can no longer be attributed to Zundel, but still allow worldwide access to the offending content. However, one should not make the jurisdiction dependent on what is technically possible. The verdict not only had an important symbolic meaning, but also served to "Prevention and elimination of discrimination". In addition, it could demand the discussion.

Zundel has 30 days to appeal the ruling. The website is still online. What should happen if Zundel does not appeal and does not voluntarily take the site offline is not answered by the court. Not even a penalty was given to Zundel for non-compliance.

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