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Notorious Internet Site Closes
Globe & Mail
April 28, 1998

Copyright The Globe and Mail

Notorious Internet Service Closes
B.C. to continue probe of Klatt

by Ross Howard
British Columbia Bureau

VANCOUVER - An Internet service labelled Canada's most notorious source of hate proaganda has closed down after a storm of political controversy and stricter requirements from the B.C. telephone company.

Fairview Technology Centre Ltd., in the southern B.C. town of Oliver, is giving up running Web sites on the Internet because BC Tel now requires Fairview to accept full legal liabilty for any material available of the sites, said owner Bernard Klatt.

However, the company will remain under investigation and could eventually face charges, B.C. Attorney-General Ujjal Dosanjh said yesterday.

In addition, the B.C. government will continue to press Ottawa for amendments to the Criminal Code to make it easier for police to deal with the special challanges posed by hate propaganda and other material that circulates on the Internet, Mr. Dosanjh said.

The announcement by Mr. Klatt followed new efforts by human-rights organizations to eliminate the Web service and its white-supremacist links after last week's arrest of five men whoo have been charged with murder in the allegedly hate-motivated slaying of a Sikh temple caretaker last January.

Fairview had been repeatedly singled out by anti-racism groups for the past two years, and came under renewed attack earlier this year when police in Europe laid charges of hatemongering against some groups linked to the main Fairview Web site.

The B'nai Brith organization last month pressed BC Tel, which carries the Internet service provider over its lines, into re-examining Fairview's material. The telephone company conceeded last week that the material violated the Criminal Code as hate propaganda, but decided to leave the issue to the B.C. government and police.

Mr. Dosanjh has previously cited unresolved issues of Internet censorship and offshore jurisdictions in not taking action against Fairview. Mr. Sosanjh also said federal legislation isn't tough enough to use against Fairview.

However, Mr. Klatt says that BC Tel has added new clauses to his contract that extend his legal and financial liability and increase his operating costs. He has sold the Internet service to another local company, but denies that it was activists' pressure that caused the change.

A spokesman for the new service provider, Valley Internet Providers Ltd., says non-controversial Web sites offered by Fairview will be welcome but others will likely relocate to service providers based outside Canada.

Mr. Dosanjh said yesterday he anticpates discussions this summer between the federal government and the United States on regulating the Internet. B.C. will not participate in the talks but will make submissions to Ottawa on the issue, he said.

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