Federal authorities in Reykjavik are being asked to decide whether neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer can continue to use an Icelandic web address in spite of the nation’s law against hate speech.
The Daily Stormer was booted off its dot-com address nearly six weeks ago after its publisher, Andrew Anglin, wrote a crude blog post targeting the woman killed while protesting a rally held by white nationalists last month in Charlottesville, Virginia. Domain registrars and government regulators around the world have continuously taken action against the site ever since.
Ejected in recent weeks from American, Albanian and Russian web addresses, among others, the site is currently accessible at dailystormer.is — an address that incorporates that top-level country code domain reserved for Iceland.
Foreigners such as Mr. Anglin, a 32-year-old Ohio native, are allowed to register “.is” domains, according to ISNIC, the company that oversees all such addresses. After receiving complaints, however, he’s asked federal officials whether The Stormer’s content is illegal under Iceland law.
“What we are doing right now, in this particular situation, is we are writing to the National Police,” ISNIC CEO Jens Pétur Jensen told the Reykjavik Grapevine. “We are asking them if or how we should respond and asking them for guidance.”
Specifically the registrar wants to know if The Stormer’s content violates Article 233(a) of the Icelandic Penal Code, a statue explicitly barring the dissemination of speech that ridicules, slanders, insults or threatens individuals or groups on account of their race or religion, The Grapevine reported.
“What we worry about is the reputation of the ‘.is’ domain,” Mr. Jensen said Thursday. “Of course ISNIC does not want to have the reputation that we’re a safe haven for criminals. That’s something we’re constantly looking into.”
Neither Mr. Anglin nor the Icelandic Police immediately returned messages Friday seeking comment.
Mr. Anglin registered the Iceland address on Aug. 27, according to public records, making it one of more than a half-dozen domains utilized in the wake of losing his dot-com address during a dispute with GoDaddy and Google, two of the biggest domain registration service providers in the U.S.
OrangeWebsite, an Icelandic company that provides hosting and domain registration services, is listed on the site’s host on public records but said it was simply a proxy, BBC reported this week.
The Daily Stormer’s days on an Icelandic domain could still be numbered if federal authorities rule in its favor, however. Mr. Anglin failed to provide proof of his identity while registering its current domain, and ISNIC plans to lock him out from his current address if he doesn’t change course within a week, Mr. Jensen told The Grapevine.
“This is something all registries can do, but it has nothing to do with the content,” Mr. Jensen said. “It only has to do with the registration itself. If [Mr. Anglin] doesn’t reveal himself and prove his being, we will close his access to the domain.”
Mr. Anglin lost The Stormer’s dot-com domain after publishing an article on Aug. 12, the same day white supremacists attending a far-right rally in Charlottesville violently clashed with counterprotesters. He described a counterprotester killed in Charlottesville, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, as “fat” and a “drain on society,” among other terms, in a scathing blog post published hours after her death.
The Daily Stormer was launched in 2013 and publishes racist commentary on current affairs. The Southern Poverty Law Center hate group watchdog has called Mr. Anglin a neo-Nazi who caters to white supremacists, while the publisher called his persona and website a “performance art project.”