Information not worthy to enter our door
Oh, isn't this all kinds of messed up - evidently Cuber is SUCH AN EVIL EVIL PLACE we can not only forbid American citizens from going there, but also citizens from other countries:
Steve Marshall is a British travel agent. He lives in Spain, and he sells trips to Europeans who want to go to sunny places, including Cuba. In October, about 80 of his Web sites stopped working because of the U.S. government.
The sites, in English, French and Spanish, had been online since 1998. Some, like Cuba-Hemingway.com, were literary. Others discussed Cuban history and culture, like Cuba-HavanaCity.com. Still others - CiaoCuba.com and BonjourCuba.com - were purely commercial sites aimed at Italian and French tourists.
"I came to work in the morning, and we had no reservations at all," Marshall said on the phone from the Canary Islands. "We thought it was a technical problem."
It turned out, though, that Marshall's Web sites had been put on a U.S. Treasury Department blacklist and, as a consequence, his domain name registrar, eNom, which is based in the United States, had disabled them. Marshall said eNom told him it did so after a call from the Treasury Department; the company says it learned that the sites were on the blacklist through a blog.
Well! Isn't that SPECIAL. Your internet servers reside in the United States? Well, you're obeying United States policy!
Of course we're a country of laws, not men, right?
Nope, guess not:
Marshall said he did not understand "how Web sites owned by a British national operating via a Spanish travel agency can be affected by U.S. law." Worse, he said, "these days not even a judge is required for the U.S. government to censor online materials."
Peter Fitzgerald, a law professor at Stetson University in Florida who has studied the blacklist, said its operation was quite mysterious. "There really is no explanation or standard," he said, "for why someone gets on the list."
Susan Crawford, a visiting law professor at Yale and a leading authority on Internet law, said the fact that many large domain name registrars are based in the United States gives the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, control "over a great deal of speech - none of which may be actually hosted in the U.S., about the U.S. or conflicting with any U.S. rights."
Ah. Which implies by analogy in that, say, a server in the U.S. which carries a e-mail message or a blog post by someone whose views "conflict with U.S. rights" - say, the "right" to pre-emptively invade countries - can be requested by the Feds to be shut down.
And the solution? Oh, merely to go back to the same bureaucratic functionary who put you on the blacklist in the first place:
Rankin, the Treasury spokesman, said Marshall was free to ask for a review of his case. "If they want to be taken off the list," Rankin said, "they should contact us to make their case."
That is a problematic system, Fitzgerald said. "The way to get off the list," he said, "is to go back to the same bureaucrat who put you on."
And, presumably, they can merely issue another denial, and not inform the party of their reasoning any more than they did in the first place. Whee!
Paging Mr. K... paging Mr. K...
h/t to Avedon @ Eschaton for the story
explanation of the title:
William Worthy isn't worthy to enter our door
Went down to Cuba, he's not American anymore
But somehow it is strange to hear the State Department say
You are living in the free world, in the free world you must stay