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News ::
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA: WEBPAGE LINK TO 'TERRORIST' SITES VIOLATES PATRIOT ACT (english)
28 Sep 2002
Modified: 29 Sep 2002
The University of California sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Ché Café Collective, the university group that sponsors Burn, on Sept. 16. The letter cites a section of the USA Patriot Act that deems it unlawful for any U.S. citizen to provide "material support or resources" to foreign terrorist organizations.
College Questioning Site's Link
By Amit Asaravala
2:00 a.m. Sep. 28, 2002 PDT

Officials at the University of California at San Diego are reconsidering a recent decision that would have forced a student activist group to remove from its website a link to a known terrorist organization.

The activist group, known as Burn, hosts its site on university equipment and provides links to other radical organizations. One link directs visitors to the official site of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) -- one of the 34 groups on the U.S. government's list of foreign terrorist organizations.

UCSD University Centers director Gary Ratcliff said the administration is "taking a step back" while it learns more about the site through the university's legal counsel in Oakland, Ratcliff said.

Ratcliff sent the initial cease-and-desist letter to the Ché Café Collective, the university group that sponsors Burn, on Sept. 16. The letter cites a section of the USA Patriot Act that deems it unlawful for any U.S. citizen to provide "material support or resources" to foreign terrorist organizations.

The Patriot Act has been heavily criticized by civil rights groups who claim it violates constitutional rights.

A UCSD student and member of the Collective who says her name is Allie Katz noted that Burn would not take down the link if the university decided to stand by its initial demand. "We see this as a free-speech issue," she said. "Merely having a link doesn't constitute material support."

Bret Fausett, an Internet attorney with Hancock, Rothert & Bunshoft, agrees with Katz's assessment. "I simply find it a stretch to contend that a link to the farq-ep.org site provides 'material support' to a terrorist organization," said Fausett.

The site provides more than just a link to FARC, though. Visitors who click on the link are taken to a splash screen hosted at burn.ucsd.edu before being redirected to the FARC site.

Ratcliff believes the splash screen might be an indicator of extended support for FARC. "The academic computing department has found that some outside groups have Unix accounts on the Burn server," said Ratcliff. "We're not sure if FARC does, but that's why we'd like to talk further with the students."

The Burn site also hosts a number of Web pages promoting the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) -- which the State Department also considers to be a terrorist organization.

"Between the extremes of a scholarly article and an actual terrorist site, there is a lot of gray," said Fausett. "If the link comes in the context of a website that promotes terrorist activities and encourages readers to give aid to FARC, then that likely is in violation of the law."

Dade Murphy, who is listed as a primary contact for Burn, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

The FARC issue is not the first time the university has clashed with Burn. Katz said the university threatened to shut down Burn in 1997 because of the group's Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement Solidarity Page, a portion of the site that hosts news and statements about Peruvian rebels.

In April, UCSD officials succeeded in having the Groundwork Collective, Burn's previous sponsor, remove a link to the PKK.

If the university stands by its initial demand and succeeds in having the FARC link removed by way of the Patriot Act, the decision could set a precedent for other public institutions looking to eradicate controversial links and sites.

Members of the Ché Café Collective hope the situation does not reach that point. "I would hope that, being a public university, UCSD would see the importance of free speech," said Katz. "We choose to fight this."

http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,55450,00.html
See also:
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,55450,00.html
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HITLER LAWS... (english)
29 Sep 2002
The Patriot Law is the worst, "KNEE JERK", idiotic, and unconstitutional law, ever passed by our bribe taking politicians. Hey...Where's bin Laden?...This friggin' law spies on US!...Not OSAMA or OHMAR! Oh, I'm a US citizen of 45 years...born and raised...9 year, Honorable Discharged soldier. An believe in FREEDOM! So conservatives or flag-wavers...spare me your utter bullshit. Face it though...OUR dummy politicians passed this "stomp on our liberty" bill. We must endure for another 4 years. (Which congress can extend if they choose to...) This scary ass administration is UN-Patriotic for supporting a law that takes many of our freedoms away.
Remember, the FBI, CIA and NSA had many clues...For many years...about 9-11. THEY ARE THE PROBLEM. Not us. Why take our freedom away?
A TRUE AMERICAN...(My ancestors fought in the Civil War!)