[Politech] U.S. lists four web sites as Foreign Terrorist Organizations [fs]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Sun Oct 12 2003 - 07:41:13 PDT

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    From: "J.D. Abolins" <jda-ir@private>
    To: Declan McCullagh <declan@private>
    Subject: US State Department extends FTO list to include Internet sites
    Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2003 10:20:23 -0400
    
    FTO = Foreign Terrorist Organization
    More reference notes after the article snippet. -JDA
    
    http://washingtontimes.com/national/20031010-112733-8086r.htm
    4 Jewish Web sites deemed 'terrorist'
    By Jerry Seper
    THE WASHINGTON TIMES
    
    Four Internet Web sites operated by two extremist Jewish groups have been
    included by the State Department on its list of "foreign terrorist
    organizations"  the first time the list has been extended to include
    Internet sites.
    
         The listing, which went unnoticed when announced Oct. 3 in the
    department's annual redesignation of the world's terrorist organizations,
    includes the four sites operated by the Kach and its offshoot, the Kahane
    Chai, both of which have been designated by the department as terrorist
    organizations.
    
    [...]
    
         The four Web sites are: www.newkach.org, www.Kahane.org, www.Kahane.net
    and www.Kahanetzadak.com, the department said in a notice in the Federal
    Register. They offer news, commentary and links to other sites of interest to
    followers of Meir Kahane.
    
    The impact of the listing was not immediately clear, since all four sites
    exist in cyberspace. A designation as a terrorist organization carries travel
    and financial sanctions, including the freezing of assets and a prohibition
    against the issuance of visas to those identified as members or associates.
    
    [...]
    
    The designation makes it illegal for persons in the United States to donate
    money or other material support to the Web sites. The three accessible sites
    yesterday included information on where contributions could be sent, what
    items could be donated and offered a number items for sale, including
    pendants and books.
    <rest snipped>
    
    Comments & References:
    
    I not going to get into the issues of how organizations get listed on the FTO.
    But I will note this is the first time I have seen .org, .net, .com, etc. on
    the list. The offline entities with which they associated have already been
    on the State Department's lists. Maybe this addition was simply adding
    "aka's", as the notice seems to indicate.
    
    The purchase of books can be an interesting question if the books are only
    available from the entity on the FTO. Theoretically, if a journalist or
    researcher wanted to study the organization by reviewing its literature,
    recordings, etc. -- material not available from other sources --, any
    purchase seems to violate US law. (I am not an attorney nor do I deal with
    this body of law in depth.) Maybe the practical risk is low but it seems that
    it could be someday used as a legal leverage to get a journalist to reveal
    sources, notes, or even to not publish a piece deemed to be problematic.
    
    Has anybody researched these issues?
    
    Finding the notice:
    
    The 3 Oct 2003 FTO list is not readily found on the State Department's site.
    The full information is found in a notice recently published in the Federal
    Register. (Federal Register: October 10, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 197)  Page
    58738-58739)
    txt:
    http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/14mar20010800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2003/03-25888.htm
    pdf:
    http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/14mar20010800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2003/pdf/03-25888.pdf
    
    J.D. Abolins
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