back to article If Anonymous 'pwnd' the Daily Stormer, they did a spectacularly awful job

Doubts have been cast over claims that hacktivists have taken control of neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer. Elements of the loose hacker collective Anonymous supposedly took control of the site as a reprisal for the death of anti-racist protestor Heather Heyer after she was struck by a car during protests by white …

  1. Rich 11 Silver badge

    The Daily Stormer may struggle to find another host.

    I'm going to crack open a bottle when I get home tonight!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I upvoted you because things like the daily stormer have no place in society.

      However I do wonder what is the cost of forcing these people underground?

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Forcing the Underground

        Ah, the ugly costs of "free speech".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Forcing the Underground

          Pretty much, it's not so much the free speech but more the hidden aspect. Personally I'd rather have these arseholes in plain sight with intellectual debate so eventually they realise they are on the wrong path. The echo chamber is amplified when no one else is around.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: eventually they realise they are on the wrong path.

            I wouldn't hold your breath...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: eventually they realise they are on the wrong path.

              "I wouldn't hold your breath"

              Given what their spiritual ancestors did to Jews I think holding your breath around them would be a very wise move.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: eventually they realise they are on the wrong path.

                > Given what their spiritual ancestors did to Jews I think holding your

                > breath around them would be a very wise move.

                Ah yes, because crappy jokes about millions being gassed to death are sooo funny.

                Twat,

          2. Graham Dawson Silver badge

            Re: Forcing the Underground

            Arguments with extremists rarely convince them to change their ways. In those situations, you argue to convince the audience.

            Giving extremists the ability to speak in the open is often the best way to turn people against them.

            1. Trigonoceps occipitalis

              Re: Forcing the Underground

              "Arguments with extremists rarely convince them to change their ways."

              Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.

              George Carlin 1937 - 2008

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Forcing the Underground

            Banning speech does little to stop the behavior and reinforces the group dynamic of these awful people by making them feel persecuted together (never mind the absurdity and irony of that - it's how people's brains work). In the long run, sunshine is the best disinfectant. Unfortunately, people would rather respond emotionally and indulge their feels - and notice everyone saying this feels the need to post anonymously because the world is full of people who think that defending the rights of assholes means you agree with them. Nope. It just means you have intellectual consistence and you understand that rules intended to attack assholes position will eventually be turned against regular people.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @AC - "banning speech does little to stop the behavior"

              A hosting provider refusing to host them is NOT banning speech. They have free speech, but no business is required to help them distribute their speech to the masses.

              Let them find one that is willing to host them, and doesn't kick them out after they keep spewing hate despite the protests, and we get to watch with glee as their business falls apart once the 98% of their client base which is not sympathetic to the Daily Stormer's drivel flees!

              1. MK_E

                Re: @AC - "banning speech does little to stop the behavior"

                If you want to show up to a klan rally and need a ride, I'm not violating your rights if I refuse the use of my car. Simple as that.

            2. Geoffrey W

              Re: Forcing the Underground

              Stormers speech isn't really being banned. Its only the DNS thats been switched off. The web site can still be reached via its IP address. I do tend to agree though that people should only ever be banned under extreme circumstances. I would love to see a lot more light shone on this site and its operator, Andrew Anglin. Especially him. Bet his neighbours would love to know more about him. Outing other people is a common tactic among those like him.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Forcing the Underground

                I would have to think Anglin's neighbors already know about him. He probably lives in a rural area where people keep to themselves. Since nazis also tend to be heavy armed militia nuts, he's probably not a neighbor you want to get into a fight with. You ignore him, and secretly hope to see a lot of black SUVs filled with guys wearing FBI or ATF jackets come to town someday.

      2. MrDamage
        Pirate

        Incorrect

        > "I upvoted you because things like the daily stormer have no place in society."

        They do have a place in society. That place is on a bridge, facing down a 1974 ex-police Dodge Monaco piloted by Jake and Elwood Blues.

        1. Hazmoid
          Devil

          Re: Incorrect

          "Illinois Nazis, I hate Illinois Nazis" :)

      3. Florida1920

        However I do wonder what is the cost of forcing these people underground?

        We know the cost of not putting them underground.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      " The Daily Stormer may struggle to find another host."

      Doubtful.

      I'm sure there's some ISP in Montana/Arkansas/North Dakota/South Dakota/Whatever run by like "minded" souls who will offer them sucre.

      1. Geoffrey W

        Re: " The Daily Stormer may struggle to find another host."

        Yup. Seems that Google has ended up with them. They must be diversifying.

        1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

          Optional

          Heh... more likely humans at Google haven't noticed, and/or someone rational has decided that they haven't violated any terms of service YET.

          Which is probably the right thing to do. I would hate for there to be a blacklist exercising pre-emptive restraint, because that will inevitably catch innocent people (e.g. people posting parodies that some dingbat doesn't realize are parodies.... it took me a few moments last night to figure out that http://www.officialmikepence.com/ is, err, not official.)

          1. ratfox Silver badge
      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: " The Daily Stormer may struggle to find another host."

        "I'm sure there's some ISP in Montana/Arkansas/North Dakota/South Dakota/Whatever run by like "minded" souls who will offer them sucre."

        Any such ISP will find themselves reminded of what happened to AGIS

  2. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    I detect the powerful smell of mendacity, Big Go Daddy!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you're going to have free speech then unpopular speech needs to be protected just as much as popular speech (Voltaire and all that). If websites got shut down just because I didn't approve of them, there'd be no need for IPv6.

    1. kain preacher

      But this does not qualify as free speak since their hosting company is the one shutting them down.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Free speech laws only apply to government. Corporations are not government (yet).

    3. GrumpenKraut Silver badge

      > ... unpopular speech needs to be protected ...

      Suggest to visit the site and look at the article in question, have your barf bag ready. This is amongst the most vile shit I have seen in a long time. I'll not even try to indicate what you'll see.

      Fun fact: Nazis like those are much less on the "free speech" side when in power. Indeed they have a certain tendency to kill you if they so much as suspect you not being on the party line. Sometimes together with your family, just for good measure.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "If you're going to have free speech then unpopular speech needs to be protected just as much as popular speech (Voltaire and all that)"

      Please, go away and read real Voltaire, not Internet Voltaire. He'd be the first one to be calling for the authorities to shut them down.

      Voltaire was writing about opinions, not hatred. And he wanted all discussion to take place in an open and civilised manner between educated people. That meant that both sides had to be polite and mutually respectful. The far Right doesn't come near that. (Nor obviously does some of the far Left, but in this case that's irrelevant.)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's a shame your limited attention span only permitted you to read the first sentence of my post.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That's because Voltaire was a stunning hypocrite. He assumed that he had the right to be provocative as he could be and suffer no consequences.

        I understand that all heroes have feet of clay, but Voltaire...

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I do not understand why so many people seem to think "free speech" is being violated by this. Your right to free speech ends on my property line, or my servers in this case.

    6. Hazmoid

      They are free to speak whatever they like, I as a company owner have a certain latitude in whether I want my company associated with that speech.

    7. Florida1920

      @Thoguht

      If you're going to have free speech then unpopular speech needs to be protected just as much as popular speech

      Again, xkcd: https://xkcd.com/1357/

      The government didn't shut down DS. FFS, President Generalissimo Cheeto didn't even have enough balls to condemn it until he was forced to. For the most part, the Internet goes out of its way to protect speech. But you have to draw the line somewhere. Historical hint: Munich was not the line.

  4. patrickstar

    For your information, GoDaddy was the domain registrar, not the host.

    Quite a big difference.

    Skipping the discussion of whether domain registrars should give a flying f*ck about what the domains they sell are used for, and whether content like the Daily Stormer should be allowed anywhere, I can note that the domain has already been transferred from GoDaddy (to Google! Probably not a coincidence...). Thus this is totally irrelevant. It might even have been totally irrelevant by the time the article was written. ('Updated' timestamp on the domain is 14:51 UTC and article is 14:23, presumably UTC, but it was pending transfer before that)

    Really - El Reg, shouldn't you (plural) be able to tell the difference between a domain registrar and a web host? It's pretty basic stuff when reporting on web sites...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      We at least need to give Google the chance to take them down.

      I doubt they have a guy who sits there with the big red button waiting for the Daily Stormer to move DNS ...

      But I would not be surprised if they let them be.

      More traffic, more ads, more offshore accounts, more funding of shady political analysis/data cruncher outfits.

      More Alt-right feel emboldened that they can just say any old hate hidden behind the 'free speech' bulldust.

      Or feel they (Alt-right) should kill someone or at least walk around with assault rifles to threaten those who disagree.

      I can smell the smoke of the piles of book burning, just like as it is 1930s Germany ...

      Shame, this is meant to be the land of Liberty and the Free ...

      1. Daggerchild Silver badge
        Terminator

        I now have this fantastic image of Google Analytics engineers salivating over the data feed, shoveling it into their latest AI, turning the raw sewage into an essential safeguard for mankind!

        "T1000, if you ever agree with any of these people, kill yourself"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Considering how fast Microsoft's Tay was turned into a Nazi, I don't think we want to feed Daily Stormer content into Google Analytics!

    2. MAF

      To be fair to El Reg, GoDaddy DO supply web hosting as well (for those who want a one-stop shop.

      Agree that further journalistic investigation required to determine hosting company if different.

      1. MAF

        Sorry El REg they didn't host it - I checked the beeb site and found the GD statement:

        "The domain is no longer at GoDaddy and we don't host the site," the Arizona-based company tweeted at 17:51 BST.

    3. kain preacher

      go daddy does both.

      https://www.godaddy.com/hosting#basictypes

      1. patrickstar

        Not relevant, of course, since the same WHOIS lookup that told you GoDaddy was the domain registrar would've also told you who hosts their DNS, and that's not GoDaddy. The host of the DNS also happens to align perfectly with the IP addresses it belongs to.

        If GoDaddy hosted the DNS, then the next step would - of course - be looking up the IP address to find the actual web host regardless.

        Plus GoDaddy's domain registration business is significantly larger than their webhosting business, atleast in terms of number of domains. I would have slightly more understanding for such a mistake if it was about a company that's mostly known for doing web hosting and primarily register domains for their web hosting customers, but that's clearly not the case here. (And it would still be very sloppy.)

        Not that I mind GoDaddy getting a bit of flak, since I personally have nothing but bad experience with them...

  5. no-one-important

    Genetics

    I wonder how many people would still be racist after a genealogical DNA test?

    1. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Genetics

      > ...still be racist after a genealogical DNA test?

      Inbreds? ---------->

      There is a video here where a white supremacist is confronted with the fact that he has black ancestors. It is very emotional 8^)

      1. katrinab Silver badge

        Re: Genetics

        Everyone has black ancestors if you go back far enough surely?

      2. J. Cook Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Genetics

        At least one of the anti-semitic idiots found out that he was jewish, if my skim of the weekend's news was right.

        (yes, it's not speled rite. no, i'm not correcting it.)

      3. handleoclast

        Re: Genetics

        We all have African ancestry. Every last one of us. The only difference is how far back in time our African ancestors were.

        This racist idiot found out he had some African ancestry that was a little more recent than he thought it was. Oh the irony.

    2. graeme leggett

      Re: Genetics

      For the most part, genealogical DNA testing of the sort offered by Ancestry.com etc is useless.

    3. thegroucho
      FAIL

      Re: Genetics

      Try to persuade the tin-foil-hatters/NRA supporters to take a DNA test without a warrant.

      And then most will likely claim the DNA sample is contaminated in a sinister government ploy.

  6. Mystic Megabyte
    FAIL

    Dumb

    What these numbskulls don't seem to understand is that in my *country we say "The only good Nazi is a dead Nazi".

    * includes other regions

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
      Trollface

      I wonder how many of these "neo-Nazis" play Call of Duty, and don't realize which side they're playing on ?

  7. ukgnome

    Apparently the domain has been moved to google - according to the twit feed from @th3j3st3r

    1. patrickstar

      Surely any Reg reader is able to figure out who the registrar of a domain name is without relying on second hand information?

      Hint: Learn to use WHOIS.

      1. Florida1920

        Hint: Learn to use WHOIS.

        WHOIS still shows Google as the registrar. But the site is down.

        "The initial connection between Cloudflare's network and the origin web server timed out. As a result, the web page can not be displayed."

        And the world is a better place!

  8. Palpy

    American white supremacists and racists?

    They've always been here, of course. Cockroach-like, they periodically poke their antennae out from under the garbage to see if it's safe in the open. It only takes a wink and a not from those in power for them to start scuttling onto the streets, dreams of triumph in their squttering little brains.

    It's not surprising that Donald Trump is now one of those giving the wink-and-nod to the cockroaches. He appears to carry a load of neuroses related to his parents, and both he and his father were (rather famously) sued for discriminatory rental practices, and settled with the Feds. Farther back, when the KKK marched and rioted in Queens in 1927, Fred Trump was there. He was arrested, but not charged, and we do not know if he was supporting the KKK or not. (Donald has said it never happened, "and anyway, no one was charged." Which latter phrase pretty much admits that it did happen. And to be picky, "no one was charged" is incorrect -- some men were brought up on charges, ranging from assault to disorderly conduct. Just not Daddy.)

    But, anyway. I expect Donald Trump, who hates admitting he was ever wrong, secretly identifies with white supremacists. Clearly, he thinks he is the finest person on the planet, and after all, he is... pinkish beige. Well, mostly pink with an orange fringe, but he identifies as "white".

    Addendum, to the point of the story: I agree that it's a face-saving attempt by the Stormer staff. They weren't hacked, but they'd rather try to make their reader think that "race traitors" sabotaged them than let them see they were kicked off.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Anonymous

      "Anonymous" isn't an organisation, it's just a word, and a few graphical memes to go with it. Anyone can say they're "Anonymous" and they may be not particularly hacker-skilled. They also may be not social-justice aligned. You can be "Anonymous" and determined to "Take Back America".

  9. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    As for free speech

    That doesn't excuse you shouting "Fire" in a cinema,

    These creatures were doing the equivalent on the Internet.

    1. patrickstar

      Re: As for free speech

      No - they are just being mean to people. Really mean in certain cases, but it still falls under freedom of speech under US law *.

      Note also that there is no need for the use of past tense - the site is up, including the article that started this little spectacle with their previous domain registrar.

      DS has been around for something like 5 years. This is far from the worst controversy they've been in.

      * Or not according to the recent lawsuit about DS inciting harassment against the woman who tried to blackmail Richard Spencers mom, but it seems to be on pretty darn shaky ground legally.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As for free speech

      The hypothetical of "shouting fire in a crowded theater" is used almost exclusively by people who don't understand free speech theory and specifics of implementation in the US. I suspect that if most people understood that the context it was being used in was to justify imprisoning someone for anti-war and anti-draft speech they might be a bit more circumspect about it.

      Link to explanation by a well-known First Amendment attorney:

      https://www.popehat.com/2012/09/19/three-generations-of-a-hackneyed-apologia-for-censorship-are-enough/

  10. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Flame

    Funny

    How this only happened when there was a lot of publicity.

  11. Mahhn

    Sharing is caring

    The KKK and Black Panthers should form a club, they can segregate each other, and get together for tea and crumpets every other Tuesday to talk about how much they love themselves. ISIS can join them for the Christmas party.

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