Wednesday, 2 September 2009

More on the Internet 'Nazis' who are really Reds

Note the comments in this article about the Stormfront Nazis with their pathetic fake identities who are in reality working for the reds against all nationalists.

Jeers and loathing at tribunal

Critics in gallery challenge human rights bureacracy

By Joseph Brean, National PostSeptember 15, 2008

OTTAWA - For people who consider the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal a kangaroo court, the supporters of Marc Lemire in his defence against a hate-speech charge were surprisingly respectful of protocol yesterday, as they packed a gallery to see the landmark cross-examination of the investigator behind the case.

Mindful of the police presence, everyone rose when directed and no one heckled, although old men muttered their dissent. A thick-necked young Lemire associate with a buzz-cut kept cracking his neck and gnawing the chapped skin on his thumb, but was otherwise quiet and still as he doodled and took notes. Even the old guy with the knife in his pocket smiled as he removed it for the Tribunal guards at the hearing room door.

All in all, the monitor from the Canadian Jewish Congress had plenty to monitor, from Canada's most famous online racists and the legal team that defended Holocaust-denier Ernst Zundel, down to the conservative Maclean's columnist Mark Steyn, dapper with a red pocket puff, who at the breaks signed autographs for admirers.

It seemed a recipe for disaster, but the awkward highlight of the day came not from Mr. Lemire's defence team, nor the prosecution team of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, nor even the complainant, Richard Warman, a human rights activist who has rarely attended his own case, and did not yesterday as it concluded.

Rather, it came when the Tribunal appeared to wrongly out an innocent person as a Commission operative, thus exposing her to the unwanted attention of the vast army of bloggers who support Mr. Lemire, owner of the far-right FreedomSite.

For a government agency that has fought for months to protect the personal security of their own staff, even going so far as to (unsuccessfully) invoke national security to keep them off the witness stand, their handling of the "Nellie Hechme" question is remarkable.

Legally, however, the most significant part of the day was the admission by CHRC investigator Dean Steacy that his colleagues share control of an online identity called Jadewarr, which they have used to anonymously monitor and contribute to controversial far-right and white supremacist websites. Mr. Steacy's examination on this point by Mr. Lemire's lawyer Barbara Kulaszka bolstered their case that he should not be held accountable for what others post on his site, especially if those others might be government employees.

There was little mention of Mr. Lemire's constitutional challenge of the part of the human rights act under which he is charged, section 13.1, which says it is a violation to disseminate material on the Internet that is "likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt."

That challenge explains Mr. Steyn's presence, because Maclean's is also accused of a section 13.1 violation, based largely on a Steyn book excerpt about Muslim demographics, which was brought by Mohamed Elmasry, the head of the Canadian Islamic Congress, and others.

Ezra Levant, the other high-profile section 13.1 defendant (he published the Danish Muhammad cartoons in his now-defunct Western Standard magazine) did not attend, but he had the luxury of reading live Internet coverage of the hearing by Mr. Steyn's colleague Kady O'Malley, and Mr. Lemire himself, who blogged from his chair closest to the witness stand.

There were moments of drama, such as when Mr. Steacy bluntly and repeatedly refused to answer a question (he was asked for the identity of an anonymous complainant, who never filed a formal complaint), to the evident disbelief of Athanasios Hadjis, the one-man tribunal hearing the case.

"You refuse to answer?" he said twice.

There were raised voices, most notably that of Doug Christie--best known as Ernst Zundel's lawyer and now an intervenor on behalf of Mr. Lemire -- who yelled at Mr. Hadjis that he had flown all the way from Victoria, B.C., on his own tab, and he was not going to let the Commission lawyer continue her "obstruction" of his cross-examination.

There were revelations about the informal relationships between Commission investigators and police forces and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. Mr. Steacy, among the Commission's main 13.1 investigators, said he has asked for and received information from law enforcement "maybe a dozen times," and twice provided information to them.

But, for skeptics of human rights commissions, the coup de grace came first thing in the morning, when Alain Monfette, director of the law enforcement support team for Bell Canada, took the witness stand.

He had been subpoenaed to explain who logged on to the Web site as Jadewarr in December, 2006, just as bloggers were using technical data to reveal it as Mr. Steacy's online identity.

Later in the day, Mr. Steacy testified that the name Jadewarr "is actually a short for for Jade Warrior, which is a character from a novel I read as a teenager." He said access to the account was shared by at least five people, including investigators, their superiors and Mr. Steacy's personal assistants (he has been blind since 2004). He said there was no managerial oversight of what investigators did under this identity, although he said "the manager would be aware of what was going on."

Once Mr. Hadjis explicitly ordered him to do so, Mr. Monfette reported that Bell's technical staff learned that whoever logged on as Jadewarr that day in 2006 had accessed the Internet through a Bell account controlled by Nellie Hechme. He gave the phone number and the street address of the apartment where the account was registered.

By the morning coffee break, associates of Mr. Lemire had already tracked down the value of Ms. Hechme's apartment, but not her identity. And by the end of the day, the Commission's lawyer Margot Blight said that Ms. Hechme remains a mystery to everyone involved, including Mr. Lemire's team.

Reached by phone last night, Ms. Hechme, 26, told the National Post she has no connection to the tribunal, has never known any of the investigators, and has never accessed a Web site as Jadewarr. She said that in the relevant period in 2006 she did have a Bell Sympatico account with a wireless connection that was not password controlled, meaning anyone within range of her apartment could have accessed the Internet with it.

She does, however, have a link to Bell Canada. She has been employed there, though not in the Internet division, since before 2006. She had never heard of this Jadewarr issue before, and was disturbed that her name had been publicly disclosed, by her employer no less, without so much as a heads-up.

Even before the lunchbreak yesterday, her identity was the subject of feverish speculation on Web sites supportive of Mr. Lemire, which also posted her address. By the late afternoon, someone had dug up her old MySpace page, in a mass online investigation that no doubt continued into the wee hours of this morning.

It was just the most prominent of awkward moments for an unusually long and complicated tribunal hearing whose ending, to judge by the tone of the discussion in the late afternoon, has come as a blessed relief to all involved.

Notably, however, we all await the decision.

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