The neo-Nazi 'asylum seekers'
'One was an unrepentant woman hater whose racist and anti-Semitic views were too hard-line even for the British National Party.
The other, his long-haired sidekick, sought the protection of a pseudonym that he used to make extremist rants.
Their hunger to stir up controversy saw them flee from justice in the north of England and stage an unlikely claim for political asylum in Los Angeles.
But their journey has now ended with jail sentences in the UK.......'One leaflet claimed that Auschwitz had not really been the location of industrial mass murder but had been, instead, a holiday camp provided by a benevolent Nazi regime for Europe's Jewish population.
Jonathan Sandiford, prosecuting, told the jury that it held up survivors of the Holocaust to "ridicule and contempt", accusing them of lying about the genocide of six million Jews.
Another story was illustrated with photographs of dead Jews. Sheppard also wrote that Holocaust victim Anne Frank's diary was "evil".
Reviewing lawyer Mari Reid, of the Crown Prosecution Service's counter-terrorism division, said members of the public were entitled under the law to hold racist and extreme views.
But she added: "What they are not entitled to do is to publish or distribute those opinions to the public in a threatening, abusive or insulting manner either intending to stir up racial hatred or in circumstances where it is likely racial hatred will be stirred up."
The defence argued that the online material did not fall under the jurisdiction of UK law, because Sheppard's site was hosted on servers in California.
But in a landmark ruling, the judge dismissed this - potentially paving the way for further prosecutions against the owners of other hate sites who believe they are exploiting a legal loophole.
Jurors, too, rejected the defence's claim that the pair's writings were merely satirical.'Those who use the internet to spread lies and poison and incite hatred, often under the cloak of anonymity are not as untouchable as they may think. Inciting hatred is inciting hatred, online or offline - the internet isn't some kind of parallel world and consequence-free environment - how can it be?
It's real, living, breathing people using it and communicating on it - so how is setting up hatesites any different to organising hate rallies or standing on street corners screaming abuse, or putting up flyers round the neighbourhood alleging repulsive and untruthful things about groups or individuals? The internet makes it easy to disseminate lies in seconds to a potential audience of millions - it would take a lifetime of handing out racist or hateful tracts to have a fraction of the impact. And the anonymity the internet provides can give a gloss to the bilge and bile spouted by those who if you met them ranting on a street corner would instantly elicit the response of 'uh-oh, weirdo alert.'
update: oh, and golly gosh, and Simon Shepard it turns out, is cited as a Kollerstrom source, dearie me. Meanwhile, Stormfront, the neo-Nazi message board seems to be newly bristling with '7/7 is an inside job c/o Mossad' posters, some of whom even have it as a sign off on their posts and at least one of whom is hoping (as of yesterday) that I am soon found dead in a dirty river - what they envisage for me before my death I won't repeat. Sometimes I wish I didn't check my visitor IPs and stats.