New York, NY, October 10, 2005 … An internationally recognized expert on the Internet and leader of the Anti-Defamation League's efforts to combat hate online has been tapped to lead the world's foremost organization working to counteract cyberspace bigotry. Christopher Wolf, the longtime Chair of ADL's Internet Task Force and Partner, Proskauer Rose LLP, was named Chair of the International Network Against Cyber Hate (INACH) during its fourth annual conference, held September 29 - 30 at ADL National Headquarters New York City.
"Building on my experience at the ADL fighting cyber-hate, I look forward to helping organizations around the world coordinate their efforts to counter the evil that lurks online, and to building alliances with government and industry," Mr. Wolf said.
The INACH conference brought together American and European experts from academia, government, law enforcement and non-governmental organizations to examine the issues posed by online hate and ways in which governments and watchdog groups can work cooperatively to counteract it. ADL, which has long worked to study and expose hate on the Internet, is the U.S. representative in INACH, whose members come from around the world, including representatives from Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and various other European nations.
"The Internet's speed and reach unfortunately has provided anti-Semites and racists with a tool to spread hatred across borders instantaneously," said Brian Marcus, Director of ADL's Internet Monitoring Unit. "Because there are different laws in different parts of the world dealing with cyber-hate, it is important for law enforcement officials, governments and non-government organizations to join forces and share best practices in responding to the proliferation of hate on the Web. We also emphasize education for parents, teachers and children so they know what to do when they encounter hate online."
At the New York meeting, INACH delegates heard from law enforcement and academic experts on the impact that the Internet has had on law enforcement in the U.S. and around the world. They also heard remarks from Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, on the importance of continuing to detect and expose the sources of hate on the Internet.
Among the experts addressing the conference was Michael Gennaco of the Office of Independent Review for the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department. A former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Mr. Gennaco gave an overview of the history of online hate crimes. Other speakers included Dr. Peter Rodrigues, an expert in Internet law who works with the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, and Professor Brian Levin, Director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.
The presenters discussed the differences between the U.S. and European models of dealing with hate speech, and included practical ways those differences could be bridged while respecting freedom of speech.
A panel of law enforcement experts discussed the complications the Internet has had on enforcement and prosecution. Pascal Hetzscholdt of the National High-Tech Crime Center in Amsterdam presented the European perspectives and experiences; Stephen Camp, a founder of the Edmonton Police Hate Crimes Unit in Alberta, Canada, explained the Canadian approach to responding to Internet-related hate and crime. David Deitch, Domestic Terrorism Coordinator of the Counterterrorism Section for the U.S. Department of Justice, addressed cases and case law on terrorism in the United States, emphasizing Internet cases.
Markham Erickson of NetCoalition discussed the Internet industry's reactions and responses to online hate.