Early Racist and Antisemitic Bulletin Board Systems (BBS)George P. Dietz, a well-known publisher of racist and antisemitic literature, was apparently the first White supremacist to launch his material into cyberspace on a public BBS. Dietz recalls that his BBS, called variously Info. International Network or Liberty Bell Net, went online probably sometime in late 1983 or early 1984 on an Apple ][e. Dietz, through his Liberty Bell Publications located in West Virginia, had been sending printed neonazi publications throughout the US, and to Europe where much of his material was legally banned. The early text on Dietz's BBS consisted of articles from his monthly Liberty Bell magazine, published in print form from September 1973 until February 1999. One of the major contributors to both the print and online outlets was Revilo P. Oliver--expelled from the John Birch Society (JBS) for making antisemitic and White racist comments in a speech at a JBS rally in 1966.
In June of 1985 Dietz's BBS carried the following sections:
Under the section headed "Prof.R.P.Oliver's Postscripts" were the following
Better known was the Aryan Nations "Aryan Liberty Net," which went online sometime in mid 1984. The network was implemented by Louis Beam, a leader of various Texas Ku Klux Klan (KKK) factions who worked closely with Richard Butler, the leader of the Aryan Nations Christian Identity compound in Idaho. Beam may have discussed the idea of a computer network as early as July 1983 at a meeting at Aryan Nations.
Liberty Net was announced by Beam in an undated 1984 issue of the Inter-Klan Newsletter & Survival Alert published from the Aryan nations compound in Hayden Lake, Idaho. In an article “Computers and the American Patriot,” Beam wrote that “It may very well be that American know-how has provided the technology which will allow those who love this country to save it from an ill-deserved fate.” Later, in an article “Announcing Aryan Nations/Ku Klux Klan Computer Net,” it is noted that “A special electronic code access available only to Aryan Nations/Ku Klux Klan officers and selected individuals is being implemented.”
The article continues:
Around August 1984 a one-page flyer circulated in Canada, announcing remote access (through the Aryan Liberty Net) to racist material otherwise banned under Canadian laws against hate speech. The US-based race hate BBSs allowed people in Canada and in European countries where distribution of hate literature is often restricted by law, to gain access to these texts through their computer. This was a major goal of the early racist BBS operators, with Beam bragging that his system had “ended Canadian Censorship.”
By mid 1985 Aryan Nations Liberty Net consisted of the Aryan Nations BBS in Idaho, two KKK BBS's at sequential phone numbers in Texas, and a KKK BBS in North Carolina. Another node was later added in Illinois. These systems were built around Apple and Radio Shack computers running standard BBS software.
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