It has not been a good few months for avowed neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin.
Ever since the tragic events at in Charlottesville, his white supremacist website the Daily Stormer has bounced around the world searching for a domain that will permanently host it. After the Unite the Right rally, GoDaddy cancelled the Daily Stormer’s domain name registration, forcing it to retreat to the Dark Web. The site then re-appeared on an Icelandic domain, before getting kicked off and moving to .cat, a short-lived Catalan domain.
The chaos surrounding the Catalan independence movement allowed the Daily Stormer to flourish there for a few weeks, but it went offline on October 6. Currently, a version of the website exists on a domain registered to the tiny Caribbean island of Anguilla, although the site is inaccessible from a normal Google search.
To make matters worse, Anglin has also been in hiding to prevent being served notices over several lawsuits against him. The Southern Poverty Law Center have been trying to track Anglin down since April for a lawsuit that claims he inflicted emotional distress on Tanya Gersh, a Jewish real estate agent in Montana. Muslim-American Comedian Dean Obeidallah is also suing Anglin, who claimed that Obeidallah was the “mastermind” behind the Manchester concert bombing in May. Servers have scoured Ohio looking for Anglin, but to no avail. Anglin himself has said he is now in Nigeria – although this is likely just another trolling tactic.
However, Obeidallah’s lawyers have taken a new series of aggressive steps which they hope will enable them to finally find and serve Anglin, and which will also expose the wider architecture that allows the Daily Stormer to continue popping up on domain services across the world. In a new court filing, Obeidallah’s lawyers have asks for subpoena’s for “various entities up which Defendant Anglin relies or has relied to publish the Daily Stormer…including web hosts, domain registrars, internet-service providers, telephone companies, banks, and residential and commercial-leasing companies.”
The subpoena also calls for documents from Anglin’s father, Greg, his brother Mitchell, and “particular government entities”, including the United States Post Office, in order to find where Anglin is currently residing.
By exposing the architecture behind the Daily Stormer, including who funds the site’s upkeep and who leases commercial space to it, the subpoenas could in turn invite public pressure on these companies to stop financing neo-Nazi hate speech. A similar series of events happened after Charlottesville when tech companies, which had previously taken a hands-off approach to white nationalists, began removing websites and suspending white nationalist accounts.
Anglin has long boast about the Daily Stormer’s ability to withstand “censorship”, and his website still shows the capacity to encourage direct action – such as when it encouraged followers to protest at Black and Jewish community centers during Richard Spencer’s speech at the University of Florida. He also remains active on Gab – a social media platform popular with white supremacists. However, by slowly chipping away at the logistics which make running the site possible, it will make it harder and harder for Anglin to keep one of America’s premier white supremacist sites functioning.