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Jewish rights group calls for Net ban

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a human rights organization, has sent letters to several hundred Internet access providers urging them to ban messages that promote bigotry and violence.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a human rights organization, has reportedly sent letters to several hundred Internet access providers urging them to ban messages that promote bigotry and violence.

The letter was written by Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the center's associate dean, and sent to Net access providers including America Online, CompuServe, and Prodigy. In his letter, Cooper told the providers they had "a moral obligation not to provide these groups with a platform for their propaganda."

A spokesperson for Prodigy said the company is aware of the letter, but officials have not yet seen it. Officials at America Online and CompuServe could not be reached for comment.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center's own Web site seeks to combat anti-Semitism, racism, and other forms of bigotry with information about the Holocaust, historical revisionism, and other topics. Most recently, the center added a section called CyberWatch, which is devoted to fighting the spread of hatred and bigotry via the Internet.