Investor advocate in website battle

By Doug Watt | July 21, 2005 | Last updated on July 21, 2005
2 min read

(July 21, 2005) Investor advocate and regulatory crusader Robert Kyle’s website has been shut down by his American service provider.

The move follows legal threats from a Canadian law firm regarding some of the content on the site, Kyle has been told.

It’s believed MacPherson, Leslie & Tyerman want all court documents related to legal claims involving advisor Brian Mallard and former employee Kent Shirley removed from the site since the matter is still before the courts.

Kyle did take down those particular documents and has set them up on a separate server. Still, the U.S. provider, United Online Web Servers, refuses to restore the main site, which has been down since last Friday.

“I think this is a freedom of speech issue,” Kyle says. “And if we have Internet service providers being threatened by people who just don’t like what is already circulating in the public domain, that’s no justification for not publishing it. I think this material needs to be public.”

United has not provided a written explanation to Kyle for closing his site. And it is under no obligation to do so. The company’s service agreement says that United reserves the right to discontinue service for any reason.

Kyle’s site contained hundreds of news articles, documents and court cases all related to self-regulatory organizations and the Canadian securities industry. “It took me seven years to build it, I can’t do it overnight.”

In addition, Kyle is worried about how this case will affect other investor sites. “If they can squelch all of this just by threatening the web hosts, then we’re not going to have a voice in this country.”

Kyle, a former derivatives trader, has been engaged in a long-running fight with Canadian regulators after his firm was shut down in 1998. He refused to cooperate with the IDA’s investigation, challenging the brokerage industry association’s regulatory powers. To date, his numerous legal efforts have been unsuccessful.

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Doug Watt