Activism and controversies
ScientologyIn 1995 members of the caused a raid on the servers of Dutch Internet provider XS4ALL as part of a and sued it and for copyright violations because of citing out of some confidential materials of Scientology. A summary judgment followed in 1995, full proceedings in 1999, an appeal in 2001 which has been upheld by the Supreme Court of Netherlands in December 2005, all in favor of the provider and Karin Spaink, putting freedom of speech above copyright in some cases.About XS4All
Station B92In December 1996, XS4ALL put the station B92 online using streaming audio technology in response to the jamming of its broadcasts by the regime of . XS4ALL installed a leased line to the radio station in response to a request from Adriënne van Heteren, a Dutch citizen who went to Belgrade to set up various cultural activities. After XS4ALL had launched the online broadcast of Radio B92, its signal was picked up by the and and transmitted back into Serbia, where it was then also transmitted via several local radio-stations.
Radikal MagazineIn September 1996, members of the InternetContentTaskForce ( ICTF) blocked XS4ALL for about a month because one of its subscribers had put an issue of ' magazine on his homepage. ''radikal'' is illegal in Germany, and to prevent its publication the German ''Bundesanwaltschaft'' (prosecutor's office) ordered commercial ISPs in Germany to block its website. They ended up blocking the entire XS4ALL site, which at the time had about 6,000 personal and commercial homepages. XS4ALL insisted that the case be settled by the courts, because it did not want to infringe on its customers' rights of free expression; however, the requests to follow traditional legal paths were ignored by the German ICTF. On 11 April 1997 one of the largest German ISPs, the (DFN) academic backbone network, started an -filtering blockade against XS4ALL. Many protest letters were sent, mirrors were once again set up around the world, and the complete issue of ''radikal 154'' was posted in the "de.soc.zensur". As a result, the blockade only lasted a few days. The founders of XS4ALL were interrogated as suspects of publication of terrorist propaganda, but no legal actions were initiated against them. XS4ALL then implemented several technologies to the censorship attempt, such as automatically rotating the IP address of its . The ICTF ended up censoring all IP traffic to the XS4ALL domain, including e-mail. After a couple of weeks this became untenable; a global protest against the emerged, and a global network of mirror sites was created by the online community. The ICTF abandoned its efforts after several weeks.
Arab Spring in Egypt and LibyaIn early 2011 the government in blocked (initially international, later all) internet-access hoping to thwart organizers of protests against the government and also to control the news leaving the country. On an incoming requests XS4All opened up their—still existing—dial-in modems to give people from Egypt direct access to the open internet. Because international telephone connections from Egypt to the rest of the world were not blocked, people could dial into the modems in and from there subsequently log into the internet using username and password ''xs4all''. When later that year a similar situation arose in Libya, the possibilities of such connections were brought to the attention of protesters in that country.
NSA FiveEyes SurveillanceIn 2014 it became clear that at least one XS4ALL server () has the attention of the NSA program , which is set up by the American , in concerted effort with the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, to track and sabotage users of the encrypted security network. It is one among five servers being targeted as such.
Corporate cultureIn December 1998, XS4ALL was sold to the Dutch incumbent phone company . Many of the original employees, especially system managers, still work there. XS4ALL also sponsors and hosts the sites of many projects, like , and . It sponsors the data traffic of ScriptumLibre, and thereby indirectly helps projects like (FFII) and the Free Software Translation Project.