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70 thousand blogs shut down without notice

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Locked

70 thousand blogs shut down without notice

GSG
When I read that headline yesterday, I almost didn't read the story, thinking it was a re-hash of blog shutdowns in China.

Wrong. This is quite the mystery. Here's the story:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-31001_3-20010877-261.html

What do you think? Is the host lying about what's going on? Is some mysterious governmental agency involved? Aliens?
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    dawgit

    But the article does state Law Enforcement action. With-out knowing just what type of content was being hosted, there's no why of knowing. In that part of that Country, there are some strange operators passing as 'Providers'. So, we'll just stick with the Alien factor. -d

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    NotSoChiGuy

    ...but then TR would get shut down, and I'd hate to have that on my conscience!!

    Seriously, though, given the speed and lack of 'noise' about these closures, my guess would be DoHS. If it was them, then the 'why' is pretty clear.

    Again, just a guess.

    Maybe they just didn't pay their hosting bills, and the law enforcement agencies involved were doing the e-equivalent of serving eviction notices?

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    CharlieSpencer

    it may not have been the US gov't. Nothing in the article says where the hosting company was based. No one quoted said anything other than that they couldn't say anything by law. That doesn't necessarily mean gov't action; civil law could be involved.

    Not enough info to support any conclusions. Plenty of smoke, but the fire could be from any number of sources.

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    seanferd

    It's the government trying to enforce IP rights at the behest of rights-holders, i.e., Hollywood and the recording industry. You know, file sharing and whatnot.

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    CharlieSpencer

    Which specifically quotes several people associated with the shuttered services as saying this is NOT an IP or copyright issue.

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    NotSoChiGuy

    ...that Burst was based in Scranton, PA.

    Regardless, though, I would agree that there isn't enough to make a solid conclusion; just guesses/speculations.

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    Dr Dij

    unless they shut down themselves. Many websites are marginal and not making money and take huge investment in time also, with paid employees as they get large. And it takes alot of work if you allow comments on blogs to avoid blog spamming bots.

    It would avoid criticism if they blame some mysterious law enforcement agency.

    Problem is most criminals and other (in this case probably just covering up truth to avoid criticism) make mistakes. No lie is perfect. They are right that it is hard to shut down sites in the US.

    However as someone who runs a big site, if it was still up should be able to ping and lookup what IP address is and see where is hosted. We have discussions about this kind of stuff on webmasterworld all the time. I'm surprised no one did this.

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    GSG

    OK, I read a story late yesterday that has more info.
    http://www.examiner.com/x-41853-Homeland-Security-Examiner~y2010m7d19-Update-Blogetrycom-shutdown-linked-to-alQaeda-material


    Burst.net was never asked by any law enforcement agency to shut down. What happened is that the FBI gave them a note of voluntary disclosure of information, that asked if they would be willing to voluntarily disclose some information on certain blogs to them. The blogs in question had al Qaeda hit lists for various US people, and had instructions on how to make bombs, and other alleged al Qaeda communications.

    In fact, the FBI is probably po'd that Blogetry was shut down and Burst.net let the cat out of the bag. The best scenario would have been if that was all left alone and burst.net had kept their collective yaps shut.

    Edited to add the link to the story

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    seanferd

    That is a bit different than the prior speculation I had just posted prior to seeing your update.

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    ahh

    Jaqui

    the good old USA, land of the enslaved population ... enslaved by the government.

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    CharlieSpencer

    If the FBI request was voluntary, as GSG says, where's the enslavement? If Burst opted to shut down instead of declining to fulfill the request, that was their choice.

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    GSG

    They were asked if they would voluntarily give some info. They could have said no, then the FBI would have to go through the process of obtaining search warrants, etc...

    Burtnet over-reacted. I'd say that they didn't talk to any legal counsel first.

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    and

    Jaqui

    the FBI could have invoked the power granted by the Patriot Act and made sure they stayed up.
    9-11 turned the USA into a "Police State" and enslaved the people of the nation to the DHS.

    since the Patriot Act included penalties for NOT complying with law enforcement, and for talking about their interest to anyone, specially the parties they are interested in.

    The US Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a meaningless paper because of the Patriot Act means you are all enslaved to the government.

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    dawgit

    It would be hard to believe that all were involved in shakey business deals. So, I guess it would be good advice to know who you're doing (your hosting) business with. (a duh maybe?)

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    GSG

    I think Burst.net over-reacted and got scared, and instead of talking to their lawyers to find out what they need to do, they went off the deep end.

    Also, maybe they were asked to shut down only those certain blogs, and didn't have the technical know-how to do it.

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    CharlieSpencer

    I hope those 70,000 users had backup copies at home, but I doubt it. Another reason to pick your 'cloud' provider with care.

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    NotSoChiGuy

    Didn't get the agency right, but the reason wasn't too hard to guess.

    Hopefully, enough useful information was provided to authorities to help track down the whackadoodles.

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    Jaqui

    I can only think of one thing that a law enforcement agency would do such for, child porn.

    and it could just be a link on one blog to a site associated with child porn that could get that reaction.

    but I suspect the site operators were monitoring for such and would have shut down the offender before law enforcement shut them down. so I doubt that it's what is behind the shutdowns.

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    dawgit

    The Law authorities tend to leave the kiddy-**** site up and running, ostentatiously to catch more bad guys. At least that's the excuse given.

  • +
    0 Votes
    dawgit

    But the article does state Law Enforcement action. With-out knowing just what type of content was being hosted, there's no why of knowing. In that part of that Country, there are some strange operators passing as 'Providers'. So, we'll just stick with the Alien factor. -d

    +
    0 Votes
    NotSoChiGuy

    ...but then TR would get shut down, and I'd hate to have that on my conscience!!

    Seriously, though, given the speed and lack of 'noise' about these closures, my guess would be DoHS. If it was them, then the 'why' is pretty clear.

    Again, just a guess.

    Maybe they just didn't pay their hosting bills, and the law enforcement agencies involved were doing the e-equivalent of serving eviction notices?

    +
    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    it may not have been the US gov't. Nothing in the article says where the hosting company was based. No one quoted said anything other than that they couldn't say anything by law. That doesn't necessarily mean gov't action; civil law could be involved.

    Not enough info to support any conclusions. Plenty of smoke, but the fire could be from any number of sources.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    It's the government trying to enforce IP rights at the behest of rights-holders, i.e., Hollywood and the recording industry. You know, file sharing and whatnot.

    +
    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    Which specifically quotes several people associated with the shuttered services as saying this is NOT an IP or copyright issue.

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    0 Votes
    NotSoChiGuy

    ...that Burst was based in Scranton, PA.

    Regardless, though, I would agree that there isn't enough to make a solid conclusion; just guesses/speculations.

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    0 Votes
    Dr Dij

    unless they shut down themselves. Many websites are marginal and not making money and take huge investment in time also, with paid employees as they get large. And it takes alot of work if you allow comments on blogs to avoid blog spamming bots.

    It would avoid criticism if they blame some mysterious law enforcement agency.

    Problem is most criminals and other (in this case probably just covering up truth to avoid criticism) make mistakes. No lie is perfect. They are right that it is hard to shut down sites in the US.

    However as someone who runs a big site, if it was still up should be able to ping and lookup what IP address is and see where is hosted. We have discussions about this kind of stuff on webmasterworld all the time. I'm surprised no one did this.

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    GSG

    OK, I read a story late yesterday that has more info.
    http://www.examiner.com/x-41853-Homeland-Security-Examiner~y2010m7d19-Update-Blogetrycom-shutdown-linked-to-alQaeda-material


    Burst.net was never asked by any law enforcement agency to shut down. What happened is that the FBI gave them a note of voluntary disclosure of information, that asked if they would be willing to voluntarily disclose some information on certain blogs to them. The blogs in question had al Qaeda hit lists for various US people, and had instructions on how to make bombs, and other alleged al Qaeda communications.

    In fact, the FBI is probably po'd that Blogetry was shut down and Burst.net let the cat out of the bag. The best scenario would have been if that was all left alone and burst.net had kept their collective yaps shut.

    Edited to add the link to the story

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    That is a bit different than the prior speculation I had just posted prior to seeing your update.

    +
    0 Votes

    ahh

    Jaqui

    the good old USA, land of the enslaved population ... enslaved by the government.

    +
    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    If the FBI request was voluntary, as GSG says, where's the enslavement? If Burst opted to shut down instead of declining to fulfill the request, that was their choice.

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    0 Votes
    GSG

    They were asked if they would voluntarily give some info. They could have said no, then the FBI would have to go through the process of obtaining search warrants, etc...

    Burtnet over-reacted. I'd say that they didn't talk to any legal counsel first.

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    0 Votes

    and

    Jaqui

    the FBI could have invoked the power granted by the Patriot Act and made sure they stayed up.
    9-11 turned the USA into a "Police State" and enslaved the people of the nation to the DHS.

    since the Patriot Act included penalties for NOT complying with law enforcement, and for talking about their interest to anyone, specially the parties they are interested in.

    The US Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a meaningless paper because of the Patriot Act means you are all enslaved to the government.

    +
    0 Votes
    dawgit

    It would be hard to believe that all were involved in shakey business deals. So, I guess it would be good advice to know who you're doing (your hosting) business with. (a duh maybe?)

    +
    0 Votes
    GSG

    I think Burst.net over-reacted and got scared, and instead of talking to their lawyers to find out what they need to do, they went off the deep end.

    Also, maybe they were asked to shut down only those certain blogs, and didn't have the technical know-how to do it.

    +
    0 Votes
    CharlieSpencer

    I hope those 70,000 users had backup copies at home, but I doubt it. Another reason to pick your 'cloud' provider with care.

    +
    0 Votes
    NotSoChiGuy

    Didn't get the agency right, but the reason wasn't too hard to guess.

    Hopefully, enough useful information was provided to authorities to help track down the whackadoodles.

    +
    0 Votes
    Jaqui

    I can only think of one thing that a law enforcement agency would do such for, child porn.

    and it could just be a link on one blog to a site associated with child porn that could get that reaction.

    but I suspect the site operators were monitoring for such and would have shut down the offender before law enforcement shut them down. so I doubt that it's what is behind the shutdowns.

    +
    0 Votes
    dawgit

    The Law authorities tend to leave the kiddy-**** site up and running, ostentatiously to catch more bad guys. At least that's the excuse given.