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Blogetery Shutdown Due To al-Qaeda Info

Soulskill posted about 4 years ago | from the internet-is-serious-business dept.

Government 330

Archness1 writes "Over the weekend we discussed news that blog host Blogetery.com had been shut down at the request of the US government. Now, it appears the site was shut down because some of the blogs it was hosting contained information on al-Qaeda hit lists and bomb making. According to the article, Burst.net shut down Blogetery of its own accord after the FBI made a request to the host for information on the people who made the posts. '[Burst.net CTO Joe Marr] said the FBI contacted Burst.net and sent a Voluntary Emergency Disclosure of Information request. The letter said terrorist material, which presented a threat to American lives, was found on a server hosted by Burst.net and asked for specific information about the people involved. In the FBI's letter, the agency included a clause that says Web hosts and Internet service providers may voluntarily elect to shut down the sites of customers involved in these kinds of situations.'"

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330 comments

Brilliant.... (0, Troll)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 4 years ago | (#32957230)

shut down a bunch of blogs full of possibly useful information!

now we know what all those TS policy makers are paid for.

Re:Brilliant.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32957272)

shut down a bunch of blogs full of possibly useful information!

now we know what all those TS policy makers are paid for.

Uhm...what? Policy makers had nothing to do with the shutdown. It was a voluntary action by the host.

Re:Brilliant.... (-1)

SquarePixel (1851068) | about 4 years ago | (#32957314)

shut down a bunch of blogs full of possibly useful information!

now we know what all those TS policy makers are paid for.

Uhm...what? Policy makers had nothing to do with the shutdown. It was a voluntary action by the host.

What are you talking about? It was the hosting company that shut down their entire server and its 75000 blogs without anything being said to the actual owner. Yeah, US so much better than China.

Re:Brilliant.... (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 4 years ago | (#32957440)

Yeah, US so much better than China.

Seriously? Will you please just shut up? I cannot believe you persist in this after Burst.net's CTO explained the situation in the article.

So because a private company operating under its own volition shuts down its server, that's the United States government's fault and equates them to China?

The amount of ignorance you demonstrate is downright impressive. The fact that the company had the choice given what the government reported to them shows that the US is not on the same level as China. Tell me, do you need a government approved license to host content in the United States [slashdot.org] ? Go spend sometime on four chan and something awful ... not to see great stuff but to understand just how unfettered stuff is in the United States. Yeah, things like bomb making and child porn get you in trouble. But it's a hell of a lot better than the large compendium of what may or may not get you in trouble in China.

Get a clue.

Re:Brilliant.... (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about 4 years ago | (#32957528)

...that's the United States government's fault and equates them to China?

US haters aside, it does show the complete moronic ineptitude of a huge, unwieldy bureaucracy like the US Gov., and Al Qaeda's one Ace down their collective holes; especially after the Wash. Post's story about all the spy agencies the US has set up as a reaction to 9/11 and how bloated and ineffective they are. If I were an intelligent spy hunter I'd encourage Al F*cknut to post all the information they wanted. And read. Its takes a real pack of idiots not to see the value in that.

Re:Brilliant.... (4, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | about 4 years ago | (#32958196)

So because a private company operating under its own volition shuts down its server, that's the United States government's fault and equates them to China?

China. It's the new Nazi. :-) Reductio egg fu yung.

Re:Brilliant.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32958366)

...under its own volition shuts down its server...

You don't know that. Given the secrecy we allow the government to operate under, there could be a gag order in place. The patriot act permits that kind of thing. Just like China's "state secrets" act that keeps Google from publishing the number of government takedown requests. The US government will most certainly shut down anything if it feels that a speech, web site, etc might actually produce results. So what if it allows people to vent juvenile angst? That's the safety valve to to keep the illusion alive. It's very effective apparently. Despite all the hate against China, remember that the US holds a lot more people in prison.. About half of them for violating prohibition. And there's also a lot of Americans who believe that the country has too much freedom!

Get a clue? Yes, please do...

Re:Brilliant.... (1)

Toonol (1057698) | about 4 years ago | (#32957604)

What are you talking about? It was the hosting company that shut down their entire server and its 75000 blogs without anything being said to the actual owner. Yeah, US so much better than China.

...right? This shows it? Somehow, you're not making the point you're trying to.

Re:Brilliant.... (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | about 4 years ago | (#32957750)

You know, the same thing could have happened in Canada, or Europe, or South America, Or Australia, or... anywhere really.

Perhaps you are confused by thinking the US is somehow completely different from the rest of the world in that regard.

Re:Brilliant.... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32958504)

sopssa, what's with your love for China and hatred for the US? You have emotional problems.

Re:Brilliant.... (2, Insightful)

Peach Rings (1782482) | about 4 years ago | (#32957380)

Who are these investors that back this company? I'm sure they'll be real thrilled to hear "Even though we didn't have to, we decided to stop conducting business for awhile for PR reasons, but almost all of our customers are outraged and leaving us."

Re:Brilliant.... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32957600)

I don't think you really understand what happened. Burst.net is a hosting provider. They found out that one of their thousands of customers was blatantly violating TOS, and shut it down. Bloggetry was that one customer, but they happened to resell what they bought to 70,000 other people, so when one Blogetery user violated Burst.net's TOS, all 70,000 got shutdown. Blggetery is clearly pathetic here, as they relied entirely on someone else's infrastructure, made no attempt to monitor what they were hosting, and had no backup. They had no "investors", Blogetery is one twenty something year old retard who had no idea what he was doing, and was just offering free blog hosting and collecting Adsense dollars. Burst.net has investors, and made the right and obvious call.

Re:Brilliant.... (4, Insightful)

IICV (652597) | about 4 years ago | (#32957500)

Hah, it's even better than that. Pretend you're a terrorist, using that blog to communicate somehow - apparently in this case it was to disseminate bomb making information and target lists.

All of a sudden, the blog you're visiting every day or so gets shut down. What does that tell you? If you're a paranoid terrorist cell, it most likely means that the government has noticed you use the blog to communicate and ordered the hosting provider to shut it down.

So now you know that the government knows about that communications channel. The government doesn't really know anything besides your IP address, which is pretty useless if you've been using Tor or something similar. Who comes out ahead here?

Troll? (4, Interesting)

commodoresloat (172735) | about 4 years ago | (#32957806)

I'm not sure why the above is considered trollish, though the tone might be snippy. It's true that US policymakers didn't shut down the blog themselves, but what are you supposed to think if you're a website owner and you get a letter from FBI advising you that material on your website threatens American lives and that you "may voluntarily elect to shut down the sites of customers involved in these kinds of situations." If anything the feds should be doing the opposite -- advise the blog owner to keep open a potentially useful source of information so it could be watched. The guys who want to blow things up are going to find a way to connect with each other and find whatever info they need to build bombs elsewhere; the question is whether they do it with or without their enemies watching.

US Hysterical (4, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | about 4 years ago | (#32957248)

Yes, the hysteria is starting to fade a bit but in the meantime departments such as Homeland Security have grown into unwieldy beasts. I hope you Americans reclaim your civil freedoms soon: you know the ones that have been eroded in the "War on Terror." Terror to who? The occasional nut they do catch or the millions inconvenienced every day just trying to get on a plane? Secret lists... I could go on, the point is stop cowering and be Free again.

Re:US Hysterical (5, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 4 years ago | (#32957364)

The 9-11 conspiracy theorists might be off their rocker, but they're right about one thing: The hysteria, paranoia, and nationalistic fervor created by 9-11 are a politician's wet dream. The amazing thing isn't how much our society has let our rights be destroyed over the past 9 years, it's how little the people in power have taken advantage of it. For all that it sucks, the average American would have swallowed much, much more under the guise of security and revenge than what has been pushed through. Don't get me wrong, too much was allowed to happen, too many rights shrugged off so that the paranoid could sleep more easily at night (paranoid about terrorists but oddly trusting of everyone else); I'm just saying that it could have been much worse.

Re:US Hysterical (2, Insightful)

steelfood (895457) | about 4 years ago | (#32957728)

No, it couldn't be any worse.

It's the boiling frog principle. You never start off with anything major, or you'll get an enormous backlash in response. But if you introduce the slippery slope, then it's only a matter of time before you end up at the bottom.

For example, instead of requiring real names off the bat, Blizzard could have started off mandating a valid credit card before being able to log into the forums. They could then continue to push towards the goal of requiring the use of the poster's real name for the next several years in small increments, and after a while, people will accept it.

Fortunately, the US is a democracy, and nobody's around long enough to do permanent damange. That, and having a polarized two-party system, nobody's really able to do anything even in power. Of course, when the goal of both parties is the same (to expand Federal powers), then that point is moot.

Re:US Hysterical (1)

Kalriath (849904) | about 4 years ago | (#32957960)

For example, instead of requiring real names off the bat, Blizzard could have started off mandating a valid credit card before being able to log into the forums. They could then continue to push towards the goal of requiring the use of the poster's real name for the next several years in small increments, and after a while, people will accept it.

Blizzard already does require that - it's the forums for a subscription based MMO game.

Re:US Hysterical (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 years ago | (#32958106)

One could play the game indefinitely from cash-bought prepaid cards.

Re:US Hysterical (2, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 years ago | (#32958142)

That, and having a polarized two-party system, nobody's really able to do anything even in power. Of course, when the goal of both parties is the same (to expand Federal powers), then that point is moot.

There are no differences between the parties that aren't cosmetic. They pick a few polarizing issues (abortion, guns, gays) and then act substantially similar once in office. There is a greater variance between members of one of the parties than between the parties. Though they do polarize their votes, but that's rarely based on ideology and instead on partisanship. At most, their differences amount to both wanting to go to the exact same place, but spending over 100 years arguing over whether to take the high road or the low road.

Re:US Hysterical (5, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | about 4 years ago | (#32958214)

t's how little the people in power have taken advantage of it.

Wow. You missed the entire Bush administration. The USA Patriot Act. Pallets of cash shipped directly from the Mint to Iraq without any oversight. Coordinated domestic wiretapping. The Unitary President. Hundreds if not thousands of "signing statements." Etc., etc.

Shut your /. window and go dig through the archives of the major newspapers.

America got raped over the past 10 years because of 9/11.

Re:US Hysterical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32958292)

conspiracy is simply a group of people, cooperating to achieve an end, while not disclosing the details of their plans or present/past actions.

911 was a conspiracy.

some facts are known, some are not.

The 911 report was a multitude of theories on the various conspiratorial activities.

what good does it do to take a label, mangle the shit out of it's meaning to mean "lunatic fringe", when a large number of people know that the government lied about a whole bunch of shit.

your label fails to identify any significant number of people, you just use it to make your position seem sane.

it's pretty tired.

and when every time something is exposed, and the truth is far darker then the conspiracies, the same idiots like you will say "we knew it all along" and spin some long winded dribble that pretends to be fact.

20/20 hindsight.

very few people believe the u.s. government sponsored and planed the 911 attacks.

but what difference does it make?

If I'm playing a game of chess, where the board is self animated, I don't need to move the pieces myself, all I need to do is to recognize the significance of each move, predict a few, and use it to leverage my position.

if my goal is power and consolidation, I'll be quite inclined to let many of my "sheep" get sacrificed, because the little bastards need a good scaring to remind them why I'm their shepperd.

Re:US Hysterical (2, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 4 years ago | (#32957420)

I hope you Americans reclaim your civil freedoms soon...

To state one must "reclaim" a freedom precludes its existence to begin with. Or put another way -- what Americans have been calling "rights" all these years were really privileges that the ruling party/authority could remove from an individual or group at will.

Re:US Hysterical (4, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | about 4 years ago | (#32957502)

Please don't think that Freedom is intrinsic. Looking at government is always looking into the business end of a gun. Sometimes that end is painted nice and is reasonable. Other places, not so much: that's why it's important, here, now, to preserve the pretty paint of the US governments business end.

Re:US Hysterical (5, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | about 4 years ago | (#32957530)

They are, though. As soon as you enter into a social contract that gives one class of people a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence, you give them the ability to remove lots of these "rights". The only thing stopping them from doing it is that same social contract -- the Constitution, etc. It's a "We'll give you the ability to violate our rights as long as you promise not to use it" sort of thing.

The trouble is that the only thing stopping the ruling group from breaching this contract is the fear that if they do anything egregious then they'll get voted out, and that if they try to not abide by the results of an election then they'll lose support of enough people (including some of the ones they rely on to execute their license to use violence) that they'll lose power anyway.

Unfortunately, they've gotten good at breaking their end of the social contract and still getting elected.

Re:US Hysterical (1)

TheMeuge (645043) | about 4 years ago | (#32958132)

They are, though. As soon as you enter into a social contract that gives one class of people a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence, you give them the ability to remove lots of these "rights". The only thing stopping them from doing it is that same social contract -- the Constitution, etc. It's a "We'll give you the ability to violate our rights as long as you promise not to use it" sort of thing.

The trouble is that the only thing stopping the ruling group from breaching this contract is the fear that if they do anything egregious then they'll get voted out, and that if they try to not abide by the results of an election then they'll lose support of enough people (including some of the ones they rely on to execute their license to use violence) that they'll lose power anyway.

Unfortunately, they've gotten good at breaking their end of the social contract and still getting elected.

That's why a critically-important part of this contract should be that those who have not been given direct power to exercise violence, still have the means to do so in a critical situation. I am of course talking about retaining one's right to bear arms.

In the absence of this one right, all others are moot, since the only rights you have, are the ones you can defend.

In the absence of the right to self-defense and the means to do so, the criminals are the ones who have rights, since they can clearly defend them very well. The government, on the other hand, may impose arbitrary rules to preserve the ruling class and the status quo, without any fear whatsoever.

Re:US Hysterical (1, Interesting)

Entropius (188861) | about 4 years ago | (#32958398)

The issue with the right to bear arms is that it is meaningless until and unless one can get enough people armed well enough to exercise said violence in a critical situation, which presumably means outshooting the police.

This can only happen with demilitarized police *and* some sort of mechanism in place to stop them from calling for reinforcements from the National Guard. Not sure quite how we get there from here.

The times when a bunch of armed commoners can square off against military forces are over, at least unless ownership of IED-type devices and RPG's becomes common.

Hysteria indeed (2, Informative)

poptones (653660) | about 4 years ago | (#32957570)

I truly hope you and the folks who have thus far replied to your post will some day take the time to actually read some of the works that inspired our Constitution. Start with "Common Sense" - it was written so as to be understood by the commoners of the day; hopefully y'all have sufficient education as to be able to understand the work today...

Re:Hysteria indeed (2, Informative)

headkase (533448) | about 4 years ago | (#32957730)

Since you brought it up, here is a link: Common Sense [usconstitution.net] .

Re:Hysteria indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32958020)

but that the example which ye have unwisely set, of mingling religion with politics, may be disavowed and reprobated by every inhabitant of America.

Well shit, first was Thomas Jefferson, now the Republicans are going to have to erase Thomas Paine from our history books? What do you want to bet that Texans accidentally remove the Thomas Aquinas references they just added [chron.com] while they're on a roll (it wouldn't be the first time a bunch of Republicans got together and proved that "all of us are more stupid than some of us" [see last paragraph of this article [guardian.co.uk] ])?

But hey, once the Republicans gave up on America The Greatest, why should they bother with the great minds of America when they can teach kids about the great minds of France like Calvin?

Re:US Hysterical (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about 4 years ago | (#32957870)

Wrong.

Rights, Natural Rights, are universal. They exist for all time, in all places and for all people.

They need not be granted, approved or enumerated by any government.

They can not be removed, except by the direct application of physical force.

Everyone has the right to free speech.

They can remove this right by cutting out your tongue, paralyzing you or even killing you.

Passing a law forbidding free speech does not remove that right, you can still speak freely.

A law forbidding speech does not remove that right, it infringes upon the free expression of that right.

You can follow the law and allow yourself to be intimidated, suffering a chilling effect.

You can still speak, perhaps facing tyranny and injustice in return.

And if you are very lucky, you might be able to overthrow that tyranny and restore justice with a rightful government that respects its peoples rights.

Re:US Hysterical (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 4 years ago | (#32957988)

... And, in the United States, you can pressure your State legislature to nullify unconstitutional Federal laws, just as many have done in recent years. But it needs to be done more quickly and more often.

Re:US Hysterical (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32958078)

Nut cases like you can petition anybody for anything, but the states do not have the power to nullify federal laws.

Re:US Hysterical (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 4 years ago | (#32958174)

what Americans have been calling "rights" all these years were really privileges that the ruling party/authority could remove from an individual or group at will.

There are two things. One is Natural Rights. You have a right to your life, your body, your property, self-ownership, etc. People in funny costumes can do bad things to you, even kill you, but they can't take away your natural rights (only infringe them).

The other is what a State claims to recognize as checks on infringing your natural rights. This is something like the Bill of Rights. To deconstruct, it says, "We are the organized use of violence against people, but we'll promise to be nice in the following areas - won't you agree to subject yourself to our rules?"

As usual, George Carlin nailed it when he said of Governments, You Have No Rights [youtube.com] .

Re:US Hysterical (0, Offtopic)

Kepesk (1093871) | about 4 years ago | (#32957454)

I hope we reclaim out civil freedoms as well; I'm really starting to miss them. Obama is not doing the job we elected him to do. This is starting to get frightening.

Re:US Hysterical (2, Interesting)

mmcxii (1707574) | about 4 years ago | (#32957742)

Do you honestly think that parties that get to the size and influence as our big two really do that by honestly showing good will and trust to their subjects? Please. Those who voted for Obama in the hopes that he was going to loosen the grip of the intelligence community on the people he has been tasked to serve are seriously naive.

Look, I know most of you think that it is only the right that wears Klan robes, rub their hands together with greedy intent and kick puppies but the bottom line is that both parties have very active members who've proven they're no better than the other. Why do you keep drinking the kool aid when we have incident after incident of both Ds and Rs that are up to no good? Do you have the much of an investment in your party of choice that you can't afford to finally tell them that you've had enough of their bullshit by not voting for them or giving them your financial support?

While this doesn't mean that Obama himself is the evil henchman the fact is that he can't do much of anything by himself and the things he might be able to do by himself have long gone by the wayside as hollow promises. For as much as the Dems chanted that they didn't need the Reps to do what they needed to do in the name of humanity? Damn little of it ever gone done. And now? The chants that it's the "party of no" that made it impossible for them to do what is in your best interest. Are you still buying these lies? Please don't tell me you are.

Re:US Hysterical (0)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | about 4 years ago | (#32957470)

Preaching to the choir.

Re:US Hysterical (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 4 years ago | (#32957484)

This sounds more like a case of corporations eroding our civil rights, which has little to do with the war on terror, they're always quick to do that to avoid bad PR. That the FBI asked for information and suggested burstnet drop them is not ideal, yes, but let's not act like this is all the US government going paranoid: plenty of companies in whatever country you live in would screw your rights over too even if your government wouldn't ask them.

That and you're preaching to the choir.

Re:US Hysterical (2, Insightful)

Reginald2 (1859758) | about 4 years ago | (#32957508)

Homeland Security will be an ever increasing beast. I'm already surprised at everything that falls under their authority. OTOH...This is not really something new for us. Who knows maybe they get funding from the "War on Drugs," the American public's interest is waning and the jailed population is going up. Maybe chasing down bloggers will keep us out of ground wars. A lot more than this would have to happen for us to stop cowering.

We have new words (0)

copponex (13876) | about 4 years ago | (#32957648)

The occasional nut they do catch or the millions inconvenienced every day just trying to get on a plane? Secret lists... I could go on, the point is stop cowering and be Free again.

You're missing the New American Dictionary.

Promoting Democracy is invading another nation to impose your will on them. National Defense is giving up your liberties for the security provided by Promoting Democracy. And Patriotism is outrage at public money spent on helping your neighbors, unless it's for National Defense or Promoting Democracy.

Trust us. It all makes sense once you throw your principles out the window.

It's not only in the USA (1)

mangu (126918) | about 4 years ago | (#32957666)

There have been several totally bungled [wikipedia.org] operations in other countries too.

Sadly, the conclusion must be that the terrorists are winning. They aimed to destroy the western way of life and they are certainly making progress at it.

Re:US Hysterical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32957886)

Yes, the hysteria is starting to fade a bit but in the meantime departments such as Homeland Security have grown into unwieldy beasts. I hope you Americans reclaim your civil freedoms soon: you know the ones that have been eroded in the "War on Terror." Terror to who? The occasional nut they do catch or the millions inconvenienced every day just trying to get on a plane? Secret lists... I could go on, the point is stop cowering and be Free again.

Let us note that the parent is responding to a case of the FBI (not Homeland Security) asking a company for information on who runs a website, and that the website is said to be used -- we cannot know because it's down -- to train and encourage the people who are not the occasional nut but have a strong support network that is at war with the rest of the world. IOW, YHBT.

One salient point. (1)

headkase (533448) | about 4 years ago | (#32958362)

No matter which particular branch of government performs the action: We have always been at war with Al-Qaeda. Mr. Orwell was an optimist, he thought it would happen early.

CYA (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 4 years ago | (#32957316)

...the agency included a clause that says Web hosts and Internet service providers may voluntarily elect to shut down the sites of customers involved in these kinds of situations.

The word voluntary has a markedly different meaning when used by law enforcement and government than by the public. As a recent example, the kidnapping of an Iranian nuclear scientist was reported as having left the country "voluntarily". Businesses aren't stupid: If you get a letter from the authorities saying your computer might have terrorist information on it, it's probably best to launch it into space now instead of risking the public hysteria or government's heavy-handed tactics that could land you, your family, and your friends all in jail on "suspicion" of one thing or another.

Re:CYA (1)

v1 (525388) | about 4 years ago | (#32957448)

it's probably best to launch it into space

That and even moreso if suits with gold badges pay a visit to discuss your "voluntary cooperation".

It's like Bruno suggesting you "volunteer" your lunch money.

Re:CYA (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | about 4 years ago | (#32957676)

Point taken. Sometimes one is volunteered. I learned early that it always looks better for you if you volunteer than get ordered when you still have to do the same thing anyway. But having said that, you don't need to whitewash it with hysteria. The Iranian scientist situation is very questionable.

Re:CYA (2, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | about 4 years ago | (#32958070)

The Iranian scientist situation is very questionable.

Questionable? He was a mid-level scientist. He didn't know anything juicy. He offered to defect. He defected. He was debriefed. The US didn't care much for what he had to say, and relocated him to someplace boring and he had no friends, no family, and was without mastery of the language. His family may or may not have been threatened in Iran. He re-defected back for the "payment" of stating he never defected in the first place, but instead was kidnapped by evil Americans.

Is there anything in my assessment of the situation that you find questionable? Anything in there you find to be probably untrue or greatly suspect? It seems pretty clear and straight forward.

Re:CYA (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | about 4 years ago | (#32958356)

Is there anything in my assessment of the situation that you find questionable? Anything in there you find to be probably untrue or greatly suspect? It seems pretty clear and straight forward.

Yeah, I do have a question. How do you know this?

Look... I agree with most of your take on the situation (I suspect he knew a bit more than you give credit for - and far more than he now claims). But at the same time, the US does have a recent history of operations that would fall in line with this guy's claims. So there is room for doubt. Although I should probably point out to you that my statement was questioning the validity of the kidnapping claim. Even if I accept that there is a possibility that it is accurate.

Re:CYA (5, Insightful)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | about 4 years ago | (#32957990)

Businesses aren't stupid: If you get a letter from the authorities saying your computer might have terrorist information on it, it's probably best to launch it into space now instead of risking the public hysteria or government's heavy-handed tactics that could land you, your family, and your friends all in jail on "suspicion" of one thing or another.

Or perhaps the business thinks that complying with the request is the right thing to do under the circumstances. I know I would likely do the same thing under those conditions -- look at the content and decide whether I want to be hosting it. I would just as surely fight a court order if the content was legit as I would pull the plug if it wasn't.

It is not beyond possibility that a business owner might decide that, even if were legal to do so (and in this case it's probably not, although we'll never find out for sure) he's not going to offer his services to further the cause of something he finds abhorrent. It's not inconceivable that the government actually convinced him they were factually correct that the site was used by Al Qaeda. The conclusion that he must have been threatened is absurd on its face because it does not account for the many ways that a reasonable person might chose to cooperate.

Re:CYA (3, Insightful)

Neoprofin (871029) | about 4 years ago | (#32958110)

What's more plausible, that an Iranian engineer went on a pilgrimage and was kidnapped, broke free and returned to Iran; or that he defected for $5 Million but but decided to return to his family and made up a politically acceptable cover story, given:

- "Extraordinary Rendition" victims who were released never found themselves in the U.S.
- the U.S. has shown itself fully willing to imprison people reliable without charge or trial
- the U.S. has shown itself willing to pay quite well for defectors in the past

If he were kidnapped he'd be rotting in Kyrgyzstan where laws on torture don't apply, not walking casually into a New York Embassy.

Re:CYA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32958244)

Hope & Change... who are you voting for in November? Liberties are gone.

Sounds right. (4, Insightful)

Nethead (1563) | about 4 years ago | (#32957322)

If the FBI came to me and told me one of my hosts had bomb making info on it, I'd shut it down too regardless if it was foreign or domestic host, or just even a p0wn.

I can't see any reason to have that info on a web site. It's not like you're going to make a bigger bomb than the US has. You're just going to get some dumb-ass to blow his hand off.

Re:Sounds right. (1)

vxice (1690200) | about 4 years ago | (#32957478)

Information should never be illegal. Also remember that the government should not be able to out gun its own population. Also there are plenty of other reason besides righteous rebellion against a corrupt government that you might want to know about explosives. Maybe against another government that the U.S. does not support. Like the group Jundallah. Terrorist in every sense of the word but against the Islamic republic of Iran so they are alright by us.

Re:Sounds right. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32957706)

what historical time period do you live in, I cant think of anytime after WW2 that the government didnt outgun the population

why dont you and Ted Nugent go door to door and take a survey

Re:Sounds right. (1)

vxice (1690200) | about 4 years ago | (#32958296)

Difference between should and does.

Re:Sounds right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32957768)

Also remember that the government should not be able to out gun its own population.

So I guess we're each entitled to a tank, jet fighter and predator drone to balance things out right? Has yours arrived yet?

Re:Sounds right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32957924)

By strict interpretation of the constitution were are allowed to have those things as well as nukes, but I'm glad that civilians don't have legal access to nukes.

Re:Sounds right. (1)

vxice (1690200) | about 4 years ago | (#32958280)

Actually the government is not allowed to maintain a standing army in the U.S. Although when you have a war against a verb the war is perpetual.

Re:Sounds right. (2, Insightful)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | about 4 years ago | (#32958348)

Information should never be illegal.

Here, let me help you out a bit, I'll bold the key points since your reading comprehension sucks balls.

If the FBI came to me and told me one of my hosts had bomb making info on it, I'd shut it down too regardless if it was foreign or domestic host, or just even a p0wn.

I can't see any reason to have that info on a web site. It's not like you're going to make a bigger bomb than the US has. You're just going to get some dumb-ass to blow his hand off.

There is no such thing as illegal information in the US. You can be held responsible if certain things happen directly because you posted certain types of information, but there very specific rules about what kinds of information this applies to - generally it must relate to causing direct harm to US soldiers or other similar personnel. If the people cannot be harmed by the information, though, there is nothing to stop you from posting it.

What the GP described and Burst.Net demonstrated was the individual right of the host to not display information they do not approve of. This is individuals censoring their own equipment.

The second key element you missed was that the Government's request was 100% voluntary. Burst.Net did not even have to give them the information requested if they did not want to.

Yeah, the US is really oppressive, I can totally see it now.

Also there are plenty of other reason besides righteous rebellion against a corrupt government that you might want to know about explosives.

There are tons of websites that show you how to build explosives. You can even go to college for it, it's a legitimate engineering discipline.

In other words, you're an idiot.

Re:Sounds right. (1)

Entropius (188861) | about 4 years ago | (#32957550)

This is why you are not in the business of selling hosting to other people.

Re:Sounds right. (1)

Nethead (1563) | about 4 years ago | (#32957618)

And this is why Burst.net is? You don't know how many AUPs I've written nor how many ISPs I've worked for. Or that matter, how many hosts I've pulled down for illegal content.

Re:Sounds right. (1)

Entropius (188861) | about 4 years ago | (#32958266)

No, I don't. But I wouldn't buy hosting from you, and I imagine that many customers wouldn't either if they knew that their stuff was at risk of being taken down for merely being controversial.

I tend to hire reliable people to perform services for me.

Re:Sounds right. (2, Insightful)

Nethead (1563) | about 4 years ago | (#32958456)

TFA: Sources close to the investigation say that included in those materials were the names of American citizens targeted for assassination by al-Qaeda. Messages from Osama bin Laden and other leaders of the terrorist organization, as well as bomb-making tips, were also allegedly found on the server.

That goes a bit beyond "merely being controversial."

Re:Sounds right. (2, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 4 years ago | (#32957602)

It's not like you're going to make a bigger bomb than the US has. You're just going to get some dumb-ass to blow his hand off.

If said dumb-ass is an aspiring suicide bomber, that would sound like a win all around.

I would have thought that unless there was an immediate threat, the FBI would have much preferred to monitor the blog and find out who was posting and reading so they could arrest the bad guys, rather than shutting it down and letting them know they've been rumbled.

Re:Sounds right. (1)

mmcxii (1707574) | about 4 years ago | (#32957606)

You're just going to get some dumb-ass to blow his hand off.

I fail to see the problem with that. This kind of twisted Darwinism is one of the few things that make me smile on the nightly news.

Re:Sounds right. (2, Funny)

Nethead (1563) | about 4 years ago | (#32957684)

I live on an Indian reservation that has lots of fireworks. The aid crew gets tired of combing the beach for missing fingers.

Re:Sounds right. (3, Insightful)

Luke has no name (1423139) | about 4 years ago | (#32957864)

I don't see any reason why people should speak out against their government. it's not like you're going to have more money to spend than the US on court costs and advertising. You're just going to go broke and put on a watchlist.

Re:Sounds right. (1)

Nethead (1563) | about 4 years ago | (#32957970)

TFA: Sources close to the investigation say that included in those materials were the names of American citizens targeted for assassination by al-Qaeda.

How are hit-lists by foreign terrorists "speak[ing] out against their government"?

Yes, speech is the same as bombs. Right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32958156)

You win the Bad Analogy of The Day award.

Re:Sounds right. (2, Interesting)

eulernet (1132389) | about 4 years ago | (#32958382)

That is absolutely stupid !

If the FBI came to me and told me that one of my hosts had bomb making info, I'd give them access to the server, so that they can monitor who are accessing the site, in order to locate them.
If people go to this site, this means that they are interested by its content.

Closing the site just sends an alert to the terrorists, and allows them to flee or enter dormant mode, with no way to track them later.

Re:Sounds right. (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | about 4 years ago | (#32958474)

You're just going to get some dumb-ass to blow his hand off.

Problem solved.. Or should I say, Mission accomplished!

Ah Yes, Where Are All the "US == China" Folks Now? (1, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 4 years ago | (#32957334)

Huh, so the website went offline by the choice of the hosting provider? I guess we should say that the hosting provider is as bad as China [slashdot.org] and get moderated +4, Interesting? SquarePixel, care to comment on this now?

Re:Ah Yes, Where Are All the "US == China" Folks N (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32957566)

SquarePixel is a punk ass bitch and he has proven it time and time again.

Fuck him.

Re:Ah Yes, Where Are All the "US == China" Folks N (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32958326)

You sound like a Republican.

Re:Ah Yes, Where Are All the "US == China" Folks N (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32958378)

You sound like just another tool.

Re:Ah Yes, Where Are All the "US == China" Folks N (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32957614)

I guess we should say that the hosting provider is as bad as China and get moderated +4, Interesting?

Are you losing sleep for fear of terrorist cells that require instructions from a blog just to construct a potentially lethal incendiary or explosive device? It appears to me that your preconditioned, reflexive knee-jerk would be a greater risk to your personal health.

Re:Ah Yes, Where Are All the "US == China" Folks N (1)

iammani (1392285) | about 4 years ago | (#32957740)

This has already been addressed above. [slashdot.org] . eldavojohn, care to comment on this post now?

Re:Ah Yes, Where Are All the "US == China" Folks N (2, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 4 years ago | (#32957838)

This has already been addressed above. [slashdot.org] . eldavojohn, care to comment on this post now?

Sure, why not? The post you linked to I find quite humorous because if you actually read section 2702 [cornell.edu] it says nothing about voluntarily shutting down your server. It's talking about voluntary disclosure of communications. That's assuming that whoever sent them the notice had already found the messages in question.

Tell me, where in that code did you find the information that they should voluntarily shut down their server or face life threatening consequences?

The reason the server was shut down -- I assume -- is because they were notified that they were serving such information and they had two choices A) read every single blog posting and verify that no more of that information is on that server or B) shut it down and be safe.

Guess what they did? The guy that was collecting adsense dollars on a huge ring of blogs got shut down by the private company he was "in contract" to. Oh well, business sucks. I think it's disingenuous to blame all of this on the United States government or even imply they were threatening someone's life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

Re:Ah Yes, Where Are All the "US == China" Folks N (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | about 4 years ago | (#32958462)

The reason the server was shut down -- I assume -- is because they were notified that they were serving such information and they had two choices A) read every single blog posting and verify that no more of that information is on that server or B) shut it down and be safe.

You're forgetting the third option:

C) The owners love their country and are pissed off that someone is using their service to host anti-American content.

Companies are owned by people, and people have opinions and the right to act on them. I would not be surprised if this were part of the decision making process (though money can get people to turn a blind eye to things they find distasteful).

Re:Ah Yes, Where Are All the "US == China" Folks N (1)

unix1 (1667411) | about 4 years ago | (#32957744)

In other news, both google.com and bing.com and 10s of thousands of servers behind those domains are scheduled to be voluntarily shut down later today due to the fact that they may have indexed and cached some of the offensive content.

What am I missing?

Re:Ah Yes, Where Are All the "US == China" Folks N (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32957780)

It was Qwest's choice not to participate in Bush's warrantless wiretapping... see where that got them?

"Voluntary" and "Choice" are words that mean something entirely different when the government can throw you in jail for not making the right choice.

IT company acts responsibly -shock, gasp (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32957342)

No WONDER this is front-page news. This level of adult, responsible self-policing is extremely rare in our "I've got mine fuck everyone else" feel-good culture.

Not gonna help much... (1)

Post-O-Matron (1273882) | about 4 years ago | (#32957434)

I don't see what good all of this would make - so you cleanse sites hosted on US servers from bomb-making info. Stil leaves plenty of them around the rest of the world...

So when Burst.net said they could not disclose the (1)

whoever57 (658626) | about 4 years ago | (#32957494)

... reason for the shutdown, they were being "economical with the truth"?

I can accept that, perhaps they had a reason to shut down their client (although the reason seems very weak), but to lie about it? They deserve to have their clients move elsewhere and be forced into bankruptcy.

And what does this tell us ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | about 4 years ago | (#32957660)

do NOT host anything with burstnet. leave aside a server on their infrastructure, not even a single site.

Oh great (1)

selven (1556643) | about 4 years ago | (#32957692)

Yet another potential source of useful intelligence shut down.

Goodbye Slashdot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32957712)

step 1: fill glass jug halfway with gasoline.
step 2: stuff dry rag in hole.
step 3: light and throw at one of the following acceptable Al-Qaeda targets:
  - Al Franken
  - the dumpsters behind the Pentagon
  - New York City
  - drones (any, unmanned aircraft can't possibly be kosher with the Koran)

DHS alert level (2, Interesting)

rwa2 (4391) | about 4 years ago | (#32957734)

Cool, so that means the current Department of Homeland Security alert level of yellow/orange actually means there's information out there regarding an actual threat, and not just a constant elevated paranoia to cover their asses if something bad actually goes down?

http://www.dhs.gov/files/programs/Copy_of_press_release_0046.shtm [dhs.gov]

When the threat is mitigated, do we finally get to reduce the threat level to blue or green? What are the criteria for actually reaching that? :P

Once In A Lifetime People! (4, Insightful)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about 4 years ago | (#32957736)

It doesn't get any better than this..... They shut it down, they're pandering to federal government. The don't shut it down, they're supporting terrorists. They shut it down, they're giving in to Big Money over an independent 'net. They don't shut it down and they're aiding and abetting anti-American behaviour. They shut it down, they're Killing Free Speech. They don't shut it down and they're......well, to be honest I could go off on 101 diatribes. I've got great Slashdot karma, my comments have a pretty high average, hell...I don't even have to watch adverts or even give them money....and yet I have this weird feeling that I fundamentally disagree with both sides of Slashdot arguments, On both a mathematical and psychological level, this worries me.

Why stop there? (4, Insightful)

rickb928 (945187) | about 4 years ago | (#32958034)

I assume DHS will be raiding libraries nationwide, removing books on bomb making, explosives, etc?

And of course many chemistry texts, especially those which focus on such experiments?

Then they can go and visit our colleges, universities, and technical schools, so that these institutions can discontinue any teaching of such dangerous and unacceptable subjects?

This is unfortunate and sad, that our Administration would stoop to such an infringement on our First Amendment. Ignore the futility of the act.

Let me repeat. This is a First Amendment violation.

Now the al-Qaeda stuff, if they were posting contact info and such, well, darn. Gotta stop that. No point in aiding and abetting.

But bomb-making by itself isn't a crime is it? I have a few friends that still live in the woods, and they have a bit of fun with blowing stuff up occasionally, like stumps and old cars. It's their property.

We're in trouble.

Re:Why stop there? (3, Informative)

TheMeuge (645043) | about 4 years ago | (#32958162)

I assume DHS will be raiding libraries nationwide, removing books on bomb making, explosives, etc?

And of course many chemistry texts, especially those which focus on such experiments?

Then they can go and visit our colleges, universities, and technical schools, so that these institutions can discontinue any teaching of such dangerous and unacceptable subjects?

It's already happening. So many new organisms have made it onto "select agent lists" that I am surprised any decent virology is still being done in the US. Soon we'll be left with no human pathogens outside the list that can be used for research.

And to do work on something that's on the list, you have to go through a process that takes so long that the student or post-doc would want to be leaving by the time they are cleared to do the work.

Re:Why stop there? (1)

Chimel31 (1859784) | about 4 years ago | (#32958256)

I am all for prohibiting the same of chemical fertilizers. Add charcoal and saltpetre, and you have your bomb. Long live organic farming! ^-^

Re:Why stop there? (1)

Chimel31 (1859784) | about 4 years ago | (#32958342)

*sale

Why shutdown the whole blog hosting site? (2, Insightful)

Chimel31 (1859784) | about 4 years ago | (#32958038)

I still don't understand why the FBI did not ask directly blogetery to shut down the couple of blogs involved, and why burst.net chose to shut down blogetery instead of forwarding the FBI request to them. It does not make sense and seems to be a very bad decision from burst.net. As well ask Verizon or AT&T to cut the Internet cables powering burst.net. Besides, it's only blogetery who knows the IPs of these blogs, not burst.net. Or am I missing something? The FBI did not seem to have contacted blogetery owner at all, as he stated in the previous article that the shutdown might have been caused by copyright infringement. He obviously had not clue why his blog hosting site was shut down. Geez, not only has slashdot home page the worst display design for articles, baring maybe The Register, but its design for comments are even worse. Somebody knows a way to expand all the abbreviated comments?

Panopticon-driven self censorship? (1)

mykos (1627575) | about 4 years ago | (#32958122)

I'm not sure if the company was being responsible our of their own sense of morality, or if they just didn't want to deal with government pressure in the form of subpoenas and warrants later.

Re:Panopticon-driven self censorship? (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 4 years ago | (#32958496)

Most hosting providers take the shut down first ask questions later we have a clause in our TOS that lets us. The only profitable clients in low end hosting are the ones that do not take any time that is not billable. Move often than not getting in contact with the people the your renting to is also near impossible they do not return emails or phone calls, they say whatever they can to keep there site up no-matter how broken it is and generally just want it to keep working. Want there attention turn it off they will call tech support in minutes. People want to leave 5 year out of date blogging software up and running even though it's getting actively exploited. To many people rent hardware power and a network connection with no ability to maintain what they rented or desire to pay what it costs to maintain it. Seems like this guy did just that rented some server threw up some software and went to town.

Want to avoid this put out the cash to rent some real data center space, get some connections from a couple telco's and some IP's swiped over to you and go will cost ya at least a few k a month vs 50 bucks. Staff 24/7 to make sure it stays up.

I wonder how much power I have over Facebook (1)

AthleteMusicianNerd (1633805) | about 4 years ago | (#32958186)

If I was able to post the information on my Facebook page, would the US Government shut down Facebook, or would Zuckerberg agree to cooperate with the FBI? (Not that I have the information, btw)

Burst.net have NOT handled this well (5, Interesting)

Michael Hunt (585391) | about 4 years ago | (#32958206)

So, the Burst.net guys get a request for information about a machine they host which has ~70k users, give or take. Instead of asking the box's sysadmin (who's their CLIENT), they pull the pin, then go on to mutter vague conspiracy-minded commentary such as "getting a refund is the least of his (the site owner/sysadmin) problems" on fora such as WHT (see http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?s=05a61aabdfcacdb369e1582aff4686a1&t=964013 [webhostingtalk.com] ) Apparently the fact that he _received_ abuse complaints in the past was grounds to terminate his service; never mind the fact that he had SEVENTY THOUSAND USERS and acted on DMCA notifications and other abuse requests in a timely fashion, which is better than can be said about a lot of sites.

Had burst.net forwarded the request to the site owner (or even simply given the feds his name, and explained how he fit in) instead of disconnecting the machine, making borderline slanderous statements (such as 'he'll never get his data back' and 'a refund is the least of his worries right now',) they would have come out of this looking reasonably good. As it stands, you'd have to be completely brain-dead retarded to even think about giving them money.

Mirrors? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32958258)

I'm constantly told that information yearns to be free.

Where are the mirrors?

Oh, you didn't mean *really* free.

We will never beat out al-Qaeda because... (1)

3seas (184403) | about 4 years ago | (#32958460)

...al-Qaeda is not a single organized group but rather what ever any government wants to claim it is at any given moment. Be it a group of drug runners, arms dealers, mothers (if the giovernment so choses to call the group such... and the public will associate bad, as in organized single group to them. This way government drug runners, arms dealers and mothers can have a never ending war.

Magic word "al-Qaeda" to get public approval.

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