Saturday, July 31, 2010

Web Hosting Services Shut Down—Is there a Kill Switch?



Around July 9th, Blogetery, a WordPress platform used by more than 70,000 bloggers, was shut down and its members were told by the web host, BurstNet, that service was terminated at the “request” of a law enforcement agency. The mystery is, WHICH agency made this request and WHY? Then approximately 5 days later iPBFree terminated its service with no explanation.

There is speculation running amuck that Blogetery violated copyright laws, was posting child pornography, and also that some of its members were engaging in terrorist activities, like an al-Qaeda hit list and how-to tips on bomb construction. Another enigma, WHICH speculation is accurate?

A spokesperson for the Recording Industry Association of America said it had no involvement with the termination of BurstNet’s shut down and a spokeswoman for ICE said, “While ICE's Internet piracy enforcement efforts are still very much ongoing, we were not involved with the action." A spokesperson for the Motion Picture Association of America said he had never heard of Blogetery!


If the MPAA and the RIAA weren’t involved, WHO issued the order to shut down this site? Especially since those organizations typically make a big deal out of copyright law breakers. Benjamin Arcus, Vice-President of BurstNet, confirmed that he complied with copyright laws and removed unauthorized material “within 24 hours” whenever he was informed of the infraction. Besides, a BurstNet executive stated, "I can not disclose which agency or why they [ordered the action]. I can say that this is not a copyright issue."

A law enforcement officer, with experience in cyber crimes, who wished to remain anonymous, said that when child pornography was involved, hosting services weren’t just “shut down” and he didn’t know of any agency that had the authority to terminate service for thousands of people without jumping through legal hoops. In his experience, search warrants were normally obtained and Internet protocol addresses were turned over, but the service stayed in operation. He noted that prosecutors and law enforcement agencies are required to provide due process and that in the United States we are innocent until proven guilty.

This leaves us with the allegation of terrorism. Was there a blog or blogs that were posting information on how to construct bombs or other incendiary information which could be construed as terrorism against the United States and its citizens? And if so, why not investigate THEM? Why did the entire domain have to be terminated, shutting down over 70,000 blogs, most of which were perfectly innocent, and you know, exercising that silly thing called the 1st Amendment.

Remember the anonymous law enforcement officer said he didn’t know of any agency that had the authorization to terminate internet access for thousands of people. Well, I know of an agency that has that type of authority—our Federal Government, and it now has a piece of legislation which does give them authority-- It’s called the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act. Is it possible that our government deemed Blogetery and iPBFree as risks? Threats of some kind and shut them down? Farfetched you say? Yeah, well I never thought I’d be called a racist for disagreeing with the President or for wanting LEGAL immigration, either. Anything is possible these days, as far as I’m concerned, especially considering we pass two-thousand page bills without even reading them! Heck, the Speaker of the House said, "we have to pass the bill to find out what's in it"! Unbelievable I know, but TRUE!

For now we don’t know the answers as to why two internet hosting sites have been shut down. We might never know. Suffice to say it appears suspicious so I’m going to back up all of my information just in case I log in to Blogger one day and find out I can’t access it. One never knows if a computer will crash, a hosting site will go under, close down or if our government will…well…use a “kill switch”…

8 comments:

  1. Ms. Pamela - I'm sure this is coming to a blog site near you and me. It's just a matter of time

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  2. I back up weekly. It also aids in finding old posts via text search, since Blooger's search function is so crappy :(

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  3. Pam, you said... "One never knows if a computer will crash, a hosting site will go under, close down or if our government will…well…use a “kill switch”… "

    The latter scenario is not too far fetched. It may be here sooner rather than later.

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  4. Gorgeous, groovy hair, girl. Love you. See ya soon. Hope for change: pray, pray, pray the Rosary. Doesn't matter if you aren't a Roamin' Catholic, say the family Rosary for 20 minutes. WON-DER-FULL how much peace you bestow. Be at peace.

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  5. I am much more worried that, instead of "killing" content from certain providers, Republicans will kill net neutrality, allowing corporations to slow it down.

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  6. Creepy. Very creepy indeed...

    Yikes.

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  7. Like this post, your given point about web hosting services are really very clear and straight. Thanks

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