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Author Topic: Testing the internet "kill" switch  (Read 2022 times)

wraith808

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Testing the internet "kill" switch
« on: July 19, 2010, 02:44:50 PM »
Internet_Cut_Off_Switch.jpg

Interesting article that would have passed me by if not for a friend linking to it.

http://www.backwoods...nternet-kill-switch/

Quote
If you read tech blogs — and only if you read tech blogs (or a handful of online techzines) — you already know that, on July 9, some unnamed government agency, for unnamed reasons, ordered BurstNet to take 73,000 blogs permanently offline. All were part of the same WordPress platform called Blogetery.

A week later, a forum-creating service was shut down just as mysteriously.

If you rely on mainstream sources for your news — or even online mainstream alternatives — you haven’t heard a peep about any of this.

Why did some unnamed government agency order the death of 73,000 blogs?

40hz

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Re: Testing the internet "kill" switch
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2010, 03:26:28 PM »
Umm...actually, the issue was covered by widely-read TechDirt a while back.

Link: http://www.techdirt....16/04053910248.shtml

Quote
Authorities Force 73,000 Blogs Offline?
from the that-doesn't-seem-right dept

TorrentFreak is reporting that a company, Blogetery, that hosted about 73,000 blogs, has been shut down by US authorities. Details are, admittedly, sketchy at this point, but the entire site has been taken down, and the company's ISP claims that they had to terminate the account immediately due to the "request of law enforcement officials, due to material hosted on the server." The ISP also claimed:

    "this was not a typical case, in which suspension and notification would be the norm. This was a critical matter brought to our attention by law enforcement officials. We had to immediately remove the server."

That seems odd. If there was problematic content from some users, why not just take down that content or suspend those users. Taking down all 73,000 blogs seems... excessive. TorrentFreak speculates that this may be a part of the recent Homeland Security efforts to shut down file sharing site, and points to some evidence that there were at least a few Blogetery blogs that shared copyrighted works. However, no one's talking, and the ISP seems spooked, saying that it's "serious":

    "Simply put: We cannot give him his data nor can we provide any other details. By stating this, most would recognize that something serious is afoot."

I'm still wondering what could be so serious that the specific problems couldn't be pinpointed? Taking down 73,000 blogs with no notice seems like overkill, no matter what the actual issue turns out to be.

In a follow-up article posted today, TechDirt reports the reason this happened had nothing to do with the government testing a "kill switch" and everything to do with ISP Burst.net overreacting to a government request for information on a specific single blog page by shutting down the entire Blogetery website they were hosting...

Quote
Blogetery Closure Due To Bomb-Making Tips; Still Not Clear Why Entire Site Went Down
from the overreact-much? dept

Last week, we were confused as to why 73,000 blogs from Blogetery were taken offline due to some unnamed government agency, and now details are starting to come out. Greg Sandoval at News.com, has the latest, noting that the FBI told Blogetery's ISP, Burst.net, that there were bomb making tips found on the site, and rather than just getting rid of that one blog, Burst.net (not the FBI) decided to take down the entire Blogetery account. Either way, as we noted originally, taking down all 73,000 blogs seems like a total overreaction -- it's just that the overreaction was by Burst.net, rather than the FBI (who didn't even tell Burst.net to take down that one page -- but just requested info on who had created the page).


With all due respect to the folks over at Backwoods Home Magazine, they'd better leave the tech reporting to the people who have at least a semi-clue what they're talking about and concentrate more on what they're good at.

Well intentioned but erroneous conclusions such as were drawn by the BHM article don't do anybody much of a service. It's easy to get indignant. Much harder to get your facts straight before you do.

 :) :Thmbsup:

P.S. If you want to stay on top of some of the shady doings in the infosphere, TechDirt is probably the most reliable and least hysterical source for information on everything from the shenanigans surrounding ACTA and the RIAA's copyright abuse program to anything else you need to be aware of in the area of dirty doings.

This site is definitely one for your feedreader. :Thmbsup:

Highly recommended.  8)
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 03:36:45 PM by 40hz »

wraith808

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Re: Testing the internet "kill" switch
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2010, 08:21:07 PM »
Oops.  :-[

Thanks

40hz

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Re: Testing the internet "kill" switch
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2010, 09:50:31 PM »
Not a problem. Some of what Uncle Sam is getting up to lately is pretty scary. But the only way the real critics and reform advocates can have any hope of maintaing their public credibility is if they don't fall for straw men or go tilting at windmills. The so-called "kill switch" isn't a real threat to anyone for a lot of reasons. Allowing it to distract people from real issues such as ACTA or the recent trend of allowing private companies to semi-direct public policies and (apparently) some government enforcement actions is a far more serious threat to public freedoms.

Just my tuppence anyway.  ;D 8)   

f0dder

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Re: Testing the internet "kill" switch
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2010, 10:43:14 AM »
Requesting (and probably getting?) personal information just because somebody put up some bomb making tips? :o

I wonder if the feds are also monitoring who's checking out chem books from the libraries? :)
- carpe noctem

40hz

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Re: Testing the internet "kill" switch
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2010, 12:09:04 PM »
^Count on it. 8)

Once you get government $$$ or request classification as a non-profit or other tax exempt entity, the Feds often feel they own you. 
« Last Edit: July 25, 2010, 12:16:32 PM by 40hz »