73,000 WordPress blogs shut down by U.S. Government

by John Brownlee
Published: Jul.16, 2010 – Geek.com

This is alarming. Torrent news site TorrentFreak is now reporting that WordPress host Blogetery has been shut down by United States authorities… along with all 73,000 Blogetery-hosted blogs.

Although details are still very tentative, here’s what we know: Blogetery’s entire site has been taken down, and the company’s ISP is claiming that they had to terminate Blogetery’s account immediately after being ordered to do so by law enforcement officials, “due to material hosted on the server.”

“This was not a typical case, in which suspension and notification would be the norm,” Blogetery’s ISP said. “This was a critical matter brought to our attention by law enforcement officials. We had to immediately remove the server.”

Although TorrentFreak speculates that this is part of a recent Homeland Security effort to take down file sharing sites, that doesn’t quite make sense: surely in that case Blogetery would have been asked to pull specific infringing blogs, not have the rug yanked out from under them.

No, the extreme response taken here by U.S. Authorities implies some sort of believed terrorist connection or child pornography ring, not just a handful of warez and MP3 blogs. Even so, though, unless Blogetery itself is suspect of harboring terrorists or child pornographers, it’s hard to condone this sort of extreme action that has instantly silenced over 73,000 users, the majority of whom are doubtlessly innocent of any wrong-doing.

Hopefully, we’ll get more details of this developing story soon.

Source: http://www.geek.com/articles/news/73000-wordpress-blogs-shut-down-by-u-s-government-20100716/


24 Comments on “73,000 WordPress blogs shut down by U.S. Government”

  1. Dwight Baker says:

    from the site
    http://torrentfreak.com/u-s-authorities-shut-down-wordpress-host-with-73000-blogs-100716/

    After the U.S. Government took action against several sites connected to movie streaming recently, nerves are jangling over the possibility that this is just the beginning of a wider crackdown. Now it appears that a free blogging platform has been taken down by its hosting provider on orders from the U.S. authorities on grounds of “a history of abuse”. More than 73,000 blogs are out of action as a result.

    Hot on the heels of recent threats from Vice President Joe Biden and Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel directed at sites offering unauthorized movies and music, last month U.S. authorities targeted several sites they claimed were connected to the streaming of infringing video material.

    ‘Operation In Our Sites‘ targeted several sites including TVShack.net, Movies-Links.TV, FilesPump.com, Now-Movies.com, PlanetMoviez.com, ThePirateCity.org, ZML.com, NinjaVideo.net and NinjaThis.net. In almost unprecedented action, the domain names of 7 sites were seized and indications are that others – The Pirate Bay and MegaUpload – narrowly avoided the same fate.

    Fears remain, however, that this action is only the beginning, and that more sites will be targeted as the months roll on. Indeed, TorrentFreak has already received information that other sites, so far unnamed in the media, are being monitored by the authorities on copyright grounds.

    Now, according to the owner of a free WordPress platform which hosts more than 73,000 blogs, his network of sites has been completely shut down on the orders of the authorities.

    Blogetery.com has been with host BurstNet for 7 months but on Friday July 9th the site disappeared. The following Monday the owner received an email from BurstNet:

    Due to the history of abuse and on going abuse on this ‘bn.***********’ server.

    We have opted to terminate this server, effective immediately. This termination applies to: bn.affiliateplex.com

    Abuse Department
    BurstNET Technologies, Inc

    Further correspondence received the following response:

    Bn.xx*********** was terminated by request of law enforcement officials, due to material hosted on the server.

    We are limited as to the details we can provide to you, but note that this was a critical matter and the only available option to us was to immediately deactivate the server.

    …and a later clarification:

    Please note that 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.

    “We notified him [the Blogetery owner] when we terminated it [the server], and we refunded him his money to his account, because he has other servers with us If he wants the refund to his card, we can easily do that. However, it should be the least of his concerns,” A BurstNet representative later confirmed.

    “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.”

    Due to the fact that the authorities aren’t sharing information and BurstNet are sworn to secrecy, it is proving almost impossible to confirm the exact reason why Blogetery has been completely taken down. The owner does, however, admit to handling many copyright-related cease and desists in the past, albeit in a timely manner as the DMCA requires.

    Nevertheless, a couple of quick Google searches which are likely to turn up blogs which link to copyright material appear to do just that – here, here and here. That said, on any network this large this type of activity is bound to happen. Many thousands of blogs on the same platform would have been perfectly legal.

    “All of the users are without service just like when the Pirate Bay raids happened and all the people who were on the host sites were also taken down,” pointed out an annoyed Blogetery user who contacted TorrentFreak. “I have lost my personal site also and I don’t have any way to contact the owner since his contact info was on the blogetery.com site & that was the only way to contact him.”

    Indeed, 73,000 blogs is a significant number to take down in one swoop, regardless of what some users of the site may or may not have been doing. Time will tell if it was indeed a copyright complaint that took down the service but the signs are certainly there. Not so long ago the conclusion that this type of action could be taken on copyright grounds would have been dismissed out of hand, but the current atmosphere seems to be changing.

    Saved in: Copyright Issues

    MY TAKE

    I have not a clue what any of this means to a Few of us in the Many that have ideas we want to pass around to others with our civil sane political ideas and views.

  2. Annie Ladysmith says:

    i hope so for these fascist bastards are really turning freeky. Fact is; it’s down without an explanation.

    Those Torrence people can smoke a lot of pot and God only knows what they go on about, but no excuse for gagging them. (unless, of course, porno)

    Problem is the FBI, SS, and the worst bastard of them all”Homeland Security” do not have to justify their actions under .Martial Law.
    They are free to bring that card out and run with it.

    Remember poor Joseph Moshe, that was southern California for ya. Time to get out of there! When the looting starts HFS (f is for expletive) will clamp down within hours and Russian or Chinese troops, stationed in Longbeach, will go door to door dragging people into trucks for transport (see MTV spot getting people prepared for this) to the gulags in the dessert. We won’t have any communication accept the “national” news and the Huffington Post, which I suspect as a disinformation site.

    Anyway, high time Californians found a new motto besides, “Don’t knock it, till you try it”. I suggest New hampshire’s, “live free, or die”. God’s speed California, stand up to the bastards! You won’t be getting anymore dope where you’re going!

  3. Specklefoot says:

    If this is true, we need to go after the rats with tongs.

  4. Dwight Baker says:

    Biden just got fined $209,000 for running rough shod over the election commission for violations in the 2008 campaign.

    He is leading this attack as was reported maybe this will send him back to Iraq for a little vacation.

  5. arcticone says:

    based on this current administrations past actions, my guess is the real targets were right wing blogs

  6. Dwight Baker says:

    Arcticone,

    I think you might have it. I have got often right wing hate things until I was able to shut most down.

    Some I could not get them to quit. OH WELL when seeing just delete.

    Yes I think you are right there is separatist on the West Coast that have little covens that preach and teach that all are wrong except for the small group of morons that are in.

    Some sites that were very large at one time were dedicated to sponsoring such acts.

  7. Tulkor says:

    The common suspicion a few articles are giving is that there was a possible terrorist cell or a child porn ring operating on (i would assume) multiple blogs within the blog hosting server.

    Since they refuse to tell us EXACTLY WHY the blogs were taken down…we can easily use deductive reasoning to sense that something more is up than illegal file sharing of music and videos. They have the capability of shutting down individual blogs, so why didn’t they?

    In a bit of a worst case panic scenario I can see the government doing that if some confidential data was being leaked and through data mining they isolated it to the blogs and quickly shut down the whole server as precaution. I imagine after they clean it out they will let it back online unless the owner is at fault for something.

    Child porn / terrorist chatter doesn’t quite make sense. Most are smarter than that and will only expose themselves on the internet if they want others to notice them. (IE bomb threats.)

    Regardless what it could be…this is a testament to the amount of control the government has on the internet.

  8. Dwight Baker says:

    Tulkor,

    When I first began about three years ago, some how I ended up on Alternet. I believe they are located in the Pacific North West.

    The outlandish dissidents allowed to comment on the site were very disturbing to me. They were talking about exclusion from our society to become some kind of MAKE BELIEVE OVERSEERS of our treasury. Many of them were so dispossessed they didn’t make a bit of sense.

    And that went on for some time, I finally took my leave and left. Next I landed on Truthdig how they make the site fly is beyond me. They had then and maybe the same today about 30 folks that work the comment section. They take their jabs at one another and grip and complain a lot most do know how to compose but the content was lacking in my estimation.

    Then a short stint at CARE2 that was a wake up call how bad big servers could be. The site is run like a CULT. The big boss controls all. He makes or breaks anyone that comes around just by deeming his power to do so. Again content by those commenting lacked a lot, so in the end gone from there too.

    I stayed away from the Huffington post too much of an eyewash for me. Politico might be OK but they are in tune with the main line media best, as I can understand.

    Then I decided to go to New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe and some others, yet at the bottom of each of those are the power brokers that control.

    Then a small step into creating a blog turned out to be more that I wanted to put up with so I took the small investment hit and went on my way.

    Other smaller publications I tried to get a feel what their real deal was, and when I did I realized they were out to make converts and make money at the same time.

    So in my view of the internet We the People that do care have a long way to go to come up with a forum that can be trusted by all to do what is right not wrong, so that in the end we can look back and say— we promoted equity for all the people.

    Many others are out there preaching and teaching their own weird ideology that just turns me off for most of the brains behind the deal what the bully pulpit and that is just about it. And the last thing I will do is helping someone become my KING.

    Therefore I believe in Providence and that the One God Jesus Christ will cause to happen a coming together of the Few in the Many to oversee HIS will at this time.

    So my emphasis at this time is to run rough shod over BP and bring to light all their lies and work the work of plugging the blown out well RIGHT NOW. I am working also to bring together all the needed data to prove out an idea to treat the flumes that would make the oil rise to the top and be skimmed up. It is a novel idea and the time is almost right to make the public announcement. The Name of the idea/concept is Dolphin Finn. On paper it will work and do the best job of any other ideas I have seen.

    So what is really missing in our attempt to do well by all men and help all take back our run a way nation out of control. Eye to eye contact personal meetings to get a feel of each other and to be assured that we can count on each other to work the work assigned. We do not need a robust leader we must become that persona of leadership by our communed coalesced presence. And I firmly believe when those things begin clicking along common sense and reason will override the ignorance that is so prevalent today.

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  12. Dwight Baker says:

    Why repeat the obvious
    By Dwight Baker
    July 28, 2010
    Dbaker007@stx.rr.com

    Experience is the greatest teacher. Yet how many today want to go over and over and over again the plain and obvious? Could it be that our reading audience is so dumb they refuse to study out the facts so that [they too can stay in the giving out loop for the reasons we as a people are up for grabs]?

    Yet if that is the case for the redundancy of going over and over the clear and obvious facts then I submit we may be playing to the wrong crowd. Not that I think or perceive one is better than another but the simple facts about human nature is that only a small percentage can and will lead. Thus again I submit maybe some of our Masters in the Progressive Main Line Media should look at to whom they really serve.

    It is not hard for me to read some of the comments that go around today from one topic to another, most are just mad as hell and want to growl. Others want to play the blame game and leave themselves out. Others want to try and rule the roost yet [bottom line they are still in the egg]. While the other seemed intelligent crowd want to take the author to task over nit bit BS.

    Thus I move that those having a platform to stand up and shout out the cures that are ours — if we will just coalesce with one another in an informed manner and agree to do this or that —- do so now, don’t let any grass grow under your feet — you doing what is right and just for those you serve is the beginning of the information age to come into clear view.

    Many have forgotten that is the mainstay in a Democracy. We the People rule when we want too.

  13. Dwight Baker says:

    Small fries get swallowed down
    By Dwight Baker
    July 29, 2010
    Dbaker007@stx.rr.com

    It is very unfortunate that many in the USA today are small fries. They like to grip and complain and then do absolutely nothing. Their personal resolve seems to wane away whenever a new wind comes along. They are here and there and most have a non-informed opinion about everything.

    To find the root of their intellect may take a bit of time, yet they do get a far share of coverage on the Internet saying this and that to the likes of the columnist for the New York Times, Washington Post Boston Globe and others. Well, I have quit playing around with those crooked clowns, too much time and not enough results.

    Try to send them an OP ED, or a letter to the editor, if you are not connected to the big brass that runs our Nation forget about it. So do we have a free press? I don’t think so.

    We have a bunch of want to be big shots that like to call the shots they are given to do being driven TOP DOWN. The same is true for those that hide behind their closed doors in the so-called Progressive Free Press, they have succumbed to the same dumb down ideas of what to say and when and who allowed it to happen. Why? They all walk and talk the same as those who are determined to take us down as a free and sovereign people.

    Thus who is to be respected? Only those that have good words that matches up with good deeds done. Not hard to understand that, we have many inside the Beltway of DC that have not done that and are intent on not doing that. WHY it is a vile evil sin sickness that has got them tied up and they cannot function unless they have a cheering audience.

    So go figure where do We the People fit in to that kind of hogwash Nonsense?

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  18. […] 73,000 WordPress blogs shut down by U.S. Government […]

  19. […] US Gov­ern­ment has already taken down tens of thou­sands of web­sites and blogs with no war­rant or any evi­dence of wrong­do­ing.  And the prince of peace him­self, Barack Obama, con­tin­ues to clamor for an inter­net kill […]

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  21. […] 73,000 WordPress blogs shut down by U.S. Government […]

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