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FTC Takes Out Porn- and Botnet-Spewing ISP 263

Posted by timothy
from the ayn-rand-would-approve dept.
coondoggie writes "The Federal Trade Commission today got a judge to effectively kill off the Internet service provider 3FN, which the agency said specialized in spam, porn, botnets, phishing, and all manner of malicious web content. The ISP's computer servers and other assets have been seized and will be sold by a court and the operation has been ordered give back $1.08 million to the FTC."
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FTC Takes Out Porn- and Botnet-Spewing ISP

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  • by peterb (13831) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @03:15PM (#32268576) Homepage Journal

    My heart overflows for this poor oppressed Botnet operator.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @03:51PM (#32269100)

      You should apply bound checking, otherwise someone could exploit it.

    • by Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @04:04PM (#32269278) Homepage
      Now, GOOD for the FTC, but where are the upstream / downstrem providers in this equasion? These guys where not operating from random DSL lines, SOMEONE sold them connectivity and KNEW what they were up to...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by erroneus (253617)

        I see your intent here, but what happened is precisely what needed to happen... maybe FASTER than it happened, but still it happened.

        Here's why I would have issue with your extended prosecution logic:

        1. Such a move does not place limitations of responsibility. For example, you prosecute the upstream provider of the "criminal organization." Great. But what about the upstream provider of that provider?
        2. Such a move would serve to stifle admittance onto the internet in general. It would cause upstream pro

        • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:09PM (#32270118) Homepage Journal

          Such a move would serve to stifle admittance onto the internet in general.

          Ultimately, that's probably the aim of the FTC, which is little more than a pro-industry group. This has definitely been the aim of the largest telecoms for at least a decade now.

          They let the internet get away from them. They're still mad that the wild, wooly Internet ever came to exist without their guiding hand from day one.

          The Internet was basically an accident. If it had been started by the "Free Market" it would never have looked anything like the way it looks today, with anybody who gets connectivity having the ability to become a content provider with global reach. Job #1 now is to get it completely under corporate control where (they believe) it should be. They're not going to stop until they are once again the gatekeepers for what people see and do, and every single Internet activity is metered and monetized.

          This is why people like me are so anxious to keep the Internet public, using Net Neutrality laws. We remember how it started, what it was like before there was any corporate presence, and how desperately the largest corporations want to turn it into cable television.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by moeinvt (851793)

            "This is why people like me are so anxious to keep the Internet public, using Net Neutrality laws."

            If you put your faith in government, your doomed to be disappointed. I like net neutrality "in principle", and I reconcile(d) that with my libertarian world view mostly because I believe that the availability of information is critical to a free market and a free society. I was even something of a "crusader" for the cause a couple of years ago. I then came to the realization that we cannot trust the federal

  • by rbanzai (596355) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @03:15PM (#32268588)

    Supporting/controlling botnets I can understand, but where does serving up porn figure in the shutdown? I can't see how it did.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by daveime (1253762)

      Because it gets the religious types in a frenzy, and all those anonymous letters and leaflet campaigns carry a lot of weight around the FTC.

      Botnets, spams and malware aren't good headlines, PORN (36 point Verdana Bold Italic) is !

      Because Americans are a bunch of sexually-repressed prudes in public, but just as perverted and fucked up behind closed doors as the rest of us ?

      Take your pick.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @03:22PM (#32268694)

        RTFA - "pornography featuring children, violence, bestiality, and incest"

        Not necessarily the most legal porn. Sorry if I'm a sexually-repressed prude for not thinking kiddie porn and bestiality is OK.

        • by Jeng (926980)

          Ok, so no to child porn and bestiality, but I can take it that you are into incest since you didn't include it in your second list?

          • by daveime (1253762)

            Kind of scary that he won't fuck his dog, but he will fuck his sister (and hit her too, he missed out violence form the list). Priorities ?

        • by HiThere (15173) <charleshixsnNO@SPAMearthlink.net> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @05:56PM (#32270614)

          Sort of depends on the definitions used. I'm against cruelty, unless the target is a masochist, but...

          Child porn has been used to imprison a 15 year old who sent pictures of self to their 16 year old partner. (I'm vague, because of uncertainty, but I think the 15 year old was a boy. And it's possible that he was arrested for possessing nude pictures of his 16 year old girl-friend [that she sent from her cellphone].)

          Since then I've been a bit skeptical of child-porn stories.

          Also, a man having sex with a small dog is clearly wrong. But with a horse...if it objected, the man would never walk again. And women appear to have been "making it" with animals since the stone ages without anyone suffering. (Well, bar a few who didn't choose to do so, but there the wrong is in the coercion.)

          And incest? Do you *believe* everything you read? How do you know whether they are related or not?

          P.S.: Child porn has been stretched to cover cartoons. Explain to me why I should disapprove of those cartoons? I remember seeing similar comic books when I was in high school around 1960, so I'm certain it's nothing new.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Shakrai (717556) *

        Because Americans are a bunch of sexually-repressed prudes in public

        Yeah, that's the impression I get from watching American mass media. We are all prudes....

        • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @03:47PM (#32269038) Journal

          I was watching a German TV show the other day, when suddenly a young woman came strolling across the screen topless. Oooops. That's not allowed on U.S. broadcast television (although I wish it was). I'd say we're prudish, or at least the FCC is.

          • by digitig (1056110)
            I can beat that -- the mainstream French channel FR3 [wikipedia.org] used to have a station ident in which three pretty female dancers suddenly took their tops off and stood there exposed, giggling. The jingle (if I recall correctly, the girls sang or mimed it) was: "FR3, c'est trois fois mieux" ("FR3, it's 3 times better"). In the UK we might get a young woman wandering around topless in a drama (after the 9pm watershed), but we'd not allow it in a station ident. Pity. I used to enjoy the FR3 one.
          • by LWATCDR (28044)

            And yet there is all sorts of political speech that is illegal in Germany. For instance you can not say heil Hitler on tv even in a sitcom like Hogan's Heros where they where making fun of the Nazis.
            Different cultures have different standards. I can understand why Germany has it's rules even if they are bit over the top to me. After all a flag has never killed anybody.

      • Or perhaps some sensationalist, anti-religious zealot like yourself can't figure out that BOTNETS don't typically distribute your garden-variety porn. There are normal nets for that sort of thing.
        • by daveime (1253762)

          BOTNETS can be used to distribute porn, but they are much more likely to be used for anoymous proxies, spam networks, credit card fraud etc.

          Saying botnets = porn is just as insipid as saying PostOffice = porn. It's just the magic P-word to get the people / media into their frenzy. Because everyone knows "ALL porn is kiddy porn, even if you don't actually specify that".

      • by kalirion (728907) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @03:37PM (#32268914)

        Because it gets the religious types in a frenzy, and all those anonymous letters and leaflet campaigns carry a lot of weight around the FTC.

        Of course. You know that 1 complaint = 1 billion people, right?

    • by canajin56 (660655)
      It's to outrage free speech advocates, of course. I'm surprised the summary even mentioned the other part, and didn't try to spin the entire thing as the FTC declaring war on porn and free speech.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gyrogeerloose (849181)

      Supporting/controlling botnets I can understand, but where does serving up porn figure in the shutdown? I can't see how it did.

      RTFA--they were hosting child pornography sites. That's a whole different animal from the usual porn.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And why counldn't that have been mentioned in the news snippet? 'c' 'h' 'i' 'l' 'd' a whopping 5 bytes more, and the aura of trolling for comments would have been blown away.

        • Because the “news snippet” is actually just the first 2 paragraphs of the article, copied verbatim, and the nature of the porn wasn’t mentioned until the 3rd paragraph:

          The Federal Trade Commission today got a judge to effectively kill off the Internet Service Provider 3FN who the agency said specialized in spam, porn, botnets, phishing and all manner of malicious Web content.

          The ISP's computer servers and other assets have been seized and will be sold by a court and the operation has been ordered give back $1.08 million to the FTC.

          According to the FTC in June 2009, it charged that 3FN, which does business as Triple Fiber Network, APS Telecom, APX Telecom, APS Communications, APS Communication and Pricewert LLC, actively recruited and colluded with criminals to distribute harmful electronic content including spyware, viruses, trojan horses, phishing schemes, botnet command-and-control servers, and pornography featuring children, violence, bestiality, and incest. The FTC alleged that the defendant advertised its services in the darkest corners of the Internet, including a chat room for spammers.

          This is Slashdot... what did you expect?

      • by mrsteveman1 (1010381) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @03:35PM (#32268886)

        RTFA--they were hosting child pornography sites. That's a whole different animal from the usual porn.

        Which animal is in your usual porn?

    • by rgo (986711)
      Maybe the judge is an Apple fanboy.
    • by jandrese (485)
      I'm guessing it was a combo of child porn and porn popup advertising hosts.
    • by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @03:25PM (#32268738)
      Free porn: good. Porn spam: very bad (my daughter has an email address too.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by by (1706743) (1706744)
      From TFA:

      ...harmful electronic content including...pornography featuring children, violence, bestiality, and incest.

      The "children" part seems relevant...

  • Hey hey hey! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    which the agency said specialized in spam, porn, botnets, phishing and all manner of malicious Web content

    One of these things is not like the other

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      How long did your career producing segments for Sesame Street last?

  • Porn? (Score:5, Funny)

    by jspenguin1 (883588) <jspenguin@gmail.com> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @03:16PM (#32268610) Homepage

    "FTC Takes Out Porn, Internet traffic slows to a trickle."

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by rrohbeck (944847)

      Damn. Can they put the porn back online and just leave the botnet off please?

    • Maybe now the employees of the Securities and Exchange Commission will start doing their real jobs.
  • Oh god NO! (Score:3, Funny)

    by 0racle (667029) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @03:16PM (#32268620)
    Not the TITTIES!
  • Just checked the spam folder in my e-mail client--it's empty. I can't even remember the last time that happened.

  • I've always wondered how to get in on auctions like this. Anyone know how to find the pertinent information?

  • by Tanuki64 (989726) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @03:26PM (#32268748)
    spam, porn, botnets, phishing

    One of these things is not like the others,
    One of these things just doesn't belong,
    Can you tell which thing is not like the others
    By the time I finish my song?
    Did you guess which thing was not like the others?
    Did you guess which thing just doesn't belong?
    ....
  • by ICLKennyG (899257) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @03:30PM (#32268808)
    Found 'em.

    Child porn will generally get you in trouble in just about every western jurisdiction. This is not news. This was not just a singular administrative action born in the middle of the night. This started over a year ago and was the culmination of a legal proceeding where they apparently proved that this entity was actively recruiting nefarious clients to host child porn and other illegal activities.

    This one smacks more of sensationalist summary writing than of government censorship or unconstitutional takings.
  • If so, it still seems eager to take my business:
    http://www.webhostingstuff.com/company/3FNNET.html [webhostingstuff.com]

  • I find it hard to believe than an *identifieable* ISP that is making money with legally dodgy stuff (spam) and legal but offputting stuff (bestiality, etc.) would jeopardize its revenue by hosting for-real child porn. That's just stupid.

    Could someone who's not blocked from reading the article tell me - Was this *real* child porn? Or was it "under-18 in skimpy clothes" sites? Lots of politicians like to throw around an "entry-level child porn" label when they really mean "about as much skin as you can see

  • by Delusion_ (56114) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @04:10PM (#32269378) Homepage

    ...the original complaint lists "pornography featuring children, violence, bestiality, and incest" in one section, and every other mention of "pornography" is listed as "child pornography".

    Even excluding the child pornography, reading the complaint, the pornography aspects of his business are not legitimate porn sites. He runs porn sites whose primary purpose is to catch search engine hits and direct them to sites containing malware, viruses, and fake anti-virus products (ransom anti-virus software, effectively). This is not a guy who runs a few woefully unethical businesses and then runs a legitimate pornography business on the side. Please don't confuse this for the shutdown of a pornography website, even the porn sites are just tools to infect unsuspecting visitors with hostile software.

    Pretending this particular case is the law coming in and preventing you from looking at pornography is roughly akin to suggesting that Adolf Hitler was considered an enemy of the Allied powers because they didn't like his painting.

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.

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