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US Gov't Orders 73,000 Private Websites Offline 536

Posted by Soulskill
from the one-fell-swoop dept.
joeszilagyi sends this excerpt from TorrentFreak: "... 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. ... 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."
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US Gov't Orders 73,000 Private Websites Offline

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  • by SquarePixel (1851068) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:23PM (#32929364)

    Who said US doesn't pull stunts like China? I think I've heard so many times on slashdot.

    US is just as bad. It's just for different interests (protecting the money and cash flow of huge corporations versus ensuring that the people in the country don't start bloody revolts).

    Twist it how you want to, but the fact remains that both countries act like assholes and US is in the same level.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:27PM (#32929422)

      The difference is, we are talking about the incident right now.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by SquarePixel (1851068)

        What makes you think the Chinese cant? Just because it's not on slashdot? They usually have their own sites because of language differences too. News also got around before the internet too, don't underestimate how much people can talk using normal means - especially in the Asian countries (where I have lived many times), where even little gossip goes around the really quickly. Just because you cant read about it on the usual news sites doesn't mean people don't know.

        • by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:48PM (#32929838)
          This [wikipedia.org] would make me think the Chinese can't. One of many [wikipedia.org]. So, do you think it's all well and good to suppress discourse, so long as somewhere behind a locked door a couple people who trust each other thoroughly might take the risk of actually talking about something?

          Fuck you.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Un pobre guey (593801)
            Wake up, pal. You are nowhere near as free as you think you are. Your life is as constrained by our bullshit corporatist state as the Chinese are by their bullshit corporatist state. The only difference is that you are showered with a moronic brain-junk-food commercial pop-culture that has evidently convinced you completely that you are free and can express yourself freely and without limit.

            You're not. You are just as enslaved, censored, exploited, and brainwashed as they are. Beware, it is vastly worse t
            • by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:17PM (#32930340)
              Don't misunderstand, I don't think I'm all that free. Hell, if I start a business, I'll have assholes like you telling me all sorts of shit I can and can't do, because suddenly now I'm not a person with rights, I'm an eeeeevil corporatist fat-cat.

              However, it remains that unless I credibly threaten the life, safety or property of a person or group of persons (or represent harmful lies about them as facts, but I can offer the same as opinions), I can say whatever I want. I can prattle on about all the shit I hate about government or society at large with no fear that I will end up getting two hours in a show-trial and then the better part of a decade in prison like He Depu. I may not be as free as I'd like, but I know I'm more free than that poor man is.
              • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary&yahoo,com> on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:30PM (#32930596) Journal

                You will always have people telling you what you can and can't do. It's called 'society.' Rational adults realize that we have to make compromises in order to live together in peace and prosperity, while spoiled children continue to whine that no one is the boss of them. If you don't want people telling you what to do, you don't have to live in society. What you don't get to do is to have all of the benefits of living in a cooperative society, while paying none of the costs. That's called 'stealing.'

                • by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:48PM (#32930914)
                  Rational adults compromise in terms of mutual consent, not tyranny, whether of the majority or otherwise. Ironic you should should trot out 'stealing' when you no doubt support the very thing, so long as you think it's done in some romanticized 'Robin Hood' fashion. As Cullen Hightower once said,

                  There's always somebody who is paid too much, and taxed too little - and it's always somebody else.

                • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday July 16, 2010 @03:49PM (#32931954) Journal

                  >>>You will always have people telling you what you can and can't do. It's called 'society.' Rational adults realize that we have to make compromises in order to live together in peace and prosperity,
                  >>>

                  The problem is that most adults are Not reasonable. It is why I can't marry a man. Or smoke marijuana later tonight while watching SyFy Channel. Or have more than one wife. Or show a topless woman on broadcast TV (but Jack Bauer torturing people is a-okay). Or let my daughter drink beer, even if I am German and it's part of our culture. Or let my lawn "go natural" with wildflowers, but instead must have a monoculture grass, or else face fines from the city.

                  The other adults have placed non-reasonable and illogical restraints upon me. So basically your entire premise of "reasonable adults can tell other adults what to do" is flawed. The adults are not reasonable - they are oftentimes tyrannical.

                  Therefore I submit it is wiser to follow this simple rule: "No man has a right to physicall harm his neighbor - and that's all the government should restrain him." - Thomas Jefferson. i.e. Marry a guy. Have two wives. Let your kid have beer. Smoke marijuana while watching topless Amanda Tapping stroll around the Stargate. These are victimless acts and should not be outlawed. That's called FREEDOM and liberty. I think that's the best philosophy to follow.

                • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                  by Kjella (173770)

                  If you don't want people telling you what to do, you don't have to live in society.

                  Where exactly? There's no place on earth not claimed by a country. There's no property in this country not claimed by somebody, including public property. And even though it's called public property, I can't just take a piece of it and put up a homestead and call it my own. And even if I did own it, I'd still be bound by all laws and building codes and zoning regulations and whatever else regulations. Besides, what claim could I have on any other land? It's on this land that I was born so by birthright this

    • by johnhp (1807490) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:30PM (#32929470)
      Bah, that's such bullshit.

      China is *bad*. The U.S. is *bad*. But to say that the U.S. is "just as bad" is ridiculous and obviously false. Do even the most casual of checks about free speech rights in the US versus China, and you'll see how silly your statement is.

      For all of its many faults, the U.S. has generally outstanding freedom of speech. You can say all kinds of things here that would float anywhere else in the world. Just look at how Holocaust denial is treated in Europe. Or imagine how long someone like Alex Jones could operate in China, railing against the Chinese and thousands of real or imagines murderous conspiracies.
      • by Locke2005 (849178) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:49PM (#32929846)
        In the US, you are free to criticize the US president publicly. In China, you are also free to criticize the US president publicly. See, they have an equal amount of free speech!
      • yeaaah (Score:5, Interesting)

        by unity100 (970058) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:57PM (#32929974) Homepage Journal
        in china government orders your site down, because they dont like it.

        in usa private people and companies order your site down, because they dont like it. they just need to use an excuse for invoking dmca.

        the only difference is, there is a storefront in usa, and people think they are 'free'.
        • Re:yeaaah (Score:5, Insightful)

          by johnhp (1807490) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:03PM (#32930082)
          In China, if you say the wrong things, you can be arrested and then executed. That simply does not happen in the US. There IS a definite difference.

          Don't take me for some cheerleader of the US. I'm horrified by other abuses, like warrantless wiretaps and rendition... but that has nothing to do with a real China vs. US rights comparison.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by KlomDark (6370)

            Tell that to JFK. // Oh wait, you can't

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Well, uh, now that the President has made it clear that he has the right to assassinate any American citizen by whom he feels threatened, there may be functional difference, but there's no longer a theoretical difference. Some might say that it's only a matter of time, now that the rules have been made clear, and apparently accepted by the people.

          • Re:yeaaah (Score:5, Insightful)

            by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday July 16, 2010 @07:35PM (#32934098) Homepage

            How true. In the US, if you say the wrong things or talk to the wrong people, you can just be labelled a terrorist, sent to Gitmo, and tortured for a while:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Saleh_Kahlah_al-Marri [wikipedia.org]

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            In China, if you say the wrong things, you can be arrested and then executed. That simply does not happen in the US. There IS a definite difference.

            To play devil's advocate here, you have cases like Ruby Ridge [wikipedia.org] & the Waco Branch Dividians Seige [wikipedia.org] where you can argue that in the US they don't even bother arresting you before they execute you.

            There's also been numerous cases of law enforcement breaking into the wrong house on a drug/guns/whatever bust and killing totally innocent people because of it. It's happened often enough that there's really no good way to excuse it. Yes mistakes happen, but when mistakes result in the government basically murde

      • by metrometro (1092237) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:27PM (#32930522)

        > Who said US doesn't pull stunts like China?
        >> China is *bad*. The U.S. is *bad*. But to say that the U.S. is "just as bad" is ridiculous and obviously false

        Hey look, data!

        http://report.globalintegrity.org/China/2009 [globalintegrity.org]

        http://report.globalintegrity.org/United%20States/2009 [globalintegrity.org]

        Or does that ruin it?

    • by rotide (1015173) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:30PM (#32929484)

      Just putting this out there, but helping prop up failing businesses is not, at least in my opinion, as bad as oppressing your population's "right" to have access to otherwise publicly available information.

      I see where you are trying to equate the two, but they really are in two different leagues.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:31PM (#32929500)

      Who said US doesn't pull stunts like China? I think I've heard so many times on slashdot.

      Idunno. For starters, in China, this guy would stand a good chance of being disappeared or shot.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by h4rr4r (612664)

        GITMO, that name ring any bells for you?

        • by rotide (1015173) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:39PM (#32929672)
          Labeling people as enemy combatants and detaining them without trial sucks and is deplorable. I'd be at a total loss for what to do if I, or someone I cared for, was in that situation. But comparing what happens to a relatively small group of people (GITMO detainees) and what happens to the entire population of China (freedom of speech/access to information) are again, in two totally different leagues. I'm not in any way suggesting I support, let alone tolerate GITMO, but we're talking apples and oranges.
          • by causality (777677) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:59PM (#32930008)

            Labeling people as enemy combatants and detaining them without trial sucks and is deplorable. I'd be at a total loss for what to do if I, or someone I cared for, was in that situation. But comparing what happens to a relatively small group of people (GITMO detainees) and what happens to the entire population of China (freedom of speech/access to information) are again, in two totally different leagues. I'm not in any way suggesting I support, let alone tolerate GITMO, but we're talking apples and oranges.

            The point is we are doing the very things we say we are against when other nations do them.

            If terrorists can drive the US government to abandon its principles and find clever ways to justify it, then that's a victory for those terrorists. It's a real shame, for they do not deserve any victory of any sort.

      • by linzeal (197905)
        The US imprisons more people for non-violent crimes than China. Who is the biggest dick now?
    • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:35PM (#32929570) Homepage

      I'll grant that the US does bad things, but when you say things like "just as bad" as China you're basically saying "I am viewing the world in an over-stark black-and-white manner and am thoroughly incapable of understanding nuance, and willfully oblivious to any differing *degrees* of badness".

    • Twist it how you want to, but the fact remains that both countries act like assholes and US is in the same level.

      Oh my. There differences are many. For starters, the quantity blocked in China [wikipedia.org] versus what could be considered blocked in the United States [wikipedia.org]. In the United States, this sort of thing happens in isolated cases for criminal reasons and the end result is that the website might be vindicated. Point me to one case in China that ended up where the government was wrong. I'm waiting. At least YouTube was vindicated by the government [slashdot.org] against Viacom. There's some semblance of justice in the United States with regards to blocking websites. In China, it's a bizarre "unharmonious" label or anti-PRC speech that gets you blocked (and oftentimes worse than that).

      I could not disagree more with your analogy.

      I'm guessing users were trading child porn or the owner wasn't handling his taxes correctly. His user name in the forums is a marketing site between the US and Canada [affiliateplex.com]. I'm guessing he could have been pulling down big ad money and not reporting it correctly between the two countries. Hosting websites is a business and businesses always get into trouble. When there's money involved, there's lawyers. And with lawyers come lawsuits and with lawsuits come temporary injunctions.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I'm guessing users were trading child porn or the owner wasn't handling his taxes correctly.

        I mostly agree with your post. However, there is one thing I want to add. My inclination is that there is a good reason for these websites to be shut down. However, I am not willing to take the government's word that they had a good reason. I want to know the reason. If I agree that it was a good reason, all's well. If not, well then it depends on how many other people also think it wasn't a good reason.
        Basically, my point is that this event is not on its face evidence of the government doing something wro

    • by copponex (13876) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:44PM (#32929764) Homepage

      What you have to understand about China is that their government is an expression of their religious philosophies. They believe that social order is a moral expression, and something worth dying for:

      In Confucianism, human beings are teachable, improvable and perfectible through personal and communal endeavour especially including self-cultivation and self-creation. A main idea of Confucianism is the cultivation of virtue and the development of moral perfection. Confucianism holds that one should give up one's life, if necessary, either passively or actively, for the sake of upholding the cardinal moral values of ren and yi.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confucianism [wikipedia.org]

      In America, we have a culture that values liberty, which has become quite distorted in modern times. We've also retained some very puritan ideas, which is why nipples are somehow more offensive than gun violence. More recently, our only main moral metric has become profit.

      This instance illustrates the point perfectly. Mose Chinese, if begrudgingly, accept the government's right to censor their speech so that the social order is maintained. Most Americans accept the government's right to censor free speech in the interest of profit.

      So, if you want to stop the march to DRM and the loss of basic rights in the face of corporate rights to profit, you're going to have to convince fellow Americans that profit isn't the only thing that matters. Good luck with that.

      • I have yet to figure out how to use mod points, or even if I have any...but if I did, I would mod this up. Well-spoken.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        What you have to understand about China is that their government is an expression of their religious philosophies.

        Whose philosophy do you support in this picture?

        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d8/Tianasquare.jpg [wikimedia.org]

    • by ArcherB (796902) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:14PM (#32930274) Journal

      Who said US doesn't pull stunts like China? I think I've heard so many times on slashdot.

      US is just as bad. It's just for different interests (protecting the money and cash flow of huge corporations versus ensuring that the people in the country don't start bloody revolts).

      Twist it how you want to, but the fact remains that both countries act like assholes and US is in the same level.

      Funny. A few years ago when something like this happened, you saw the story and comments here say that Bush was the problem. Now we read that the US is the problem.

      Imagine if something like this happened a few short years ago. We'd be looking at a whole different story.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by h4rr4r (612664)

        People finally figured out we only have one political party?

        Some people needed this lesson, I consider it a victory that they got it.

  • by wiggles (30088) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:27PM (#32929414)

    The only reason I can think of for this kind of government censorship is if there is some national security related issue with the blogs on this site. I wonder if it's related to those Russian spies they caught recently? A terrorist plot? I'm sure we'll find out soon enough....

    • by MrShaggy (683273)

      I would tend to think so.

      Since those pesky Reds were hosting 'AllofMp3.com'

      So I am sure that these "bloggers' were simply mentioning that fact. Ere-go the U.S. had to use Operation "Mop and Glo"to get rid of any mention of the website.

    • by bsDaemon (87307) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:38PM (#32929670)

      They probably seized some equipment as evidence in an investigation and the numbers are just grossly over-inflated for sensationalist reasons. Seizing a couple of servers that have 10,000 customers each isn't the same thing as "ordering the sites off-line" -- it's seizing the hardware in order to protect chain of evidence and integrity of the data seized. It's still kind of a dick move, but I'm not really going to take the bitching of people who seem to be perfectly willing to watch movies but don't want to pay for them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MBGMorden (803437)

      The only reason I can think of for this kind of government censorship is if there is some national security related issue with the blogs on this site.

      You know what? No. To hell with "National Security". If that card was being pulled appropriately then it might be justified, but these days, the powers that be have decided that they can pull "National Security" out when they do ANYTHING and get a free pass. We can lie, cheat, steal, and piss on the Constitution so long as it's a matter of "National Security"!

      Like the boy who cried "wolf!", and I don't care if the wolf really is chewing on National Security's nuts right now. The excuse is falling on de

  • by the roAm (827323) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:28PM (#32929444)

    Mark my words. This is only the beginning of high-profile shutdowns.
    The nest has been stirred and the wasps are now out in full force.
    There is, however, a light at the end of the tunnel.
    You cannot get by with stuff like this without angering a lot of people.
    Enough angry constituents and things will start to change.

    Lets just hope for the best as that's all we can really do.

  • One day, maybe soon, the US or some other country that likes to project its policies with force will kill someone in a data center during one of these raids or will bomb a data center in a foreign country.
    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      bomb a data center in a foreign country

      The U.S. government has been doing similar stuff [wikipedia.org] to controversial TV and radio broadcasters for a while now. The internet is just a logical extension.

  • by a2wflc (705508) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:35PM (#32929604)

    Or can I post copyrighted material to a political site I disagree with and give some gov't agency an excuse to take it down without a court order? I'm sure they'll admit they were wrong after 11/2 and let the site back up.

    This looks like a different scenario with multiple violations by the site owner, but it's a bad precedent if there is not a public court order listing the violations. There are ways to get a court order very quick with little evidence for a "critical mater" that they claim this is.

    • by Locke2005 (849178) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:46PM (#32929796)
      Please post objectionable material to slashdot and get it taken down... I'm losing far too much productivity at work from reading and posting on this site!
    • by Rand Race (110288) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:59PM (#32930018) Homepage

      Yea. The 1st Amendment violations here pale in comparison to the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendment violations. No warrant? Check. Deprived of property without due process? Check. Specifically NOT informed of the accusations levied against them? Check.

      Hell, they just need to quarter some troops in this guy's house and they'll have shitcanned half the Bill Of Rights in one case.

  • Freedom (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Voulnet (1630793)
    Where is your Freedom of Speech when you need it? Or is the American Freedom of Speech subject to the approvals of big corporations?
    Not any different than freedom of speech that is subject to approval of governments.
  • I hate to sound pessimistic, but what good is a letter to my Congressman when some media conglomerate can afford to pay lobbyists to throw hundreds of thousands of dollars into his reelection campaign? I can't even afford to buy him Springsteen tickets [propublica.org].
  • Too Slow, Slashdot (Score:5, Informative)

    by Revotron (1115029) on Friday July 16, 2010 @01:52PM (#32929904)
    This happened about a week ago. The owner of the single server (that's right, it was all on one single server, with no backups) posted to WebHostingTalk.com to complain because BurstNet wouldn't violate the government's order to keep quiet.

    The authorities ordered BurstNet to take the server offline for what appeared to be very, very serious violations. Based on BurstNet's demeanor and seriousness when asked about the issue, it could be anything from national security to child porn. BurstNet also appears to have been hit with a gag order, as they've only made one (perhaps two) public comments on the situation, and absolutely refuse to make any more announcements.

    Don't take my word for it - read up on the situation at the original WHT thread [webhostingtalk.com] (which is now closed).
  • DMCA already provides a clear path to dealing with infringing material, and there's no good reason to keep an anti-piracy action secret. That's the sort of thing authorities and overlords like to advertise. I bet we'll hear all about the terrorist blog network the quick-thinking government agents shut down once the dust settles.
  • Fascism is coming (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AthleteMusicianNerd (1633805) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:04PM (#32930104)
    This didn't start with Obama either. This is ingrained in our society, and accepted by many in the name of national security. That's a very grave mistake. Books like "The Federal Mafia" have been banned, and New York Times reporters have been silenced by being thrown in jail. It is very troubling that this trend continues, and everyone should be protesting it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jeian (409916)

      "Banned" is a bit of a stretch.

      "The Federal Mafia is a book written in prison[18] by Schiff. In the book, Schiff contended that the income tax system and Internal Revenue Service were illegal. On August 9, 2004, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an injunction issued by a U.S. District Court in Nevada under 26 U.S.C. 7408 against Irwin Schiff and associates Cynthia Neun and Lawrence Cohen, against the sale of this book by those persons.[19] This prohibition does not extend to other sellers of the bo

    • Claims of parent to support "Fascism is coming"...

      - Books like The Federal Mafia have been banned: No. [amazon.com]
      - NYT reporters have been silenced [...] in jail: "reporters" == Judith Miller [wikipedia.org], who got to do a couple months in the can to ponder the meaning of "contempt of court". She's not the first, and won't be the last.

  • Not DMCA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PPH (736903) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:32PM (#32930638)

    I doubt it was over copyright or illegal content issues. If it was, the justice dept would have tripped over itself to make an example of this evil hosting service. A very public example.

    The whole secrecy thing, together with taking down 73,000 blogs, makes me think that they were targeting a few (perhaps only one) page. But they don't want us to know which one. So take them all down and it will be difficult to tell. Grab a copy of the archives while they're still up. There could be some interesting reading in there someplace.

  • by NiteShaed (315799) on Friday July 16, 2010 @02:54PM (#32931002)

    Here's a time saving summary of about 90% of the posts here today for those who don't feel like doing them one by one:

    I haven't the vaguest idea what actually happened here, so I'm going to go ahead and assume that the fascist/conservative/liberal/communist/megacorps/illuminati/mole-people have usurped our freedom once again by taking down a half a billion websites that hosted nothing but honest discourse that they, the aforementioned fascist/conservative/liberal/communist/megacorps/illuminati/mole-people don't want YOU to read. Clearly, the U.S. is as bad as China/Soviet Russia/Somalia/Cuba/The Romulan Empire/The Sith/Microsoft, and any ideas that you live in a free society stem from the idea that you're stupid and just another sheeple being led about by the nose by THE MAN. If, somehow, it turns out that the server in question was hosting Child Pornography/Snuff Films/how-to guides to build Nuclear Weapons/Disney Movies, you can safely assume that those things were just planted in order to steal your freedom, except that you didn't have any, so it's just there to steal your imaginary sense of freedom. Since this sense of freedom was imaginary, it's just Imaginary Property anyway, and couldn't have been stolen from you in the first place, so really, nothing of value was lost. I know all this because years ago I threw out my TV because it only showed mindless pablum like American Idol, and worse yet, they make you watch ads, so now I download American Idol on Bit-torrent instead and watch it on my computer, which is inherently better than watching it on TV, so I'm smarter than you. Something about Old People In Korea, Natalie Portman Naked and Petrified, and Hot Grits. In conclusion, in Soviet Amerikkka, websites view you, and this is probably all Steve Jobs' fault.

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Friday July 16, 2010 @03:37PM (#32931754) Homepage Journal

    Looks like they shut down a host, which just happens to have a lot of sites.. Tons of collateral damage but i don't think the goal was to shut down 73k sites.

  • by cjjjer (530715) <cjjjer&hotmail,com> on Friday July 16, 2010 @04:34PM (#32932514)
    Based on some searching (wayback and webhostingtalk) this guy has been booted from two other hosting companies since 2008.

    See the ongoing thread @ http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=964013 [webhostingtalk.com]
  • by leereyno (32197) on Friday July 16, 2010 @10:22PM (#32934756) Homepage Journal

    I don't recall the Bush administration being so keen on enforcing copyright law, and I don't recall them being so brazen, yet at the same time secretive about it.

    "The authorities" shut down an entire site and refuse to tell the owner why?

    Prior to the ascension of The One, the leftysphere and MSM (but I repeat myself) would have been all over this, proclaiming the birth of the Bush Police State.

    Yet now all I hear is some grumbling from the same fringe kooks who think copyright law is invalid to begin with.

    I have to suspect that this action may be a trial balloon. I have to suspect that in the future, websites that host content that the regime finds objectionable will also be subject to arbitrary termination, and for equally mysterious reasons.

    Tyranny depends on information control. It isn't easy to control what people think, but it is easy to control what they think ABOUT if you control what information they have access to.

    How long before the Drudge Report gets taken down? (I am engaging in hyperbole there, but you get the point).

    Wasn't this supposed to be the new era of transparency? Well it is, transparent evil.

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