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Blogetery Shutdown Due To al-Qaeda Info 330

Posted by Soulskill
from the internet-is-serious-business dept.
Archness1 writes "Over the weekend we discussed news that blog host Blogetery.com had been shut down at the request of the US government. Now, it appears the site was shut down because some of the blogs it was hosting contained information on al-Qaeda hit lists and bomb making. According to the article, Burst.net shut down Blogetery of its own accord after the FBI made a request to the host for information on the people who made the posts. '[Burst.net CTO Joe Marr] said the FBI contacted Burst.net and sent a Voluntary Emergency Disclosure of Information request. The letter said terrorist material, which presented a threat to American lives, was found on a server hosted by Burst.net and asked for specific information about the people involved. In the FBI's letter, the agency included a clause that says Web hosts and Internet service providers may voluntarily elect to shut down the sites of customers involved in these kinds of situations.'"
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Blogetery Shutdown Due To al-Qaeda Info

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  • US Hysterical (Score:4, Insightful)

    by headkase (533448) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:14PM (#32957248)
    Yes, the hysteria is starting to fade a bit but in the meantime departments such as Homeland Security have grown into unwieldy beasts. I hope you Americans reclaim your civil freedoms soon: you know the ones that have been eroded in the "War on Terror." Terror to who? The occasional nut they do catch or the millions inconvenienced every day just trying to get on a plane? Secret lists... I could go on, the point is stop cowering and be Free again.
  • CYA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:18PM (#32957316)

    ...the agency included a clause that says Web hosts and Internet service providers may voluntarily elect to shut down the sites of customers involved in these kinds of situations.

    The word voluntary has a markedly different meaning when used by law enforcement and government than by the public. As a recent example, the kidnapping of an Iranian nuclear scientist was reported as having left the country "voluntarily". Businesses aren't stupid: If you get a letter from the authorities saying your computer might have terrorist information on it, it's probably best to launch it into space now instead of risking the public hysteria or government's heavy-handed tactics that could land you, your family, and your friends all in jail on "suspicion" of one thing or another.

  • Sounds right. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nethead (1563) <joe@nethead.com> on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:18PM (#32957322) Homepage Journal

    If the FBI came to me and told me one of my hosts had bomb making info on it, I'd shut it down too regardless if it was foreign or domestic host, or just even a p0wn.

    I can't see any reason to have that info on a web site. It's not like you're going to make a bigger bomb than the US has. You're just going to get some dumb-ass to blow his hand off.

  • Huh, so the website went offline by the choice of the hosting provider? I guess we should say that the hosting provider is as bad as China [slashdot.org] and get moderated +4, Interesting? SquarePixel, care to comment on this now?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:20PM (#32957342)

    No WONDER this is front-page news. This level of adult, responsible self-policing is extremely rare in our "I've got mine fuck everyone else" feel-good culture.

  • Re:US Hysterical (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MozeeToby (1163751) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:21PM (#32957364)

    The 9-11 conspiracy theorists might be off their rocker, but they're right about one thing: The hysteria, paranoia, and nationalistic fervor created by 9-11 are a politician's wet dream. The amazing thing isn't how much our society has let our rights be destroyed over the past 9 years, it's how little the people in power have taken advantage of it. For all that it sucks, the average American would have swallowed much, much more under the guise of security and revenge than what has been pushed through. Don't get me wrong, too much was allowed to happen, too many rights shrugged off so that the paranoid could sleep more easily at night (paranoid about terrorists but oddly trusting of everyone else); I'm just saying that it could have been much worse.

  • Re:Brilliant.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Peach Rings (1782482) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:22PM (#32957380) Homepage

    Who are these investors that back this company? I'm sure they'll be real thrilled to hear "Even though we didn't have to, we decided to stop conducting business for awhile for PR reasons, but almost all of our customers are outraged and leaving us."

  • Re:Brilliant.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@@@gmail...com> on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:27PM (#32957440) Journal

    Yeah, US so much better than China.

    Seriously? Will you please just shut up? I cannot believe you persist in this after Burst.net's CTO explained the situation in the article.

    So because a private company operating under its own volition shuts down its server, that's the United States government's fault and equates them to China?

    The amount of ignorance you demonstrate is downright impressive. The fact that the company had the choice given what the government reported to them shows that the US is not on the same level as China. Tell me, do you need a government approved license to host content in the United States [slashdot.org]? Go spend sometime on four chan and something awful ... not to see great stuff but to understand just how unfettered stuff is in the United States. Yeah, things like bomb making and child porn get you in trouble. But it's a hell of a lot better than the large compendium of what may or may not get you in trouble in China.

    Get a clue.

  • Re:US Hysterical (Score:5, Insightful)

    by interkin3tic (1469267) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:29PM (#32957484)

    This sounds more like a case of corporations eroding our civil rights, which has little to do with the war on terror, they're always quick to do that to avoid bad PR. That the FBI asked for information and suggested burstnet drop them is not ideal, yes, but let's not act like this is all the US government going paranoid: plenty of companies in whatever country you live in would screw your rights over too even if your government wouldn't ask them.

    That and you're preaching to the choir.

  • Re:Brilliant.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IICV (652597) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:30PM (#32957500)

    Hah, it's even better than that. Pretend you're a terrorist, using that blog to communicate somehow - apparently in this case it was to disseminate bomb making information and target lists.

    All of a sudden, the blog you're visiting every day or so gets shut down. What does that tell you? If you're a paranoid terrorist cell, it most likely means that the government has noticed you use the blog to communicate and ordered the hosting provider to shut it down.

    So now you know that the government knows about that communications channel. The government doesn't really know anything besides your IP address, which is pretty useless if you've been using Tor or something similar. Who comes out ahead here?

  • Re:US Hysterical (Score:5, Insightful)

    by headkase (533448) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:31PM (#32957502)
    Please don't think that Freedom is intrinsic. Looking at government is always looking into the business end of a gun. Sometimes that end is painted nice and is reasonable. Other places, not so much: that's why it's important, here, now, to preserve the pretty paint of the US governments business end.
  • Re:US Hysterical (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Reginald2 (1859758) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:31PM (#32957508)
    Homeland Security will be an ever increasing beast. I'm already surprised at everything that falls under their authority. OTOH...This is not really something new for us. Who knows maybe they get funding from the "War on Drugs," the American public's interest is waning and the jailed population is going up. Maybe chasing down bloggers will keep us out of ground wars. A lot more than this would have to happen for us to stop cowering.
  • Re:US Hysterical (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Entropius (188861) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:33PM (#32957530)

    They are, though. As soon as you enter into a social contract that gives one class of people a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence, you give them the ability to remove lots of these "rights". The only thing stopping them from doing it is that same social contract -- the Constitution, etc. It's a "We'll give you the ability to violate our rights as long as you promise not to use it" sort of thing.

    The trouble is that the only thing stopping the ruling group from breaching this contract is the fear that if they do anything egregious then they'll get voted out, and that if they try to not abide by the results of an election then they'll lose support of enough people (including some of the ones they rely on to execute their license to use violence) that they'll lose power anyway.

    Unfortunately, they've gotten good at breaking their end of the social contract and still getting elected.

  • Re:Sounds right. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:38PM (#32957602)

    It's not like you're going to make a bigger bomb than the US has. You're just going to get some dumb-ass to blow his hand off.

    If said dumb-ass is an aspiring suicide bomber, that would sound like a win all around.

    I would have thought that unless there was an immediate threat, the FBI would have much preferred to monitor the blog and find out who was posting and reading so they could arrest the bad guys, rather than shutting it down and letting them know they've been rumbled.

  • Re:US Hysterical (Score:3, Insightful)

    by steelfood (895457) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:50PM (#32957728)

    No, it couldn't be any worse.

    It's the boiling frog principle. You never start off with anything major, or you'll get an enormous backlash in response. But if you introduce the slippery slope, then it's only a matter of time before you end up at the bottom.

    For example, instead of requiring real names off the bat, Blizzard could have started off mandating a valid credit card before being able to log into the forums. They could then continue to push towards the goal of requiring the use of the poster's real name for the next several years in small increments, and after a while, people will accept it.

    Fortunately, the US is a democracy, and nobody's around long enough to do permanent damange. That, and having a polarized two-party system, nobody's really able to do anything even in power. Of course, when the goal of both parties is the same (to expand Federal powers), then that point is moot.

  • by History's Coming To (1059484) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:50PM (#32957736) Journal
    It doesn't get any better than this..... They shut it down, they're pandering to federal government. The don't shut it down, they're supporting terrorists. They shut it down, they're giving in to Big Money over an independent 'net. They don't shut it down and they're aiding and abetting anti-American behaviour. They shut it down, they're Killing Free Speech. They don't shut it down and they're......well, to be honest I could go off on 101 diatribes. I've got great Slashdot karma, my comments have a pretty high average, hell...I don't even have to watch adverts or even give them money....and yet I have this weird feeling that I fundamentally disagree with both sides of Slashdot arguments, On both a mathematical and psychological level, this worries me.
  • This has already been addressed above. [slashdot.org]. eldavojohn, care to comment on this post now?

    Sure, why not? The post you linked to I find quite humorous because if you actually read section 2702 [cornell.edu] it says nothing about voluntarily shutting down your server. It's talking about voluntary disclosure of communications. That's assuming that whoever sent them the notice had already found the messages in question.

    Tell me, where in that code did you find the information that they should voluntarily shut down their server or face life threatening consequences?

    The reason the server was shut down -- I assume -- is because they were notified that they were serving such information and they had two choices A) read every single blog posting and verify that no more of that information is on that server or B) shut it down and be safe.

    Guess what they did? The guy that was collecting adsense dollars on a huge ring of blogs got shut down by the private company he was "in contract" to. Oh well, business sucks. I think it's disingenuous to blame all of this on the United States government or even imply they were threatening someone's life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

  • Re:Sounds right. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Luke has no name (1423139) <fox@cy b e r f o x f i re.com> on Monday July 19, 2010 @07:02PM (#32957864)

    I don't see any reason why people should speak out against their government. it's not like you're going to have more money to spend than the US on court costs and advertising. You're just going to go broke and put on a watchlist.

  • Re:CYA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wrath0fb0b (302444) on Monday July 19, 2010 @07:18PM (#32957990)

    Businesses aren't stupid: If you get a letter from the authorities saying your computer might have terrorist information on it, it's probably best to launch it into space now instead of risking the public hysteria or government's heavy-handed tactics that could land you, your family, and your friends all in jail on "suspicion" of one thing or another.

    Or perhaps the business thinks that complying with the request is the right thing to do under the circumstances. I know I would likely do the same thing under those conditions -- look at the content and decide whether I want to be hosting it. I would just as surely fight a court order if the content was legit as I would pull the plug if it wasn't.

    It is not beyond possibility that a business owner might decide that, even if were legal to do so (and in this case it's probably not, although we'll never find out for sure) he's not going to offer his services to further the cause of something he finds abhorrent. It's not inconceivable that the government actually convinced him they were factually correct that the site was used by Al Qaeda. The conclusion that he must have been threatened is absurd on its face because it does not account for the many ways that a reasonable person might chose to cooperate.

  • Why stop there? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rickb928 (945187) on Monday July 19, 2010 @07:21PM (#32958034) Homepage Journal

    I assume DHS will be raiding libraries nationwide, removing books on bomb making, explosives, etc?

    And of course many chemistry texts, especially those which focus on such experiments?

    Then they can go and visit our colleges, universities, and technical schools, so that these institutions can discontinue any teaching of such dangerous and unacceptable subjects?

    This is unfortunate and sad, that our Administration would stoop to such an infringement on our First Amendment. Ignore the futility of the act.

    Let me repeat. This is a First Amendment violation.

    Now the al-Qaeda stuff, if they were posting contact info and such, well, darn. Gotta stop that. No point in aiding and abetting.

    But bomb-making by itself isn't a crime is it? I have a few friends that still live in the woods, and they have a bit of fun with blowing stuff up occasionally, like stumps and old cars. It's their property.

    We're in trouble.

  • by Chimel31 (1859784) on Monday July 19, 2010 @07:22PM (#32958038)
    I still don't understand why the FBI did not ask directly blogetery to shut down the couple of blogs involved, and why burst.net chose to shut down blogetery instead of forwarding the FBI request to them. It does not make sense and seems to be a very bad decision from burst.net. As well ask Verizon or AT&T to cut the Internet cables powering burst.net. Besides, it's only blogetery who knows the IPs of these blogs, not burst.net. Or am I missing something? The FBI did not seem to have contacted blogetery owner at all, as he stated in the previous article that the shutdown might have been caused by copyright infringement. He obviously had not clue why his blog hosting site was shut down. Geez, not only has slashdot home page the worst display design for articles, baring maybe The Register, but its design for comments are even worse. Somebody knows a way to expand all the abbreviated comments?
  • Re:CYA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Neoprofin (871029) <neoprofin@GINSBERGhotmail.com minus poet> on Monday July 19, 2010 @07:30PM (#32958110)
    What's more plausible, that an Iranian engineer went on a pilgrimage and was kidnapped, broke free and returned to Iran; or that he defected for $5 Million but but decided to return to his family and made up a politically acceptable cover story, given:

    - "Extraordinary Rendition" victims who were released never found themselves in the U.S.
    - the U.S. has shown itself fully willing to imprison people reliable without charge or trial
    - the U.S. has shown itself willing to pay quite well for defectors in the past

    If he were kidnapped he'd be rotting in Kyrgyzstan where laws on torture don't apply, not walking casually into a New York Embassy.
  • Re:US Hysterical (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AK Marc (707885) on Monday July 19, 2010 @07:34PM (#32958142)
    That, and having a polarized two-party system, nobody's really able to do anything even in power. Of course, when the goal of both parties is the same (to expand Federal powers), then that point is moot.

    There are no differences between the parties that aren't cosmetic. They pick a few polarizing issues (abortion, guns, gays) and then act substantially similar once in office. There is a greater variance between members of one of the parties than between the parties. Though they do polarize their votes, but that's rarely based on ideology and instead on partisanship. At most, their differences amount to both wanting to go to the exact same place, but spending over 100 years arguing over whether to take the high road or the low road.
  • Re:US Hysterical (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blair1q (305137) on Monday July 19, 2010 @07:42PM (#32958214) Journal

    t's how little the people in power have taken advantage of it.

    Wow. You missed the entire Bush administration. The USA Patriot Act. Pallets of cash shipped directly from the Mint to Iraq without any oversight. Coordinated domestic wiretapping. The Unitary President. Hundreds if not thousands of "signing statements." Etc., etc.

    Shut your /. window and go dig through the archives of the major newspapers.

    America got raped over the past 10 years because of 9/11.

  • Mirrors? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2010 @07:46PM (#32958258)

    I'm constantly told that information yearns to be free.

    Where are the mirrors?

    Oh, you didn't mean *really* free.

  • Re:Sounds right. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Monday July 19, 2010 @07:53PM (#32958348)

    Information should never be illegal.

    Here, let me help you out a bit, I'll bold the key points since your reading comprehension sucks balls.

    If the FBI came to me and told me one of my hosts had bomb making info on it, I'd shut it down too regardless if it was foreign or domestic host, or just even a p0wn.

    I can't see any reason to have that info on a web site. It's not like you're going to make a bigger bomb than the US has. You're just going to get some dumb-ass to blow his hand off.

    There is no such thing as illegal information in the US. You can be held responsible if certain things happen directly because you posted certain types of information, but there very specific rules about what kinds of information this applies to - generally it must relate to causing direct harm to US soldiers or other similar personnel. If the people cannot be harmed by the information, though, there is nothing to stop you from posting it.

    What the GP described and Burst.Net demonstrated was the individual right of the host to not display information they do not approve of. This is individuals censoring their own equipment.

    The second key element you missed was that the Government's request was 100% voluntary. Burst.Net did not even have to give them the information requested if they did not want to.

    Yeah, the US is really oppressive, I can totally see it now.

    Also there are plenty of other reason besides righteous rebellion against a corrupt government that you might want to know about explosives.

    There are tons of websites that show you how to build explosives. You can even go to college for it, it's a legitimate engineering discipline.

    In other words, you're an idiot.

  • Re:Brilliant.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2010 @07:55PM (#32958366)

    ...under its own volition shuts down its server...

    You don't know that. Given the secrecy we allow the government to operate under, there could be a gag order in place. The patriot act permits that kind of thing. Just like China's "state secrets" act that keeps Google from publishing the number of government takedown requests. The US government will most certainly shut down anything if it feels that a speech, web site, etc might actually produce results. So what if it allows people to vent juvenile angst? That's the safety valve to to keep the illusion alive. It's very effective apparently. Despite all the hate against China, remember that the US holds a lot more people in prison.. About half of them for violating prohibition. And there's also a lot of Americans who believe that the country has too much freedom!

    Get a clue? Yes, please do...

  • Re:Sounds right. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nethead (1563) <joe@nethead.com> on Monday July 19, 2010 @08:02PM (#32958456) Homepage Journal

    TFA: Sources close to the investigation say that included in those materials were the names of American citizens targeted for assassination by al-Qaeda. Messages from Osama bin Laden and other leaders of the terrorist organization, as well as bomb-making tips, were also allegedly found on the server.

    That goes a bit beyond "merely being controversial."

  • Re:CYA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Monday July 19, 2010 @08:07PM (#32958508)
    I disagree completely. The responsible (if less "safe") thing to do is to make sure that law enforcement follows the law and procedure. If they don't have an actual warrant (or, today, a "National Security Letter"), then the proper -- and patriotic -- thing to do is refuse. If they do have a warrant or NSL concerning certain accounts, let them have those accounts. But ONLY those. Anything else is not only un-American, it is also screwing over your customers.

    Both Verizon and QWEST have at different times refused to "voluntarily" give information to the government without due process. Both got away with it unscathed... exactly as they should have.

    "Voluntarily" giving information to the government goons is not a good thing by ANY measure. It is a spineless, wimpy thing to do, and it doesn't help your country at all. It hurts.
  • Re:Brilliant.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2010 @08:10PM (#32958554)

    The only thing really diffrent between the USA and China on issues like this is one of attitude displayed.

    China: You will shut this down. You have no choice.

    USA: You should shut this down or we'll make your life a legal hell.

    The end result is the same in either case.

  • Here's a clue... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2010 @08:21PM (#32958644)

    When a government "suggests" you do something to avoid an unpleasant government intervention upon you (or your company) and you cave to that suggestion to avoid the response of the suggester; you become an agent of the government in censorship. A private company of its own volition, without any notice from the government turns off a site that violates TOS? Fine, that's barely acceptable C2P censorship, but as soon as the government makes a suggestion? No. Sorry. Unacceptable.

    See the fine distinction?

    Clues cost a quarter eldavojohn and you get this one gratis.

  • Re:Sounds right. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Monday July 19, 2010 @08:21PM (#32958648)

    What the GP described and Burst.Net demonstrated was the individual right of the host to not display information they do not approve of. This is individuals censoring their own equipment.

    Nonsense. What Burst.Net demonstrated was their NON-right to shut down a whole boatload of legitimate paying customers, apparently because law enforcement alleged (at the time) that some accounts might have contained terrorist material. That's not the same thing at all.

    They voluntarily shut them ALL down, without so much as a warrant or National Security Letter regarding the alleged terrorist accounts, much less the vast majority who were guiltless. That's not patriotic, or responsible citizenship, or anything of the sort. What that is, is ball-less wimps getting on their knees in front of government goons, and cheating their customers in the process, because they were afraid.

    The IT guy might try to claim that he was doing his patriotic duty, but that's BS. His patriotic duty was to demand a warrant or at least an NSL before turning over private information or closing accounts.

  • Re:US Hysterical (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ToasterMonkey (467067) on Monday July 19, 2010 @09:08PM (#32959064) Homepage

    The issue with the right to bear arms is that it is meaningless until and unless one can get enough people armed well enough to exercise...

    You could say the same about free speech, what's your point? It's an individual right, how is that meaningless?

    This can only happen with demilitarized police *and* some sort of mechanism in place to stop them from calling for reinforcements from the National Guard. Not sure quite how we get there from here.

    The times when a bunch of armed commoners can square off against military forces are over, at least unless ownership of IED-type devices and RPG's becomes common.

    Oh, I didn't realize civil war never happen(ed | s). Or that armed militias with little training and improvisational warfare never present a threat to well trained, conventional forces. No evidence of THAT anywhere.

  • Re:Sounds right. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) * on Monday July 19, 2010 @09:52PM (#32959378) Journal

    It says that in several of the State Constitutions. Here's Virgina's [state.va.us]: That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

    The US Constitution also limits Army-related spending appropriations to two years. The people of that era had an aversion to standing armies. History is littered with examples going all the way back to Rome of standing armies that turned on the populations they were supposed to protect.

  • Re:US Hysterical (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EllisDees (268037) on Monday July 19, 2010 @10:02PM (#32959456)

    Domestic wiretapping had required a warrant since the original FISA act was passed in 1978. [wikipedia.org] It does not allow the widespread and wholesale tapping of phones and the internet that has happened since 9/11. If there is one thing that disgusts me about Obama, it's his utter and complete flip-flop on the domestic spying issue. As an early candidate for president, he was completely against it. Then when we had gotten the nomination, he voted to immunize telecoms for their part in the illegal wiretapping. Now as president, he completely defends the continued intrusion into all of our lives.

  • Re:CYA (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EllisDees (268037) on Monday July 19, 2010 @10:06PM (#32959482)

    >Yeah, I do have a question. How do you know this?

    Exactly! The government has shown time and again that it will lie whenever it is convenient. I'm not saying I necessarily believe the Iranian either, but to accept the government's version of things without question is always a mistake.

  • Re:Brilliant.... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2010 @11:17PM (#32959974)

    So because a private company operating under its own volition shuts down its server, that's the United States government's fault and equates them to China?

    Pretty much.

    What was Burst.net doing about this problem 24 hours before the US govt. asked them to shut it down? My guess is nothing.

    There is no doubt that Burst chose to shut it's servers down with the fear of retaliation that comes from telling the US government to go fuck themselves. Let's be real, both parties (US and China) make people who disagree with them disappear. Wether it's murder out in the open in China, or a windowless "detention center" back-room water-boarding, both instill fear in the rest of the populace. I hesitate to use the word jail in place of "detention center," because with the good ol' Patriot act, people don't even have to be charged with anything before being locked up and having the key thrown away. Fear is probably the most powerful motivator I can think of, with the exception of the promise of sex, or so I've heard.
    Also, I would hate to have the mindset that simply because 4Chan and SA exist, we are all free.

    As an aside, when I was a teen and the intertubez was something you could only access at the local public library, the first thing that I found on the internet (without even looking for it) was BOMB MAKING INSTRUCTIONS. Since then, a quarter century has gone by, and I can't think of 1 instance where someone with an "anarchist cookbook" took out a building, a person, or for that matter, anything at all... well, maybe a finger or two.

    Just for ha-ha's I typed in "jolly roger cookbook" into google and got 262,000 responses. Some of them probably date back to the birth of the internet.
    Is the US govt planning to ask for those to be shut down too? Nah, why bother, when they can just hit the new internet kill-switch that the current US regime is working on passing into law. I'd link you the /. articles about it, but I'm sure you lurk here enough to have seen it.

    TLDR? Yes. America behaves like China, but America is not China.

  • Re:Troll? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dasunt (249686) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @12:24AM (#32960328)

    I'm not sure why the above is considered trollish, though the tone might be snippy. It's true that US policymakers didn't shut down the blog themselves, but what are you supposed to think if you're a website owner and you get a letter from FBI advising you that material on your website threatens American lives and that you "may voluntarily elect to shut down the sites of customers involved in these kinds of situations." If anything the feds should be doing the opposite -- advise the blog owner to keep open a potentially useful source of information so it could be watched. The guys who want to blow things up are going to find a way to connect with each other and find whatever info they need to build bombs elsewhere; the question is whether they do it with or without their enemies watching.

    *sigh*

    A long time ago, there was a journalist that was anti-KKK.

    Instead of avoiding any mention of the KKK, he revealed their secrets. All the mumbo jumbo, the secret signs, what they believed, etc. He even joined them in order to find out their secrets.

    He probably lead to more ridicule of the KKK than any other journalists.

    Today, he'd probably be labeled a terrorist sympathizer, spreading their information.

    We should reveal what terrorists believe in. As someone once said, freedom of speech is why David Duke is considered a laughing stock in most of the country, while Hitler (in a far more repressive environment) went on to murder millions of the "undesirables". (Not only Jews, the Romani suffered greatly as well).

    Lets here it for freedom of information. Yes, it might inspire a few wingnuts, but the harsh light of day will make it eventually wither and die.

    If you look at how the religious schools that contribute to suicide bombings are run, they have a very tight control of information. They make sure would-be-"martyrs" only hear one version of the truth.

    In the real world, the "truth" is more complex. Most people, when exposed to information, are decent at picking out the chaff.

    We need more freedom of expression in the war against terror.

    Just my $.02.

  • Re:Troll? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bronney (638318) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @03:16AM (#32960972) Homepage

    I think the terrorists should totally have a "share this" button on the blog. You know, social media and all ;)

  • Re:Sounds right. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Joey Vegetables (686525) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @10:10AM (#32963722) Journal
    Some of us would rather speak out now, and maybe face persecution ourselves, rather than to do nothing and thereby force our children to have to speak out and face something just as bad, or maybe worse, later on.
  • Re:Troll? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by joebagodonuts (561066) <.cmkrnl. .at. .gmail.com.> on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @11:04AM (#32964660) Homepage Journal
    I don't care that YOU don't approve of someone host Bomb-making instructions. Who died and left you boss? I'm not so opposed, and I see no reason why your paranoia (or anyone else's paranoia) should be controlling in this matter.

    Look - The people that want to kill other people - they will continue to try and do so. Taking down instructions for making a bomb, or any other information, won't stop them from trying. What is does accomplish is to allow the Government to control information "To keep us safe". But, we have no data to indicate we are any safer, more secure. I don't trust that they will have my best interests at heart. The nature of bureaucracy tells me that if there is any conflict between my best interest and a faceless bureaucrat covering their ass, my freedoms and rights will get trampled.

    To me, it is more acceptable that the information be left online. It doesn't harm anyone. Sticks and stones...

  • Re:US Hysterical (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ashriel (1457949) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @11:48AM (#32965406)

    This can only happen with demilitarized police *and* some sort of mechanism in place to stop them from calling for reinforcements from the National Guard. Not sure quite how we get there from here.

    The times when a bunch of armed commoners can square off against military forces are over, at least unless ownership of IED-type devices and RPG's becomes common.

    I used to subscribe to this theory, but then I started really thinking about it.

    Small arms, even automatic small arms, are unbelievably easy to obtain in the U.S. - I once had a 15 year old kid offer to sell me an Uzi. Larger munitions are easily made if you understand the principles - there's tons of information on the web free for anyone interested. Much of it isn't even bunk.

    I know how to create large explosives, jury-rig mortars, and take down tanks - and I have exactly 0 military training or inclination to do any of these things. I just read a lot.

    The only things that truly separate the armed forces from the civilian populace are training and air superiority. If rebellion is limited to dense urban environments, there's a good chance the latter would be nullified (only a chance though - I wouldn't put anything past our government)

    Fear of the government is not the issue - the word I hear from everyone's mouth - from old men to co-workers to my neighbor to random dudes at the bus stop - is 'revolution'. Everyone's sick of our overgrown (and still growing!) government.

    Numbers are not the issue. There are approx. 1.1 million personnel in the armed forces - by far the greater majority of that number is overseas messing in some other country's business at any given moment. If you add the police and the national guard, you're still barely over 3 million. An armed revolutionary force consisting of only 1.5% of the U.S. population would outnumber the government thugs.

    The only impediment to revolution in this country is complacency. People who are comfortable with what they have (actually a minority), or fear losing what they've managed to build for themselves (the great majority). As long as the bread and circuses continue (aka supermarkets and television), nothing is really going to happen here. The minute these things cease, citizens will take up arms in protest. Don't think for a second that everyone in the government doesn't understand this.

  • Re:US Hysterical (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Slashdot Parent (995749) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @02:26PM (#32968072)

    I'm sorry. Did the Democrats repeal the PATRIOT Act while I wasn't looking? Did they close Guantanamo Bay? Warrantless wiretapping?

    Please tell me when I got my civil liberties back, because it still feels like they're missing.

Repel them. Repel them. Induce them to relinquish the spheroid. - Indiana University fans' chant for their perennially bad football team

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