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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.
    • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by steelfood (895457)

        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 na

        • by Kalriath (849904)

          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.

          Blizzard already does require that - it's the forums for a subscription based MMO game.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by AK Marc (707885)
          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,
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by wonkavader (605434)

          While you're right, you should know that the whole frog boiling things is a myth, at least when it comes to frogs. Try it sometime. Even when you start with cold water, they jump out when it gets reasonably hot.

          Which is what we ought to be doing.

        • Re:US Hysterical (Score:4, Informative)

          by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @09:57AM (#32963550) Homepage Journal

          Fortunately, the US is a democracy

          Unfortunately, it isn't. It's a plutocratic republic where corporations can bribe both major candidates with campaign cash and get any damned thing they want, and to hell with the average person.

          That, and having a polarized two-party system, nobody's really able to do anything even in power.

          There's little real difference between the two parties; the Democrats are tax and spend, the Republicans are borrow and spend. Both are beholden to corporations; the only difference is which corporations. Neither one gives a damn about the Constitution or your rights. Both are for increased copyright lengths and increased penalties for infringing copyright, even noncommercial infringement. You won't find but maybe one or two politicians from either party who would legalize marijuana, for instance, despite the fact that the only people who benefit from marijuana laws are the ones growing, importing, and selling marijuana; both major parties are in lockstep. It makes me wonder how much bribe money the drug cartels shovel to the Republican and Democratic parties.

          And the corporate media has convinced everyone that if you vote Green or Libertarian you've wasted your vote. I say if you vote for a candidate who wants you in jail for smoking pot or sharing MP3s you're a fool.

      • 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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I hope you Americans reclaim your civil freedoms soon...

      To state one must "reclaim" a freedom precludes its existence to begin with. Or put another way -- what Americans have been calling "rights" all these years were really privileges that the ruling party/authority could remove from an individual or group at will.

      • 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: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.

        • by TheMeuge (645043)

          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.

          That's why a critically-important part of this contract should be that those who have not been given direct power to exercise violence, still have the means to do so in a critical situation. I am of course talking about retaining one's right to bear arms.

          In the absence of this one right, all others are moot, since the only rights you have, are the ones you can defend.

          In the absence of the right to self-defense and the means to do so, the criminals are the ones who have rights, since they can clearly defend

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Entropius (188861)

            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 said violence in a critical situation, which presumably means outshooting the police.

            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

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by ToasterMonkey (467067)

              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: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Ashriel (1457949)

              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 inclinati

      • Hysteria indeed (Score:3, Informative)

        by poptones (653660)

        I truly hope you and the folks who have thus far replied to your post will some day take the time to actually read some of the works that inspired our Constitution. Start with "Common Sense" - it was written so as to be understood by the commoners of the day; hopefully y'all have sufficient education as to be able to understand the work today...

      • by Nadaka (224565)

        Wrong.

        Rights, Natural Rights, are universal. They exist for all time, in all places and for all people.

        They need not be granted, approved or enumerated by any government.

        They can not be removed, except by the direct application of physical force.

        Everyone has the right to free speech.

        They can remove this right by cutting out your tongue, paralyzing you or even killing you.

        Passing a law forbidding free speech does not remove that right, you can still speak freely.

        A law forbidding speech does not remove that r

        • ... And, in the United States, you can pressure your State legislature to nullify unconstitutional Federal laws, just as many have done in recent years. But it needs to be done more quickly and more often.
      • what Americans have been calling "rights" all these years were really privileges that the ruling party/authority could remove from an individual or group at will.

        There are two things. One is Natural Rights. You have a right to your life, your body, your property, self-ownership, etc. People in funny costumes can do bad things to you, even kill you, but they can't take away your natural rights (only infringe them).

        The other is what a State claims to recognize as checks on infringing your natural rights.

    • 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: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Reginald2 (1859758)
      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.
    • There have been several totally bungled [wikipedia.org] operations in other countries too.

      Sadly, the conclusion must be that the terrorists are winning. They aimed to destroy the western way of life and they are certainly making progress at it.

  • 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.

    • by v1 (525388)

      it's probably best to launch it into space

      That and even moreso if suits with gold badges pay a visit to discuss your "voluntary cooperation".

      It's like Bruno suggesting you "volunteer" your lunch money.

    • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

      Point taken. Sometimes one is volunteered. I learned early that it always looks better for you if you volunteer than get ordered when you still have to do the same thing anyway. But having said that, you don't need to whitewash it with hysteria. The Iranian scientist situation is very questionable.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by AK Marc (707885)
        The Iranian scientist situation is very questionable.

        Questionable? He was a mid-level scientist. He didn't know anything juicy. He offered to defect. He defected. He was debriefed. The US didn't care much for what he had to say, and relocated him to someplace boring and he had no friends, no family, and was without mastery of the language. His family may or may not have been threatened in Iran. He re-defected back for the "payment" of stating he never defected in the first place, but instead was k
        • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

          Is there anything in my assessment of the situation that you find questionable? Anything in there you find to be probably untrue or greatly suspect? It seems pretty clear and straight forward.

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

          Look... I agree with most of your take on the situation (I suspect he knew a bit more than you give credit for - and far more than he now claims). But at the same time, the US does have a recent history of operations that would fall in line with this guy's claims. So there is room for doubt. Although I should probably point out to you that my statement was questioning the validity of the kidnapping claim. Even if I accept that there is a possibility that

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by EllisDees (268037)

            >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: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.

    • Re:CYA (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Neoprofin (871029) <.neoprofin. .at. .hotmail.com.> 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      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
  • 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.

    • by vxice (1690200)
      Information should never be illegal. Also remember that the government should not be able to out gun its own population. Also there are plenty of other reason besides righteous rebellion against a corrupt government that you might want to know about explosives. Maybe against another government that the U.S. does not support. Like the group Jundallah. Terrorist in every sense of the word but against the Islamic republic of Iran so they are alright by us.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        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

        • 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.

    • by Entropius (188861)

      This is why you are not in the business of selling hosting to other people.

      • by Nethead (1563)

        And this is why Burst.net is? You don't know how many AUPs I've written nor how many ISPs I've worked for. Or that matter, how many hosts I've pulled down for illegal content.

        • by Entropius (188861)

          No, I don't. But I wouldn't buy hosting from you, and I imagine that many customers wouldn't either if they knew that their stuff was at risk of being taken down for merely being controversial.

          I tend to hire reliable people to perform services for me.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Nethead (1563)

            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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 0123456 (636235)

      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:Sounds right. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Luke has no name (1423139) <lukehasnoname AT gmail DOT 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.

      • by Nethead (1563)

        TFA: Sources close to the investigation say that included in those materials were the names of American citizens targeted for assassination by al-Qaeda.

        How are hit-lists by foreign terrorists "speak[ing] out against their government"?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by eulernet (1132389)

      That is absolutely stupid !

      If the FBI came to me and told me that one of my hosts had bomb making info, I'd give them access to the server, so that they can monitor who are accessing the site, in order to locate them.
      If people go to this site, this means that they are interested by its content.

      Closing the site just sends an alert to the terrorists, and allows them to flee or enter dormant mode, with no way to track them later.

  • ... reason for the shutdown, they were being "economical with the truth"?

    I can accept that, perhaps they had a reason to shut down their client (although the reason seems very weak), but to lie about it? They deserve to have their clients move elsewhere and be forced into bankruptcy.

  • do NOT host anything with burstnet. leave aside a server on their infrastructure, not even a single site.
  • Yet another potential source of useful intelligence shut down.

  • DHS alert level (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rwa2 (4391) * on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:50PM (#32957734) Homepage Journal

    Cool, so that means the current Department of Homeland Security alert level of yellow/orange actually means there's information out there regarding an actual threat, and not just a constant elevated paranoia to cover their asses if something bad actually goes down?

    http://www.dhs.gov/files/programs/Copy_of_press_release_0046.shtm [dhs.gov]

    When the threat is mitigated, do we finally get to reduce the threat level to blue or green? What are the criteria for actually reaching that? :P

  • 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.
  • 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.

    • Re:Why stop there? (Score:4, Informative)

      by TheMeuge (645043) on Monday July 19, 2010 @07:37PM (#32958162)

      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?

      It's already happening. So many new organisms have made it onto "select agent lists" that I am surprised any decent virology is still being done in the US. Soon we'll be left with no human pathogens outside the list that can be used for research.

      And to do work on something that's on the list, you have to go through a process that takes so long that the student or post-doc would want to be leaving by the time they are cleared to do the work.

    • Re:Why stop there? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Monday July 19, 2010 @08:51PM (#32958940) Journal

      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.

      Ask F-troop.

      The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and (recently added) Explosives seems to think it is, if you didn't get the right certifications and licenses and pay the right taxes.

      Your state may think so, too.

      Explosives are a very useful tool for, among other things, farming. You can remove a stump quickly with a little dynamite, girdle or fell a tree in seconds, dig a ditch in an hour or so with a string of small charges detonated simultaneously. rather than weeks of work with earthmoving equipment or months of backbreaking labor, and I could go on. (There was one guy who got the snow off his sidewalks and driveways in a couple minutes with a little primacord, too.)

      But our federal government has injected its jackboots into this, as well as firearms, since about 1934.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        You can ... dig a ditch in an hour or so with a string of small charges detonated simultaneously. rather than weeks of work with earthmoving equipment or months of backbreaking labor ...

        The simultaneous detonations cause the displaced dirt to end up in two banks beside a trench, rather than making a string of discrete holes.

        Interestingly, during the "nuclear plowshare" period just after WWII, when the government was trying to find nonmilitary uses for nuclear technology, one of the plans examined was to mak

  • 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 blogeter
  • I'm not sure if the company was being responsible our of their own sense of morality, or if they just didn't want to deal with government pressure in the form of subpoenas and warrants later.
  • by Michael Hunt (585391) on Monday July 19, 2010 @07:42PM (#32958206) Homepage

    So, the Burst.net guys get a request for information about a machine they host which has ~70k users, give or take. Instead of asking the box's sysadmin (who's their CLIENT), they pull the pin, then go on to mutter vague conspiracy-minded commentary such as "getting a refund is the least of his (the site owner/sysadmin) problems" on fora such as WHT (see http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?s=05a61aabdfcacdb369e1582aff4686a1&t=964013 [webhostingtalk.com] ) Apparently the fact that he _received_ abuse complaints in the past was grounds to terminate his service; never mind the fact that he had SEVENTY THOUSAND USERS and acted on DMCA notifications and other abuse requests in a timely fashion, which is better than can be said about a lot of sites.

    Had burst.net forwarded the request to the site owner (or even simply given the feds his name, and explained how he fit in) instead of disconnecting the machine, making borderline slanderous statements (such as 'he'll never get his data back' and 'a refund is the least of his worries right now',) they would have come out of this looking reasonably good. As it stands, you'd have to be completely brain-dead retarded to even think about giving them money.

  • ...al-Qaeda is not a single organized group but rather what ever any government wants to claim it is at any given moment. Be it a group of drug runners, arms dealers, mothers (if the giovernment so choses to call the group such... and the public will associate bad, as in organized single group to them. This way government drug runners, arms dealers and mothers can have a never ending war.

    Magic word "al-Qaeda" to get public approval.

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Monday July 19, 2010 @08:20PM (#32958634)
    Can somebody please post al-Queda hit lists and bomb making info here [bieberfever.com]
  • by Liquidrage (640463) on Monday July 19, 2010 @09:44PM (#32959322)
    FTFA:
    The Burst.net employee who handled the request erroneously believed that the FBI would want to seize the customer's server and thus the employee cut off service to Blogetery. Marr said the FBI, however, never asked for the server.

    Well, that could clear up some of the shitty posts here.


    Also FFTA:
    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.

    Now, just my speculation here, but obviously there's a lot of "terrorist" crap all over American servers that the Gov doesn't give two shits about. So maybe in this case the FBI concluded that the information was actual communication from the organization, etc, and not just drivel. If so, good for them for removing it. Removing a "hit list" doesn't violate free speech that I care for. Either way, burstnet made a mistake and one that is probably an honest mistake. Shit happens.
  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @12:48AM (#32960450) Homepage

    Search "how to make a bomb" [google.com] with Google. Not only do you get videos and diagrams, Google is very helpful in coming up with additional information:

    Searches related to "how to make a bomb":

    • how to make a bomb with household items
    • how to make a tennis ball bomb
    • how to make a stink bomb
    • how to make a chlorine bomb
    • how to make a pipe bomb
    • how to make a gun
    • pipe bomb
    • how to make fireworks

    It's not like it's difficult information to find. A Justice Department report says [justice.gov] "the DOJ committee has determined that anyone interested in manufacturing a bomb, dangerous weapon, or a weapon of mass destruction can easily obtain detailed instructions from readily accessible sources, such as legitimate reference books, the so-called underground press, and the Internet."

  • by jmcvetta (153563) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @02:01AM (#32960674)

    Maybe the guys at Burst.net are neither villains nor tools.

    As I understand it, when the Stasi want something removed from the net, they typically send a National Security Letter demanding said removal, and forbidding disclosure of their demand. One convenient way to bring light to a secret removal order is for the hosting company to comply with it in a way that maximizes inconvenience to the internet community at large. It's a nice alternative to quietly silencing a blog without due process in open court -- who does that anymore? -- that probably (probably...) won't get anyone from Burst.net thrown into the Gulag, sued into destitution, or disappeared off to Guantanamo for some "enhanced interrogation".

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