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Censorship Your Rights Online

EasyDNS Falsely Accused of Unplugging WikiLeaks 267

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the caught-in-the-crossfire dept.
kdawson writes "EasyDNS, a DNS and hosting provider, was mistakenly identified in press accounts as the entity that knocked wikileaks.org off the Net. It wasn't them, it was EveryDNS, a completely separate outfit. EasyDNS suffered a series of online reprisals as the false attribution spread. When WikiLeaks approached them to add to the robustness of their DNS support, EasyDNS said yes." And just to be fair on the disclosure thing- I've been using EasyDNS for many many many years and have always had great service, so I just thought it was cool that they stand up for the cause.
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EasyDNS Falsely Accused of Unplugging WikiLeaks

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  • by Aussenseiter (1241842) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:18PM (#34502940)
    RELEASE THE HOUNDS!
    • by Pojut (1027544)

      Are you referring to the ones that shoot bees out of their mouth, or the ones with frikkin' laser beams attatched to their groins?

    • Huh. I wonder where this weird idea of "innocent until proven guilty" came from... Hm.

      • by WED Fan (911325)
        Remember, when it comes to mobs, all you need is the whisper that someone is guilty and the mob whips into a frenzy and lynching begins. To the mob, the whisper is proof.
      • by Dunbal (464142) *

        I wonder where this weird idea of "innocent until proven guilty" came from...

        OK well the next time someone steals your car don't call the police because the "alleged" car thief is really innocent, unless proven guilty. And if you witness a murder don't worry, it's just an innocent citizen going about his business. Unless of course someone proves him guilty.

        It's one thing to have a prosecutor stuck with the burden of proof in a court, instead of having the accused try to prove that it "wasn't" him. It's anot

        • Do you really not understand the difference between "innocent until proven guilty" and "incapable of ever being guilty"? Assuming someone is innocent until you have actual proof of their guilt is not the same as never thinking anyone is ever guilty of anything. Getting the police to start an investigation into a crime is not asking them to hang the suspect right off the bat.
    • by rtyhurst (460717)

      Yes!

      DDoS them all, except Wikileaks of course.

      Well, maybe them too just to show we mean business...

    • YARGH! Damn the G-Man, and let slip the DoS scripts of war!

      Hoist the skull and crossbones, me mateys, and let us send these oppressive land lubbers to the briny deep!

      Wait, what, falsely accused? (lowers authentic reproduction sabre) Aw, nuts. :-(

    • by PRMan (959735)
      It started with the first commenter on the TechDirt [techdirt.com] article who "corrected" Mike Masnick. It turns out that Mike was correct and the poster inadvertently caused all kinds of problems for EasyDNS.
    • by dasunt (249686)

      It starts with an E and has "DNS" in it

      RELEASE THE HOUNDS!

      Insanity wolf, is that you?

  • by drumcat (1659893) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:21PM (#34503002)
    Accuracy matters not in Security Theatre.
    • by crush (19364)
      Seeing as you care about accuracy: the phrase "security theatre" doesn't mean what you think it does.
    • It is more than accuracy. THIS is why Vigilantism is wrong.

      The problem here is that the mob doesn't care about innocents that get caught up in their self righteous indignation. They are no better than the tyrants whom they oppose.

      Do not misunderstand me. I don't give a whit about Julian or his leaking wikis, and the idiots trying to kill the messenger. I do care about the idiot that had access to all the secrets and charged with keeping them secret violating that trust. I also care about the "secrecy" of pu

      • by The Moof (859402)

        I don't give a whit about Julian or his leaking wikis, and the idiots trying to kill the messenger.

        If you're an American, you should care because of our government's reaction, and more importantly, their actions as a result of it. We're not somehow magically impervious since we're American citizens. Also, us, as citizens, are becoming increasingly hated around the world as a result of their actions, despite having no influence on what our government does.

        If you're not an American, you should care because my government has a really nasty habit of forcing your government into doing things (regardless i

  • Mob Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sonny Yatsen (603655) * on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:21PM (#34503014) Journal

    So many people, especially the slashdot crowd, are cheering on Anonymous and other parties who are DDOSing parties involved in the whole Wikileaks thing as some sort of testament to free speech. But this isn't free speech anymore, it's just mob justice and there's no due process in mob justice.

    • Re:Mob Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kalirion (728907) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:24PM (#34503086)

      "The IQ of a mob is the IQ of its most stupid member divided by the number of mobsters." - Terry Pratchett

      • ...which explains why Anonymous generally acts like an unrestrained id being told it's toys were taken away by THAT GUY, or that THAT GUY will scream funny if you hit him. Anonymous not being a "group" so much as a loosely and temporarily affiliated swarm of ever changing internet mobsters and all.

    • Re:Mob Justice (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zedrick (764028) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:31PM (#34503204)
      So many people, especially the slashdot crowd, are cheering on Anonymous and other parties who are DDOSing

      Really? I've been reading most (probably all) wikileaks stories on slashdot since this whole mess started, and I got the impression that the vast majority of the slashdotters agree this is a stupid way to "support" wikileaks.
    • by MRe_nl (306212)

      There's no due process in mob justice.

      There's no justice without due process.

      What goes around comes around.

      • by hedwards (940851)
        What goes around may come around, but mysteriously it always seems to hit the worst actors last.
    • by houghi (78078)

      Well, then mob justice has a lot in common with any other justice.

    • not really, most people on here aren't too hot on the DDOSing unless they're AC though the slashdot crowd are quicker to shout down some of the more idiotic/sensationalist claims (like people calling the DDOS a "violent attack" ) .

      I support wikileaks, I don't support the DDoSing of sites of everyone who ceases doing buisness with them.

    • Re:Mob Justice (Score:5, Interesting)

      by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:52PM (#34503596)

      So many people, especially the slashdot crowd, are cheering on Anonymous and other parties who are DDOSing parties involved in the whole Wikileaks thing as some sort of testament to free speech. But this isn't free speech anymore, it's just mob justice and there's no due process in mob justice.

      There's actually quite a history of civil disobedience in the US. Boycotts, sit in's, protests all of which were illegal under the law and involved large numbers of citizens intentionally disobeying the law in order to get a point across and show public support. DDoSing Visa's Web site doesn't do any real damage to anything, with minimal financial damage and no one lynched. It does, however, bring attention to the issue and pressure corporations, lawmakers, and elected executives around the world to make a change.

      When blacks were arrested by the hundreds for "hindering a bus" during the Rosa King chapter of the civil rights movement, those people were not using "due process" to change the segregation laws and they could just as easily be described as "mob justice" shutting down the bus system in a major US city. If the civil rights movement were happening now would they be arrested for terrorist acts sabotaging public transit?

      While I'm not wholly for nor against the level of disclosure wikileaks seems to be presenting I do recognize this as a free speech/civil rights issue and if people feel strongly enough to risk their freedom via civil disobedience movements like this, I can respect that. To dismiss it as "undemocratic" or "mob justice" is to ignore very important lessons from our not so distant history.

      • by alonsoac (180192)

        the only change that can come from these DDOS attacks is more investment in network security (more costs which could end up driving consumer prices up) and more severe cybercrime laws. I don't see how anyone can benefit from this.
        And shutting down sites because you dont agree with what the owner says or does goes against free speech as people will keep quiet just to avoid being attacked.

        • the only change that can come from these DDOS attacks is more investment in network security (more costs which could end up driving consumer prices up) and more severe cybercrime laws. I don't see how anyone can benefit from this.

          Well, I can benefit from that since I own stock in a company that makes DDoS mitigation appliances. But aside from that, this brings press and attention to the issue, and usually that's what is important in situations like this. If people don't know Visa is cutting of Wikileaks donations, but are continuing payments to the KKK, well maybe more press will help illuminate why they're doing this and cause customers to demand change either from the companies, or from government regulation regarding common carri

          • They're being juvenile, and the press is doing a pretty good job of getting that point across. The people behind the DDoS of these websites aren't winning any allies, and they certainly aren't winning any friends for Wikileaks by their actions. Rather, they're only succeeding in polarizing the people more than they already have been... those who support the site have done so from the beginning, those who are against it have done so from the beginning, and the undecided are looking at this juvenile behaviour

      • with the collateral damage when EasyDNS is mistakenly identified as having cut off wikileaks?

        • So you have no problem... with the collateral damage when EasyDNS is mistakenly identified as having cut off wikileaks?

          There are often negative side effects to civil disobedience and that is certainly regrettable (although I'm unaware of any DNS attack against EasyDNS). One might argue, however, that the fact that several major newspapers ran with articles misidentifying the company argues that we need real change in the way information is disseminated and maybe a many eyes approach such as wikileaks has merit.

      • I do recognize this as a free speech/civil rights issue and if people feel strongly enough to risk their freedom via civil disobedience movements like this, I can respect that. To dismiss it as "undemocratic" or "mob justice" is to ignore very important lessons from our not so distant history. It's sort of a stretch to put a bunch of immature, anonymous online vandals in the same class as Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus. Her actions had a dignity to them because she stood up for herself
        • It's sort of a stretch to put a bunch of immature, anonymous online vandals in the same class as Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus.

          Yes it is. Why then are you mangling my analogy with this strawman argument? I compared the people arrested in the sit-in boycotts to the people executing the DDoS attacks. So really you're talking Rosa Parks would be Assange and the Anonymous group would be Martin Luther King Jr. and company. He was sentenced to a year in prison (he served 2 weeks) for "hindering a bus" and he was. He was blocking access and intentionally disrupting service inconveniencing those people who still wanted to do business with

    • by Tridus (79566)

      I don't know what this article has to do with mob justice. Perhaps you want the previous one about attacking Amazon.

      In this case, people were accusing EasyDNS of doing something they didn't do. That includes the mainstream media, who seemed to borrow the story from Twitter without bothering to fact check. This story is correcting the record.

      There's no "mob rule" here, unless by mob you mean the media.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        The media is allowed to get away with that far too often under the guise of freedom of the press. Freedom of the press was intended to ensure that the press could report on potential malfeasance on the part of government officials, not as a way of protecting the press from having to do their due diligance.

        Many lives have been ruined by the press publishing the names of accused pedophiles and rapists who turned out to be innocent and were also acquitted at trial. The coverage in some of those cases would go

      • That includes the mainstream media, who seemed to borrow the story from Twitter without bothering to fact check.

        This seems to happen disturbingly often actually.

    • by PRMan (959735)
      I think when there's little due process in "actual" justice, people start cheering on mob justice.
    • But this isn't free speech anymore, it's just mob justice and there's no due process in mob justice.

      Actually, I didn't start cheering *until* it become mob justice. :-)

      It gives a happy to the little anarchist that lives in my black, stunted heart.

    • Re:Mob Justice (Score:5, Informative)

      by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @01:02PM (#34503812) Homepage Journal

      So many people, especially the slashdot crowd, are cheering on Anonymous and other parties who are DDOSing parties involved in the whole Wikileaks thing as some sort of testament to free speech.

      No, I don't think that's all that fair of a brush to paint with. In the last story on the /. main page, the one regarding Anon's threat of DDOSing Amazon, I just read at least five highly moderated comments that read along the lines of, "This is a criminal activity and the idiots doing it should be persecuted as such." I also read a few, "They're only making things worse. Retards..."

      So saying that slashdot is cheering on Anonymous is pretty disingenuous. So far as I can tell, the slashdot crowd is pretty evenly divided on this particular topic, as they are on most (not all) things.

    • by tnk1 (899206)

      No, they're cheering it on because its like bloodsport for IT professionals.

      "Oh man! That DDOS had to HURT!"

      "No way man! Amazon's got MOVES. Its probably got some sort of adaptive algorithm on their upstream routers that is intercepting and discarding most of the packets."

      "Fuck that, nothing can stop an attack that big, who do you think they are, the NSA?"

      "They've got a CLOUD, man. Besides the NSA are pussies. Everyone knows that they don't even have enough power at Fort Meade to even run half that shi

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      It never was "Free Speech", it was just vigilante justice. It's become 'mob justice' simply by the popular appeal.

      I don't agree with much of what Wikileaks has done; I think Asange should be hung by his toes until his legs are free of blood. But at the same time, the "System" has wronged him - and more importantly, wronged the Process of Law. The System - government and corporations/banks - are way out of line. In these kinds of situations, it would seem that it takes Mob Rule for justice to be served.

    • by Tx (96709)

      To be fair, there also seems to be a failure of due process when ISPs and payment processors are pressured into cutting off wikileaks, without wikileaks having been found guilty of any crime. The anonymous guys presumably want to balance things up a little. Whether they're doing it the right way is open to question, but nobody else seems to be sticking up for wikileaks.

    • I believe Due Process is one of the freedoms our government is working fervently to abolish, so I say turnabout is fair play.

      The government grants due process to the citizens, it doesn't flow the other way.

    • I'm sure the members of Anonymous feel terrible and are busy crafting an apology. You're right of course, this has mob mentality written all over it.

    • by Steeltoe (98226)

      But this isn't free speech anymore, it's just mob justice and there's no due process in mob justice.

      Following that logic, USA would never have become independent. Protests against the Vietnam war would never change official policy. Public outrage should only be met with cudgels and swords (guns and bombs in modern times). If the public doesn't matter, we might as well live under a dictatorship, at least that way, we're honest about it.

      However, I agree, violence should be last resort. People should find peac

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      What you're surprised at this? These are the same people who run second and third hand information as if it's factual.

  • That should solve the mystery of why Wikileaks "went back" to EasyDNS for hosting. Shame that people didn't dig a little deeper when that seemed weird.

  • kdawson (Score:3, Informative)

    by MikeB0Lton (962403) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:31PM (#34503196)
    What is with the kdawson articles being posted by other editors?
    • I talked to Rob Malda. He told me that they are trying this out as a form of voluntary "peer review." CmdrTaco, care to comment on this?

      --TrisexualPuppy
  • The whole DNS thing is a red herring. First of all EveryDNS is a free DNS service [everydns.com] that survives on donations. They don't have the capacity to survive a cyber attack from the US government. From their page, they have 490m domains that rely on their free service. It's a shame they they didn't hold out and ask for help and donations rather than fold so quickly, but they did have to think about their other users. They aren't the bad guys

    Let's assume journalistic incompetence rather than third party malice, but

    • by alonsoac (180192)

      i have been using amazon and paypal with no problems.

  • and mob justice

    it is why we have courts. it is why we have government

    if everyone were their own policeman, judge, jury, and executioner, injustice would increase, not decrease, even with good intent, because of simple miscommunication

    which is why increased gun ownership in peacetime civil society is a gateway to more injustice, not a salvation from it, and why libertarianism will never work: individuals are often confused, and some have bad intent. you need society to be regulated and made secure by a government structure that can be held accountable, and you need to pay for it. the alternative is simply worse

    we need government to save us from ourselves: take all of the abuses of every government that ever existed, and guess what: the abuses of the individual are far worse. whether simple petty crime, white collar crime, or well intentioned but confused effort, individuals are worse than governments, when given no structure, no security, and no regulation

    i fear my fellow man far more than i fear my government

    and i will probably be flamed for saying all of this, but i don't care, bring it on. i like being the one who says the ugly truths about the world that no one wants to admit

    • by hedwards (940851)
      But, courts and government are essentially mob justice. The only difference is that it's mob justice in slow motion so that we're more likely to find the cases where the mob was wrong. But you do still get people going to prison because of what the mob thinks, the courts at least in the US, tend to be tilted pretty favorably to the prosecution.
      • by JSBiff (87824)

        "But, courts and government are essentially mob justice."

        No. Most people are pretty stupid. I include myself in this. Most people can be easily misled by misleading 'evidence'.

        Courts provide a structure of 'rules' of evidence that attempt to filter out the most egregious bad evidence. Will lawyers and prosecutors still attempt to enter into evidence any BS they think can mislead the jury in their favor? Yes, but the judge doesn't always allow all 'evidence'. Mobs, like in this case with EasyDNS, often liste

    • i fear my fellow man far more than i fear my government

      The catch is, your government is selected from amongst your fellow men, and frequently consists of the worst of them. The individual may be disorganized and chaotic, but a hierarchy is organized and directed at the whims of the most power hungry individuals. Do you fear uncertainty more than oppression?

      Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences. -- C.S. Lewis

      • that cs lewis quote sucks, it is logically unsound

        1. it presents a false choice, as if there are only two kinds of government possible, when in truth there are thousands of kinds, many of which have nothing whatsoever to do with the two archetypes cs lewis says we are forced to choose between

        2. you cannot satiate a tyrant. when he has 4 palaces and 3 gold toilets, he will want 8 palaces and 6 gold toilets. selfishness and greed know no bounds. that's not to say that the patronizing condescending moralist wh

    • when the government system that is in place to protect the people fails, the only recourse left is to revolt. this is simply a "digital revolt" which is different from what people are normally accustomed to. traditional "physical protest" (i.e. forming a chain of people in front of the entrance to a store, marching down a road etc) almost always disrupts standard business practices or day-to-day activities. It sounds like you expect a protest/revolt to not inconvenience anyone.

      additionally, the organization
    • by paulpach (798828)

      it is why we have courts. it is why we have government

      Do you even for a second think that the court or goverment are going to punish Amazon and EveryDNS for banning wikileaks???. Government was likely the one pushing them to cut it off.

      i fear my fellow man far more than i fear my government

      Your fellow man does not lie, steal, sabotage, commit war crimes, kidnap, torture, tell you where you can go and what you can do, throw you in jail for victim less crimes or if you protest, keep anything it wants a secret, and forcibly take your money to do all this

      You are fearing the wrong guy

    • which is why increased gun ownership in peacetime civil society is a gateway to more injustice, not a salvation from it

      You make the serious mistake of assuming that someone who owns a gun is going to act as their own judge, jury, and executioner. Please by all means if you enjoy being the one who says the ugly truths then go for it but stick to the truths. Mixing in your own opinion weakens your argument greatly.

  • by mysidia (191772) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @12:59PM (#34503742)

    The name of the company is DynDNS.com. You know, the company that bought EveryDNS; disabled the ability to sign up for new EveryDNS accounts?

    And has been in the process of transitioning accounts from EveryDNS to "DynDNS.com" custom services over 2010, probably so they can eventually discontinue the free services and force everyone to pay?

    If they made the decision to kill Wikileaks' services, they should take responsibility for the shutdown, and not hide behind the legacy EveryDNS name which will be a distant memory in some time.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 09, 2010 @01:13PM (#34503944)
    Here is a letter EasyDNS sent out to all customers last night about this issue. I removed Mark Jeftovic's email and phone number for obvious reasons:

    This notice is being sent to all active domain holders on the system.
    Your easyDNS username is:
    Email address on file for account:
    Date username was created:
    Username was created from:



    In this email:
    1. The WikiLeaks Situation

    -----------
    1. The WikiLeaks Situation
    -----------

    It is not very often we send out an all-member email blast, so when we do, it's usually pretty important.

    First and foremost, everything is ok. Please read the information that follows carefully but understand that we would never do anything that we thought put our members at risk.

    The Basic Background:
    =====

    On Friday, Dec 6th, easyDNS was mistakenly identified in various online channels as the DNS provider who revoked DNS Services for the controversial website Wikileaks, and a large internet backlash ensued against us. In fact, the Wikileaks DNS provider was a free DNS provider in New Hampshire called "EveryDNS.net". At some point this was mistakenly reported as "easyDNS", and it gathered momentum from there. The problem was compounded on Saturday, Dec 7th when the New York Times picked up the story, also incorrectly identifying us as the party who "unplugged" Wikileaks. The U.K based Guardian did the same thing again on Tuesday, December 7th.
    A timeline of events has been posted here:
    http://easyurl.net/5119e [easyurl.net]

    And our original rebuttal to the misinformation was posted here:
    http://easyurl.net/a3191 [easyurl.net]


    easyDNS Added To WikiLeaks.ch DNS
    ======

    On Sunday, Dec 5th, we were approached by a group acting on behalf of Wikileaks and asked to provide DNS for their fallback domain WikiLeaks.ch. We agreed to this on several conditions.
    http://easyurl.net/fbbff [easyurl.net]

    We did not take this decision lightly, and whichever side of the fence you fall regarding what Wikileaks is doing, after being falsley accused of unplugging Wikileaks and taking an enormous amount of backlash for doing so, we felt we did not have much choice in the matter but to forge ahead and take on this challenge.
    http://easyurl.net/507d8 [easyurl.net]

    We actually consider this part of the situation to be well in hand. Tonight the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail ran a story about this bizarre sequence of events and we expect it to run in the print edition (possibly as the cover story) on Thursday, Dec 10.
    That story is here: http://easyurl.net/gandm [easyurl.net]

    However, and this is large part of the motivation for this email, the Globe story concluded with the following quotation, which we feel sends the wrong message, as I mispoke when I said the following: "Our lawyers have basically told us that if they want to shut us down they'll show up with an injunction and we'll have to follow it and then try and have it overturned later," This may connote that we think we, as a company, may be shut down. We do NOT think this is going to happen at all. What I meant to convey in the quote is: "If they want US (easyDNS) to shut THEM (WikiLeaks) down, they'll show up with an injunction, and we'll have to follow it, etc etc". And if that happened, we would be terminating service to wikileaks alone. Further information about this clarification is here:
    http://easyurl.net/gm2 [easyurl.net]

    We wanted to let you know as an easyDNS member, that we are taking every measure to ensure that this situation does not disrupt the continuity of your domain services at all. In conclusion, we believe we have taken the course of action that fits who we are as a company. If you've been dealing with us for any amount of time then hopefully you know w
  • I've been using them for ages. They're a great bunch of engineers and they provide a high value service. In the decade that I've been using them, I've never ONCE thought, "I wonder if I should move my domains somewhere else?" I can't think of any other service provider in my life that I haven't reconsidered at least every once in a while.

    If you have any DNS business to send their way, show them slashdot's support!

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist

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