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Government Censorship Communications Crime The Internet United States

Blogetery Shutdown Due To al-Qaeda Info 330

Archness1 writes "Over the weekend we discussed news that blog host 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, 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. '[ CTO Joe Marr] said the FBI contacted 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 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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  • Re:US Hysterical (Score:3, Interesting)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:25PM (#32957420)

    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.

  • 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? []

    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

  • Re:US Hysterical (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mmcxii ( 1707574 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:51PM (#32957742)
    Do you honestly think that parties that get to the size and influence as our big two really do that by honestly showing good will and trust to their subjects? Please. Those who voted for Obama in the hopes that he was going to loosen the grip of the intelligence community on the people he has been tasked to serve are seriously naive.

    Look, I know most of you think that it is only the right that wears Klan robes, rub their hands together with greedy intent and kick puppies but the bottom line is that both parties have very active members who've proven they're no better than the other. Why do you keep drinking the kool aid when we have incident after incident of both Ds and Rs that are up to no good? Do you have the much of an investment in your party of choice that you can't afford to finally tell them that you've had enough of their bullshit by not voting for them or giving them your financial support?

    While this doesn't mean that Obama himself is the evil henchman the fact is that he can't do much of anything by himself and the things he might be able to do by himself have long gone by the wayside as hollow promises. For as much as the Dems chanted that they didn't need the Reps to do what they needed to do in the name of humanity? Damn little of it ever gone done. And now? The chants that it's the "party of no" that made it impossible for them to do what is in your best interest. Are you still buying these lies? Please don't tell me you are.
  • Troll? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by commodoresloat ( 172735 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @06:57PM (#32957806)

    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.

  • Re:CYA (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @07:25PM (#32958070)
    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 kidnapped by evil Americans.

    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.
  • by Michael Hunt ( 585391 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @07:42PM (#32958206) Homepage

    So, the 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 [] ) 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 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.

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

    by eulernet ( 1132389 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @07:57PM (#32958382)

    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.

  • Re:US Hysterical (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Entropius ( 188861 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @07:58PM (#32958398)

    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 least unless ownership of IED-type devices and RPG's becomes common.

  • by swschrad ( 312009 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @08:28PM (#32958678) Homepage Journal

    on those guys. or they wouldn't have made the request, including the little line at the end that basically said, "you have a pistol. you know what to do for esprit de corps. we will be back in 15 minutes."

  • 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:US Hysterical (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wonkavader ( 605434 ) on Monday July 19, 2010 @09:13PM (#32959108)

    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:Brilliant.... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Shakrai ( 717556 ) * on Monday July 19, 2010 @09:27PM (#32959214) Journal

    Yeah, things like bomb making and child porn get you in trouble.

    Bomb making gets you into trouble but there's no law in the United States against sharing the knowledge to do so. Hell, you can even publish the designs for a fusion bomb [] in the United States. I wonder if the same is true in China?

  • Re:Why stop there? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @12:02AM (#32960206) Journal

    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 make a backup for the Panama Canal, through Nicaragua, using the "string of simultaneous underground explosions" written large, i.e. simultaneous detonation of a string of underground nukes. (Like the plan to melt the snow off interstate highways by embedding nuclear waste in the pavement, this one was rejected.)

    The no-electricity fluorescent tubes would have worked just fine, with negligible radiation exposure to the users (like smoke detectors). Fortunately somebody calculated the radiation levels in a warehouse filled with pallets of 'em.

  • Re:US Hysterical (Score:1, Interesting)

    by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @12:20AM (#32960308)

    The only effect on my life was that now going through airports is fucking annoying now.

    The Patriot act has no effect on me, never has, never will, and its really easy to avoid.

    Coordinated domestic wiretapping was common before and still is, perhaps you might want to get it right and say warrantless wiretapping to point out what was ACTUALLY bad about it.

    The Unitary President is kind of supposed to be. Thats the job title ... you know ... Commander In Chief? But hey, lets call it a different name and pretend Congress had no say what so ever in it, lets just ignore the facts and reality.

    Signing statements were not new to Bush and Obama hasn't stopped using them. They also don't actually mean anything unless someone wants to listen to them. They have no legal binding.

    9/11 happened less than 9 years ago, so it can not possibly be the cause of something thats been going on for 10 years.

    Yes, I'm being pedantic, but you're just throwing random statements out there in an attempt to make it sound horrible so some pedantic perspective is needed to balance out your luniness (tm). What has happened since 9/11 was the result of the government as a whole and regardless of what a very vocal minority wants to make people think was what the majority of the country wanted as well.

    If you're going to go off and be all anti-government at least get some facts and a cluepon. Its easy to tear the government a new asshole based on facts and all you can do is come up with some political rhetoric because you're on the blue team?

    Pathetic excuse for a fanboy.

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

    by pgmrdlm ( 1642279 ) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @12:39AM (#32960412) Journal

    Especially when you look at some of the declassified documents of what they have tried before. The US military once actually proposed attacking their own nation to blame it on others as a reason to attack, it was shot down by congress and such but they still proposed it. []

    Operation Northwoods

    According to secret and long-hidden documents obtained for Body of Secrets, the Joint Chiefs of Staff drew up and approved plans for what may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the U.S. government. In the name of antiCommunism, they proposed launching a secret and bloody war of terrorism against their own country in order to trick the American public into supporting an ill-conceived war they intended to launch against Cuba.

    Is this what your thinking about???

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

    Maybe the guys at 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 thrown into the Gulag, sued into destitution, or disappeared off to Guantanamo for some "enhanced interrogation".

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

    by Builder ( 103701 ) on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @04:38AM (#32961310)

    I don't know if that's allowed in China, but in the UK people have been convicted under terrorism legislation for possession of documents that may be of use to a terrorist. In one case recently, someone was convicted for owning copies of the anarchists handbook. Not for making anything from it, just for having it.

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

    by Shakrai ( 717556 ) * on Tuesday July 20, 2010 @12:05PM (#32965708) Journal

    The UK is probably a lost cause at this point.

"Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb