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Is the Government Scaring Web Businesses Out of the US? 271

suraj.sun sends this quote from an article at Techdirt: "The federal government has been paying lip service to the idea that it wants to encourage new businesses and startups in the U.S. And this is truly important to the economy, as studies have shown that almost all of the net job growth in this country is coming from internet startups. ... With the JotForm situation unfolding, where the U.S. government shut down an entire website with no notice or explanation, people are beginning to recognize that the U.S is not safe for internet startups. Lots of folks have been passing around [a] rather reasonable list of activities for U.S.-based websites."
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Is the Government Scaring Web Businesses Out of the US?

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  • They got it wrong (Score:2, Interesting)

    by X.25 ( 255792 )

    It's not US government shutting down US sites.

    It is US government shutting down all other sites, so that users around world end up having to use US based 'service providers'.

    That and "intellectual property" are the only 2 things that can keep US economy afloat for bit longer.

    And they're betting big on it.

    • by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @11:39AM (#39085627)

      and they are going to lose.

      The thing is in order to expand and grow you need new ideas. tougher IP laws actually restrict new ideas and slow down development. That is why China and India have or ignore IP laws. It is why after WWII the USA ignored IP laws for 30 plus years.

      however when you get complacent you make tougher IP laws, which prevents someone else from taking a good idea and moving it in another direction. Think of the number of Patents in a cell phone or even worse a smart phone and realize that those patents are from the 1990's.

      The tighter you grip on imaginary property the less you are likely to dream up something new.

  • JotForm takedown (Score:5, Informative)

    by Geoffrey.landis ( 926948 ) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @10:26AM (#39085167) Homepage

    The ars technica article has some useful background: []

    Sounds like a good reason to leave GoDaddy, IMO.

    • Re:JotForm takedown (Score:5, Informative)

      by aaarrrgggh ( 9205 ) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @10:30AM (#39085207)

      Sounds like yet another good reason to leave GoDaddy, IMO.

      Fixed that for you.

    • by AngryDeuce ( 2205124 ) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @11:11AM (#39085455)

      Sounds like a good reason to leave GoDaddy, IMO.

      How many more do people fucking need?

    • Re:JotForm takedown (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @12:24PM (#39085881)

      Sounds like a good reason to leave GoDaddy, IMO.

      Sounds like a good reason for a decentralized name resolution system.

      While GoDaddy are a bunch of scummy toadies, they aren't the real problem. The real problem is the tendency of those in power to abuse their power. Today it is the secret service and godaddy, tomorrow it could easily be some other government and some other DNS provider.

      Ultimately the only solution is to decentralize name resolution. Sure that comes with a whole host of problems on its own, starting with trust and reliability. But the current hierarchal DNS is just such an easy single-point-of-choking that it is inevitable that the powerful will abuse it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18, 2012 @10:38AM (#39085253)

    It's rather fuckin moot to try to plan ten years ahead when the laws change to being more and more draconian and unconstitutional every couple days/weeks.
    This is full spectrum disruption. Who dare run a music blog when the lables don't even know what the current law is? Who dare hire employees when health-insurance, and tax is unstable and unpredictable, with a monetary system that is unregulated and corrupt to the fuckin core? Who dare take a loan in this depression/inflation enviornment? Who wants to pay for video bandwidth, when streaming a video is now a felony?

    Who suffers? ebay, paypal, amazon, domain sellers, hosting, isp's, software developers, bloggers, bands, labels, video production, video promotion. You want real people to discuss fixes, better get rid of all this fascist, war on terrorism, cyberwar propaganda psychopathic bullshit.

    • by Paul Fernhout ( 109597 ) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @10:46AM (#39085299) Homepage

      One problem is that the latest "war of the da"y is always profitable to somebody: []
      "WAR is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes."

      War is just not usually beneficial to most people who have to pay the costs (which includes the US taxpayer, as well as all the victims abroad or at home who were in the way...)

      And so a society consumes itself, burning itself to the ground because every incremental step makes sense to the fire... Where are the "political" firefighters when we need them?

      • by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @03:28PM (#39087037)

        Major General Smedley Butler, United States Marine Corp, was an extraordinarily brave and devoted Marine who served the United States in an exceptional manner while in uniform, earning two Congressional Medals of Honor - the highest American medal for bravery on the battlefield. Out of uniform and in the realm of politics, however, citizen Butler involved himself in leftist fringe politics. I would be inclined to follow Major General Butler anywhere on the battlefield, but nowhere near a voting booth. In this regard he is like Chomsky [], a man of exceptional virtual in his field, but a political crank (popular though he may be) and genocide [] denier [].

        . . . . Back in the 1930s, the U.S. Communist Party recruited a former Marine Corps general, Smedley Butler, to give speeches on the eve of World War II denouncing military preparedness as a capitalist racket. The idea was that by persuading an individual man of valor to propound shameful views, those views would somehow become less shameful. It didn’t work then. I doubt it will work now. - Wesley Who? []

        War is sometimes chosen for you [] by your enemies [], not by some secret cabal in government or industry. Other nations and groups have their own plans, such as forcing Islamic conversion and Sharia law to replace the US Constitution [] on the US independent of anything the US does.

        If the so called Military-Industrial complex is so powerful, why has the long term trend since World War 2 been towards decreased spending as a percentage of the economy?
        Defense Spending as Percentage of GDP Well Below Historical Average []

        If there is no threat, why do we keep seeing arrests and convictions like this?

        Federal agents arrest Amine El Khalifi; he allegedly planned to bomb Capitol []
        Federal authorities on Friday arrested a 29-year-old Moroccan man in an alleged plot to carry out a suicide bombing at the U.S. Capitol, the latest in a series of terrorism-related arrests resulting from undercover sting operations.

        FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending January 27, 2012 []

        Denver: Man Arrested for Providing Material Support to a Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization

        Jamshid Muhtorov was arrested by members of the FBI’s Denver and Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Forces on a charge of providing and attempting to provide material support to the Islamic Jihad Union, a Pakistan-based designated foreign terrorist organization. Full Story

        Baltimore: Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction in Plot to Attack Armed Forces Recruiting Center

        U.S. citizen Antonio Martinez, aka Muhammad Hussain, pled guilty to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction against federal property in connection with a scheme to attack an armed forces recruiting station in Catonsville, Maryland. Full Story

        Washington Field: Man Pleads Guilty to Shootings at Pentagon, Other Military Buildings

        Yonathan Melaku, of Alexandria,

        • by Paul Fernhout ( 109597 ) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @03:57PM (#39087247) Homepage

          Your post is very selective about the "facts". If enough people keep thinking your way, we are probably doomed for sure in an age where any disgruntled person can download a plague off the internet and feel justified using it out of either retribution or to achieve some objective that they think will make them "secure" by wiping out most everyone else who might in theory be a threat. Maybe we could try being nice to each other for a change and see how that works out for a while?

's_Guide_to_the_Galaxy#Prologue []
          " Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the trees in the first place. And some said that even the trees had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the oceans.
                  And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change, a girl sitting on her own in a small cafe in Rickmansworth suddenly realized what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and happy place. This time it was right, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything.
                  Sadly, however, before she could get to a phone to tell anyone about it, the Earth was unexpectedly demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass, and so the idea was lost, seemingly for ever.
                  This is her story."

          Were you one of the protesters against the supposedly justified war against Iraq over non-existent weapons of mass destruction. If not, then what moral authority do you speak from? Who was the aggressor there? Hard to accept the implications. Based on your philosophy, how should the USA be labelled for that endeavor, and what should other countries do about that? Can you explain why most other countries consider the USA a far greater threat to world peace than most of the countries it invades?

          Terrorist attacks have happened many times on US soil, including the US Capitol.

          They have also happened in other countries without those countries losing their democracies.

          But sadly, the article suggests the worst terrorism these days seems to be coming *out* of the US Capitol and destroying the fabric of US society both economically and socially. See also:
          "OK, what's this book about? It's about what's happened to the American government lately. It's about the disastrous decisions that government has made. It's about the corruption that rotted the Congress. It's about how traditional conservatism has nearly been destroyed by authoritarianism. It's about how the "Religious Right" teamed up with amoral authoritarian leaders to push its un-democratic agenda onto the country. It's about the United States standing at the crossroads as the next federal election approaches."

          Just think about whether you are helping the terrorists win?

  • by sgt scrub ( 869860 ) < minus punct> on Saturday February 18, 2012 @10:38AM (#39085257)

    Put hosting in countries where the RIAA hides its money from the tax man, Switzerland, Luxumbourg, etc... Being a bully to a country that has dirt on you is a line they won't cross. I think.

    • US warrant will alert Europol and the local Switzerland/Luxembourg authorities in no time. I would think it is more important that the server guy is serving to US audience or US customers, where his server is physically located might be less important.
  • by acidradio ( 659704 ) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @10:47AM (#39085311)

    At this rate data, information and knowledge will be the new thing to smuggle. But there doesn't seem to be a "border"... yet. We will all be the mules. Like anything good they will try and cut it off. Who will be the 21st century's Pablo Escobar?

  • Does anyone know what the fuck happened to

    Did they get busted or just run out of money? No FBI/DHS/ page or anything, because DNS is busted too.

    It went *poof* and there's nothing I can find anywhere about it.



  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @10:54AM (#39085371)

    Companies will always try to invest as little as necessary to keep their revenue high. For most companies, the best of all changes would be exactly none. ANY change means having to adapt to it, and adapting costs money.

    Now that the last of the big corps has caught on that it's cheaper to buy laws than to change strategies, the "new" (ok, not soooo new, but think of it in terms of magnitude) way to increase or at least keep revenues high is not to adapt, innovate and improve past the competition, the strategy is to buy laws to eliminate the competition.

    And the biggest competition for big (and hence wealthy, and thus able to buy said laws) companies is "the internet". Face it, few of the big ol' ones really benefited from the internet's success. New competition arose and they have an edge. Faster to respond, easier to use for their customers, there's just very little big old ones can do against that directly.

    So what they can do is change the rules of the game.

    Changing those rules, though, means that the power stays in the hands of old companies and new startups get squashed, not by superior products or better service, but simply by the monetary power to change the rules.

    And that's pretty much anathema to capitalism, folks. What we're getting here is the worst kind of socialism. Remember why the USSR fell? Outdated production means that were artificially kept alive while the rest of the world passed them, which made them completely uncompetitive on the global market.

    Welcome to the future USSA.

    • by downhole ( 831621 ) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @03:09PM (#39086915) Homepage Journal

      Bottom line is that most corporations, especially large, established ones, are not in favor of free-market capitalism. What they want is crony capitalism - they keep doing exactly the same thing, and the Government makes sure no pesky upstarts who actually do things better or other market changes get in the way. That way, they don't ever have to do anything hard or risky like actually work to continuously improve or anticipate market changes and try to get out in front of them. Relying on Government cheese is much easier (at least until the Government changes...)

      Only small businesses actually want free markets, because it means they have a shot at getting to the top if they come up with the right good idea at the right time. And individuals, because it means we keep getting better stuff.

  • by Eravnrekaree ( 467752 ) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @11:24AM (#39085529)

    Of course the US governments attitude to websites is going to have an affect on the confidence of website operators to be able to locate there and may make many look at other countries to host it instead. The prosecution of the web site owners for the actions of their users, which they cannot control, most stop, as well as the PIPA and SOPA nonsense, and the country needs to implement full Network Nuetrality. That is a recipe for creating a truly pro-consumer, pro-jobs environment that is also good for website operators.

    The fact is that the GOP pretty much is an enemy of freedom, and has for years been the paid agent of the large media corporations which seems to want to trample over free speech turn the webpage in to a one way TV MTV equivalent. Another concerning thing is the fact that the conservatives are regressives and often driven by extreme theocratic tendancies, ready to force their religious ideas and moralities on others and trample over freedom of speech as a result.The high levels of income inequality that the GOP has caused through our low taxes on the wealthy has also been detrimental to other businesses, by draining money out of the pockets of the middle class, and shrinking the middle class significantly. if we really wanted to live in a country that was healthy we would restore the millionaire tax bracket to what it was in the 50s and 60s and elect liberals to office that will respect our freedoms, are not religious whackjobs, who will eliminate ridiculous laws that conservatives try to pass that lead to censorship and try to force the government into deciding what is "indecent", the government has no right to decide such a thing and things which are indecent cannot be censored, but we have social conservatives in the GOP who are basically totalitarian theocrats who would like to destroy free speech and force their religious moralities on everyone. We dont need a bigoted, theocratic religious whackjob religious nutjobs banning harmless and consensual activities such as pornography and other harmless, indecent things.

    There needs to be a internet bill of rights that would also ban any censorship, that would prohibit ISPs or government from storing any information on traffic that can be used to monitor individual users such as source and destination IPs and so on, would stop ISPs from discriminating against certain traffic and so on. The fear based tactic they so often used exploits anxieties, and obscure the fact that any action or policy is not justifiable to prevent crime, such as survellience, tracking and monitoring without warrant are unacceptable in a free society and these things cannot be justified in order to prevent crime. If we allow these activities we open the door as well to their abuse by corporations and governments, they are perfect tools for trying to keep track of people who have unpopular views and opinons, and use that information against them. The less right to privacy people have, the less safe they are.

    Many large corporations , such as the major record labels, have interests opposite that of small businesses and common people. Their goal is to maintain and consolidate wealth and that means hoarding and consolidating wealthy by suppressing the wages of other workers and using their control over large parts of the money to basically consolidate wealthy. We need common, average people to have a lot of money in their pocket and to avoid having certain corporations dominating much of that, through suppression of wages, thus crowding out small businesses as well as impoversiing common workers. The policies that the wealthy elite hate the most, a high income and corporate tax on the wealthy, is exactly what the country needs to put more money back into average peoples pockets and to give workers more power such as through unions, all things that will give common people more spending power, money to buy things other than to shop at wal mart. The attacks on unions and the demands for more tax cuts for the rich are ultimately unhealthy, they allow a few corporations t

    • Lots of interesting ideas there.

      One question is that it is probably more the Democrats than the GOP Republicans who are in bed with Hollywood, according to this previous slashdot article: []
      ""Strengthening intellectual property enforcement has been a bipartisan issue for the past 25 years, but Stewart Baker writes in the Hollywood Reporter that when the fight went from the committees to the floor and Wikipedia wen

    • Hmm. The US's approach to a global network is somewhat backward -> who wants to do business with us if the mere interaction may result in your extradition from your home country? Since any interaction, including having US customers or storing files on a server located on US-controlled territory, can result in a potential disaster, why take the chance? It's not like the internet infrastructure the US does have is anything special -> we may have cooked up the idea of the internet, but our residential co

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      One mistake you've made is blaming the GOP, when the Democrats have been at least equally culpable. When it comes to offensive copyright laws, the Democrats have been much more culpable. The GOP are more generally in favor of those who are wealthy, the Democrats (currently) have a narrower base of extremely wealthy people that they support. Neither party is interested in the weal of the electorate.

    • by greenbird ( 859670 ) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @06:41PM (#39088425)

      The fact is that the GOP pretty much is an enemy of freedom

      This is the third time I've posted in this thread on this theme.


      You do realize we're under a supposed left wing liberal administration at the moment. You know, the ones that just passed a law allowing the government to jail anyone indefinitely without due process by simply labeling them a terrorist. The ones that almost managed to pass PIPA/SOPA. The ones that somehow committed the USA to an international treaty, ACTA, without approval of congress. The ones that granted the teclos retroactive immunity for illegal spying on US citizens. I could go on and on and on.

      It ain't GOP or Democrats. It's all of them.

      See. That's how they're controlling us. They have you focused on the "bigoted, theocratic religious whackjob religious nutjobs" and the "bigoted, theocratic religious whackjob religious nutjobs" focused on the "commie, perverted, whackjob god hating, faggot loving, nutjobs".

  • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @11:32AM (#39085593) Homepage Journal

    One of the main reasons I opted for the ISP I'm using for my business is not the fact that they're cheaper (it's only $10/month difference), but the fact that SaskTel hosts their data center in Florida, and the one I'm using is hosted in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

    I don't want my business anywhere near US regulation and control without oversight and intervention by Canadian authorities. The US has been proving to be insanely jackbootish about their approach to the internet for the past 2-5 years, and I simply do NOT want to take the chance of having them interfere with my business.

    Or rather, I don't want US media companies interfering with my business. They don't do proper checks before issuing their takedown requests, and were I in the US, I'd be effectively subject to domain seizure and content takedowns without due process and the chance to defend myself. That is an UNACCEPTABLE BUSINESS RISK when it is so easy to avoid.

    Worse, the US dollar is in such a sorry state that I will not be accepting payments in greenbacks. I want to be paid in a stable currency that I don't have to pay exchange rates on in order to spend -- namely Canadian dollars. For years I've had to pay extra to convert my Canadian currency to US dollars to pay for goods and services ordered out of the US. The shoe is on the other foot now.

    Even if I work a contract in the US for a US company, I'll either be paid in Canadian dollars or charging a 5% premium for the hassle of converting US currency to Canadian dollars (it's a 2-3% bank fee as well, so 5% isn't as much as you might think.) Add in the fact that all foreign payments get held by the bank for 30 days, and the resulting lost opportunity cost of having my money tied up and inaccessible, and I find I really don't have much interest in business south of the border at all right now.

    Besides, if I have to travel to service a customer, I may as well visit somewhere I've never been before, preferably China, Australia, New Zealand, or Germany. (I've just always wanted to see those countries some day. I've already spent about 12 years living and working in the US, so I've seen the US. I want to see someplace different next.)

    • I've been looking to migrate to a Canadian-based hosting company. May I ask which company you chose, and are you happy with them?
  • Or other Scandinavian countries.

    • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @11:47AM (#39085671) Journal

      Isn't Sweden that is prosecuting Assange on behalve of its American masters? Or went after the pirate bay which wasn't breaking its own local laws on behalve of its Amercan masters?

      At least Americans can vote out their leaders, Swedes can only vote for which puppet is stuck on the hand.

      • No. He's involved in a sex crime investigation at the behest of someone he may have raped.

        Either the federal government is too incompetent at pinning something on Assange or the federal government doesn't care about him that much.

        Getting rid of Assange does nothing. Stopping their leaks however...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18, 2012 @12:03PM (#39085767)

    I had a site shut down, when I get back on my feet, I'm going to take it to Canada... this is NOT as easy as moving the server!

    As I plan my recovery, I'm learning that it isn't enough to just move your server over there. You've got to actually *be* Canadian if you don't want your site taken down. (sure, you could lie about it, make it appear to be from Canada or Panama or wherever, but if you're in business, this is hardly a viable option.. they'll find out you're really a US citizen) for me, this means finding a very trusted Canadian to "take over" for awhile, until I can collect enough material to prove myself worthy of Canadian citizenship.

    From what I've studied, the problem is the lobbyist influences. Startups do NOT donate money to campaigns, most of them will never donate to campaigns because most start-ups fail. If you want to make it in the US, you have to have enough money to hire lobbyists that are more powerful than competitors lobbyists. It really is that simple.

    For most of us, the plutocratic system of government is irrelevant, but if your small niche business threatens the established companies who are running the country, AND they notice you (or your industry), you can expect them to run you out.

    Ultimately, we can look forward to these same lobbyists pushing OTHER countries around, much as the US already does for the oil lobby. It'll be interesting to hear them justify a war with Panama or Canada, it'd be nice if the citizens wised up to the game before then, but I'm not holding my breath.

  • by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @12:53PM (#39086047) Homepage Journal

    USA is very dangerous to start ANY business, not just a web business. With all of the taxes, regulations, inflation caused by counterfeiting operation at the Fed and the government banks. The confiscation of private property that was clearly displayed in GM and Chrysler case and just a couple of months ago with MF Global [] - where cooperation between financial institution (JP Morgan) and government agencies allowed for customer funds to be stolen, in fact gold bars with serial numbers assigned to specific holders of account at MF Global (which is basically an insurance company for farmers - future trading is used to insure against uncertainty of future crop prices) went "MISSING" and nobody is being held accountable for it and apparently everybody is aware that JP Morgan and the feds have agreed on something, which is pretty damning - the bankruptcy court was instructed to run the bankruptcy as if MF Global was an 'investment' company, which makes their counter-parties to be first in line to receive collateral, while actually MF Global wasn't an investment company, it was an insurance company, and under those conditions it would have been the CLIENTS who would be first in line to get their money out.

    But this is just an example why it is dangerous to deal in USA now, other things are of-course all of the regulations, all of the executive branch departments acting as if they are the Congress and as if they can pass laws, the fact that US courts are on the side of the government in all of this.

    Again, it's not just about web businesses. Don't forget, as Steve Jobs told Obama - those jobs, they are not coming back.

    • This is why we need three things done to make the USA more business friendly:

      1) Review EVERY business regulation "on the books" as US Federal law and see if any of them need to be phased out due to the law being obsolete or unneeded.

      2) Drastically overhaul the income tax code to reduce yearly compliance costs and encourage way more savings and capital investment in the USA. I'd recommend going with the no-loophole 17% flat tax that Steve Forbes proposed back in 1996--a tax system if implemented would send t

      • by HiThere ( 15173 )

        This is why we need three things done to make the USA more business friendly:

        1) Review EVERY business regulation "on the books" as US Federal law and see if any of them need to be phased out due to the law being obsolete or unneeded.

        OK. I'm in favor of every law having an expiration date. If a law isn't worth passing every 20 years, it's not worth having.

        2) Drastically overhaul the income tax code to reduce yearly compliance costs and encourage way more savings and capital investment in the USA. I'd recommend going with the no-loophole 17% flat tax that Steve Forbes proposed back in 1996--a tax system if implemented would send the US economy into the stratosphere within 18 months because it would make the USA one of the world's most friendly places to do business from a tax regulation perspective.

        OK. I'm in favor of a y = mx + b tax plan myself. But one needs to include b as well a m. I don't know whether 17% is the correct value for m, but b should be, at most, the negative of the official poverty level.

        3) Severely reign in Wall Street by tightening liquidity requirements for investments, increasing the minimum margin requirements for futures trading to 20%, re-impose the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, and requiring the President, members of the Cabinet, members of Congress or any judge in the US Appeals Court system or the Supreme Court to put into a "blind and dumb" trust all stock and bond holdings or must sell them off. That way, Washington, DC is far less influenced by self interest of stock and bond holdings.

        One thing that's needed is a per transaction tax. Preferably one that decreases more the longer you hold the stock. Something like a tax that is linear between a 100% ta

    • by aaarrrgggh ( 9205 ) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @02:51PM (#39086805)

      You obviously have never started a business! The US is pretty safe on the balance given the rule of law. I've started and operated businesses in the US and Thailand, and investigated starting businesses in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Cambodia, Singapore, Australia, Sweden, and Ireland. While HK and Singapore (arguably Ireland, but that is a bigger reach) are much more tax-friendly than any of the others, each country has significant risks. By comparison, the US is the easiest place to make money and build a long-lasting business.

      Now... there are plenty of stupid regulations that you deal with, and there are certain aspects of taxation that are fairly oppressive for a small business (namely being taxed on retained earnings rather than just draw or other money taken out of the business). The whole MAFIAA crap needs to stop, and patent law needs a makeover, to be sure. But, in your daily life you don't have to worry about who needs to be bribed, what regulations exist simply for someone to collect a bribe to look the other way... or what your competitor might be able to do to you without any recourse on your end.

      Manufacturing is a different story. And, if you are doing anything borderline illegal, sure... you may have some concerns. Also, things change when your revenue is over a certain amount as to what place is most advantageous.

      Specific to JotForm, they got screwed because someone was using their service for phishing. They discovered it, stopped it, and the SS shut them down in parallel. If they needed a service that was more resilient, they could have planned differently.

      The moral of the story is plan for confiscation of equipment or domains when running an online business. Maximize resiliency.

  • I am facing this "problem" of soon having to choose if I will locate my new company avoiding USA or not. Business will be 100% legal, but the US web-policies appear very unfrindly. Recently I've been thinking (most positively) about using only EU investors, EU-site, EU-domain but it may be hard to avoid all e.g. Visa / Paypal / Mastercard connections to USA. Maybe it's worth it maybe not. But for me the news topic is true, The US Government is Scaring Web Businesses Out of the US - or at least it's doing it
  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @02:49PM (#39086793)

    That should be a lesson that US authorities can reach out and touch you no matter where you are. Granted, they may have been breaking some laws. But the emphasis here is on may. Sites have been shut down prior to a court verdict.

    You want a system that features redundancy (multiple hosting sites, distributed between several jurisdictions) and untraceability (feed content through encrypted TOR pipes). Once some sites have been located and their owners identified (and inevitably some will) you'll need to have the ownership of those sites hidden behind some shell corporations. Likewise, you'll have to hide your income source within a different corporate structure. By all means, pay your taxes. But avoid the extravagant lifestyle and braggadocio of Dotcom []. The ideal lifestyle to adopt would be that of fictional character Johnathan Higgins []. Just a lowly caretaker of some other rich guy's* mansions and yachts. But make sure you pay the taxes on those as well.

    *A fictional Saudi Prince would be a good choice. F*ck with him and the US risks losing its middle east ally. A Chinese businessman/Communist party operative would be better. F*ck with him and have all your loans called in.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday February 18, 2012 @02:51PM (#39086811) Homepage

    Which registrars take the position contractually that the domain is the property of the registrant and will not be taken down without a court order? Find a registrar that doesn't have "sole discretion" language like this, from Network Solutions: We may terminate this Agreement or any part of the Network Solutions services at any time in the event you breach any obligation hereunder, fail to respond within ten (10) calendar days to an inquiry from us concerning the accuracy or completeness of the information referred to in Section 4 of this Agreement, if we determine in our sole discretion that you have violated the Network Solutions Acceptable Use Policy ... or for any other reason in Network Solutions' sole discretion upon written notice to you.

    Other failing registrars with "sole discretion" terms include NameKing,,, DomainIt, GoDaddy, eNom, Backslap, PairNIC, Best Registrar, Havaname LLC, DomainName, Tucows, Melborne IT...

I am more bored than you could ever possibly be. Go back to work.