U.S. Authorities Shut Down WordPress Host With 73,000 Blogs

U.S. Authorities Shut Down WordPress Host With 73,000 Blogs

Written by enigmax
on July 16, 2010



After the U.S. Government took action against several sites connected to movie streaming recently, nerves are
jangling over the possibility that this is just the beginning of a wider
crackdown. Now it appears that a free blogging platform has been taken
down by its hosting provider on orders from the U.S. authorities on
grounds of “a history of abuse”. More than 73,000 blogs are out of
action as a result.


Hot on the heels of recent threats from Vice President Joe Biden and Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator
Victoria Espinel directed at sites offering unauthorized movies and
music, last month U.S. authorities targeted several sites they claimed
were connected to the streaming of infringing video material.
Operation In Our Sites‘ targeted several sites including TVShack.net,

Movies-Links.TV,
FilesPump.com,
Now-Movies.com,
PlanetMoviez.com,

ThePirateCity.org,
ZML.com,
NinjaVideo.net
and NinjaThis.net.
In almost
unprecedented action, the domain names of 7 sites were seized and
indications are that others – The Pirate Bay and MegaUpload – narrowly
avoided the same

fate
.
Fears remain, however, that this action is only the beginning, and that more sites will be targeted as the months roll on. Indeed, TorrentFreak has already received information that other sites, so far
unnamed in the media, are being monitored by the authorities on
copyright grounds.
Now, according to the owner of a free WordPress platform which hosts more than 73,000

blogs
, his network of sites has been completely shut down on the
orders of the authorities.
Blogetery.com has been with host BurstNet for 7 months but on Friday July 9th the site disappeared. The following Monday the owner received
an email from BurstNet:
Due to the history of abuse and on going abuse on this ‘bn.***********’ server.
We have opted to terminate this server, effective immediately. This termination applies to: bn.affiliateplex.com
Abuse Department
BurstNET Technologies, Inc
Further correspondence received the following response:
Bn.xx*********** was terminated by request of law enforcement officials, due to material hosted on the server.
We are limited as to the details we can provide to you, but note that this was a critical matter and the only available option to us was to
immediately deactivate the server.
…and a later clarification:
Please note that this was not a typical case, in which suspension and notification would be the norm. This was a critical matter brought to our attention by law enforcement officials. We had to
immediately remove the server.
“We notified him [the Blogetery owner] when we terminated it [the server], and we refunded him his money to his account, because he has other servers with us If he wants the refund to his card, we can easily
do that. However, it should be the least of his concerns,” A BurstNet
representative later confirmed.
“Simply put: We cannot give him his data nor can we provide any other details. By stating this, most would recognize that something serious
is afoot.”
Due to the fact that the authorities aren’t sharing information and BurstNet are sworn to secrecy, it is proving almost impossible to
confirm the exact reason why Blogetery has been completely taken down.
The owner does, however, admit to handling many copyright-related cease
and desists in the past, albeit in a timely manner as the DMCA requires.
Nevertheless, a couple of quick Google searches which are likely to turn up blogs which link to copyright material appear to do just that – here,
here
and here.
That said, on any network this large this type of activity is bound to
happen. Many thousands of blogs on the same platform would have been
perfectly legal.
“All of the users are without service just like when the Pirate Bay raids happened and all the people who were on the host sites were also
taken down,” pointed out an annoyed Blogetery user who contacted
TorrentFreak. “I have lost my personal site also and I don’t have any
way to contact the owner since his contact info was on the blogetery.com
site & that was the only way to contact him.”
Indeed, 73,000 blogs is a significant number to take down in one swoop, regardless of what some users of the site may or may not have been doing. Time will tell if it was indeed a copyright complaint that
took down the service but the signs are certainly there. Not so long ago
the conclusion that this type of action could be taken on copyright
grounds would have been dismissed out of hand, but the current
atmosphere seems to be changing.



Previously: Demonoid Blocks Taiwan and China After DoS Attack

Next: BitTorrent Makes Twitter’s Server Deployment 75x Faster

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