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.
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
Now, according to the owner of a free WordPress platform which hosts
more than 73,000
, his network of sites has been completely shut down on the
orders of the authorities.
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
BurstNET Technologies, Inc
Further correspondence received the following response:
*********** 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
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
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
“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.
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