Bomb-Making Tips Behind Blog Closure
The site was shut down after FBI agents informed executives of Burst.net, Blogetery's Web host, late on July 9 that links to al-Qaeda materials were found on Blogetery's servers, Joe Marr, chief technology officer for Burst.net, told CNET. Sources close to the investigation say that included in those materials were the names of American citizens targeted for assassination by Al Qaeda. Messages from Osama bin Laden and other leaders of the terrorist organization, as well as bomb-making tips, were also allegedly found on the server.
But Marr said a Burst.net employee erred in telling Blogetery's operator and members of the media that the FBI had ordered it to terminate Blogetery's service. He said Burst.net did that on its own.
This past weekend, reports surfaced that Blogetery was shut down by the federal government and suggested that it was likely due to copyright violations. On Sunday, CNET reported that the shutdown had
A Web host service shuts down a blogging platform and says authorities forced its hand. But the RIAA, MPAA, and Homeland Security's antipiracy unit hasn't heard of the site. Who's responsible? A blogging platform and a company that hosts message boards were shut down within days of each other and nobody is saying why. Are they linked?
Why Web host shut down 73,000 blogs a mystery
Mystery shrouds closures of blog, forum platforms
A Web host service shuts down a blogging platform and says authorities forced its hand. But the RIAA, MPAA, and Homeland Security's antipiracy unit hasn't heard of the site. Who's responsible?
A blogging platform and a company that hosts message boards were shut down within days of each other and nobody is saying why. Are they linked?
The disappearance of the sites has prompted users of each service to complain about the closures and speculate about possible reasons. Some guesses were more wild than others.
Many speculated that the FBI was using the Patriot Act to silence bloggers. But Marr emphasized that the FBI has never ordered Burst.net to stop service to any site it hosts without a court order and that the vast majority of Burst.net's communication with the federal government has involved agents serving warrants related to terrorist or child porn investigations.
"They have to go through the legal system," Marr said. "A judge has to issue an order."
Marr said the FBI contacted Burst.net 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 Burst.net 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. The Burst.net employee who handled the request erroneously believed that the FBI would want to seize the customers' server and thus the employee cut off service to Blogetery. Marr said the FBI, however, never asked for the server.
Marr said that regardless of the mix-up, Blogetery's service was terminated because bomb-making tips and a "hit list" are an obvious and absolute violation of its terms of service.Read the full article at CNET
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