Friday, July 16, 2010

73,000 WordPress Blogs Go Silent: Blogetery Complies With Federal Demand

"Why 73,000 WordPress blogs were shut down by the U.S. Government"
ruce Tyson, Helium (July 16, 2010)

"The United States Government shut down about 73,000 WordPress blogs on a single Web site in a move that some fear signals an increasing disregard for individual free speech rights. The action follows the high profile government seizure of seven online movie sites weeks ago. The U.S. move dwarfs current Chinese government activity that shut down only “dozens” of blogs in China.

"Recently targeted by federal action, the free WordPress blogging site Blogetery abruptly came offline after hosting provider BurstNet complied with undisclosed demands from authorities. A message viewable upon visiting the Blogetery site gives this message from its owner: 'After being BurstNet customer for 7 months our server was terminated without any notification or explanation.' A link on the site leads to a forum called Web Hosting Talk, where the site operator has posted correspondence with BurstNet, that suggests feederal [!] involvement in the incident...."
We apparently first learned of the (alleged?) United States' Federal government shutdown of WordPress/Blogetery in this blog post, about 12 hours ago:

"U.S. Authorities Shut Down WordPress Host With 73,000 Blogs"
TorrentFreak (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...."
I'm uneasy about this situation. So far, I haven't found any mention of 73,000 WordPress blogs disappearing, in mainstream/old school news media.

Perhaps the traditional journalists and their editors are meticulously following leads and confirming information before publishing anything about this Federal action.

The TorrentFreak post indicated that the feds took down WordPress blogs because some of them were violating copyright.

As a content provider/blogger/writer, I appreciate the importance of copyright and other intellectual property rights.

But this action seems very arbitrary and sweeping.

Fighting Crime is Fine: But Taking Down All the Blogs?!

It's as if federal authorities discovered that someone in White Plains, New York was pirating software. And therefore burned the town to the ground. The act would probably shut down the illegal activity - but would also, I think, be a little hard on everybody in White Plains who wasn't breaking the law. (I have nothing against that city - but it's resident population is very roughly the same as the number of blogs affected.)

73,000 WordPress Blogs Gone: What's Next?

I'd be a little less concerned, if I'd found any mention of the federal government's alleged action in traditional news media. 12 hours is quite a long time, these days - I'd have expected at least a mention. Something along the lines of 'unfounded rumors' or 'wild exaggeration' at least.

As it is, maybe old-school journalists:
  • Haven't heard about the situation yet
  • Are being unusually careful about researching the story
  • Are waiting for their editors to decide whether or not to risk having their company shut down
This has me concerned.

Somewhat-related posts:

No comments:

Unique, innovative candles

Visit us online:
Spiral Light CandleFind a Retailer
Spiral Light Candle online store

Pinterest: From the Man Behind the Lemming

Top 10 Most-Viewed Posts

Today's News! Some of it, anyway

Actually, some of yesterday's news may be here. Or maybe last week's.
The software and science stuff might still be interesting, though. Or not.
The Lemming thinks it's interesting: Your experience may vary.
("Following" list moved here, after Blogger changed formats)

Who Follows the Lemming?


Family Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory