More details are surfacing about why Blogetery.com, a blogging platform that claimed to service more than 70,000 blogs, was mysteriously booted from the Internet by its Web-hosting company.
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 nothing to do with copyright violations and that a similar service, Ipbfree.com, a platform for message boards, was shuttered within days of Blogetery. It is still unclear why Ipbfree was cut off.
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.
A day or two ago, there was only conjecture as to the reason for this server shutdown. Copyright violation was the most likely cause. But who knew! The real issue is ‘who knows’ and who has the right to know and/or challenge decisions like this.
With Australia’s internet filter still looming and increasing likelihood of ‘voluntary’ filtering being the accepted approach, this example of ‘voluntary’ filtering at the bequest of an unnamed government authority for undisclosed reasons is chilling. Read it alongside the recent Washington Post and PBS special ‘Top Secret America’.
Because, really, it seems that noone knows what anyone is doing anymore.