Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Your Blog Has Been Terminated Due to Circumstances Beyond Your Control

This should serve as a wake-up call for those who like to imagine that the blogosphere is akin to the Wild West, an oasis of free speech that's beyond government reach. Casting its net as widely as possible, the FBI has summarily shut down an entire blog host that served tens of thousands of bloggers because of one or two rotten (al-Qaeda) fish. From the Beeb:
...For days bloggers have speculated as to the cause of the shut down at Blogetery.com.
Theories ranged from the FBI using the Patriot Act to silence bloggers to a belief that perhaps child pornography had been found on one of the blogs.
On one forum, a number of users were upset about not getting any advance warning to back up information they had stored on the server.
Speculation regarding the FBI action has been rampant One frustrated user wrote "so BurstNet can "kill" your server and give you BS reasons about some "law enforcement officials".
"Who needs a hosting service that does not fight for their clients?" wrote another.
The Centre for Democracy and Technology has also expressed concern about what happens to the 70,000 plus bloggers who have had their blogs terminated.
"As a free speech advocate, I certainly think it is unfortunate that what I assume are many thousands of perfectly innocent blogs were taken down here," John Morris, the head of the Centre for Democracy & Technology's free expression project told BBC News.

"I hope our society is able to figure out a way to address one bad apple in a pool of content without collateral consequences for the innocent speakers. This (case) highlights the fragility of speech on the internet when thousands of speakers have their speech removed."...
Indeed. A new cold front has suddenly appeared, and I'm feeling a distinct chill.

1 comment:

rasp said...

Yes, chilling indeed. The dearth of traditional media coverage of this action further underlines the threat of future terminations. Chilling indeed.