First They Came for the Bloggers…

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

From: Dr. Bulldon & Ronin – an excellent, excellent site…

From TorrentFreak:

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.

Yesterday, an event took place here in the United States that got little comment – cue the crickets… WordPress host Blogetery and 73,000 WordPress blogs were shut down, marking the beginning of a modern day 1984 society in the US. A chill rippled through the blogging world and the Internet sparking 1st Amendment fears and a Constitutional outcry from those paying attention.

I remarked that this was “Possibly the biggest violation of Constitutional rights I have seen in my lifetime…” I twittered, facebooked and sent this out to the largest bloggers on the web. Silence ensued, apathy reigned and a disquieting sense of despondency descended. Only The Radio Patriot commented on the fact that their Google, Blogger account just vanished some time ago and that it now feels like ‘1984‘ in the realest sense of the title.

Digger’s Realm has a great comment that states the obvious:

This is upsetting but not too surprising.

Look around you: REPRESSION AND CURTAILING OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS HAPPENING MORE & MORE BY THE DAY. And it is only going to get WORSE, as more people SPEAK OUT against the repressions happening in our once-free society. This thin-skinned government, with its own self-serving agenda, seems adamant about quashing criticism. God help us all, because when they cut off our ability to speak Truth or to communicate with one another, we become extremely vulnerable to other State abuses.

And from Geek.com:

No, the extreme response taken here by U.S. Authorities implies some sort of believed terrorist connection or child pornography ring, not just a handful of warez and MP3 blogs. Even so, though, unless Blogetery itself is suspect of harboring terrorists or child pornographers, it’s hard to condone this sort of extreme action that has instantly silenced over 73,000 users, the majority of whom are doubtlessly innocent of any wrong-doing.

Hopefully, we’ll get more details of this developing story soon.

Let’s hope so, but I wouldn’t hold your ‘collective’ breath here. I warned about this previously – first they will come for the bloggers using copyright infringement as a weapon, then taxation and fees. The American government will do anything they can to shut us up and those that believe this does not affect them better wake up and soon. This is coming at us like a freight train and may very well silence all of us – except those who are for the government and are on Soros’ payroll. Media Matters should be safe…

Back up your blogs and have alternate forums set up folks. We are being driven underground and a lot faster than I even thought we would be. Have your own server and forge bonds with other bloggers. You can use the wp-db-backup plugin as well.

From Helium:

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.

And I saved the last word on this for the best and sanest entry I’ve seen on this subject – from Gadgetsteria:

I know if I were a legitimate Blogetery customer, having my site knocked out with no explanation as to why or a time frame on when it would be back up would end my relationship with them immediately. Adding insult to injury, BurstNet is claiming they’re sworn to secrecy and that the data from the downed sites cannot be retrieved. One vital piece of information that’s lost — the Blogetery owner’s contact information, which I’m sure some 73,000 site owners are probably looking for right now.

There really is no excuse to go to such great lengths over IP/copyright infringement claims. If the content is really so bad, why not blacklist/shutdown/delete the infringing sites’ accounts? Why take down 73,000+? If this is what we can expect from the U.S. government’s new tougher stance on IP infringement and digital laws in general, the future does not look bright. It appears due process is utterly useless now. If this does turn out to be IP/copyright related, we can all assume that since the “fight against piracy” is utter bullshit, the government is simply resorting to shutting down the entire internet small bits at a time.

The silencing of bloggers has begun. Which side will you take and how will you fight?

Update: From DragonLadyToo…

Have you checked out the new DOJ website, complete with a communist/progressive quote on the banner and the American Flag removed and the black motif? Here is what it looks like now:
http://www.justice.gov/ and here is what it looked like before the Destroyer in Chief changed it:
http://web.archive.org/web/20080708201613/http://www.justice.gov/
and here is background on the quote:… http://spectator.org/archives/2010/07/16/with-liberty-and-global-justic/print

Update:

Hat Tip: Jean Stoner

Feds Ignore Due Process, 1st Amendment, Shut Down 1000′s of Blogs

—————-

Thanks to Glenn Reynolds and Instapundit and welcome to our visitors from his site!

Update: No Sheeples Here – Marching Down The Path To Orwell’s 1984?

The Radio Patriot – Implementing 1984

Kim Priestap – Whose blogs will be next?

Update: Fox News – FBI Warning of Al Qaeda Hit Lists, Bomb-Making Tips Led to Shutdown of Blogging Site

Let the finger-pointing begin… I didn’t even see in the beginning where the FBI was involved, however, it makes sense they would be. This whole story doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t believe the FBI when they say they didn’t ask Burst.net to shut down the server, but I don’t fully believe Burst.net either.

Now, the claims include terrorism. But still, shutting down 73,000 blogs is blatantly unconstitutional. The FBI is trying to cover their ass by saying they did not ask Burst.net to shut down the blogs. That only a few were of concern to them. Either the FBI (or ICE, or the Copyright Infringement Division, or DHS) used a mallet to kill a fly and is power hungry, out of control, or the host is lying for some reason I can’t fathom or both are true. The FBI claims they didn’t tell Burst.net to shut down, which may be true – it could have been DHS, ICE, the Copyright Infringement Division or pick an alphabet agency. Plausible deniability…

From CNET:

A source with knowledge of the investigation said that the material allegedly found on Blogetery’s server is connected to an online magazine called “Inspire,” which debuted recently. Numerous news outlets reported over the past weekend that “Inspire” is designed to help recruit new members to al-Qaeda and is edited by Samir Khan, a 24-year-old North Carolina man who moved to Yemen last October. According to Fox News, the title of one article was “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom.”

Citing intelligence sources, Fox reported that Khan is Web savvy and his magazine represents “al-Qaeda’s most ambitious terrorist recruitment tool to date.”

I still smell a rat here. Maybe multiple rats…

Update: A special thanks to Andrea Shea King – WND – 73,000 blogs disappear in an instant

Update: Fox News – Al Qaeda-Linked Blogging Site Had History of Breaking the Law

A blogging website that was shut down suddenly last week for containing links to hit lists, bomb-making documents and Al Qaeda’s new magazine “Inspire” had a lengthy history of breaking the law, but its violations were limited to copyright issues, not terrorism.

Upon learning from the FBI that the site, Blogetery.com, contained links to terrorist materials, including bomb-making instructions and an al-Qaeda “hit list,” the site’s host, BurstNET, decided to shut down the site’s server — and the 73,671 blogs it hosted.

and…

The EFF’s Opsahl said the request sounded similar to an exigent circumstance letter, a request for the voluntary disclosure of information based on the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

“There has been a history of abuse of these letters,” Opsahl noted. He pointed out that in January, the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Justice issued a report concluding that the FBI improperly sought phone records through false assertions, and by replacing standard signatures with rubber-stamp approvals.

That said, such notices are not a vehicle for taking down information; they’re for finding the people responsible for posting the dangerous information, Opsahl said.

(more…)

25 thoughts on “First They Came for the Bloggers…

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention » First They Came for the Bloggers… NoisyRoom.net: The Progressive Hunter -- Topsy.com

  2. TO: Rick Moran
    RE: HEY!!!!

    Is this guy STILL “your president”?

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)
    [Gads! I HATE being RIGHT all the time.]

  3. What you have said is sad and absolutely true. Unfortunately this is just the start, as we witness a repeat of history repeating itself. Most folks are to busy or ignorant or uninformed to even notice. Goodbye freedom, it was nice hearing stories about you.

  4. Have you checked out the new DOJ website, complete with a communist/progressive quote on the banner and the American Flag removed and the black motif? Here is what it looks like now:
    http://www.justice.gov/
    and here is what it looked like before the Destroyer in Chief changed it:
    http://web.archive.org/web/20080708201613/http://www.justice.gov/
    and here is background on the quote:… http://spectator.org/archives/2010/07/16/with-liberty-and-global-justic/print

  5. TMH,

    I came to your site via Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) and have posted about this at my site with links back to you.

    It surely seems that we are matching towards 1984. God help us.

  6. Pingback: » The DOJ Dons Their New ‘Little Black Dress’ with Marxist Accessories NoisyRoom.net: The Progressive Hunter

  7. Well, we could always set up e-mail lists again… or go even further back into the Samizdat toolbox.

  8. Pingback: Implementing 1984 « The Radio Patriot

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  11. Pingback: Paul M. Jones » Blog Archive » US Government Shuts Down 73000 Blogs?

  12. Dust off the FidoNet code and the old store and forward software….it’s the one thing that they won’t be able to stop without shutting down the entire Internet.

  13. Pingback: First They Came for the Bloggers…

  14. It’s not like the liberals actually believe in the First Amendment.
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of Any religion,and mocking the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of LIBERAL PROGRESSIVE speech, or of the LIBERAL PROGRESSIVE press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble to worship the LIBERAL PROGRESSIVES, any assembly in opposition must therefore be “terrorism” or “racism”, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances against Corporations and to seek “social justice” at all costs.

  15. Sadly we’re watching our world as we know it crumble around us. This Obama regime is stripping rights, liberties, freedoms from us on a daily basis. They’re bolstering angst towards democracy and capitalism and are driving business elsewhere.

    Now, we can’t post our thoughts to the world. I’m feeling like I’m living in China, in Iran… censorship is everywhere!

  16. Pingback: Whose blogs will be next? | KimPriestap

  17. Pingback: First They Came For The Bloggers - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

  18. There’s also a fairly noisy discussion of this over on SlashDot.

    Because of the way the Patriot Act was engineered, the .gov can use “terrorism” (or “national security”) as a blanket muzzling mechanism, to include a cute deal where they can send you a letter or notification commanding your compliance, and you’re not even allowed to reveal that you received such a letter. Consequently, if that card was dealt in this matter, getting at the truth is going to involve a lot of peripheral digging. A little bit like using the absence of light to detect black holes and similar dark bodies.

    I’ve seen plenty of “they must have deserved it” traffic out there.

    “Deserved” it? Really? REALLY? Some 73,000 guys out there, none of whom know one another, who write everything from their personal navel gazing to their latest conspiracy theory, from recipes to their family dog pictures, from how-my-day-was introspection to tips on how to be broke like they are . . . all of these guys . . . all 73,000 of them are in some way eeevil and daaaanngerous and breaking some obscure (and secret) law, so they’re all criminals, and they all deserved to be silenced.

    Really?

    You know, my wife supported the Patriot Act when it was first released, and I pointed out that it was a really, really bad idea: “look, babe, what does the next administration do with that much power?”

    So for any of you who may feel that “whatever the government did, they must have had a good reason,” may I suggest that you contemplate how that kind of government power will work in the future, should this go unchallenged. Imagine that kind of blunt instrument in the hands of the opposition party.

    If this kind of political club can ever successfully be wielded — even once — you may trust that it will eventually be turned against you, personally, or against some entity or cause you support.

    I really don’t give a rip why the .gov imagines this kind of thuggery is okay. Anyone who values his freedom of speech needs to help smack this down while it’s still in the “trial balloon” stage.

    ~~ A.G.

  19. Which side and how will I fight? On the side of freedom. If they terminate my ISP, then I’ll fight with my dollars by moving to another ISP, and maybe with my dollars by bringing suit. If they come for me personally, well, then we’ll see how many of them I can send into the next life before they take me down. Nex ut tyrannis.

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  21. TRUTH HAPPENS at the Jimmy Z Show.

    You’re wrong about all of this.

    I reported the 73,000 blog story Monday from a CNET article. They have been on top of this from the beginning. I predicted people would come up with wild conspiracy theories (like that noisy room blog).

    The DOJ had nothing to do with it. I reported yesterday on the show that it was the FBI who told the server host company, burst.net, that it’s customer, blogetery.com (the host for 73,000 blogs) had illegal info on it’s server (posted by certain bloggers). That material included bomb making instructions and an Al Qaeda hit list. Instead of going about the business of finding out what bloggers were breaking the terms of use, it was burst.net itself – NOT THE FBI or any government officials – that dumped the entirety of the blogetery blogs. As the company providing internet access, they determined the easiest thing and quickest thing to get them out of trouble with the FBI was to dump the client’s material, and offer them their money back.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-31001_3-20010923-261.html?tag=mncol;txt

  22. Obviously you did not read the whole post as I did address everything you said and I referred to the FBI and the copyright division of the government as I did to Burst.net. You are confusing my DOJ article with this one and they have nothing to do with each other. I strongly suggest, Jimmy Z, that you actually read a post before jumping all over it. It is very unprofessional… Burst.net did shut Blogetery down after receiving written warnings from the FBI. We have reported here what Fox News and others have said and we are not taking sides on the issue. We are concerned with the government either shutting down blogs or threatening hosts and providers into doing so… Here is my last quote from the post above:

    Upon learning from the FBI that the site, Blogetery.com, contained links to terrorist materials, including bomb-making instructions and an al-Qaeda “hit list,” the site’s host, BurstNET, decided to shut down the site’s server — and the 73,671 blogs it hosted.

  23. Sorry – if I was overzealous it is because I have seen this article used elsewhere as a citation to show that the 73,000 blogs were shut down by the DOJ. My apologies.

  24. Hi Jimmy Z… Apology accepted and it is no problem. We all get caught up in the moment – I have done it many times and when I am wrong, I don’t mind being called on it. You are doing great work and I’m honored that you read my post.

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