Around the middle of last July, something strange happened in the blogging world. That strange occurrence was the nearly immediate shutting down of 73,000 blogs that used the Blogetery.com platform as a way to reveal themselves to surfers on the World Wide Web. While the shutting down of websites is nothing new, the fact that so many were immediately cut off is quite odd. Even more odd is that the reason for the shutdown is unknown, leaving many to ponder what exactly happened.
Blogetery.com's blogs were shut down by BurstNet, a web hosting company that the blog service was using. Blogetery.com tried to find out why their blogs were terminated, but BurstNet would give them no specifics, stating that it had to be done. BurstNet claimed that they were forced to terminate the blogs via requests of a certain law enforcement agency. Keeping with the mysterious theme, that certain law enforcement agency was unnamed.
So, what are the possible reasons for this massive “blog cleansing”? One possible theory is that the blogs were closed down due to copyright violations. This summer, the White House pledged to take a hard stance on copyright violators in the United States and abroad in an attempt to protect the entertainment industry from losing revenue, which would in turn supposedly help the fledgling economy. U.S. Authorities were successful over the summer in shutting down several large sites that offered pirated movies to their visitors. In their raids, the authorities not only put a halt on the sites' operations, but they also seized many assets owned by the operators of the sites. This show of force displayed that their efforts to crackdown on piracy would not be strictly rhetoric, and that real action would be taken.
The piracy theory was debunked when members of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said they had no part in the Blogetery.com crackdown, and similar statements were made by representatives for the entertainment industry's RIAA and MPAA factions. Also, in Blogetery.com's defense, their operator said that they always complied with piracy issues, as any complaints about such illegal actions were appeased by removing content as quickly as possible.
The lack of evidence behind a piracy issue leaves many wondering the real cause behind Blogetery.com's troubles. Could it be that some of their blogs expressed sentiments against the U.S. Government? Were some of the blogs displaying terrorist propaganda? For such a quick termination without any real explanation to occur one has to think that something very severe was going on. Since the July shutdown, it has been found that the FBI was the agency behind it all. What was their reasoning? Apparently, some of the blogs were being run by members of the al-Qaeda terrorist group and displayed tips on making bombs as well as were used as forums for recruiting.
It now seems as if Blogetery.com will get its law abiding blogs back quite soon. This was definitely a case of a small group ruining the party for the majority.
For more on this issue, visit: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31001_3-20010872-261.html
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