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U.S. Shuts Down 84,000 Websites By Mistake

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice and Homeland Securities Office set out to seize domains believed to be involved in child pornography and counterfeit goods. Unfortunately, the operation didn’t exactly go off without a hitch as 87,000 domain owners were faced with this message on Friday:

TorrentFreak reports that one of the targeted domains actually belonged to a DNS provider, which was why so many innocent people were faced with ‘the banner’ on Friday.

Torrent Freak:“As with previous seizures, ICE convinced a District Court judge to sign a seizure warrant, and then contacted the domain registries to point the domains in question to a server that hosts the warning message. However, somewhere in this process a mistake was made and as a result the domain of a large DNS service provider was seized.”

Things were finally fixed by Sunday, but having such a warning appear on your website for any length of time can be harmful to one’s credibility. According to TF, one affected user had to post the following message on his site in an attempt to curb the bad impression a distribution of child pornography warning carries:

“You can rest assured that I have not and would never be found to be trafficking in such distasteful and horrific content. A little sleuthing shows that the whole of the mooo.com TLD is impacted. At first, the legitimacy of the alerts seems to be questionable — after all, what reputable agency would display their warning in a fancily formatted image referenced by the underlying HTML? I wouldn’t expect to see that.”

For its part, the DHS has apparently neglected to acknowledge the blunder.

Read the full story on Torrent Freak.

  • Ephebus
    "Welcome, my son! Welcome to the machine!" (Pink Floyd)
    Reply
  • cyrusfox
    I hate to say it, but it sure seems like we are becoming a police state. Sad...
    Reply
  • spacefrog
    Rofl cyrus, you are fast. I knew that after 9/11 and the patriot act...
    Reply
  • Kaiser_25
    its kinda funny we laugh about Egypt shutting down the internet, but the same thing would likely happen here if shit got as bad... the govt has become a self protecting machine..
    Reply
  • lightbulbsocket
    Mistake is apparently now a synonym for internet kill switch beta test.
    Reply
  • nebun
    cyrusfoxI hate to say it, but it sure seems like we are becoming a police state. Sad...try communist, lol....we fight to free other countries yet our own is falling deeper and deeper in the grasp of modern day communism
    Reply
  • nebun
    Kaiser_25its kinda funny we laugh about Egypt shutting down the internet, but the same thing would likely happen here if shit got as bad... the govt has become a self protecting machine..it's a shame ...our government needs to be restructured from ground up starting with the so called president...
    Reply
  • wribbs
    NeBuNtry communist, lol....we fight to free other countries yet our own is falling deeper and deeper in the grasp of modern day communismThere is a difference between Communism and Corporatocracy.

    This is definately some Egyptesq BS. Luckily our is run by our tech-illiterate grandparents so there isn't too much to fear as far as Internet takedowns.
    Reply
  • alidan
    communism... what, healthcare for all equals communism?

    id honestly love for health care to be government run. because as it stands now, we are all waiting for the day out insurance agency decided to postpone a decision on weather out healthcare will be covered or not, with them delaying the decision for long enough that it doesn't matter, we are unsavable, instead of savable but costly.
    Reply
  • JohnnyLucky
    Wonder why DHS & FBI are not admitting the mistake.
    Reply