Whose blogs will be next?

President Obama has made clear how he feels about the internet and blogs. He does not like them much because they have become a source of much criticism. In fact, back in May at a commencement speech at Hampton University in Virginia, he lashed out against the internet, blogs, iPods, iPads, and other platforms:

While knowledge is power, the information age could be too much of a good thing. That’s the message some heard in President Obama’s weekend commencement speech in which he bemoaned

Speaking at Hampton University in Virginia, the president raised alarms when he said “information becomes a distraction, a diversion” that is putting “pressure on our country and on our democracy.”

The president suggested less is more when it comes to absorbing news content and urged graduates to take a skeptical eye toward news from blogs, cable television and radio as well as modern gadgets like iPods and PlayStations.

The class of 2010 is “coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t always rank that high on the truth meter,” the president said, earning an honorary doctorate of laws degree during the ceremony.

“And with iPods and iPads; and Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — (laughter) — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation. So all of this is not only putting pressure on you; it’s putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy,” he said.

President Obama didn’t have a problem with the Internet, Xboxes, and Playstations back during the 2008 Presidential campaign when he advertised on them in an effort to lure young voters to support his campaign. Now that they are a source of criticism, he says they are dangerous for our democracy.

Hypocrisy, thy name is Barack Obama. But it’s not his hypocrisy that’s at issue. It’s his actions.

Noisyroom.net informs us that the Feds have shut down a free WordPress platform called Blogetry and its 73,000 blogs. The reason is allegedly copyright/IP infringement. Noisyroom links to TorrentFreak, who writes this:

Blogetery.com has been with host BurstNet for 7 months but on Friday July 9th the site disappeared. The following Monday the owner received an email from BurstNet:

Due to the history of abuse and on going abuse on this ‘bn.***********’ server.

We have opted to terminate this server, effective immediately. This termination applies to: bn.affiliateplex.com

Abuse Department
BurstNET Technologies, Inc

Due to the fact that the authorities aren’t sharing information and BurstNet are sworn to secrecy, it is proving almost impossible to confirm the exact reason why Blogetery has been completely taken down. The owner does, however, admit to handling many copyright-related cease and desists in the past, albeit in a timely manner as the DMCA requires.

Gadgetsteria responds to the copyright/IP infringement accusations:

Blogetery was a collection of WordPress sites, covering some 73,000+ separate entities. Apparently, something ran against the law as BurstNet is citing “law enforcement requests” as the reason the Blogetery was taken down. If that isn’t a knee jerk reaction, I don’t know what is. I don’t care how bad a website is or the content they cater to, instantly shutting down 73,000+ sites because of a few bad ones (the word is that it’s copyright/IP infringement related) is a gross over reaction.

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.

Finally, Noisyroom.net offers this advice:

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.

This is very good advice. I intend to research the feasibility of using my own servers so I can maintain control of my own site.

What makes this even more disturbing is that the Democrats are working to give President Obama the ability to shut down the internet in the name of cybersecurity.

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