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Friday, February 18, 2011

Internet Kill Switch Beta: Government Blocks 84,000 Websites Claim Accident Meant to Seize 10

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Multisource political news, world news, and entertainment news analysis by Newsy.com

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BY LINDSEY WOLF

You're watching multisource tech video analysis by Newsy.

Government officials meant to seize 10 web domains for distributing child pornography but accidentally took down -- wait for it -- 84,000! The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s “Operation Protect our Children” -- mistakenly seized the innocent shared domains from Mooo.com -- which hosts blogs and small business websites.

When readers accessed the seized sites, they were greeted with an error saying, “This domain has been seized … Advertisement, distribution, transportation, receipt, and possession of child pornography constitute federal crimes.”

It’s a mix-up of huge proportions, but how did it happen? A clerical error? A typo? Homeland Security hasn’t commented yet - but Time’s Techland speculates it was targeting a specific site within mooo.com and accidentally shut them all down.

“It's possible that DHS was targeting an illegal subdomain like ‘ChildPorn.mooo.com,’ but went too far and seized the entire mooo.com domain, affecting every other site.”

Torrent Freak says this could have been avoided if government officials had just taken their time.

“If the Government would only allow for due process to take place, this and other mistakes wouldn’t have been made.”

Understandably, bloggers are upset about being accused of producing and distributing child pornography, and they’re being very vocal about it. One -- whose blog was wrongfully seized -- rants about the “mishap.”
“As a taxpayer, I feel you are wasting my money, and denying my ability to use the Internet to host a server containing useful, legal and hopefully interesting content over a readily-known alias. Perhaps I should send you the bill for my time and trouble?”

PC World points out the error message could have at least been less specific like:

‘This site is currently down,’ or even ‘This site has been temporarily seized by Homeland Security.’”

. Click Here to Read More.

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