Verio dumps controversial Cryptome site
Site known for posting government documents gets AUP notice
IDG News Service - Privacy advocates are concerned that a move by Verio to stop hosting a controversial Web site points to a growing control of the Web by big business and governments.
Cryptome.org, a Web site that sometimes posts documents about government policy and intelligence, received a short letter from its ISP (Internet service provider), Verio, indicating that the site would be terminated on Friday. Verio, owned by NTT Communications Corp., said the termination is due to violation of its acceptable use policy.
Cryptome.org has run afoul of Verio's policy before but historically the ISP has allowed the site to rectify the violation either by removing a document or proving that posting the document doesn't breach any laws. This time, Verio hasn't offered Cryptome.org that opportunity and also hasn't specified how exactly the site violates the rules, said John Young, Cryptome.org's founder, in a note on the site.
Young did not respond to requests for comment about termination of the site and Verio did not respond to e-mails and phone calls asking for more information.
Cryptome.org fans have some ideas about why Verio may be shutting off the site. "If you wanted to go down the conspiracy theory route, you'd say some government agency pressured [Verio], but we don't know this," said Steve Bellovin, a professor in Columbia University's computer science department.
Cryptome.org is a "very valuable repository for people interested in open government," Bellovin said. "There are people who don't like that much openness."
According to the site, Verio has historically received requests, passed on to Young, from a wide range of sources including British intelligence asking him to remove documents from the site.
Verio may also have simply decided that supporting Cryptome.org wasn't worth the legal burden. Many of the requests for removal of documents are sent to Verio's legal team which then must work with Young to sort out the request.
In a note to Young dating back to 2001 posted on the Web site, Verio's legal department warns him that accounts of repeat copyright infringers will be terminated according to the ISP's acceptable use policy.
The incident points to a potentially worrisome trend, Bellovin said. A few years ago, a court opinion called the Internet the purest platform for free speech that the market has ever invented, he said. "But as control of the 'Net gets more concentrated in the hands of big corporations, that gets less and less true," he said.
It's unclear if Young will have trouble finding another ISP to support the site. "He can get a small ISP but they are mostly dependant on big ISPs to carry their traffic," Bellovin said.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle.
- Mobile Policy Checklist Here's what to consider when putting together a mobile policy designed to support a highly productive workforce.
- Securing BYOD Mobile computing is becoming so ubiquitous that people no longer bat an eye seeing someone working two devices simultaneously. Individuals and organizations are...
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Endpoint Backup & Restore: Protect Everyone, Everywhere Arek Sokol from the bleeding-edge IT team at Genentech/Roche explains how he leverages cross-platform enterprise endpoint backup in the public cloud as part...
- Streamline Software Asset Management, Compose a software Management Symphony Keeping track of your organization's software is easy with effective software management solutions from CDW. View the videos in our software solutions channel
- Druva inSync: Endpoint Data Protection & Governance CLICK HERE to watch this video about protecting corporate data on laptops and mobile devices, sponsored by Druva. All Security White Papers | Webcasts