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3 Bumps

Feds wrongfully shut down 84 thousand websites for kiddie porn instead of only the TEN they were supposed to shut down

Sam Biddle — Feds Accidentally Shut Down 84,000 Websites over Wrongful Kiddie Porn Accusation "Operation Protect Our Children" sounded great! The Department of Justice and Homeland Security's tag-team beatdown was supposed to seize ten criminal sites this past weekend. Instead, it shuttered 84,000 innocent domains. And replaced them with a banner labeling them as child porn traffickers. Whoops!

http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/gizmodo/2011/02/pornseize.jpg

The 83,990 sites that weren't hosting underage porn were stuck with a the gigantic graphic seen here for days after the error was realized. Not exactly a trivial accusation—and an extremely damaging one for the sites, which were mostly personal and small business pages. FreeDNS—the domain service behind the affected sites—was forced to comply with the takedown request by court order, but was clearly (and rightfully) pissed at the misuse of their system: "freedns.afraid.org has never allowed this type of abuse," they commented. At the moment, nobody has any idea how the tremendous screwup happened.

Surely, DoJ and DHS must be a little red in the face over the whole thing. Right? Right..? Nope. In a beaming statement released yesterday, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano heroically explained that "Each year, far too many children fall prey to sexual predators and all too often, these heinous acts are recorded in photos and on video and released on the Internet. DHS is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to shut down websites that promote child pornography to protect these children from further victimization."

Which is great, really. Child pornography is vile, and the people responsible for it are the absolute scum of the internet. But by allowing the government to wield an online sledgehammer to protect kids, we need to be sure the person holding it isn't completely inept, and that the process whereby sites are smashed is a transparent one. When something goes wrong—especially this wrong—we need to know how it happened. It needs to, at the very least, be acknowledged. Child porn is horrible and damaging. Yes. But so is wrongfully accusing 84,000 people of having a hand in it.

From Gizmodo

What should be done to compensate the businesses and private citizens who were wrongfully labeled as child pornographers for DAYS?  What can be done that could reverse the damage done to their businesses and repuations?

Answer Question
 
NotPanicking

Asked by NotPanicking at 9:23 PM on Feb. 16, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 51 (421,172 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • – collapse
    oh well...better to be safe than sorry :)
    calliesmommie

    Answer by calliesmommie at 9:36 PM on Feb. 16, 2011 (hidden) + expand

  • I doubt that anything will be done to reverse the damage; this admin. is absent malice, they can do no wrong...
    agentwanda

    Answer by agentwanda at 9:41 PM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • calliesmommie.. I am not sure you have any idea how damaging this is to innocent people who had nothing to do with kiddie porn!

    NP: I am not sure what can be done since they do not know how it happened in the first place!

    Shaneagle777

    Answer by Shaneagle777 at 10:00 PM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • My blog is called Lovin my Little Ladies.

    I'm lucky I didn't get taken down. Something has GOT to be done about this. Something tells me they didn't take down the pedophile that was pissed at my Halloween post.
    lovinangels

    Answer by lovinangels at 10:32 PM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • Good Lord! I feel like I should have been surprised when I read this, but strangely I wasn't. I just find myself in disbelief that anyone is comfortable with government trying to decide anything having to do with health care. They can't even get something like this right. I mean, they were only supposed to seize 10 sites, yet they seized 84,000. I guess we can see what sort of math they use.


    I don't know that there is any way to quantify the damage that was done to innocent businesses and persons that were wrongfully accused.  I guess it will just take time to figure that out and that's assuming that the businesses that were affected will have any way to report their losses.

    QuinnMae

    Answer by QuinnMae at 11:36 PM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • Wow! This could have extremely serious consequences. Peoples jobs are affected by what is on their personal websites..if a teacher has to take down a facebook pic because she is holding a cup, imagine the ramifications if it was a teacher labeled as a pedophile! Businesses could be bankrupted by the fallout. This is very clearly slander. The feds should pony up some serious case for the unfounded accusations AND they should create something official that can be posted on the websites saying it was a mistake.

    This is EXACTLY the reason the govt does NOT need control of the internet.
    yourspecialkid

    Answer by yourspecialkid at 1:31 AM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • This is EXACTLY the reason the govt does NOT need control of the internet.

    OR HEALTH CARE!!!!
    goodwitch399

    Answer by goodwitch399 at 4:05 AM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • OR anything else these inept sons a bitches of the Government try and take over and/or run!!!
    goodwitch399

    Answer by goodwitch399 at 4:07 AM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • Hmmm....accuracy and accountability are not exactly the hallmarks of this administration, now are they?!
    LoriKeet

    Answer by LoriKeet at 7:26 AM on Feb. 17, 2011

  • 10

    84,000

    I'm looking at these two numbers and wondering HOW ON EARTH any blockhead could confuse the two. Are the people at Homeland Security really that incompetent? (That's rhetorical, btw.) And, please, don't give me the 'better safe that sorry' line. I might have bought it if they had accidentally shut down 100 sites, but not this.

    You know, I'm not so sure this was an 'accident'. Maybe it was a show of power. If it was, that would be even more disturbing.
    May-20

    Answer by May-20 at 7:54 AM on Feb. 17, 2011

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