FYI.

This story is over 5 years old.

Feds Accidently Brand 84,000 Websites As Child Porn

_Amazing_. Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Justice is boasting that they took down "several" websites this week related to child porn and counterfeit goods. The problem? One of those sites, which was mistakenly targeted, was a big time DNS...
February 16, 2011, 6:32pm

Amazing. Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Justice are boasting that they took down “several” websites this week related to child porn and counterfeit goods. The problem? One of those sites, which was mistakenly targeted, was a big time DNS provider called FreeDNS. (A DNS provider basically connects a url to an IP address, like a phone book of sorts.) FreeDNS being a big time provider had about 84,000 subdomains, all of which were taken down and directed to the banner above.

I probably don’t need to tell you how much it would suck to have a business website, or any website, suddenly flip over to a DOJ take-down notice and a warning against child porn. From TorrentFreak:

One of the customers quickly went out to assure visitors that his site was not involved in any of the alleged crimes.

"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."

It’s nice that she considers Homeland Security a “reputable” agency. Anyhow, most of the sites are back to normal now with, presumably, some strongly worded statements about their policies on child porn. But it looks like some of the take-down redirects are still up, assuming rapgodfathers wasn’t for-reals dealing in kiddie porn.

Consider for just a second if DOJ/Homeland Security has straight-up raided 84,000 physical brick’n’mortar businesses and, regardless of what they found inside, plastered the front windows with the equivalent of the above notice. That’s, like, a small city’s worth of business. Do you think Homeland Security would even be around after a mistake like that? As it is right now, the organizations have neither acknowledged nor apologized for the mistakes.

Related:
More Superfun Places For Hiding Digital Pirate Booty
More Superfun Places For Hiding Digital Pirate Booty Missing A Torrent Site?
Forget the Warez Police: How Software Pirates Fight Each Other

Reach this writer at michaelb@motherboard.tv.