Suspended By US Feds

By: Zach Walton - February 16, 2012

The U.S. government is continuing its happy-go-lucky censorship of Web sites for reasons blown way out of proportion.

It was revealed yesterday that had its domain suspended. The reason behind the suspension was not exactly clear. Aytekin Tank took to the blog to explain exactly what had happened and what users can do to retrieve their documents.

What Tank calls an “ongoing investigation about content posted in our site” is the cause behind the domain being suspended by the U.S. government. The company claims to be “fully cooperating” with the authorities, but doesn’t have a clue as to when the site will be back up.

For those who don’t know what JotForm is, it’s a service that allows users to create various forms for use on their Web sites. It allows users to create anything from application forms to bug reports.

This is likely the cause for the criminal investigation. Tank recently updated the situation on Hacker News to say that it was most likely people creating phishing forms using their service that led to the suspension.

It doesn’t make it any better to know the cause, however, when the Secret Service refuses to work with your company. He says that he called the Secret Service agent in charge of the case and was told that it would be a few days before he could get them to look at his case. While he’s waiting to hear back, hundreds of thousands of users are locked out of their forms.

Tank does offer some form of respite in the form of their .net domain. He says that any user can just change the URL of their form to .net from .com to get any forms up and running again.

At the end, he issues a word of warning to any Web site that allows user created content. He says to contact your most active users quickly after any URL take down or similar actions to let them know what went down and what they can do to retrieve their files.

The case raises some striking similarities to the MegaUpload case. Both sites depended on user generated content as their primary business. While illegal content was present on the site, it didn’t make up the majority of the content. It was primarily used by legitimate users who are now being punished by a government that doesn’t know the difference between an IP address and a DNS.

We’ll keep you updated on this and other stories of Web sites being supended for little to no reason.

About the Author

Zach WaltonZach Walton is a Writer for WebProNews. He specializes in gaming and technology. Follow him on Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, and Google+ +Zach Walton

View all posts by Zach Walton
  • David Smith

    That’s why so-called “cloud computing” is still up in the clouds and way over-rated. Still, JotForm was a great service.

  • David Smith

    This is also what happens when a service is offered for “free.”

    • felix pixel

      No… “FREE” is not only a simple welcome relief from proprietary fees, and “FREE” is a GREAT marketing scheme/CAMPAIGN… look at Android operating system…look at Linux OS and UNIX OS… anything open sourced, also see “creative commons (cc)”. “FREE” offers openness, sharing, and it is the result of “TRUE DEMOCRACY”, giving credit where it is due… it fights the theories of communism and embraces the true meaning of community.

  • Ronald Mc Paul

    WOW… FelixPixel[dot]com this was just a simple website for people to send me old family pictures for colorizing and restoration… my sight is broken now and will actually cost me a ton of money to fix. Who the (ph)uck is gonna compensate me for that…(not that I was making any money before at all) but the principal is still there… PIPA and SOPA can kiss my ass… you lousy lawyers (m.f.’ers) in Washington (lobby-ville)can kiss my ass too. You all stink to high heaven! another point is … Nazis in 1938 would’ve at least given a warning. What the f ever happened to “least intrusive means”? These jerk-wads have certainly been stepping outta their bounds.
    Thanks, Jotform for offering a low cost solution… at least temporarily…I feel bad for you …this is a shakedown likes of which Jessie Jackson would be proud of… good luck!

  • DC

    Yikes! I’ve been putting off going out and updating our PTA merchandise form, and now this! A warning would certainly have been helpful. Jotform has been a great service for us – sad that the many legitimate users have to deal with this. I hope it gets cleared up quickly.

  • Designer

    It was primarily used by legitimate users who are now being punished by a government that doesn’t know the difference between an IP address and a DNS. <- this is the problem

  • Glenn Richards

    If the SS (Secret Service) let everone know what ther’re doing…well…they wouldn’t be so secret aymore

    shame on those crooks though