Crime and Corporation – webhoster Godaddy, Melissa Clouthier et al.: USA desorianted about what in fact is a case for prosecution in their country.
[wn030, 12.-15.1.2011] When the first messages about pages preparing for – as one may expect – an even more unbelievable step in the hunt for the wikileaks spokesperson arrived the twittersphere, at least 3 addresses calling for murder were known. According to current informations (not yet verified), a part of them seems to be registered by a single person in Virginia. Addresses like “killassange” and “killjulianassange”, with a “coming soon” are part of this phenomenon. At least one of the pages (julianassangemustdie.com) is according to our information recognised as registered by Melissa Clauthier, a person who fights on blog pages for the “right to live” of cells clusters (regardless if pregnant women wish to be mothers or not, and absolutely regardless if those already existing female lifes wish it to get born in a country where they as mothers later will be forced to simply give it away to an army general in order to let it be killed there, later, after they already got a life and with much more pain for any party involved then), while at the same time, as visible, having no problem with her participation in a criminal act. Among people assimilated to the US culture, she’s also known as a desperate enemy of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Godaddy is the webhoster of at least 3 of those mentioned pages, although confirming hosting only 2 of them. We
are (were) still awaiting a last written confirmation of their aware participation in an indictable offence.
In an email forwarded to us Godaddy wrote on January 12th:
“The domain killassange.com is directing to the IP of 126.96.36.199, which is not an IP allocated to Go Daddy. According to an IP whois it is allocated to Hoosier PC SBC. Go Daddy is not hosting the content. We have neither access to, nor jurisdiction over the content on this site. The web hosting provider for this website is the company responsible for policing any content that appears on this site.
There is no content currenlty resolving on the domains killjulianassange.com and julianassangemustdie.com.
As your complaint addresses the issue of wording of the domain name itself, we are unable to take action at this time. The complaint either needs to be taken up with the domain name owner directly, or should be filed in a UDRP or court proceeding. …” (note: we received this answer forwarded by the receipient, but the answer was made publicly available by the receipient herself, too. you’ll find the full copy on Laurel L. Russwurm’s page here).
So, Godaddy is confirming hosting 2 of the addresses, refusing responsibility for the 3rd one. The attention of the tech literate blogger Jan Wilderboer got caught by the first tweets on Twitter about these addresses online (tweets started by Evgeni Morozov, author of “The Net Delusion”, a few days later interviewed by taz about his book). Jan Wilderboer posted an early blog page about these issues (followed by an update on a 2nd page). He clarifies how to judge Godaddy’s claim not to host killassange.com in an email anwer to our asking for valuation of Godaddy’s claim. He says it’s:
“Simple. A domain is technically speaking two things:
– The domain ownership entry in whois
– The domain nameserver information in DNS
In this case, the domain is registered by someone via domainsbyproxy.com. This company is a customer of godaddy and thus the domain was registered ultimately (as in added to the .com registry) by godaddy, as you can see from whois information.
After the domain was registered, the owner added DNS information to the entry and thus pointed the domain to the IP address 188.8.131.52, which belongs to AT&T who have rented out the specific range to Hoosie PC according to whois:
AT&T Internet Services SBCIS-SBIS (NET-99-0-0-0-1) 184.108.40.206 – 220.127.116.11
Hoosier PC SBC-99-14-212-0-22-0806041657 (NET-99-14-212-0-1) 18.104.22.168
So godaddy can officially claim they have nothing to do with themselves. Domainsbyproxy ordered the domain on behalf of their customer and the customer directed the DNS to an IP address at Hoosie.” (highlighting/bold format by wn030)
Our own inquiriy for a publicly quotable confirmation of their will to take part in a crime is
not answered yet (public reply arrived, scroll down for it). At the same time, reports about single pages going offline reach us, although there is still a full set of them on the web, awaiting the company to finally decide whether they want to participate in“perhaps the single most serious criminal offense” (West’s encylopedia of American law) that may “be sentenced to many years in prison, a prison sentence with no possibility of parole, or (since the criminal personnel is located in the USA, ed. by author) death”.
On Jan 13th, an update on the page of Jan Wildeboer is visible as following:
[UPDATE 2011-01-11 21:54 CET: killassange.com and killjulianassange.com both up and running, no reply from godaddy so far]
[UPDATE 2011-01-11 11:44 CET: Seems the domain julianassangemustdie.com has been deleted by its owner. See Godaddy WHOIS entry]
[UPDATE 2011-01-11 11:33 CET: Seems killjulianassange is down ATM. Could be simple change though.]
[UPDATE: I send an updated mail with the doamin julianassangemustdie.com added and clarified some aspects. New version reproduced here, old version archived in this same post.]
In contrary to the questionable position of Godaddy, whose CEOs seem so far not to have clarified whether they wish business with people or business with death (sure, there’s not much real money potentional in death itself, but can a single web visitor so far exclude if it’s not Godaddy’s aim to attract gun producing and gun advertising “customers” in the future? a biz plan that would be condemned to fail from the beginning since the best gun clients of rifleclub tend to be the kind of offline stoneagers with quite small real business to expect from, but according to Godaddys reactions so far, we shouldn’t expect extremely bright decision makers there, same, btw, is valid for weapons deals on larger scale, as an online comment patiently tries to explain), so in contrary to that, the company HPC showed a more businesslike and professional attempt to this problem, proving an understanding of the need of civilization as basic ground for any corporate plan to be successful at the end. On Jan 13th, we received the following reply to our inquiry from HPC:
The current IT administrator at the customer location said that they believe the server was compromised, or the page was setup by a former employee. They weren’t able to provide a definitive answer on that, but they did remove the page.
Re. Godaddy and the still unsolved case of the killassange.de domain, tech skilled people are now observing DNS entries and are prepared to alarm in case a next criminal act of this kind shows up.
update jan 15th 2011: Godaddy finally answered publicly our inquiry for a public statement:
Thank you for your inquiry. Although your question is not entirely clear, we can offer the following:
No, we do not support any call for violence of any kind. Of that you can be sure.
For background, you should know that Go Daddy registers a domain name every .8 seconds. Any domain name can be registered; the process is completely automated, there is no human intervention.
Importantly, unless and until there is content associated with a registered domain name, such as killjulianassange.com, there is no way for us to know what the domain name will be used for. Because there is no content associated with this particular domain name at the present time, and we cannot predict whether it will be used to violate any rule of law, and we therefore do not plan to take action at this time.
– Go Daddy
(source: click on date link.)
In order to reply to that, we still refer to the sentences we posted on jan 13th:
so let us reread this once again. godaddy has a problem with reading, is it this? a sentence is not a sentence anymore, recognizable as a criminal action and therefore satisfactory to check compliance with their T&C? well if a page hoster cannot recognize a crime as a crime anymore, what then to think about the company. sure legal action, but there might be in this case enough reason to go the court way re both: the registering person as well as the person who cannot read a sentence anymore although obviously answering emails in the same language.
we can complement it with the following: sure, a company, a corporate business aimed organization should never be expected to act according to law just for the sake of it. but as shown above, even from pure business point of view, Goddys position seems to make hardly any sense. From the legal point of view, a company is still bound to the legal frame in the country of their own base, in this case the mentioned murder act.
on Jan 14th, 2011, the huffingtonpost reported about the threat domain pages: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/14/death-threat-domain-names_n_809174.html
feel free also to check out vivantleakers, (presented by artificialeyes, among others – a page whose attention got caught by this topic after it was posted by jan wilderboer as one of the many early reactions to the attentive tweets sent by Evgeni Morozov). The abovelinked huffington post article refers to vivantleakers as one of their web sources where they (as the newspaper with in this case Lila Shapiro as the finally writing journalist) have been hinted at the topic. According to people involved vivantleakers was built up in around 10 hours.
available since jan 15th: http://www.bluemassgroup.com/diary/21910/discourse-civility-and-killing-julian-assange – “… let’s kill Julian Assange for Christmas seems to be a serious rallying cry for some. Killassange.com was registered on December 21, 2010. Killjulianassange.com was registered on November 30, 2010. Julianassangemustdie.com was registered by a fairly prominent right-wing blogger named Melissa Clouthier on December 6, 2010. Julianassangedeathpool.com on December 6, 2010. Then, of course, there are variations on this idea with published feelers like “Anyone up for a dead pool on Julian Assange?” posted on December 31, 2010. Lastly, enter the satirists from Landover Baptist Church with a recent poll “How would Jesus kill Julian Assange?” …”
since january 16th, a text on wlcentral [by DaveM (@dredeyedick)] is reporting about this topic, too.
Since Jan 19th available: “Who is Melissa Clouthier? Good question. I’m glad I asked.” Matt Cornell gives a short overview of Melissa’s recent activities online.