The controversial website Cryptome.org - "an exercise in the dissemination of notorious information," in the words of this InfoWorld article - has been terminated by its longtime ISP, Verio. Its now being hosted by Network Solutions.
The move comes after Cryptome posted key Congressional testimony about Deepwater -- a military procurement fraud scandal currently under investigation by Congress and the United States Department of Justice. In a statement, Verio revealed no details about why Cryptome was terminated.
"Verio's decision to terminate Cryptome in this instance resulted from a situation, different from those presented in the past that Verio was unable to reconcile with its [use policy]," the company said. "Based on this situation, Verio made the decision that a different course of action was required. Verio is confident that it has been fair and consistent in its approach to these matters, and stands by its decision in this instance."But founder John Young suspects the ISP was folding to governmental pressure.
"We typically get about a half dozen complaints per year where people make allegations or claim copyright protection, and there have been several incidents since September 11th where the government was involved, but Verio has always been very straightforward about handling things," said Young.
"The FBI has come in many times and told us that we're not illegal, but the same day we posted the Deepwater stuff, Verio first sent the letter," Young said. "I think it has to be the government or one of the contractors that are behind it, somebody who is on the hot seat because of what the documents say. But I also doubt the ISP would buckle for a commercial request so, really, it points to someone in the government telling them to shut us down."
Committee media officials declined to comment on Cryptome's shutdown, but noted that all the documents hosted on the site were entered into the public domain during the Congressional hearings.
For now, Young said Cryptome will remain on Network Solutions' systems as long as it is welcome to be there. Officials with the Herndon, Va.-based ISP said they have no problem with the site as long as its content doesn't violate any laws or company policies.