Halt...In The Name Of The MPAA/RIAA/FBI/NSA! [Updated: Hoax]

from the you're-in-trouble-now dept

See update below. GeneralEmergency writes "I was performing a Google search on the phrase "this website has been closed" recently, and the sixteenth result was a link to http://vxbinaca.beevomit.org/party_van/ where you get treated to the following (which you may want to read before clicking):
"This website has been closed by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, in association with the United States National Security Agency, the Motion Picture Association of America, and the Recording Industry Association of America; pending a federal investigation.

Your visit to this URL has been logged. Please stay where you are. You will be contacted for questioning regarding the investigations related to this website. Any attempt to evade questioning will be considered obstruction of justice, and is subject to fines and imprisonment, pursuant to 18USC1510(a).

The owner(s) of this site will no longer be available for comment. For inquiries or if you wish to assist in this investigation, please contact:

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Attention: Internet Investigation Unit
935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Room 7350
Washington, DC 20535

(202) 324-3000

iiu@fbi.gov"
My first thought was, "OK....Ummm...Wait for how long? I was really thinking about going to Lowes this afternoon for a new tube of Loctite."

But the more I thought about this apparent method of "Honey Pot Trap" investigation, assuming it is genuine, the more silly this seems. If they were serious about this site being an investigatory tool, you would think that they would have the basic internet common sense to use a robots.txt file to keep Google (and other polite netizens) from indexing the site. Moreover, it only takes one guy like me to stumble across a site like this, post it's URL elsewhere obfuscated as a TinyURL, and their little honeypot get overrun with ants!

If the F.B.I. is not serious about this method as an investigation tool, then why put up silly threats like this?

You can also find plenty of other sites that Google says contain the text string "This website has been closed by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation."

Guess I'm in big trouble now! I'll let you know if any suits show up on my doorstep!"


I actually don't believe this is a honey pot at all. Just a bogus threat tactic. It's the same message that goes up on every file sharing site that eventually gets taken down. Four years ago, we wrote about the same message on the front of Grokster's site. It's a blatant (and bogus) scare tactic, and pretty ridiculous as well. It is a bit silly that (1) the FBI and NSA allow their names to be posted with the RIAA and MPAA (2) that they imply just visiting the site is somehow illegal and worthy of being logged followed by a "visit" and (3) that they somehow think this is effective. Update: As pointed out in the comments, the particular site singled out above is a hoax... but really isn't all that different from the site that actually did go up on the Grokster page...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Brian (profile), Jan 20th, 2010 @ 3:12pm

    I visited

    I visited the site and loled. I am now going to leave and go get dinner

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 20th, 2010 @ 3:31pm

    "Please stay where you are."

    WHAT? That is the most bizarre thing I have ever read (okay, the whole thing is pretty bizarre, but I keep staring at that one line.) I'll just wait here at my computer for a phone call from the FBI then, shall I?

    Are they even ALLOWED to say that? For the FBI to tell random people to "stay where they are"? I can half-envision some poor old lady stumbling onto the site by accident and then dying of dehydration while she sits there, terrified, waiting for a G-Man to knock on the door.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    David, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 3:32pm

    http://vxbinaca.beevomit.org/ links to the page above.

    I think it's meant to be a joke.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Trails, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 3:39pm

    Hoax much?

    I would bet substantial amounts of money that it's not real.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Sal, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 3:39pm

    Re:

    ^The conversation at work.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    kellythedog, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 3:43pm

    Since its all from 2006 its definitely a waste of my 3 mins to read this,,,i want my time back please.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Chris, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 3:44pm

    Just a LITTLE bit of fact checking... please?

    Visit: http://vxbinaca.beevomit.org/

    Check the third link down.

    Doesn't really take THAT long.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 20th, 2010 @ 3:44pm

    Re: Hoax much?

    That was a good bet. I just checked the domain itself:

    http://vxbinaca.beevomit.org/

    Notice link #3: "FBI Takedown Joke Page"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Jan 20th, 2010 @ 3:48pm

    It's just a spoof page. If you go up one directory on the URL the link is titled "FBI Takedown joke page". Also when clicking on 'Other sites' I get practically no results other than the spoof page itself. Is it April 1st yet?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 20th, 2010 @ 3:49pm

    Well, looks like everyone has cracked this one now. And I have to agree I am just a little surprised that nobody checked that before this was posted - checking the domain was the first thing I thought of, and clearly I wasn't alone.

    I also checked plain ol' beevomit.org (Bee Vomit? Really?) - and that in itself is somewhat interesting. From the page: "The SDF community is made up of caring, highly skilled people who
    operate behind the scenes to maintain a non-commercial INTERNET."

    Anyone know anything about that? Is it actually unique and interesting or is it just another walled garden?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 3:51pm

    Honestly, people. The words Party Van were in the URL itself, for crying out loud!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 20th, 2010 @ 3:51pm

    Re:

    Question answered (so that's what the Q in FAQ stands for!) - it's a not-for-profit remote-access supercomputing center.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 20th, 2010 @ 3:53pm

    Re:

    that in itself was not a clue. If this were a real honeypot OR propaganda takedown page, it would have retained the original URL - and lots of piracy-related URLs are weird and obscure.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    illdecree (profile), Jan 20th, 2010 @ 3:53pm

    fake

    go up a directory to see it listed as 'FBI takedown joke page" http://vxbinaca.beevomit.org/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 3:55pm

    Re: Re:

    Except that, on 4chan, the term Party Van refers to the FBI and other national police forces.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    John Elliott, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 3:57pm

    Here is a wiki page about it

    I found this,after just a cursory google search for the term "dns beevomit.org" http://en.wikifur.com/wiki/History_of_Lulz.net

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    McBeese, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 4:12pm

    HELP!

    HELP! I'M AT 30,000 FEET IN A COMMERCIAL AIRLINE FLIGHT WITH WIFI. I'VE INFORMED THE CAPTAIN AND CREW THAT WE MUST STAY HERE BECAUSE THE FBI IS ON THE WAY. WE'VE BEEN CIRCLING HERE FOR 90 MINUTES AND THE CAPTAIN IS NOW GETTING NERVOUS ABOUT OUR FUEL LEVELS! IF THE FBI DOESN'T GET HERE SOON, IT WILL BE SERIOUSLY BAD FOR ALL OF US!!

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 4:15pm

    Re: Re:

    No doubt, it was just missing a "official-viagra.com" return address.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 4:41pm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    GeneralEmergency (profile), Jan 20th, 2010 @ 4:43pm

    For the record...

    Man...is it ever weird pulling up Techdirt and seeing your nom de plume in boldface.

    For the record, I also managed to figure out it was a hoax site by navigating up a level... and I -did- submit an "Oops, Nevermind." submission to Mike about an hour or so later.

    Also, for the record, I did in fact actually go to Lowe's that day and bought -four- tubes of Loctite.

    (It's the little things in life that are important.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 4:44pm

    Now the question is: isn't the use of FBI logo without permission a federal offense?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 4:47pm

    Re:

    http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2007/12/27/the-strange-truth-about-the-fbi-logo/

    "If you’ve ever looked at the FBI Anti-Piracy logo and thought that it would make a great deterrent for your Web site or other creative work, think again.

    The logo, first announced in early 2004, is only for members of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

    Unauthorized use of the logo as part of an anti-piracy campaign is punishable by up to one year imprisonment and is considered to be a form of impersonation. In fact, the law is so strict that I can not, comfortably, even display the logo on this this site as Title 18 Section 701 makes it illegal to even be in possession of such a logo, thus why I used a parody logo in its place."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    interval, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 5:00pm

    You guys read the A.C.'s link up there? Its a good read and makes some great points. That link again:
    http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2007/12/27/the-strange-truth-about-the-fbi-logo/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    interval, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 5:06pm

    Re:

    That link was in response to this little missive, from 2004 no less, in Information week;

    http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=17701593

    "Movie execs also are worried about lost revenue from DVD sales and rentals. "We absolutely need downstream revenue to survive," said Ken Jacobsen, senior VP and director of worldwide anti-piracy operations for the MPAA, noting that only four of 10 movies earn enough at the box office to recoup the average of $89 million spent on producing and marketing a film."

    "We absolutely need downstream revenue to survive..."

    Every year since 2001 the studios have had higher and higher grosses than the previous year. 2009, if you count "Avatar", is the highest grossing year yet for all studios combined.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 5:11pm

    That's just some /b/rothers messing with people. The "partyvan" was a dead give away.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    Robert Ring (profile), Jan 20th, 2010 @ 5:19pm

    Yeah, I really don't think this is real. "Stay where you are" sorta gives it away.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 5:44pm

    Re:

    No doubt. GeneralEmergency, who hasn't commented here for months, and I've also noticed, also apparently has pull to have Mike change comments, isn't one to be trusted.

    Not impressed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 20th, 2010 @ 6:18pm

    Re: Re:

    GeneralEmergency, who hasn't commented here for months, and I've also noticed, also apparently has pull to have Mike change comments, isn't one to be trusted.

    Not sure what you mean by has the sway to have me change comments. That's not true. Even I can't edit comments.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 6:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, well, maybe you or one of your subordinates can change commenter names. Is this typical practice of TechDirt or do I have to find examples?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 6:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Go ahead, find examples, I dare you. You won't find any, I've been visiting this blog for a while and it does not change things.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 7:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The question was not meant to be answered by an "Anonymous Coward" but by Mike. However, if you speak on behalf of Mike, I could setup an old computer and certainly find examples you so desire.

    I remain lost why Mike would allow an anonymous coward to speak on his behalf of such a challenge. Perhaps we should wait for Mike's response.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 7:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, well, maybe you or one of the voices in your head is a criminal. Is this typical practice of your insanity or do I have to find examples?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 20th, 2010 @ 7:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh, well, maybe you or one of your subordinates can change commenter names. Is this typical practice of TechDirt or do I have to find examples?

    Uh, nope. We don't change commenter names. I believe there is only one case where we did, a while back, and it was due to a legal issue (someone was impersonating someone else, and once we had ample evidence provided, we changed the name). But otherwise, it has not happened.

    Please provide your evidence.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 7:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Indeed.

    Would you rather I email these discrepancies to you, make them a part of Techdirt record, or put them on a file sharing site such as Scribd, Sir?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 7:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I can also mail them to your physical address if that works.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 20th, 2010 @ 7:39pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hmm, well that I did not know. But I don't think Techdirt and 4chan share a Venn diagram so much as an orbital map, if you catch my meaning.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Doctor Strange, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 7:43pm

    You have to have a real hard-on for hating the government and the **AAs when you see this:

    Your visit to this URL has been logged. Please stay where you are. You will be contacted for questioning regarding the investigations related to this website.

    and believe it's real.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    soup, b, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 8:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah. I agree. And all this time, I thought I controlled 4chan. Been on there since 1997.

    *sigh*

    Whoever brought 4chan internal joke to Masnick needs to be punished for not understanding the rules of the internet. I will not stand for this, and not stand idly and allow people taking Mike for a ride. This is why GeneralEmergency needs to be punished.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    icon
    Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 20th, 2010 @ 8:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    My head hurts

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 1:01am

    Re:

    No shit Sherlock. Did the twenty posts above stating that very fact tip you off?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    GeneralEmergency (profile), Jan 21st, 2010 @ 2:09am

    Re: Re:

    Yes! Yes! I admit it! (And thank God this is finally out in the open.)

    It -is- true. Mike Masnick is merely a puppet in my tangled web of schemes within schemes. A lackey to do my bidding! When you hear that CTU ringtone on his cellphone go off...that's me calling with marching orders.

    My influence and control over Mikes editorial content is so complete and pervasive, I had Mike make changes to this very post SIX times. Each time, making it more powerful and slyly convincing. Can you feel it as these words bend your will and errode your confidence?

    And for you my AC friend...In my benevolence I shall not upend your life with misfortune and destitution, but instead leave you with this sage advice from the Great Actor Warren Oates:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrllCZw8jiM

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2010 @ 4:04am

    FLOOD this fucking site with visits.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jan 21st, 2010 @ 6:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    some people (like myself) sometimes forget to log in.

    When I enter a comment and I notice that I forgot to log in, I still enter a nickname and my email address, so that I can "claim" my comment later on. That's when the commenter's name can change from a not-logged-in version to his or her logged in version.

    Mike had very little to do with that. It's all the power of the commenter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jan 21st, 2010 @ 7:02am

    Re:

    Similar threats have been used in boiler-plate texts on sites like Suprnova, when they got taken down by the **AAs. Usually not as silly as "Stay where you are", but the "Your visit to this URL has been logged" part, yes, definitely.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
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    chris (profile), Jan 21st, 2010 @ 9:27am

    Re: Re:

    SDF is a public access unix system. i've had an account there for years.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Jan 21st, 2010 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    > I could setup an old computer and certainly
    > find examples you so desire.

    Please do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    Nastybutler77 (profile), Jan 21st, 2010 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Now you're just stalling. Or trolling. Either way, put up or shut up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    GeneralEmergency (profile), Jan 21st, 2010 @ 11:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Punish Away...

    Once again, this story was submitted something like two weeks ago and I -did-, within an hour or so, submit another "Mia Culpa" retraction story to Mike pointing out that I -HAD- discovered this site was a hoax/joke, just not a very well known one.

    Go ahead and spank me if you wish, but it'll make Baby Jesus cry.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    kevin (profile), Apr 14th, 2011 @ 12:17am

    I still enter a nickname and my email address, so that I can "claim" my comment later on. That's when the commenter's name can change from a not-logged-in version to his or her logged in version.Wood Burning Pellets

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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