BugMeNot Gone Briefly — News Sites Fighting Back
from the phew dept
I’ve been watching the panic flow across certain areas of the internet as people realized that BugMeNot seemed to have been knocked offline last week. I was a bit surprised that no news sources picked up on the story, but since so many are so scared of BugMeNot’s centralized database of registration usernames and passwords for registration-only news sites, perhaps they didn’t want to cover the story at all? Finally, Wired News has picked up on the story of BugMeNot’s disappearance and re-emergence. Their hosting company kicked them off. While BugMeNot assumed it was because of “external pressure,” the company claims it was because the site kept taking down the server it was on. Still, that seems like an odd reason to shut off a server with no warning at all. A more interesting aspect of this, however, is that it’s brought more attention to BugMeNot, and it looks like newspapers are fighting back. I tried using BugMeNot on a couple sites this morning, and both were rejecting all of the logins provided for their sites. It still strikes me as shocking that these sites would go to such trouble to block out users, who clearly are never going to give them useful data, shrinking their own inventory and taking themselves out of the conversation that is the internet. Meanwhile, like when the recording industry freaked out about Napster — creating plenty of other (more difficult to stop) file sharing offerings, expect future BugMeNots to be more difficult for websites to block out (and, not to be so agreeable towards things like not including paid-sites). The news sites are simply making the situation worse for themselves.