(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
domains, fbi, hosting, porn, seizure

Companies:
megaupload



The FBI's Megaupload Domains Are Now Hosting Porn Ads

from the well,-they-have-some-experience dept

Well, we know the FBI is particularly adept at hosting porn on the internet. After all, just a few days ago it was revealed that in the short time it was running a child porn site as a honeypot, it actually made the site run much faster. But now Torrentfreak points us to the news that some other FBI sites are serving up porn as well, though mostly out of FBI incompetence, rather than competence. Apparently the domain the FBI was using for its nameservers for the domains it seized from Megaupload expired, and someone else snapped it up and redirected all the sites using those nameservers to advertisements basically for porn. So, the FBI is now essentially pointing people to porn via Megaupload.
Here's the really amazing thing, though: this is not the first time this has happened. The same exact thing happened last year for Megaupload.com. And after Torrentfreak reported on that, the FBI removed the namerservers completely. But just for the .com. The rest of the Megaupload domains continued pointing to the same nameserver... and the domain for that nameserver expired again and has been snapped up by another company pushing porn sites.
Now, the FBI apologists will argue that this is no big deal. Obviously, the FBI didn't do this on purpose. But it certainly does continue to raise questions about the FBI's competence on tech matters. Why the hell were they using nameservers that they either didn't control in the first place, or that were held by someone so incompetent that they were allowed to expire and be snapped up by someone else? Having nameserver domains expire is not a particularly common occurrence. Maybe it's time for the FBI to admit that seizing websites isn't exactly a core competence. Unless it's operating child porn websites. Then, apparently, it has super skills.

Reader Comments

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2016 @ 10:52am

    At least they are hosting adult porn this time

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

  • identicon
    kasper, 26 Aug 2016 @ 10:58am

    Personally, I applaud the FBI. It's about time the government got smart about increasing revenues. I say, more porn ads on government sites.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2016 @ 11:53am

    I smell a new FBI recruitment drive... or maybe fish.

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

  • icon
    Pronounce (profile), 26 Aug 2016 @ 11:53am

    Our Government Highly Developed Peter Principle

    Under the heading it's not a bug, but a feature. The U.S. government has to maintain a certain level of incompetence in which to have a ready supply of scapegoat to which it can attach blame for the inevitable failures that are sure to happen and result in the general ill health and well being for many Americans.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2016 @ 11:55am

    hmmm.....how do we know that Techdirt isn't a honey pot for the three letter agencies(tla)?


    (this post keeps getting deleted...)

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Aug 2016 @ 8:05am

      Re: honeypot

      Well your post is still here, so kudos.

      Unless your taking some pretty severe measures, they already pwn you. They don't need TD. Contracted freelancers on the other hand may kludge up all sorts of things.

      My guess is that most of the attacks related to TD going on for the past week were from people more interested in supression than detection. Which is to say, probably freelancers working for benefactors of the HRC campaign.

      I expect the conversion went like this:

      Tech: "We've been compromised, because your lackys didn't read the infosec policy I sent out last week"

      HRC: "AAaaack! Those damned hackers, HACK THEM BACK! Hack Everybody! Where's that damned big red button!"

      Marine: "You don't have access to the football yet"

      HRC: "Aaaack! Then hack them back, hack EVERYBODY who doesn't like me!"

      Tech: "Or I'm fired right?"

      HRC: "Right! Or your fired!"

      Tech: "OooooKay. Just wanted to make sure. Tell you what, here is a new secure email server, and these are a few email addresses of people who can help you with that".

      And that is how we got the current scandal.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2016 @ 12:00pm

    Making a Tor site faster makes endpoint timing analysis much easier. It's quite possible that making the child porn site faster was one of the FBI's deanonymization tactics for Tor.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 26 Aug 2016 @ 12:15pm

      Re:

      If so it didn't actually appear to do them any good.

      In the article that mentioned their optimization of the site the defense pointed out that despite drastically speeding it up, and massively increasing the viewing and downloading of child porn the number of people they'd charged was no higher than the number they had info for the same day they took control of the site/servers, meaning it didn't appear that they gained anything they didn't already have from running the site and making it run better for two weeks.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2016 @ 2:13pm

        Re: Re:

        " meaning it didn't appear that they gained anything they didn't already have from running the site"

        Did anyone check the IPs that accessed the site during that time? I mean maybe if there was any or even an increase in FBI owned IPs then they could have done some research or increased their database of picture which then get banned via their hash by free to use email providers scanning all your email content.

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

      • icon
        GEMont (profile), 28 Aug 2016 @ 1:18pm

        Re: Re:

        Methinks it night indeed just be standard operational procedure actually.

        Its probably policy that once the Feds control any porn site, it should be brought up to speed by their techies in order to insure the best possible configuration and thus, the most profittable operation.

        After all, if you're planning to run these sites profitably, its always best to use your many "paid-for-by-tax-payers" experts to upgrade the "confiscated" systems to optimum functionality for optimum proceeds procurement.

        In my opinion, this whole operation is just another public robbery type money maker, like asset forfeiture.

        In fact, it would surprise me not one whit, to learn that the CIAF BINSA was secretly controlling and profitting from hundreds of similarily "confiscated" child porn sites, in their oft-mentioned war to "save the children".

        In fact, it could explain why porn sites are so prolific on the web and why they appear to be impossible to be rid of.

        Federal mandate. :)

        ---

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

  • identicon
    David, 26 Aug 2016 @ 12:03pm

    Good for us.

    Since neither the law is deemed sufficient to stop an Orwellian dystopia, nor is Congress interested in maintaining the U.S. Constitution, incompetence is all that keeps us from becoming Winston Smiths.

    And it's more dependable than an oath of office.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2016 @ 4:13pm

    well we are talking about the FBI so i am surprised it wasn't child porn ads

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2016 @ 6:44pm

    Pee Wee's Playhouse?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2016 @ 7:12pm

    Wanted more proof that the FBI was screwing everyone over? Well, there you go.

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

  • icon
    Seegras (profile), 27 Aug 2016 @ 7:30am

    justification, well, like "judge ordered it"?

    And what exactly makes the FBI have these domains in the first place? It's not like they've won any judgement or even proved they were used for criminal activities. It does actually more look like some illegal scam on the side of the FBI.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Aug 2016 @ 8:41am

      Re: justification, well, like "judge ordered it"?

      Don't they have a responsibility to take care of this "seized property", even if nothing was proven?

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

  • identicon
    FBI, 27 Aug 2016 @ 1:32pm

    No problem. No one watches adult porn on the Internet. It's only used for terrorism and child porn.

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

  • identicon
    mehmet tugra, 28 Aug 2016 @ 12:19pm

    why ??

    hmmm.....how do we know that Techdirt isn't a honey pot for the three letter

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

  • icon
    GEMont (profile), 28 Aug 2016 @ 1:00pm

    New Policy: Fighting Fire With Fire - Cops steal jobs from crooks.

    "Then, apparently, it has super skills."

    Sounds like just one more way the tri-letter agents and other bad cops can make a few extra bucks off the record.

    In fact, considering their track record, the whole plan was likely to get the porn sites under the guise of "upholding the law" and "going after evil kiddie pornographers" and then once the public's short term memory failed, "let the domain registries expire" so that tri-letter operatives could buy up the domains as private citizens and profit, profit, profit.

    Who's gonna know eh.

    After all, once the cops become more concerned about capturing the proceeds of crime than they are about capturing the perpetrators of crime, the next logical step is for the "LEO" types to simply take over the whole operation of every criminal enterprise they find and run it as a private business whose proceeds go directly to the tri-letter agencies and their happy members.

    Funding problems solved! Mortgages paid. New cars in drive ways. Kids' college tuition paid. So many wonderful things can be provided by the revenue from such legally allowed illicit operations.

    Better the proceeds of crime go towards improving the lives of our tri-letter good guys, rather then improving the lives of the evil bad guys.

    The cops are, after all is said and done, just fighting fire with fire. :)

    /s

    ---

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


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