Sunday, February 19, 2012

CEDO Week 2: SOPA/PIPA & Survey Shutdown Shut Down By US Secret Service: SOPA/PIPA v. 2

I knew there must have been a reason that this post was late in coming. In doing work for our Survey Scavenger Hunt, I revisited many services that I had found previously while independently looking up the  subject of online surveys. During our group meeting I talked about the features of Jotform and it ended up being the online survey form of choice.

After our meeting on Tuesday night, I decided to go back to my Jotform account and check things out again a little further. My form wouldn't load. Google could not locate the nameservers for Jotform. Oh great I thought! Here I go and suggest a service and closes just as I give it a good recommendation. Just like Web 2.0 for this to happen.

I did a Whois to see if anything was going on with the domain. I noticed something strange. Something in the record said this about the Nameserver, "NS1.SUSPENDED-FOR.SPAM-AND-ABUSE.COM". I didn't give it much further thought.

On Saturday night, I was checking some mail and found a message from Jotform. It told me to direct my form URLs to instead of . Checking further into this, I searched and found out that Jotform had been shut down by the US Secret Service without any judiciary approval (meaning no warrant or judge's orders). GoDaddy, the domain registrar for Jotform and a SOPA/PIPA friendly domain registrar and web host appears to have let the Secret Service walk right in and flip the switch to off for Jotform. Apparently, it all has something to do with content on somebody's form. had and has continued to be uninformed about details of the investigation from either Godaddy or the Secret Service. Jotform also responded quickly to events and within 2 days of being shut down, had services up again under a new domains (.net & .us) not registered with Godaddy. Jatform appears to be very successful online survey service and has lots of corporate customers.

Reading the comments on the on the official Jotform response to this, it appears that a lot of the customer responses indicate that they are clueless about SOPA/PIPA and are demanding information from Jotform that they are not even privy to.

So, the online survey business is big business but as seen now, it too is subject to Big Brother's watchful eyes. Even though SOPA/PIPA did not pass, it is not stopping non-judicial action from the Secret Service. Just as opponents of SOPA/PIPA have claimed, this kind of action is disrupting the legitimate business interests and concerns of many (thousands, millions) based on the (perhaps) wrongful action of one person (the person whose content is suspect).

1 comment:

  1. Highly interesting. I've known of other sudden shutdowns or desist orders, e.g. the recent publication hold regarding the publication of information about virus modification.