January 24, 2004

Hijacking of the Censorware Project domain renewed again

Michael Sims, the Slashdot "editor", who hijacked the Censorware Project domain, recently renewed it again, continuing the hijacking he had done. The WHOIS data currently reads:

Created On:25-Feb-1998 05:00:00 UTC
Expiration Date:24-Feb-2005 05:00:00 UTC
[changed: 2004-01-19]

I did not write this. It is a public statement by Censorware Project:

Why were we down? Another former member, Michael Sims, jellicle@inch.com, angry at a perceived slight from one of us, shut down www.censorware.org. ... Mike, now that the site is back up, we are renewing our request that you transfer us the censorware.org domain. You're not using it for anything, and it will continue to confuse people and divert traffic away from this, the rightful Censorware Project site.

I did not write this. Censorware Project Attorney Jonathan Wallace did:

But all the hundreds or thousands of links Censorware Project had build-up over the years still pointed to the old site. In some cases, it was impossible to fix them, since they were from mailing-list archives, old web news pages, in print, or webmasters didn't want to be to be bothered with edits. And anyone who tried to get in touch with us by sending mail to the previous contact address would have their message trashed by Sims. ...

In short, this is a colossal and continuing act of malice by our former webmaster, Michael Sims.

I did not write this. Bennett Haselton (of Peacefire.org) did:

If the EFF webmaster put the eff.org domain in his own name and then hi-jacked it from the organization, he'd be branded a traitor and a pariah in the Internet community for the rest of his life, and nobody would ever forget what he did. ...

... nothing [Michael Sims] does [at Slashdot] will ever come close to canceling out the harm he did by shutting down the one-time Censorware Project website.

The only legitimacy that Michael has is through his position as a Slashdot writer; he has just enough writing skills to make his writings sound seductively intelligent to anybody who doesn't know the real story. ... Do you think they're going to let him put the Slashdot.org domain in his name? :)

I have written many things. But they have no influence, so I won't repeat them now.

It's not a trivial flame-war. The implications are profound. Particularly:

If I could not win when opposing the "colossal and continuing act of malice" of the hijacking, when Michael Sims is so deeply wrong to have stolen the Censorware Project site, and Slashdot should be ashamed for _de facto_ supporting him - then what the hell am I doing thinking I can prevail against a lawsuit from a censorware company? It is not a matter of values, but of implications. I don't want people to preach to me that their values are that the hijacking of the Censorware Project domain shouldn't have been opposed, yet I should have been willing to pauperize myself over years of censorware company litigation. Rather, the objective reality of it, is that if I couldn't win this battle against such a clear-cut immoral action, I have no chance against an even more powerful opponent in censorware companies.

Moving on meant quitting my censorware decryption work. The above is one reason why I had to do so.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in activism | on January 24, 2004 11:58 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

Subscribe with Bloglines      Subscribe in NewsGator Online  Google Reader or Homepage


So, it's expiring on 24-Feb-2005, eh? I'll try to reclaim it then, and put up a more sane explanation than the ludicrous rant michael had there in 2003. Probably with a link to your page, your explanation, Michael's flamewar on the Censorware mailing list, and the real Censorware Project.

All I need is a registrar that can swipe domain names.

Posted by: Osaka at January 29, 2004 11:42 AM