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Social Network Gab.com being threatened by Godaddy: 24 hours to transfer or suspension

Located in General Domain Discussion started by domainguy50, Oct 29, 2018.

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  1. d_4_domain

    d_4_domain New Member

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    Sike, it's commin' back up today.
     
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  2. dyn888

    dyn888 Established Member

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    Gab is back online.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  3. MrAcidic

    MrAcidic Upgraded Member Gold Account VIP

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  4. Rafael Novaes

    Rafael Novaes Established Member

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    NPC's NPC's everywhere!!!
     
  5. Paul Buonopane

    Paul Buonopane CTO, NamePros CTO VIP

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    If you're stopping by NamePros just to comment in this thread, welcome! While we're strong proponents of freedom of speech, we do expect you to present your opinions in a civil, professional manner, as this is a forum meant for industry professionals.
     
  6. jtl

    jtl New Member

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    Thank you.

    OT: What's the obsession with calling people NPC's? Just something I've noticed a lot lately.
     
  7. domainguy50

    domainguy50 Established Member

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    Epik Domains has been served an overreaching subpoena by the Pennsylvania Attorney General To send all communications documents between anyone at gab and epik...

    https://twitter.com/getongab/status/1060283242857857028?s=21


    Looks like Pennsylvania doesn't care about the first amendment or the CDA Protections of webmasters
     
  8. offthehandle

    offthehandle . Gold Account VIP

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  9. jberryhill

    jberryhill Top Member John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq. VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Okay, I'll bite. Can you explain to me how sending an investigative subpoena violates either of those two things?

    Is figuring out how (or indeed even whether) to object to a subpoena too complicated for this crew?

    Obviously, the attorney who advised them to post it on Twitter and rant about it believes that is the appropriate course of action for them. So, it may be best to let them handle a relatively simple legal matter in the manner they've been counseled.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  10. domainguy50

    domainguy50 Established Member

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    Ok I'll admit I don't know what I'm talking about- but the entire subpoena is raising more questions to me

    What are they investigating? It wasn't made clear to me what potential crime the AG is investigating. I'm guessing they could keep that secret?
    Also, where do you see this headed? Is this a way to make a case for a lawsuit against gab? Or guessing that would probably be more of a discovery process of a lawsuit, and that this situation is separate

    Its hard for me to comprehend what epik did wrong that they now have to give up private messages and have their privacy violated

    I didn't know you could object a subpoena so that is good to know. I agree gab is probably not doing themselves any favors the way they are reacting to this
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  11. Addison

    Addison Top Member VIP

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  12. jberryhill

    jberryhill Top Member John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq. VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    That's not surprising. Mr. Torba must have found an adult to speak with.
     
  13. domainguy50

    domainguy50 Established Member

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    ArsTechnica Wrote About this: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy...ey-general-subpoenas-dns-provider/?comments=1


    Eric Goldman, a legal scholar at Santa Clara University, told us that the law is clear that Gab would not be liable for hosting content from the Pittsburgh shooter. Not only are the posts likely protected by the First Amendment, but a law called Section 230 gives service providers like Gab—not to mention upstream service providers like GoDaddy and Epik—an extra layer of protection against liability for user-submitted content.

    So then what is Pennsylvania's attorney general investigating? Shapiro's office hasn't returned emails and a phone call asking about that. But two legal scholars I talked to for this story couldn't think of a legitimate reason for seeking these kinds of documents.

    "I struggle to see a legit basis for this," said Ken White, a First Amendment attorney and the proprietor of the popular Popehat blog.

    Seeking information about Gab's DNS provider "doesn't make any sense at all," legal scholar Eric Goldman told us.


    Comments around the internet about this situation:

    "This is insane and sounds like a seriously concerning escalation in the trend of eroding independence in the foundation of the Internet structure. Turning the DNS layer into a censorship platform is a serious, serious mistake."

    "According to thier website, Epik is in Washington state. I can't imagine how Pennsylvania has any jurisdiction over a DNS provider in Bellevue."

    "Not a fan of Gab, but a little nervous about ultra-wide subpoenas used as punishment. Hope they have at least some case, not a witch hunt. Would love to see them taken down legally."

    "If they wanted that information, they would subpoena Gab directly to have it provided and they would limit their request to documents related to the shooter. Instead, they've subpoena'd a domain name provider, one Gab only signed on with after the shooting, and for literally anything relating to Gab that they have on hand.

    I've been very, very outspoken about Gab and what they do in other threads, but this is pretty unambiguously abusive. They're not requesting this information for investigative purposes, they're doing it to discourage companies from working with Gab."

    "Sure, but the broad nature of the request (ie. asking for literally all documents related to the site in any way) kind of makes it obvious that this is still an abusive request. If anything, that technical incompetence just makes that stand out even more."

    " mean im not sure why they would need to speak with epik about content posted before epik had any involvement.

    THis does sound like intimidation tactics, and i dont like it.
    We shouldnt be giving Gab actual ammo to use in their fake 'freeze peach' bullsh*t arguments.

    damnit Josh Shapiro, why are you making me take Gabs side."

    "

    These communist thought police are out of control. However, this is just what is needed, a legal challenge that will be forced into the federal and possibly Supreme Court.

    Is digital censorship and McCarthyism constitutional or unconstitutional? Only the Courts can answer that question, but I’m betting SCOTUS would rule in favor of cyber free speech.

    We shall see…
    "
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
  14. jberryhill

    jberryhill Top Member John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq. VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    The point remains that overbroad subpoenas get sent all of the time. There are procedures to deal with them. You file an objection to the subpoena, and it gets sorted out. Crying like a fragile snowflake is no substitute for simply exercising one's right to due process in this context.
     
  15. jberryhill

    jberryhill Top Member John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq. VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    One thing worth mentioning about the CDA - 47 USC 230.

    Paragraph (c) has two parts:

    (c) Protection for “Good Samaritan” blocking and screening of offensive material

    (1) Treatment of publisher or speaker

    No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.


    (2) Civil Liability

    No interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of—

    (A) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected; or

    (B) any action taken to enable or make available to information content providers or others the technical means to restrict access to material described in paragraph (1).

    There had been a suggestion in a now-deleted comment that Gab should sue GoDaddy, and there have been various statements that Gab is entitled to immunity from certain claims under Section 230.

    What these persons fail to understand is that the same law which confers immunity from certain claims based on the speech of other people ALSO immunizes a service provider for censoring material that the provider finds objectionable.
     
  16. Domains - Wanted

    Domains - Wanted Top Member VIP

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    Interesting. Not that I believe that GAB should sue, but is there precedent where a domain registrar has been taken to be an "interactive computer service"?

    Per this term's definition, it would be a streach, IMHO O_o
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  17. jberryhill

    jberryhill Top Member John Berryhill, Ph.d., Esq. VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    If someone is coming from the position that the domain name registrar qualifies under Section 230(c)(1) (as the subpoena was directed to Epik), then it is difficult for that person to argue that the registrar does not qualify under Section 230(c)(2).

    (all of which, of course, could be entirely irrelevant to anything that PA is actually investigating, which could be anything from securities issues to account payment handling)
     
  18. Errota

    Errota Established Member

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    Their website design is really nice, like the green
     
  19. Terrence Koeman

    Terrence Koeman New Member

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    I've read this entire thread, and it's stunning how woefully uninformed many are about the law. This is an important subject, maybe the most important of the current generation. Is it really too much to ask that people Google the laws they think they understand before they construct arguments on their understanding?

    For instance, "hate speech" is not a defined legal concept, and thus it is not illegal. A threat of violence has a strict definition, it does NOT mean "anything someone considers threatening" or "anything I FEEL should be illegal". In fact, the "threat" exception to the 1st amendment is very narrow. This narrow definition is called a "True Threat" (see "True Threat" on Wikipedia).

    For a good explanation Google the article 'No, there’s no “hate speech” exception to the First Amendment' of the WaPo.

    In practice almost anything that people would consider a "threat" (or call to violence) is not a "True Threat" as legally defined. A quick summary: One must show that the threat is:

    1. Specific. So a statement that one will (or calls on others to) "Gas the Jews" is not legally a threat. One that targets a "John Doe" may be (if other requirements are met).
    2. Reasonably possible (can reasonably be carried out by the person making the threat). So a 5'2" 12yo boy telling a 6'5" 30yo man "I'm going to smash your face in" is not a True Threat. Nor is a threat from an European to an American (unless there is some other evidence making it likely he'll travel, etc).
    3. In case of calling for violence, the call must reasonably lead to imminent violence. Having a display of a lynched doll in your yard with a sign "<n-word> must be killed" (or posting a photo thereof on the internet) is not calling for imminent violence (nor is it specific enough), but if you're a leader of a mob of people that are all riled up and you point to a person and say "come on, go kill that guy", that would reasonably result in imminent violence.

    This is why not many people are convicted for making threats. Almost all threats or calls to violence on the internet are not actually illegal under US law, unless there's some other evidence that the threat is credible. You may think they should be, but they just aren't. If someone at the other end of the country sends you a tweet that he'll kill you in an angry exchange, that will not be actionable. But if he lives an hour away and sends you a photo of him and a gun and says "I'm now getting in my car and I'm going to shoot you" it will.

    Obviously the 1st amendment is binding only on the US government and not on GD, but please inform yourself before calling speech "illegal" or "criminal". Usually it isn't, the bar is very high.

    PS. The "fire in a crowded theatre" is also often misused. It is, in fact, not actually illegal (as someone else also pointed out), and the judgement where this came from was overruled. Christopher Hitchens addresses this in an awesome speech on free speech that can be found on YouTube as video "4Z2uzEM0ugY".

    The speech itself is simply not illegal, but if you yell "fire" in a crowded theater and a stampede is the result, you are liable for this result. What charge it would be depends on state law. If nothing happens you are not guilty of anything.
     
  20. Terrence Koeman

    Terrence Koeman New Member

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    More reading: mtsu(dot)edu/first-amendment/article/1025/true-threats

    The court stated in United States v. Kelner (2d Cir. 1976) that a true threat is a threat that “on its face and in the circumstances in which it is made is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to the person threatened, as to convey a gravity of purpose and imminent prospect of execution.”

    It's very hard to get to this level of threat on the internet.

    See also:
    www(dot)heritage(dot)org/the-constitution/report/true-threats-and-the-limits-first-amendment-protection
    jaapl(dot)org/content/44/2/138
     
  21. secretagentdad

    secretagentdad Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    I think we're watching history in the making.


    I wonder what the narrative will be in a year or two.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  22. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO Gold Account VIP

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    Well, it has been a pretty crazy week. What started out as a "stand in the gap" intervention for intellectual property rights turned into a scenic tour of the free speech movement during an election week when the left-right dialectic was already in fine form.

    In the case of Gab, which I had never even heard of until last week, when the leading domain registrar de-platforms a domain name with 800,000 engaged users, a $300,000 domain that is being used while in escrow, it has great potential to become a hornet's nest. Indeed, that is what happened.

    Specific to Gab, I created an account 4 days ago. I had not used the site before. I took the initiative to say hello. I was not expecting to get 482 comments but I invite you to visit the page and browse the comments. It is mostly civil. We'll see how Andrew and his team evolve the site over the next 90 days.

    As for bigger picture, my gut sense is that we may be seeing a historic stand against systematic de-platforming. Although the practice is not uncommon, coordinated de-platforming across multiple vendors is not common. If this becomes common, it would be extremely troubling.

    As an industry, we must fix due process for de-platforming domains. ICANN has more than $300 million in cash sitting around and looking for ways to deploy it. WIPO's UDRP process is not perfect but is operational.

    Personally, I think we need a democratically elected (not appointed!) judicial panel for reviewing domain take-downs.

    I believe that the domain industry needs courage in developing new economic models that move beyond parking and wholesaling, neither of which look sustainable. From the Epik side, recent initiatives include Forever Domain Registrations, Domain Leasing, Domain Banking, Crypto Escrow, etc.

    In the wake of this latest take-down event, I really hope the industry comes together on Due Process as it relates to Domain take-downs. Uniregistry has shown initiative this week with Internet Bill of Rights.
    @Frank.Schilling and I discussed it this week. I am on board for it. Many details need to be sorted.

    I want to extend thanks Uniregistry and Escrow.com for their cooperation last weekend to get the domain moved to Epik in order to get Gab get back online. Let's see what happens next at Gab. For the record, I have no financial interest, ownership interest or administrative role at Gab, neither current or pending.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
  23. bmugford

    bmugford www.DataCube.com PRO ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Shouldn't an internet Bill of Rights also provide price certainty for the domain itself? Otherwise a de facto way to de-platform a domain would to be making the renewal so expensive it was not sustainable.

    With that said I don't think Uniregistry is the right messenger here.

    They arbitrarily raised the prices on their extensions out of nowhere. Many of these prices went up to 10x - 50x or more the original cost. https://onlinedomain.com/2017/03/08...t-killed-new-gtld-domain-name-program-warning

    This also lead to GoDaddy dropping their extensions.

    "GoDaddy strives to provide its customers with great product experiences wherever possible. After careful consideration, we decided to stop offering new Uniregistry domain names for sale because their pricing changes caused frustration and uncertainty with our customers."

    They also initially planned to raise the pricing on existing registrations before backtracking -
    https://domainnamewire.com/2017/04/03/uniregistry-backtracks-price-hike-existing-registrations

    Any "Bill of Rights" should include protection for the domain itself, which includes price certainty.

    Brad
     
  24. Rob Monster

    Rob Monster CEO, Epik Epik.com Staff PRO Gold Account VIP

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    Thanks for your comments, Brad.

    As for IBoR, I agree with the premise. The exact mechanics need to be worked out. I believe Godaddy will ultimately regret their decision to participate in de-platforming operations for domains, recently in the continuing story of Gab.com. That being said, they, and Neustar, Centralnic, among others, all employ some talented and passionate people that can help figure out a better way. UDRP/WIPO is a framework. An "Internet Bill of Rights", without a sustainable Judicial framework would be of little utility.

    As for domain price certainty, and safeguarding against large price increases, I think my vision for that topic is super clear. Let's move the industry to FOREVER registrations, and be done with the whole dropping domains as an industry. As we all know, dropcatching became an arms race, a bit like proof-of-work crypto-mining. We should allow registrants to BUY a domain and OWN it. And then if they no longer have use for it, let them sell it or lease it. Freehold not Leasehold.
     
  25. Addison

    Addison Top Member VIP

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    @Rob Monster, why'd they choose Epik over Uniregistry?

    Not looking for an Epik sales pitch, but the real reason they pulled the trigger that Andrew Torba would confirm.

    http://domainincite.com/23658-unire...ghts-as-schilling-says-gab-com-was-not-booted

    John Berryhill also made a superb point:
     

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