Thursday, February 16, 2012

Government Takedown of Jotform

One of my sites employs the extremely helpful and easy to use Jotform service. Not any more. My forms are now dead courtesy of the overbearing, site take-down happy federal government. Hundreds of thousands of users and millions of forms are adversely affected, many of them e-commerce sites like mine. Once again fascist bureaucrats think nothing of taking actions costing small businesses untold dollars in lost revenue. And be aware that GoDaddy is complicit. They offered not the slightest resistance, taking down the domain apparently at some whiff of a suggestion. I'm voicing my extreme displeasure with the company via their support system. I will never do business with GoDaddy again. They deserve to be held accountable for failing to protect their customers.’s troubling to Tank, and many other digital rights advocates, that a thriving, legitimate business can be shut down simply at the request of a government agency, with no reason or chance for appeal given to the owner before enforcement.

Because of the domain seizure, all of JotForm’s paying customers suddenly lost access to the product they purchased, and the site had to scramble to design a workaround. It has since relaunched on a .net domain and contacted frequent users with information on how to get their forms working again.

The take-down is surprising because JotForm is unique among the many other sites that have seen enforcement actions. Instead of providing blind hosting for pirated media files, or helping facilitate copyright infringement by serving Torrents or illegal video streams, JotForm is more like YouTube: a service that helps users create and share a particular type of content.

And like YouTube, JotForm has pieces of content numbering in the millions — more than staff can reasonably sift through by hand.

“I believe this can happen to anybody who allows users to create content on the web,” the site’s founder concluded.

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