Web host to return Blogetery's blogs

Web hosting service Burst.net, which terminated Blogetery's service following an FBI terrorist investigation, says it will return data to the blogging platform.

Blogetery.com's bloggers will get their information back.

That's the word from Joe Marr, chief technology officer of Burst.net, a Scranton, Pa.-based Web hosting service. Burst.net abruptly pulled Blogetery.com offline on July after FBI agents alleged the blogging platform was used by al-Qaeda operatives to distribute recruiting materials and to offer bomb-making tips.

Alexander Yusupov, Blogetery's owner Lora Vertrue

Marr said in a phone interview Friday that his company intends to transfer a "zipped up" copy of Blogetery's records to another server that the service's owner has with Burst.net. Marr said the al-Qaeda materials and some copyright infringing files were removed. The transfer is due to occur later in the day, and Burst.net will not be hosting Blogetery in the future, Marr said.

Marr stressed again that the reason for the service termination was that the materials the FBI alleges belonged to terrorists are a violation of Burst.net's terms of service and Blogetery has racked up multiple prior TOS infractions, Marr said. He noted that typically, Burst.net does not return data to customers booted for TOS violations, but Marr said that his company wants to do right by Blogetery users.

On Thursday, Marr posted a statement to Webhostingtalk.com, a message board, and replied to comments critical of Burst.net made by Alexander Yusupov, Blogetery's owner. "His data is fully intact," Marr wrote. "We have every intention of returning it to him and are in the process of working out the details."

In an e-mail to CNET, Yusupov seemed cautiously optimistic about the news, but said Burst.net has not contacted him directly about returning the data. If Burst.net does return the information, Yusupov said he will "open Blogetery on Amazon EC2 cloud hosting, ASAP."

The case received a lot of attention and highlighted how tough it is to balance public safety while protecting free speech. It has also prompted some watchdog groups to question the FBI's tactics in obtaining information from Internet service providers.

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