Bulletproof Hosting

The internet is a place for some fights. Unfortunately, it is used, sometimes, for illicit activity. The cyberspace is a venue which is difficult to legislate.

There is a continuous fight between the people who engages in illicit online activity and the ones that try to keep them inactive as much as possible. All those shady things are done in machines that for obvious reasons are connected to the network.

“Bulletproof Hosting” is the activity of managing a server farm that “does not look” at the content or activities of the hosted sites and don’t take any site down. For that reason they are usually hosted in countries with small or no regulation on internet activities and are usually used by spammers and distributors of illegal pornography, among other online criminals.

To avoid being classified as spam by some of the big actors in the antispam fight, like The Spamhaus Project, they usually include some clauses in their terms of service regarding account termination if misused, but they rarely enforce them.

This has lead to infamous episodes like the Spamhaus vs. CyberBunker DDoS war, in which CyberBunker was accused of hosting spammers on his facilities, named “bulletproof” by some, and, when their IP range was blacklisted on Spamhaus, Spamhaus received one of the biggest DDoS attacks in history. You can read the CyberBunker side of the story and the Spamhaus version of the events.

But, as always, there is two sides of the story. Some of the defendants of this kind of hosting say that it helps protect the freedom of speech, gives the leakers a neutral spot, reduce the abuses of certain inustries (DMCA takedown requests, for example) and collaborate to keep the web open. What do you think? Should this places exist or not?

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