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Web hosting company McColo shut down for good

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November 16, 2008

On a global basis, email spam now is down about 75 percent since Nov. 11, when a Washington Post investigation led Internet service-providers Global Crossing and Hurricane Electric to shut down for good San Jose, California Web hosting provider McColo.

The Post says McColo also hosted child pornography. However, it's still unclear if the hosting firm will be held responsible for the crimes of its clients.

Mark Rasch, a former cyber crime prosecutor for the Justice Department and managing director of FTI Security Consulting in Washington, D.C.,. said Web hosting providers are generally not liable for illegal activity carried out on their networks, except in cases involving copyright violations and... child pornography.

In the case of child pornography, hosting providers could be held criminally liable if they know about it but don't do anything to remove such content from their servers.

Seven years ago, Buff-NET, a large regional service provider in Buffalo, New York pleaded guilty to knowingly providing access to child pornography because the company failed to remove offending Web pages after being alerted to the material.

Rasch added "it's a little bit like a landlord who owns a building and sees people coming in and out of the apartment complex constantly at all hours and not suspecting their may be drug activity going on."

"There are certain things that raise red flags, such as the nature, volume, source and destination of all that Internet traffic that can and should raise red flags. And to have so many third parties looking at the volume and content from this Internet provider saying 'this is outrageous,' clearly the people doing the Web hosting should know that as well," concluded Rasch.

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Source: Tech Blog.

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