A couple days ago I tried to go to the link cia-on-campus.org and found it no longer was there. Further inquiry found this:
Scroogle, the search engine operated by privacy militant and self-appointed Wikipedia watchdog Daniel Brandt, has folded for real. After enduring DDOS attacks “around the clock” that sent a flood of unsustainable traffic to his servers, Mr. Brandt took down the search engine along with his other four domains, namebase.org, google-watch.org, cia-on-campus.org, and book-grab.com. His theory is that he was being attacked by hackers with a personal vendetta.
“These four domains had also been on the web for a long time — NameBase first went online in 1997, and before that had been available on telnet since 1995. I spent 27 years developing NameBase,” he said in an email, and referred to the Wikipedia page.
“I no longer have any domains online,” Mr. Brandt wrote. “I also took all my domains out of DNS because I want to signal to the criminal element that I have no more servers to trash. This hopefully will ward off further attacks on my previous providers.”
Scroogle was a basic search engine that takes users to their Google results through a circuitous route that masks much of the data Google normally harvests. Google tolerated the site, which had its own nonprofit, and a Google engineer even helped Mr. Brandt get Scroogle whitelisted a few times. But recently, Google started punishing Scroogle severely for queries, choking off access for 90 minutes at a time. Google says it was not targeting Scroogle but that the search engine may have tripped a spam control mechanism.
“Scroogle.org is gone forever,” Mr. Brandt wrote. “Even if all my DDoS problems had never started in December, Scroogle was already getting squeezed from Google’s throttling, and was already dying. It might have lasted another six months if I hadn’t lost seven servers from DDoS, but that’s about all.”
Scroogle.com, formerly a porn site and the cause of some embarrassing NSFW confusion, has also gone off the air.
This is truly truly sad. Daniel Brandt’s early sites including Namebase was an inspiration for my present work. Documenting the secret world of the national security state is a heroic act. Brandt went on to look at the shady world of the internet gatekeepers of Google and Wikipedia. Those sites he hosted were an invaluable source of information, and they are a tragic loss.
I grew up in the days before the internet, and being a young rebel I was a bit of a fanatic in searching for alternative information, whether going to libraries or searching out radical publications, even ordering obscure books and publications by mail. The internet made it easier for all of us, but also made us a little lazy too in gathering alternative information.
Hopefully Brandt or someone else can work on getting those sites back up online. And for those who did the denial of service attacks, hope there is a special place in hell for them.
The sites are back up online! Yeah!!!