Another website succumbed to the reach of the federal government, at least for a couple days. This time it was JotForm, an online service that allows users to create forms for websites and is host to more than two million of these forms. The site was suspended by the U.S. Secret Service due to user-created content according to Aytekin Tank, a co-founder of the company that created JotForm.
"As a part of an ongoing investigation about a [sic] content posted in our site, a US government agency has temporarily suspended our jotform.com domain," Tank wrote in a blog post Wednesday. "We are fully cooperating with them, but it is not possible to say when the domain would be unblocked."
JotForm.com was disabled Wednesday without warning by GoDaddy, the host of the company's domain. GoDaddy cited an ongoing law enforcement investigation, and told Tank to contact the Secret Service. In a Hacker News forum post, Tank said that the agent in charge of the operation was less than helpful. Tank suspects that the issue may have stemmed from a phishing form created with the JotForm service. "Our guess is that this is probably about a phishing form," he wrote in the forum post. "We take phishing very seriously. Our Bayesian phishing filter has suspended 65.000 accounts last year."
Tank reported in an update to his blog post that the suspension was lifted as of 5pm EST on Thursday. While the DNS for JotForm.com began pointing back to the correct names as of Thursday evening, the change was still in the process of propagating and might not load properly for everyone. During the downtime, Tank recommended that users change the form URLs from jotform.com to jotform.net to avoid problems.
"This can happen to any site that allows public [sic] to post content," Tank wrote in his blog post. "SOPA may not have passed, but what happened shows that it is already being practiced. All they have to do is to ask Godaddy to take a site down."
Tank said that his company did not receive any confirmation from GoDaddy or the Secret Service regarding the suspension. He also noted that his company moved its other domains to NameCheap and Hover.