JotForm, the online form creation website used by millions of people around the world, was taken down for a brief time last week as the result of joint action between the US Secret Service and GoDaddy. The action was part of an investigation into Internet fraud being conducted by the Secret Service. GoDaddy was involved because it provides registrar services for JotForm.
While the action may seem innocuous, some are criticizing GoDaddy for their actions in light of the fact that they complied with the Secret Service without a court order. Typically when no court order is issued a web host provider stands behind its customers unless there is ample evidence to suggest otherwise. GoDaddy is already in hot water with some of its customers for supporting both SOPA and PIPA. This latest action by the company only serves to reinforce the belief that Internet freedom may be under assault in the future.
JotForm officials claim their company is innocent of any activity the Secret Service has linked them to. However, they did concede that a phishing attack launched by someone who used JotForm may have been behind the investigation. In the past Job Form has eliminated tens of thousands of phishing forms and the accounts associated with them, though officials claim it’s impossible an unrealistic to expect them to identify and kill each one.
As for GoDaddy, domain registrar Ars Technica maintains their action was taken to prevent attacks against any of GoDaddy’s current customers. By late last Friday (17 February 2012) the issues had been resolved and JotForm was back up and running.