This is a practice that has been going on for a while now but is just starting to get some attention. Apparently some of these Muslim extremist websites that are touting anti-American sentiments are actually using web hosting infrastructures located here in the United States.
I personally know of at least two other incidents similar to this where websites were being hosted that were in support of Al Qaida. This is something that is very hard to police, but I think that as an industry we should do our best to make sure our clients are all on the up and up. Before any clients gain hosting access onto any of our web servers, my partners and I always take a close look at the project and if there is anything we aren’t sure about we always try to error on the side of caution.
Honestly I hate it that this happened to the Planet, but at the end of the day there really isn’t a whole lot that they can do to prevent it from happening again, especially given the high volume of hosting accounts that they house in their data centers.
(WEB HOST INDUSTRY REVIEW) — After taking credit for a deadly March 25 attack on coalition forces, a Taliban website claiming to be the voice of the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan" was found to be hosted by Texas web host The Planet (www.theplanet.com).
Unbeknownst to the US web host, according to a Washington Post report Wednesday, the militant group used The Planet’s hosting services for more than a year "to rally its followers and keep a running tally of suicide bombings, rocket attacks and raids against US and allied troops." As one of the world’s largest hosting providers, The Planet was unaware of its Taliban connections until a blogger noticed the connection last week and The Planet pulled the plug on it.
Using Free Web Town (www.freewebtown.com), run by Atlanta-based Tulix Systems (www.tulix.com), Tora Bora Front (www.toorabora.com), another Taliban Web site, continues to post regularly about attacks on US-led coalition forces and other inflammatory material.
Such incidents fuel the debate on whether US webhosts should shut down these websites or let them continue to operate, giving US intelligence access to clues about the leadership and structure of terrorist groups. This also reminds web hosts of the importance of being aware of the companies with whom they are dealing.