Martha Coakley WTF Pwnz My Server!

by Mike Chiasson on May 20, 2010 · 8 comments

Today I did my usual routine, I get up, go get ready for work, eat breakfast, go to work. Now today I was kind of in a rush and had to hustle into work. Once I got into work we had an all employee meeting and then I was all busy with random tasks to take care of but noticed I got an email on my phone from a friend of mine who’s site I host. He says ‘Sites Down?’ and I was a little surprised. Now many of you remember my post about getting a dedicated server. Now the company I went with was this little company called Volsh that I seen on Wicked Fire forums. Volsh is really a hosting reseller for this other company. I could probably shave a few bucks by going direct with the other company but whatever, I am lazy.

Anyways I’ve had a few good things and a few bad things to say. One Volsh is 200% lying about their guaranteed 24x7x365 support. EVERY single time I have had a problem, which all times it was something on their end, their live chat was either offline or had one of the guy’s wifes sitting in front of a PC and she literally told me ‘Sorry not much I can do for you, call back in a few.’ Today when I experiemced a problem no one was answering their phone, no one was responding to support tickets, just a total f’n mess. I was pissed off the last time I had an outage with these guys and they couldn’t be reached and this time I was even more pissed. In their defense my server is CHEAP as fuck. The price of a Quad Core Intel chip with 4GB of Ram, 250GB drive, DirectAdmin panel is only $150 a month with 4TB of bandwidth. This similar setup was $250+ at ThePlanet and $410 at Rackspace. Secondly the server is blazing fast, waaay faster than my shared hosting (note this blog is still on shared hosting).

Martha Coakley Pwnz my ServerSo back to the problem. I am getting no support and eventually email James, the president of Volsh, after 6+ hours of downtime. James calls me up like an hour later, apologizes like crazy saying that his support guy must’ve decided to take a half day while he was gone or something. Who cares, not my fault, not the first time their promised support has been no where to be seen. Anyways, James tells me that he was looking for a while to find what the problem was and eventually found that one of their techs took my entire dedicated server offline because they got a cease and desist letter from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. This raised several points of concern to me.

1.) How the fuck did Attorney General Martha Coakley and her minions of clowns find my host? The domain in question was a private registration and the server stats point to Volsh’s parent data center Turnkey Internet Inc. Now when I wanted to get some answers and Volsh was no where to be found, I called up Turnkey and they basically told me like 30 times that there is nothing they can do, I have to deal with my reseller. They cried and cried about how they would get fired or sued if they went to check a box for me that they were leasing, blah blah blah, I get it. So then how the hell did the AG’s office get in touch with Volsh if this is the case? Volsh is from my understanding, invisible here, unless those rat bastards at Turnkey turned me in! Which apparently means I should sue them?!?

2.) Why didn’t they email my proxy contact email with a cease and desist? I have in the past received comments from people trying to get in contact with me requesting permission to repost things, questions, etc. They simply fill out the proxy email that then forwards their questions to your real address without revealing you. So what gives the AG any special power to skip the norm of contacting the webmaster and went straight to a host.

3.) Was I in violation of the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act)? I registered the domain on the recommendation of an Indian friend of mine who is a sales person for an Indian SEO group. I then paid them to come up with copy. The site site essentiallys looks like a two page domain that is similar to a state’s website, please note it wasn’t a .gov site, just a state sponsored .com site. The site had several references to their actual domain if people were looking for it. Obviously the site I had constructed used likeness to the state’s site, I should have actually looked at the finished product but it was such a small task I just kind of assumed it was all set from the guys I paid to do it. I don’t know enough about copyright to know how much of a likeness or reference is allowed so I scrapped the site as soon as they called me, I really wasn’t looking to get into any trouble.

4.) Why the hell did my host shut my box down instead of calling me? First rule of etiquette is call your client before shutting them down right? I might say ‘fuck you they stole this content from me’ or I would’ve probably gone ‘OK I will change the page immediately.’ Either way I now know that if anyone called my host and said ‘Shut Mike down now!’ my host would probably respond immediately ‘OK RANDOM STRANGER HAVE A GREAT DAY!’ Honestly! What if I called up using spoof card to cover my number and just pretended to be something. That’s why most GOOD providers, request written proof, etc.

So here I am asking these questions and I reached out to a friend who actually had a copy of a cease and desist from the attorney general’s office from a southern state with almost identical ‘infringements’ as mine. It was a very generic one similar to what I had seen in the past. You basically get it and take down the site, and no one bothers you anymore.I’ve never had anyone go to my host to complain. When I told my friend about this he immediately started telling me to ditch my host because they are lying.

This comment puts me in a real debate. Is Volsh just that shitty that they make outrageous lies to cover up their horrible support? Or is Martha Coakley really hunting me down like a rebel gun seller?!? I really don’t have any idea but I am pretty pissed at both of them! I can’t really leave MA and ditch Coakley’s reign but I sure can and probably will ditch Volsh.

About the author

Mike Chiasson Mike Chiasson is the Director of IT for a publicly traded company by day and an Internet Marketer by night. He absolutely hates the words 'serial entrepreneur' but loves discussions about business. You can follow him on Twitter.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Profit Addiction May 20, 2010 at 10:57 am

That's crazy man… I'd be pissed if the host killed my server.

Hope you get it resolved :-/

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NegBox May 20, 2010 at 10:41 pm

Now you know why I was so hell-bent on my posts about having an offshore host for my doomsday project – Launched it on Wednesday – so far the world is pretty safe.

I'd ask Volsh to send me a pic or something of the letter, out of curiosity, really.

Not sure how I would react to this one. The further you place the hosting, the greater the latency. One point to keep in mind is that if you do go with an offshore company, make sure their datacenter is where you think it is – tons of overseas resellers are hosted back where the sharks swim. Check out gandi.net – 100% France, not a reseller, and they've been at it for a really long time.

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Mike Chiasson May 21, 2010 at 8:11 am

Thanks for the ideas guys. I don't think they actually recevied a letter, they said it was a call….which is surprising because when ever I try calling no one answers the phone lol.

Slave, I still need to know what this doomsday project is all about. I want to protect all my base from belonging to you as it launches!

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Slave Rat May 25, 2010 at 12:44 am

Mike, all your base already belong to us… You just don't know it yet.

Realistically: I doubt you have anything to worry about – you're not the incumbent in the SEO niche I went into with that. And if my past record is anything to go by, 'Rainy Tuesday' is a name more apt than 'Doomsday'.

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Derek June 7, 2010 at 9:53 am

Man, you are right. sounds like BS. Step 4, as soon as letter is received, most hosts don't contact you, they just pull the plug. But I think you are right, no letter was ever received.

That's why I keep a copy of all my work locally on my computer, just incase something like that would happen.

I hope mikechiasson.com doesn't go offline…

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Josh June 7, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Dude, money aside its time to get a new host.

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Mike June 8, 2010 at 5:44 am

Agreed. Look for my upcoming post, I jumped ship and got slightly less of a server with a TON of better addons for a little bit more.

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ctrtard March 7, 2011 at 4:22 am

Something similar happened to me at Storm on demand. I posted about it on ppv playbook forum.

Storm shut down my vps without even an email or phone call and locked me out of my account. This all started with a dmca complaint and turned into a witch hunt.

Like you pointed out, random stranger complains and the drop the ban hammer no questions asked. A really moronic way to do business. Sooner or later competitors are going to start sending false complaints to eachother.

As for how they found you, they used the ip. Based on an ip you can do an Arin database lookup. Often times you will see the resellers contact info in there. Even if they don't, the main network contact is. Those guys will not want to lift a finger… as far as they are concerned, the reseller is responsible for their clients, so they will give out the reseller contact info immediately to whomever asks.

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