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  1. #1
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    My site has been banned by the government!

    Link to the DOT and FAA Site
    Earlier today, as I made a google search for my name I uncovered something interesting: Xshare.org is banned from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and DOT (Department of Transportation) networks. Upon investigation, it seems they think that Xshare.org is a P2P application, perhaps because in the past (~2001) the site was a review site that reviewed some P2P apps, without any download links or anything. Under that logic, they should ban CNN, Cnet, ZDNet, PC World, PC Magazine, and just about everything else, but no, they think that Xshare.org is a P2P application. So of course, I decided to write them a letter, and am asking for your input. Perhaps someone can help me out here with the wording, what to include, what not to include, etc. Without further ado, here it is:
    Dear Mr. Lee,
    My site is listed as a File Sharing Protocol that is banned by the FAA, on the FAA CIO Website. This, however, is not the case. My name is Royi Hagigi, and I run a logo design service at Xshare.org. A search for my domain on a variety of search engines yields results by the FAA and DOT that say that my site is a P2P protocol banned by the Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration as a result of US Senate Directive S10-030624-002, dated Jun 20, 2003. While it is true that during portions of 2001 my site was a review site for a variety of Peer To Peer programs, this hasn't been the case in over 2 years (This document was drafted in 2003). Even if it was the case, the senate directive banned P2P applications, and Xshare.org is listed as a commonly used P2P application. This, however, was NEVER the case. Xshare.org has never offered or facilitated any usage of illegal software. Even during the short time that Xshare.org offered reviews of P2P programs, never did we ever host said programs on our servers. By that logic, you would be right to ban PC Magazine, PC World, CNet, and a host of other computer oriented mediums which have ever reviewed a P2P application. I digress though, and the issue at hand is that my site is not (and has not been in over 2 years) a P2P application. Its inclusion on the list of banned applications (by the government, no less) has the potential to negatively impact my sales and credibility as a logo design service. I strongly request that Xshare.org be removed from the list of "better-known P2P applications" available at http://www.faa.gov/aio/common/documents.htm#ais-docs.

    Thank you for your cooperation,
    Royi <<snipped>>
    Xshare.org
    So... ideas, comments, suggestions?
    Last edited by anon-e-mouse; 06-01-2009 at 09:28 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Well, I just hope your letter to them works out, Royi. Good luck.
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  3. #3
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    yup good luck, its these foolish officials banning sites left and right.
    I wonder if they even went to your site before.

  4. #4
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    So... ideas, comments, suggestions?
    Well... I had a hard time reading through it. My basic suggestion would be to break that into three or four paragraphs.

    Once you do that, I'll be able to read it and possibly give some more detailed feedback.
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  5. #5
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    Well, I can't edit (it's been 15 mins, so here's a revised edition for you, Jay.
    Dear Mr. Lee,
    My site is listed as a File Sharing Protocol that is banned by the FAA, on the FAA CIO Website. This, however, is not the case.

    My name is Royi Hagigi, and I run a logo design service at Xshare.org. A search for my domain on a variety of search engines yields results by the FAA and DOT that say that my site is a P2P protocol banned by the Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration as a result of US Senate Directive S10-030624-002, dated Jun 20, 2003.

    While it is true that during portions of 2001 my site was a review site for a variety of Peer To Peer programs, this hasn't been the case in over 2 years (This document was drafted in 2003). Even if it was the case, the senate directive banned P2P applications, and Xshare.org is listed as a commonly used P2P application. This, however, was NEVER the case. Xshare.org has never offered or facilitated any usage of illegal software. Even during the short time that Xshare.org offered reviews of P2P programs, never did we ever host said programs on our servers. By that logic, you would be right to ban PC Magazine, PC World, CNet, and a host of other computer oriented mediums which have ever reviewed a P2P application.

    I digress though, and the issue at hand is that Xshare.org is not (and has not been in over 2 years) a P2P application. Its inclusion on the list of banned applications (by the government, no less) has the potential to negatively impact my sales and credibility as a logo design service. I strongly request that Xshare.org be removed from the list of "better-known P2P applications" available at http://www.faa.gov/aio/common/documents.htm#ais-docs.

    Thank you for your cooperation,
    Royi <<snipped>>
    Xshare.org
    Better?
    Last edited by anon-e-mouse; 06-01-2009 at 09:29 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Much better Xshare.

  7. #7
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    Good Luck X!!!!

    The Dude

  8. #8
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    Originally posted by Xshare
    Better?
    Seems pretty clear.

    I'd consider removing the "By that logic..." sentence; either completely or by replacing it with something like "Many well-known computer-oriented media sites have, as xshare.org once did, offer consumer reviews of P2P applications. That alone does not constitute cause for banning a site."

    Also...

    "Xshare.org has never offered or facilitated any usage of illegal software. Even during the short time that Xshare.org offered reviews of P2P programs, never did we [you have an extra "ever" right here]host said programs on our servers.

    I'd also drop the "I digress..." statement and the "by the government, no less," perhaps going simply with a direct:

    "Xshare.org is not (and has never been) a P2P application. Its inclusion on the list of banned applications has the potential to negatively impact my sales and credibility as a logo design service. I strongly request that Xshare.org be removed from the list of "better-known P2P applications" available at http://www.faa.gov/aio/common/documents.htm#ais-docs"
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  9. #9
    May I suggest requesting or even demanding compensation? This is definately bound to effect your sales, like you said.

    The government and these stupid officials that think they know everything, but obviously know nothing about anything, and probably didn't even visit your site should learn to investigate before banning your site.

    Good luck, I hope it all works out for you.

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  10. #10
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    Originally posted by 4 Degrees
    May I suggest requesting or even demanding compensation?
    And waste more taxpayer money than the Bush administration already did? I think not.
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  11. #11
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    I agree with 4 degrees, hell if some 15 year old punk kid can sue microsoft and get a free domain, xbox, microsoft software bundle, even a job for having their name, think of the number you could do on the government!
    - 7de5igns

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by 7de5igns
    I agree with 4 degrees, hell if some 15 year old punk kid can sue microsoft and get a free domain, xbox, microsoft software bundle, even a job for having their name, think of the number you could do on the government!
    Too bad I am a 15 year old punk kid.
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  13. #13
    I have yet to come across a good government. I am abit of an anarchist, I like to keep out of everything to do with the government, including police, all authority and so on.

    It's obviously entirely upto you what you do, but I know for a fact if my site was banned, I would sue them.

    The 'law' works both ways, make them a victim of their own system!!

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  14. #14
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    Revised as per JayC's ideas:
    Dear Mr. Lee,
    My site is listed as a File Sharing Protocol that is banned by the FAA, on the FAA CIO Website. This, however, is not the case.

    My name is Royi Hagigi, and I run a logo design service at Xshare.org. A search for my domain on a variety of search engines yields results by the FAA and DOT that say that my site is a P2P protocol banned by the Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration as a result of US Senate Directive S10-030624-002, dated Jun 20, 2003.

    While it is true that during portions of 2001 my site was a review site for a variety of Peer To Peer programs, this hasn't been the case in over 2 years (This document was drafted in 2003). Even if it was the case, the senate directive banned P2P applications, and Xshare.org is listed as a commonly used P2P application. This, however, was NEVER the case. Xshare.org has never offered or facilitated any usage of illegal software. Even during the short time that Xshare.org offered reviews of P2P programs, never did we host said programs on our servers. Many well-known computer-oriented media sites have, as xshare.org once did, offer consumer reviews of P2P applications. That alone does not constitute cause for banning a site.

    Xshare.org is not (and has not been in over 2 years) a P2P application. Its inclusion on the list of banned applications (by the government, no less) has the potential to negatively impact my sales and credibility as a logo design service. I strongly request that Xshare.org be removed from the list of "better-known P2P applications" available at http://www.faa.gov/aio/common/documents.htm#ais-docs.

    Thank you for your cooperation,
    Royi <<snipped>>
    Xshare.org
    Anyone else have ideas? I have obtained the number I can call, or I can email it. Which one do you all recommend?
    Last edited by anon-e-mouse; 06-01-2009 at 09:29 PM.
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  15. #15
    I have been talking to a colleuge of mine, and he seems to think that this will go a lot further if you get a legal aid or something like it behind you.

    He said that if you submit the letter to your local MP first, and other MP's, that this will most likely go a lot further. You being a sole trader, they most likely will just ignore the letter.

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  16. #16
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    Originally posted by 4 Degrees
    I have been talking to a colleuge of mine, and he seems to think that this will go a lot further if you get a legal aid or something like it behind you.

    He said that if you submit the letter to your local MP first, and other MP's, that this will most likely go a lot further. You being a sole trader, they most likely will just ignore the letter.

    Regards,
    Paul B. Riddick
    Lol - Location: Atlanta, GA - He wont have a local Member Of Parliament
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  17. #17
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    I would have a member of congress, but it wouldn't really help much to contact them.
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  18. #18
    Oh, nevermind, local ummm government people? lol maybe try your state government (Not sure what they're called) before taking it to the FAA.

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  19. #19
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    I think I'm just going to go straight to the source and either call them or email them. I don't know which though. Email probably won't generate a response, as they get hundreds a day. However I'm afraid that if I call, it won't be as professional as in the email. I can be much more articulate in my writing than in my speech.
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  20. #20
    Why not just create a formal business letter and send it in certified? It'll only cost you a few extra bucks, but will be handled professionally.
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  21. #21
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    Originally posted by Xshare
    I have obtained the number I can call, or I can email it. Which one do you all recommend?
    Either way, dont shout.

    If you email, I'd drop NEVER back down to never in "This, however, was NEVER the case." Uppercase implies shouting, and that never gets you anywhere in a hurry.

    Gary

  22. #22
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    Originally posted by AussieHosts
    Either way, dont shout.

    If you email, I'd drop NEVER back down to never in "This, however, was NEVER the case." Uppercase implies shouting, and that never gets you anywhere in a hurry.

    Gary
    Will change that, if I email. And if I call, well.... I don't think I'm capable of shouting.
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  23. #23
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    Re: My site has been banned by the government!

    Originally posted by Xshare
    My site has been banned by the government!
    Free Publicity! If your site is not illegal or a P2P, let them link to you.

    It would be a great marketing gimick. Banned by DOT - FAA - Great credentials for selling a new product.

    Like those dumb banned cd's on Ebay ::



    Many buy them just for curiosity

    Seriously though, write them again if you do not want that type of image on your site XShare.org.

    If the sites not popular, just register a new domain and start your site there and keep this one just for the credentials

    Banned by FAA and DOT ::: LOL
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  24. #24
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    The DOT, and therefore the FAA forbid all Peer-to-Peer (P2P) usage within their combined networks. ...This list...represents an example of some of the more common ones available.
    What's the point? They don't want any P2P in their networks...they aren't saying your software is illegal or that you guys host software. They dont want such applications using up their network resources, or their employees trading files -- legal or illegal. In addition, the list is under "INFORMATION SECURITY" suggesting the attempt to close internal information leaks...it does not suggest copyright violation.

    Get over it.

  25. #25
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    Originally posted by ToaD
    What's the point? They don't want any P2P in their networks...they aren't saying your software is illegal or that you guys host software. They dont want such applications using up their network resources, or their employees trading files -- legal or illegal. In addition, the list is under "INFORMATION SECURITY" suggesting the attempt to close internal information leaks...it does not suggest copyright violation.

    Get over it.
    Uh... he has no software, P2P or otherwise (xshare.org is a logo design site), and isn't saying anything about copyright violation.

    So... what's the point? I guess it's that you didn't read his post.
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  26. #26
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    haha aww man that blows sry to here man

    at least u know your site is out in the world and that the young people goto the site.

    i hope all gos well let us know any news that come in.

    theres alot of sites on that list i havent seen before some of them are kinda cool.

  27. #27
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    To be completely honest, why do you care? I doubt any of the said government organizations will be going to browse your site in the first place. It just basically means that computers connected to those networks won't be able to access your site. I doubt they would be prospective clients for your services. Sorry if I seem a big negative, but I personally do not see the payoff in submitting a letter that may not even be replied to.

    As far as demanding or suggesting compensation, it would not hold up in court for a plethora of reasons. One of those reasons is the simple fact that they have the discretion to block any sites they deem necessary on their computer networks. They are not trying to shut your site down nor are they trying to regulate the internet. Just like schools filter out perfectly reasonable sites, these government departments have every right to filter whatever sites they deem necessary.

    I do hold a bias as I have worked for a government department before, but this is my opinion. If you so desire to pursue this matter, I would definitely suggest that your letter be written professionally with no 'pointing fingers' and simply state that you feel your site should be unblocked on those networks.

    Best of luck to you on it though. I sincerely hope the issue is met with your satisfaction.

  28. #28
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    Originally posted by Velostream
    To be completely honest, why do you care? I doubt any of the said government organizations will be going to browse your site in the first place. It just basically means that computers connected to those networks won't be able to access your site. I doubt they would be prospective clients for your services. Sorry if I seem a big negative, but I personally do not see the payoff in submitting a letter that may not even be replied to.

    As far as demanding or suggesting compensation, it would not hold up in court for a plethora of reasons. One of those reasons is the simple fact that they have the discretion to block any sites they deem necessary on their computer networks. They are not trying to shut your site down nor are they trying to regulate the internet. Just like schools filter out perfectly reasonable sites, these government departments have every right to filter whatever sites they deem necessary.

    I do hold a bias as I have worked for a government department before, but this is my opinion. If you so desire to pursue this matter, I would definitely suggest that your letter be written professionally with no 'pointing fingers' and simply state that you feel your site should be unblocked on those networks.

    Best of luck to you on it though. I sincerely hope the issue is met with your satisfaction.
    I agree, on some points. I will not be taking this to court, nor will I be requesting compensation. I just want my site off of there.
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  29. #29
    Velostream, you make some good points, but things like that can give someone a bad rep. Look at the community at WHT. There are alot of other communities like this about different subjects that Xshare might not be apart of to defend himself. If someone posts asking for a review etc.. And that shows up would YOU do business with a site that was banned by the DOT and FAA ?
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  30. #30
    Trifolic, I agree with you completely, this has basically ruined the name Xshare as a company name. Even if he opened a new site, and even mentioned Xshare, this could potentially lose new clients to.

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  31. #31
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    Velostream, agreed. Heck xshare if you want to sue someone for compensation, sue the person who thought putting your competitors on the front page in the form of googleads was a good idea.

    Chet

  32. #32
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    I don't want to sue anybody for anything! All I want is my site off of the list. I don't want any compensation. That site is my portfolio site. It's not a full-fledged business, and as such, I put google-ads. Hell, I probably get more money from those than I do from logo sales. Either way, you're still right about the google ads, and I will remove them soon.

    EDIT> I've sent the email, so we'll see what happens. I may also call them later.
    Last edited by Xshare; 03-19-2004 at 04:29 PM.
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  33. #33
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    Originally posted by 4 Degrees
    May I suggest requesting or even demanding compensation?
    It's their network. Right or wrong, they can ban whatever they want.

    -B
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  34. #34
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    I work under DoD and we also block your site. Your email will probably be forwarded to a firewall admin and he will basicly say its his network and he has the right to filter what he sees neccesary. I also am a firewall admin and we would basicly shoot your email down with a similar reply. So don't get your hopes up on having that site removed unless you know someone in upper management of the IA(information assurance) dept. Once something is blacklisted and blocked at govt firewalls, it usually would take an act of god to get it off that list.

  35. #35
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    Genlee, I'll keep that in mind, but can you tell me how in gods name they would ban my site without so much as checking it? I sent the email, and I recieved the return-reciept that it was read, but haven't gotten a response.

    PS: You checked, and my site is actually banned from the Department of Defence network as well? That's amazing, the variety of people we have here at WHT. You wouldn't happen to have any tips for me for getting it off the list, would you?
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  36. #36
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    Just doing a search for xshare and p2p brings plenty of links up with your domain in it which is why it is probably banned. Your best bet is to contact someone in their IA dept but I don't know if that would be possible using the general contact email for them or the public number. You could try to email [email protected]. That is the contact email for their ip and maybe they could direct you into the right direction. You will probably deal with very arrogant admins as well so don't try to piss any of them off but don't let them walk all over you as well.

  37. #37
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    Those links however, are from over 3 years ago, during which Xshare wasn't even a P2P application, just had some reviews, not unlike CNet, ZDNet, and many other publications.

    Thanks alot for the help, I'll try to email that address. I appreciate it very much.
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