Orgoo’s service down for over a month because of their user’s actions

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Mohtashim discovered that Orgoo’s website was down. On further inquiry turns out that the email and video-chat service has been down for over a month now. The only explanation on the net about this is the following email from their CEO:

We’ve received a large number of emails from our users asking when Orgoo will be back online. I apologize that we have been down as long as we have, and that it has taken so long to let you know why.

The issue is that someone used Orgoo’s video chat to allegedly display illegal content. While an intermediary such as Orgoo is not liable for user-generated content, the company that hosts our service has decided to take Orgoo down and is refusing to release our data. Their actions are egregious and we are aggressively doing what we can to force the return of our data so we can put Orgoo back online as soon as possible.

Please send me with your Orgoo email address so we can match it with your alternative email address. Once Orgoo is back online I will be sending an email notifying all account holders. We value our users and hope that you continue to support Orgoo.
We deeply regret the inconvenience.


Michael Kantor
Orgoo, Inc

That email was sent about a month ago when the site had been down for a week or two.

There’s a lot of interesting questions this raises – as Michael says, Orgoo is an intermediary service between two end-users and thus cannot be liable for its users’ actions, but what I dont fully understand is why the ISP or hosting partner is making a decision in the matter. What’s worse, why are they not releasing orgoo’s data back to them…. they should have the right to get hte data sans the offensive / illegal part, and put in greater content filters before re-releasing their service. Somehow I get the feeling this isnt the full picture here.

After initially sympathizing with Orgoo though, I wonder what – if anything – they can do in the future to avoid these problems. How far does an email service go to monitor user activity that doesnt violate user privacy but yet allows for regulation of illegal activity or activity that could a threat to national security as an example.

What’s more, its been over a month now that the service has been down – I cant imagine what deadlock exists with their hosting partner that cannot or hasnt been resolved in a few meetings.

And why didnt Orgoo have any local backups on their hard-drives that they could boot up on another host? Say the service went down today – couldn’t I load up last nights backup in another email, and ask users to tolerate one day’s lost data for a while? Didnt they have any backups at all, considering an ISP shutting them down has effectively shut down their whole business?

Like I said, there seems to be more to this story than is evident here. It would be good to have anyone with more info share it with the readers here.

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  • I have also had an experience like this with my hosting company. I had posted a story from Christian Science Monitor about the UN Interfaith Dialogue. CSM notified my hosting partner, not us, of a Digital Content Violation and the hosting company took my entire blog down and notified me.

    Our hosting company was more interactive in that they gave us immediately access to the blog and the data to remove the information that CSM felt was a copyright breach, which I still don’t believe was. Within a few hours the whole blog was back up and live.

    The hosting company, by law, must give you access to the data to remove the objectionable content. If you are not willing to remove the content, then the site can be frozen indefinately. If you are willing to remove it and your hosting partner is cooperative, it can be restored immediately for the data owner to remove the information in question.

    My 2 cents.

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