HostDime, SoftLayer, et al, Need to be Federally Bitch-Slapped For Violating Syrian Sanctions

Friday, November 30, 2012

Jeffrey Carr


When the New York Times released its story that some of the Syrian government's websites were hosted outside of Syria, I wasn't surprised to see SoftLayer Technologies as one of the hosts. They are also the company that hosted, the Russian forum which coordinated many of the cyber attacks against Georgian government websites during the Russia Georgia war (2008).


Other U.S. ISPs in addition to SoftLayer who are hosting Syrian government websites in violation of an Executive Order by President Obama (EO 13582) are,, 383Inc., HopOne, Net2EZ, Tiggee, and PEER 1. Of those seven, HostDime and Softlayer are consistently among the world's 50 worst hosts for serving malicious content.


Furthermore, this isn't the first time that Softlayer and the other offending ISPs learned of their violation of EO 13582. CitizenLab first created their report The Canadian Connection: An investigation of Syrian government and Hezbullah web hosting in Canada in November 2011. A blog posting by shows that SoftLayer didn't respond to their inquiry back then and still hasn't. A spokesperson for HostDime responded on the HostJury blog last November by saying "We are currently aware of all OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) rules and regulations and continue to comply and monitor to the best of our ability." Since they have continued to hosting a Syrian government website (MOW.GOV.SY) more than a year ago and have done nothing about it, they and the other ISPs involved are knowingly in violation of EO 13582.


In my opinion, these ISPs need to be federally frak-slapped for this. I hope that one or more of my federal government readers takes the hint and sets a much-needed example with HostDime, SoftLayer and the others.

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