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aboutus.org - another bitacle type blog scraper

  1. another freaky website (aboutus.org) http://spoken-for.org/archives/2006/09/24/1687/
    blog scrapers with “wiki website” pages listing blogger addresses and phone numbers along with Google maps to their homes;
    scraped images of website headers also put on the unauthorized pages of scraped blog content;
    check it out try aboutus.org/yourwebsite.tld and see what comes up - maybe you'll find your blog has already been scraped
    informatio on the bot http://www.aboutus.org/AboutUsBot

  2. Yes, I mentioned this one yesterday - I found it when doing a search on Bitacle. Did a search on both Bitacle and AboutUs and nothing coming up on my blog which is good. I shall keep an eye on them though.

  3. I dunno about the US, but that definitely breaks Canadian privacy and stalking laws. It's totally illegal.

  4. AboutUs: "blogger addresses and phone numbers along with Google maps to their homes"
    "breaks Canadian privacy and stalking laws. It's totally illegal."

    What will either of you do about it?

    There is a new US federal law, re: annoying another, that Congress passed, with origin to get protection for themselves, from mass mailing/calls intrusion. Can that law be used on Bitacle or AboutUs?

    No one seems to have mentioned: can anything be done about the dot org (in URL) designation --meant for non-profits, ngos, not for commercial sites. How about WP filing complaint with Euro equivalent of domain registration head?

  5. I'm not listed, so I have no legal basis to make a complaint. If a Canadian finds that they are listed, they can report them to the RCMP, who have a division to deal with online violations, and who are under a lot of pressure to be more active because of the Kimveer Gill failure of that unit.

  6. @rc - Would you believe that Matt's details complete with map to his address is also on this awful site? And they take all the info from WhoIs and it's all there framed... so if you have a registered domain/s - they use all the information there - inlcluding home address and telephone number, plus the pages for your site - and anyone can edit them. Gross.

    They say that the info is already available with a Third party so that seems to make it alright for them to steal it. I happen to have a domain and I emailed [email redacted] and asked him to remove my information. I also told him I thought this was an invasion of my privacy, being used without my permission and should be removed at once. He said he scrubbed the page so I will check it today and see if it's true. I also
    went in and modified my Whois info.

    And, I will consider reporting him if the violations continue - I will inform him first though. There is info on how to stop the Aboutus Bot from updating your pages, but it wasn't a quick read for me - so I just emailed him. Anyone with a domain should check - it's probably listed with Aboutus .org.

  7. Folks, it's a wiki. That means you can edit it yourself.

    Also please note that they're not mirroring your content and displaying it as their own. All the information that they list is publicly available as WHOIS records.

    edit: Opt out.

  8. It's still illegal to connect a pseudonymous blog with a name and address in Canada, even if WhoIS has the info. It's a violation of the new Privacy Act.

    But good to see it's editable. Thanks for that.

  9. @drmike - I know it is a wiki. That may mean that I can edit my own pages. It also means that they are excerpting from my website - without my permission, using my domain as their header, and allowing others to edit my pages on that wiki. That is wrong. It is open to abuse and vandalism, leaving the onus on ME to police it. And because they are a wiki does that mean they have the right to link and display my WhoIs info on their wiki? I think not.

  10. Actually yes, they can display Whois information. Free access to Whois information is a requirement under the ICANN rules. Whois is public information.

    Excerpting from a source is also allowed. It's called fair use.

    They give you an optout procedure. May I suggest that you use it and politely contact the site and ask that your information be removed?

    If you feel that it's a violation of a law, may I suggest that you take action instead of complaining about it? I also like to remind you that since they're in another country, Canadian law wouldn't be taken into account. (Any internet lawyer would tell you that. Heck, the author of User Friendly could tell you that. He did three panels on it last week about that spammer who sued an British ISP here in the US.) It's the law of the country that this site resides in.

  11. Thanks for all the info drmike. You are correct, of course, but it sure is hard to swallow. The bloggers of the world will now have to spend their valuable writing time opting out of wikis and other parastic sites that they didn't want their content to appear in, in the first place. And that SUCKS.

  12. Excuse me, Dr Mike but what are you talking about? If I have offended you in some way please say so, rather than telling me "to take action and not to complain about it". I was not complaining about it: certainly not to you. I was merely stating (in reference to your post) that I understood what a wiki was and that it allows others to edit material not just me, plus the fact that it publishes Whois information. If you cared to read my preceding post, I already said that I sent an email to the site in question to scrub my information, and that I will take further action if I feel it is appropriate. So your tone in your last post is beyond me.

    If I'm incorrect in thinking or stating a particular fact there are better ways of saying it.

    uneless I have completely misunderstood it this whole thread was about one big complaint about Bitacle And Aboutus.org.

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