JotForm.com domain suspended, leaving 500k users in lurch
Thursday, February 16th, 2012
Online web form creator’s main domain name is suspended.
JotForm, a WYSIWYG web form creator with 500,000 registered users, had its main domain name JotForm.com suspended by GoDaddy today.
In a blog post, the company says:
As a part of an ongoing investigation about a content posted in our site, a US government agency has temporarily suspended our jotform.com domain. We are fully cooperating with them, but it is not possible to say when the domain would be unblocked.
The company later clarified that GoDaddy suspended the domain.
The nameserver record for JotForm.com has been changed to:
The company suggests switching URLs from JotForm.com to JotForm.net. An email sent to JotForm customers moments ago suggests changing to JotForm.us.
The company’s explanation has confused and concerned users, judging by the comments to the blog post. Here’s one:
You provide a form service. Your customers do not upload content to your servers and we don’t download content from your servers. So what content could a federal investigative body be looking into? What could be of such import that it would cause them to suspend the domain? Information that was submitted in a form? I don’t think so…
I agree- it makes me really uncomfortable given that the primary data collected by jotform is personal information from our clients… Was jotform being used for data mining?…
Given that JotForm hosts the forms created by users, it’s easy to see how the company could be caught up in an abuse issue. Web forms are often used for phishing, for example.
I have reached out to GoDaddy for comment and will update this story when I hear back.
Here is a comment from Ben Butler, Director of Network Abuse atGoDaddy:
In an effort to make the Internet a better and safer place, Go Daddy has a long history of following established policies designed to address a variety of issues. One of those policies is to readily comply with orders from courts, as well as confirmed official requests from law enforcement agencies.
Unless such request is the subject of a criminal investigation that is required, under statute, to be treated confidentially, Go Daddy promptly notifies its customers of any action taken, and provides the contact information of the law enforcement agency involved. This gives customers an opportunity to address their concerns directly with the agency in question. Our standard policy was followed in the case you mentioned.