It was a free blogging service - until it disappeared, taken down for "violating its terms of service." Hardly unheard of, except that the reasons for Blogetery.com's disappearance were a little more complicated.
Blogetery is hardly a giant of the virtual world. It was run by one man, Alexander Yusupov, out of Toronto, Canada. Yusupov says it hosted tens of thousands of blogs and online forums through the internet service provider BurstNet Technologies of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
On the evening of July 9, employees at BurstNet "received a notice of a critical nature from law enforcement officials," according to a company statement released last weekend.
"It was revealed that a link to terrorist material, including bomb-making instructions and an al-Qaeda 'hit list,' had been posted to the site," the statement said.
BurstNet gave no further details about the material, but a source familiar with the case says it was a link to the new online al Qaeda magazine "Inspire," which includes death threats against several American citizens as well as an illustrated guide to bomb-making and other jihadist articles.
BurstNet says it immediately terminated service "due to this violation and the fact that the site had a history of previous abuse."
Joe Marr, BurstNet's chief technology officer, says the decision was very much the company's own. It was not ordered to do so, but the request for information from the FBI triggered a federal law that allows internet service providers to voluntarily disclose information in some circumstances and take action against sites they host.
That law specifically allows a provider to pass information to authorities if it "in good faith, believes that an emergency involving danger of death or serious physical injury to any person requires disclosure without delay of information relating to the emergency."
The FBI wouldn't comment on the case.
Yusupov told CNN in a telephone interview that he had received no notice or explanation from BurstNet for its action. He said he returned from a camping trip July 12 to discover that his server had been terminated. When he complained on the site webhostingtalk.com, BurstNet responded on the same forum, saying: "We cannot give him his data nor can we provide any other details. By stating this, most would recognize that something serious is afoot."
Marr told CNN in a phone interview Wednesday that Yusupov had received five warnings about content in the past few months, mainly concerning copyright violations. But he had not responded to three of those notices within the stipulated 24 hours, and Blogetery had previously been suspended for several days.
Yusupov denied that, saying he had almost always handled such notices within 24 hours of receiving them. "I always handle such abuse reports within 24 hours and remove such material. No hosting illegal material, no spamming, noting [sic] illegal," he wrote on webhostingtalk.com.
Yusupov says he had backed up some of the blogging site's data, but not all. He said he was trying to negotiate with BurstNet to get the data so he could restart the blogging site, but until he retrieved the data, he was in limbo. He said several Blogetery users had contacted him to complain that their content was no longer accessible. One urged him to "ask very specifically for an incident number and jurisdiction of the incident as documentary proof that they were justified in shutting down the server."
The case has caused much discussion among website hosts, with one - Mika Epstein of Chicago, Illinois - writing that part of the job was checking for terrorist propaganda and other questionable material. She has this advice: "If you can't keep tabs on your site and your visitors, you can't stay here."
If there is another infringement, "I close their account, refund them what's left on their time, and offer to give them a copy of their site and database, intact" she writes.
In the case of Blogetery, thousands of bloggers were caught in the middle of a dispute between their host and BurstNet, and - as of now - have no access to their content.