Tag Archives: BugMeNot

Bugmenot Shutdown Due to High Traffic, not Threats: Former Host

Claims that pressure from media companies forced the temporary shutdown of the controversial Bugmenot anti-registration site are utterly false, the site’s former hosting company told ClickZ. Bugmenot lets users share user IDs & passwords and therefore bypass compulsory registration at many many popular content sites. The site’s anonymous users had implied that media pressure was behind it going offline last week. But Bugmenot’s former hosting company said that “Nobody approached us, we had no idea what the site even did, nor had we heard of it before.” Brent Oxley, spokesman for Hostgator, said that the heavy traffic to Bugmenot had crashed his hosting company’s Web server multiple times and that is the reason the site was deactivated. Bugmenot has since switched to NearlyFreeSpeech.net, a hosting company in Texas, and reappeared online.

Bugmenot’s owner reportedly says that media company sites that forced registration have begun spidering the bugmenot site to autoblock shared accounts. According to Bugmenot’s site, the motivation behind its service is a philosophical objection to what it believes is a breach of privacy. It says forced registration 9s “contrary to the fundamental spirit of the Net”, and a pointless, annoying waste of time. Between 10,000 and 15,000 unique visitors reportedly use the site daily.


When publishers wants more data about online consumers but many consumers don’t want to disclose data, a technological arms race results. Now that many online publications are requiring that consumers register before reading, it shouldn’t be surprising that some online consumers are developing applications to avoid that. The latest is BugMeNot.com.

This Australian Web site lets consumers anonymously share active usernames and passwords for more than 130 forced-registration sites. “BugMeNot.com was created as a mechanism to quickly bypass the login of websites that require compulsory registration and/or the collection of personal/demographic information (such as the New York Times),” its FAQ declares.

    “Why not just register? It’s a breach of privacy. Sites don’t have a great track record with the whole spam thing. It’s contrary to the fundamental spirit of the net. Just ask Google. It’s pointless due to the significant percentage of users who enter fake demographic details anyway. It’s a waste of time. It’s annoying as hell. Imagine if every site required registration to access content.”

NYTimes.com and LATimes.com are currently the two most popular sites at BugMeNot.com, whose servers are based in the US.