Steadfast Blog

The People vs SOPA

Posted in Tech Politics on December 13th, 2011

At Steadfast Networks we understand all too well how important it is to keep our rights to free speech and expression. As I type this the final revisions to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) are being penned and it's due to go in front of the US House of Representatives within two days. Opposition to this bill have come from every bastion of free speech on the Internet from Facebook to Google, Yahoo to Twitter. Leaders of tech industry and great minds from many fields are speaking out against the greatest threat to our online right to free expression to ever exist. It's important for you to oppose this legislation with us, and here's why: It will not end with the Internet.

Under the guise of stopping online piracy, SOPA will give governmental agencies and copyright holders unprecedented power to limit what you can and cannot access on the Internet. On even the slightest suspicion of copyright or intellectual property infringement an order can come down the wire to limit access to a suspected site up to and including cutting off its ability to generate revenue, barring search engines from listing it, shutting off DNS for the domain or just plain out and out removing it from a server. This applies to any subdomains that may not even be related to the site in question and because SOPA doesn't differentiate subdomains, the potential for collateral damage is mind-bogglingly largeSOPA is dangerous legislation introduced by people who do not grasp technology or the effects their hazardous bill will have.

It will make service providers think twice about the hassle of hosting controversial clients. It will open up the floodgates on frivolous lawsuits and impact how venture capital providers fund startups. The one thing it will likely do absolutely nothing to stop is online piracy, its so-called intended target. And once in place, it isn't a stretch to see controlling interests move to apply it to media. Books. Art. Public speech. Claiming copyright infringement they could shut down avenues of free speech that form the basis of American freedom.

Suffice it to say SOPA needs to be struck down before it can gain any more traction than it already has.

So what can you do?

SPEAK OUT. Blog about it. Talk to anyone that will listen. Contact your representatives. Here are several resources to read more about SOPA and take action:

http://www.americancensorship.org

http://www.tumblr.com/protect-the-net

http://www.twitter.com/eff

http://www.stopcensorship.org

And two petitions to sign:

https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions
(Look for "Stop the E-PARASITE Act")

http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_internet/

We must make our stand and we must make it now. United we stand, Steadfast we'll succeed.

American Censorship Day

Posted in Tech Politics on November 16th, 2011

November 16th is American Censorship Day. It's a day of protest and in opposition to to H.R. 3261, the "Stop Online Piracy Act."


At Steadfast Networks we oppose Internet piracy in any form. We comply with any legitimate takedown requests that we receive and do not tolerate our network being used for illegal purposes. We're sure the spirit of H.R. 3261 is true and if its language and proposals were in line with that we would stand firm behind it.


However that's not the reality of the bill. In reality this bill can and will be used to cripple free speech on the Internet through granting totalitarian rule to governmental agencies giving them the unprecedented ability to remove and restrict access to free speech without any need for proof that a law is being broken.


At present if a client has content on their website that another organization feels infringes on their intellectual property there is a process that the organization follows which results in the disputed content either being removed, or not removed depending on the evidence presented. That much isn't slated to change, however what H.R. 3261 introduces is the ability for government agencies to go so far as to not only force that client's web host to take the site down, but also to prevent that site's owners from conducting business - actually removing their ability to process credit cards and advertising can be cut off.


In essence without any proof whatsoever, a small business can be completely and totally destroyed if there is a dispute over what it features on its website.


Please see this video to see how this legislation can cripple free speech and the Internet.


Steadfast Networks cannot and will not stay quiet in the face of legislation that stands in stark contrast to its fundamental and core belief that free speech is what makes our nation great.


We ask you to stand with us against H.R. 3261 and keep free speech alive on the Internet. For more information, please visit http://americancensorship.org/ and unite with Steadfast Networks and thousands of other organizations to oppose this legislation and those that would impose censorship on our unalienable rights granted by the Constitution.

Contact: Matt Wolff FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Tel. 888-281-9449


Email: matt@steadfast.net


STEADFAST NETWORKS GIVES BACK THIS HOLIDAY SEASON!


Awarding a $1,000 service credit per week to technology companies.


Chicago, IL (PRESS RELEASE) November 7, 2011 – Steadfast Networks, a provider of Chicago dedicated server hosting, colocation hosting, and cloud hosting service provider has announced a sweepstakes designed to reward innovation and foster growth in the startup tech community. Entitled, "Steadfast Gives Back" the contest will solicit submissions from technology startups and nonprofits that would benefit from Steadfast Networks's reliable, flexible hosting environment but have not been able to because of expenses, the downturned economy or other hardships.


Organizations interested in entering can do so via Steadfast Networks' social media initiatives on Facebook and Twitter. They can be found at http://www.facebook.com/steadfastnetworks and http://www.twitter.com/steadfastnet respectively. Submissions should be messaged directly to Steadfast Networks who will then review submissions and begin awarding credits on Cyber Monday, November 28th.


"This is the latest in our ongoing commitment to giving back to the groups that work so hard to push the envelope of progress in technology," says Karl Zimmerman, CEO of Steadfast Networks, "$1,000 toward Steadfast Networks wide array of services will go a long way for so many companies and we're very glad we can help this holiday season."


Small business (those with 500 employees or less) account for around 50 percent of the employment opportunities in the U.S (57.4 million jobs), and firms with 100 employees or less employed 41 million people. During the 2000-2001 fiscal year––the last year statistics were measured––more than 1 million new jobs were created by small businesses. They represent 99.7 percent of all employers and employ half of all private sector employees. Steadfast Networks recognizes the importance of small businesses, startup companies and nonprofits and the major impact they have on the economy.


"The spirit of startup and grassroots technology is alive and well," explains Matt Wolff, Marketing Manager for Steadfast Networks, "many of us come from small business and nonprofit backgrounds so we understand all too well there are always some technology needs that are left unattended to due to budgets being slashed and funding being cut. At Steadfast we're going to give back to these companies and fill that need with a $1,000 credit toward new service."


Customers interested in learning more about Steadfast Networks, the Steadfast Cloud Platform or Steadfast Chicago dedicated servers are encouraged to visit http://www.steadfast.net.


More about Steadfast Networks: Founded in 1998, Steadfast Networks is a provider of Chicago dedicated server hosting, colocation hosting, and cloud hosting service provider that focus on security, reliability, and flexibility. Find Steadfast Networks online at http://www.steadfast.net

Carry us in your pocket!

Posted in Our Customers, Software on October 12th, 2011

Managing your Steadfast Networks Cloud Server? There's an App for that!

Who's that cloud service provider with a BRAND NEW iOS APP? That would be us. We're happy to announce the release of the Steadfast Cloud Controller! It's a feat of engineering and dedication that we're very proud of. What our App does is allow you to control your Cloud server from anywhere in the world. Here's a brief list of overview features:

  • Overview of your entire Cloud installation giving disk usage, memory usage and recent log activity.
  • Virtual Machine control allowing you to startup and shutdown specific VMs in your Cloud.
  • The ability to configure and create new VMs in your Cloud

At the VM level in the App here's a small list of features:

  • Start/stop and configure the VM.
  • See VM info such as memory, CPU and disk size.
  • View logs of recent VM activity
  • Attach and view storage and disks
  • See networking statistics and much, much more.

Check out the below screenshots and go download it today!

Cloud Controller Screenshot 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading and downloading and we'll see you all in the cloud!

The economy has been tough on everyone over the past couple years, but it now seems to have claimed a victim in the hosting industry. From everything I can tell, on September 27 Caro.net (Carolina Internet, Ltd), a Charlotte, North Carolina based Colocation provider, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States Federal Bankruptcy Court, Western District of North Carolina (Case 11-32461). This was discovered in a suit to protect their assets from TW Telecom Holdings, Inc. of which you can see the full documentation here. This issue appears to have stemmed from a $3.2 million judgement against them from tw telecom (TW Telecom Holdings, Inc).

Now, I do not want to encourage Caro.net customers to make emotional decisions and immediately jump ship, as companies often come out of Chapter 11 better and stronger. While this is a shock to the industry, I want to assure our own customers that even with this economy, we still saw strong revenue growth (20%+ annually) and have continued expanding on strong financial footing.

This is a reminder to everyone that you should always have a "Plan B", a disaster recovery plan, as there is a wide array of factors that could cause instability in your hosting platform. If you need help in developing your own disaster recovery plan, please contact us for free consulting.

To clarify, Caronet Managed Hosting, Inc. is not declaring bankruptcy, but their colocation provider/vendor Carolina Internet LTD, owner of the Caro.net domain (according to WHOIS records) is.

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