Nothing is impossible. Nothing is out of reach. That's the lesson we take away from today, boys and girls (and men and women). Not long after we switched to Gazelle, and instituted the request bounty system, a request popped up for Microsoft COFEE — a forensic tool supplied by Microsoft to law enforcement offices around the world. You can Google it for more details, but the gist is that the tool was developed and distributed solely to law enforcement agencies. Sounds tempting, right?
And it was. So much so that user after user voted for the request, adding to the ever-increasing bounty. Everyone seemed to have a good laugh with it, figuring that no one would ever get their hands on it and actually upload it. That was the staff consensus, at least. Several imitators were uploaded and removed, users were warned, and the bounty remained.
Then, today, a user actually did it. They got a copy of COFEE and uploaded it here. The resourcefulness of our users never ceases to amaze us. Suddenly, we were forced to take a real look at the program, its source, and the potential impact on the site and security of our users and staff. And when we did, we didn't like what came of it. So, a decision was made. The torrent was removed (and it is not to be uploaded here again.)
Just to be clear: we were not threatened by Microsoft or any law enforcement agency. We haven't been contacted, nor has our host. This was a decision made by the staff based on our own conversations and feelings about the security impact of having the software here. We know some of you, perhaps the majority of you, won't agree with it. To those that feel that way, we can only offer an apology and the explanation that we removed it for your security, and ours.
This is not an indication of any policy or rule changes going forward. This is a one-time decision, for a unique situation. This is not something we will do with other torrents or requests. At this point, the software can probably be found elsewhere, for anyone who wants it. We hope you all understand, and will continue searching out those rare items which attract huge request bounties. Feel free to discuss this here, but this decision is final. Thank you, all.