Saturday, November 27, 2010

Homeland Security seizes domain names

One of the offbeat blogs TorrentFreak goes into more detail and lists the multitude of sites targeted by ICE. Their take on this is that Homeland Security is using a rather broad brush, and questions whether proper warrants were obtained. Website owners state they were shut down without notification.

Is this, along with Congress bill COICA, a prelude to the takeover of the internet by the Federal government or just aggressive enforcement of our copyright and trademark laws? My guess is that the courts will get this one.

The Hill article:
The investigative arm of the Homeland Security Department appears to be shutting down websites that facilitate copyright infringement.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has seized dozens of domain names over the past few days, according to TorrentFreak.

ICE appears to be targeting sites that help Internet users download copyrighted music, as well as sites that sell bootleg goods, such as fake designer handbags.

The sites are replaced with a note from the government: "This domain named has been seized by ICE, Homeland Security Investigations."
For instance,,, and have each been seized.

One of the site owners told TorrentFreak that his site was shut down without any notice or warning.

The effort comes as Congress considers the Combatting Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA). Critics, including Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) say it is too heavy-handed. He has vowed to put a formal hold on the bill.

Read The Hill article here.

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