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ICE Domain Seizures A Pointless Exercise

ICE Domain Seizures A Pointless Exercise

A number of the sites selling counterfeit goods already reappear as does the BitTorrent tracker search engine torrent-finder. Govt plan is doomed to fail as sites will simply re-register under a top-level domain outside the US govt’s jurisdiction.

Last last week the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, executed more than 70 court-ordered warrants against sites accused of offering counterfeit goods or copyright infringing material, and already a number of them have returned, this time beyond the grasp of the US govt.

When it comes to foreign sites the US govt can only seize the domain name pointers of domains under its jurisdiction. This

“What gives the US ‘jurisdiction’ is that it’s nominally controlled by VeriSign and thence ICANN, which is a US quango, so owners of .com domains are in a legal relationship with a US entity,” notes an unnamed source. “Outside the US, people have been known to get quite worked up about this arrangement, and there have been serious suggestions that ICANN should cede control (or transfer directly) to a UN body. Whether interference as in this case is legal in international law is, as far as I know, untested.”

If the US continues to seize the domain name pointers of foreign sites, especially those considered legal in their respective country, that may very well change. The cyberlocker RapidShare comes to mind. A German appeals court already ruled the site isn’t liable for user uploads, but the US could very well argue that it is a facilitator of copyright infringement, and therefore convince a US court that it needs to seize the domain name. If this were to happen then it’s likely the international community would more aggressively push for the US to cede control of ICANN to a neutral body, and put an end to its .com meddling ways.

Imagine if Iran or China had seized the domain names of Google, Twitter, or Faecbook because they help “facilitate” social unrest?

The seizures, the troubling, have been an exercise in futility from the start.

“That’s a lot of staff attorney time and trouble to get a big fat nothing out of it, which is exactly what they get going down this road,” observes Karl Denninger of Gizmodo. “Why?  Because all they can do is redirect the domain pointers which will do exactly nothing when the sites re-register under a top-level domain not under the US Government’s jurisdiction – and there are lots of them.”

Indeed, a number of the sites have already resurfaced, including some of the more salacious ones that specialize in selling counterfeit goods. 2009jerseys.com is back as 2009jerseys.net, RapGodfathers.com is back as RapGodFathers.info, NFLJerseySupply.com is back as NFLJerseySupply.net, golfwholesale18.com back as golfwholesale18.net, and torrent-finder.com is back as torrent-finder.info.

The seizure of the domain name pointers for the latter site is what troubled most because it never hosted any copyrighted material and only acted as a search engine much like Google or Bing.

“So, when is the US Government going to seize the Google domain?” asks the Inquistr.

When will Google be asked to start filtering its results and will it decide to relocate to a country outside the US’s jurisdiction if asked to do so? If opted to wind down its China operations rather than filter its results as requested by the authoritarian regime.

The controversial Combating Online Counterfeit and Infringement Act would give the Department of Justice an “expedited process” seizing domain names, but the result would be just as futile and constitute far greater harm to the American people than fake NFL jerseys will.

“If enacted, this legislation will risk fragmenting the Internet’s global domain name system (DNS), create an environment of tremendous fear and uncertainty for technological innovation, and seriously harm the credibility of the United States in its role as a steward of key Internet infrastructure,” warns a group of 87 prominent engineers who played critical roles in the development of the Internet. “In exchange for this, the bill will introduce censorship that will simultaneously be circumvented by deliberate infringers while hampering innocent parties’ ability to communicate.”

Stay tuned.

[email protected]

Jared Moya
I've been interested in P2P since the early, high-flying days of Napster and KaZaA. I believe that analog copyright laws are ill-suited to the digital age, and that art and culture shouldn't be subject to the whims of international entertainment industry conglomerates. Twitter | Google Plus
michelle216
michelle216

And these are all comments I’ve read on regular (ie not zeropaid) newsites. I’ve read about 5 different articles from google news and the VAST majority of the comments are very critical of this move. http://www.heelsvogue. At least 50% of those comments are also megapissed that they focus OUR money on this shit while crying the whole time

pandora Jewelry
pandora Jewelry

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Dave
Dave

Wow, another "obey the law" douchebag. Jason, if you think that file sharing is wrong then why are you on Zeropaid? You better leave now or by adding hits to the site you are facilitating illegal file sharing and thwarting the Government's efforts to protect law and order in the Corporate Fatherland. Leave now. Sony, EMI, and Warner Bros will thank you. Unless you already work for them.

LOL
LOL

Take down YouTube. Now.

disinter
disinter

There is no way for us to know what's in ICE's game plan but personally I think they did this to "test the waters". They see now that it is futile (as the sites will either reappear or another site will take it's place) but also they wanted to see how the public will react to it and so far all I've read is hatred and disdain for it. And these are all comments I've read on regular (ie not zeropaid) newsites. I've read about 5 different articles from google news and the VAST majority of the comments are very critical of this move. At least 50% of those comments are also megapissed that they focus OUR money on this shit while crying the whole time "We don't have enough resources to secure our borders and keep out the drugs and criminals". The industry shills like jason here are in the extreme minority.

lol
lol

the funny thing is the people who are getting pissed off about the whole piracy things are companies like disney who make ridiculous amounts of money to begin with or century media and sony companies who make buttloads of money and just want more it all comes down to the dollar in the end

Anon
Anon

Jason, you're an idiot. Fuck off, you shill.

Jason
Jason

You're missing the point. Everyone expected these to pop back up with domains outside US jurisdiction. That's what is necessary to make the case for now blocking them. The logical follow up provides only two choices: 1) Accept all manner of illegal activity online so long as it is hosted in a foreign nation 2) Take measures to block illegal activity emanating online from foreign nations Even if doing so does not by a long shot stop it all, #2 is the logical choice for a government whose job it is to protect American IP, security, and enterprise. Your free speech does not include the free right to piracy and counterfeiting. As many lawmakers have now said, the Internet needs to be free, not lawless.

Scary Devil Monastery
Scary Devil Monastery

That's of course an idea, Jason. Those of us who know how the internet actually works realize full well that the US is busily shoveling it's own grave in all matters digital. As Jared has it, you've just handed China and India all the excuse and justification they'll ever need to cut off US IP imports into their own country. Guess what? You are a net IMPORTER of everything. And your trade deficit won't be helped by taking yourself out of a vast swathe of the market voluntarily. Those are just the side effects of course. The collateral damage. The real effect you get from this move is nil. All you end up with is shooting your legitimate business in the foot while China laughs all the way to the bank and your home-grown pirates turn to proxies and keep right on downloading.

Jared Moya
Jared Moya

? Uh know you're missing the point. The EARTH IS NOT FLAT. U cant block them. That's my whole point. Proxies, VPNs, Tor, Psiphon, IP address, etc., etc.,etc.. If China cant do it then how can we? Blocking an entire site is a violation of free speech because not all of the site may be infringing. Nobody's saying free speech is a "right to piracy and counterfeiting" only that you cant remove an entire site because SOME OF IT is infringing, and especially without a fair trial. More importantly, it'll give other nations carte blanche to filter the Internet because we are showing them it's okay. How can we criticize Iran for blocking Twitter if it violates their country's laws against "insulting the prophet" or Thailand for blocking YouTube because it hosts videos that insult the King (also a violation of that country's laws)? And it won't "protect" or "create" any new jobs. Do you even know who the Internet works? And where will it end? Let's see. Gambling, porn(? could argue 18yos can illegally access).



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