Homeland Security Wanted To Seize Pirate Bay And MegaUpload Domains?

from the sure-they-wanted-to... dept

There was a lot of attention paid last week to Homeland Security's ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) decision to shut down a bunch of movie file sharing sites. There were lots of questions about the action. We focused on the incredibly troubling fact that the whole thing appeared to be coordinated by Disney, a private corporation. Others, quite reasonably questioned how this is a Homeland Security (or ICE) issue at all. But, lost in much of the discussion was another important point. Beyond just raiding the operators of many of these sites, Homeland Security also seized the domains of the sites, though it's not at all clear under what legal authority they did so, and there was no due process involved at all:
The report did not cite under what law the domain names were seized. As far as I know there is no federal law that allows the seizure of domain names. That of course is the troubling part. Although I have no love for sites that allow the distribution of protected works for free, when the federal government starts making up their own remedies for violation of laws, its a problem. Moreover all that happened here was a claim by the government of improper conduct by the site. There does not appear to been a hearing where any of the domain owners got notice or what you would call due process, which is an opportunity to defend themselves prior to the domain seizure
This reminds many folks of the still ongoing legal dispute in Kentucky over whether or not the governor there can just seize the domains of certain gambling-related websites.

TorrentFreak has an anonymously-sourced (so, take that for what it's worth...) story, suggesting that ICANN was involved in the domain name seizure of these websites, using technicalities in how those sites were registered to take back the domains and hand them over to the US government.

As TorrentFreak notes, this seems to open a huge Pandora's box of potential problems, in terms of what the US government and Homeland Security (at the behest of Disney) might seize next, without any due process. What about some more well-known sites, like The Pirate Bay's domain or MegaUpload? According to the (again, anonymously sourced...) report on TorrentFreak, US officials looked into seizing both of those as well, but realized doing so would likely create other diplomatic and PR-related issues:
Shockingly, TorrentFreak was informed that wheels were also set in motion to seize The Pirate Bay domain. But for reasons that remain unclear that didn't come to pass. Our source believes that the US authorities would've had to contact the Swedish authorities on the matter first, but that since there is already an unfinished criminal process against the site, the time was not considered right. There is an implication, however, that patience won't last forever and may run out after the founders' upcoming court appeal.

Another site in the cross hairs appears to be MegaUpload. Although a domain seizure was suggested, it now seems that another route has been taken, at least for now. We have also been informed by other sources that further sites are being watched although it proved impossible to discover their names.
Given the anonymous sourcing, it's worth taking the reports with a grain of salt, though I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the possibility of seizing the domains was at least explored. If I had to guess, the possibility of a PR nightmare was probably what kept those plans on the drawing board. It was easy to step in and seize the relatively little known domains that they did. In fact, very few of the stories focused on the seizure of the domains themselves. If it had been a major site, much more attention and legal scrutiny would have been quickly applied to the question of what legal authority does Homeland Security have to seize domains.

However, now that the dust is settling on the Disney-directed bust, it does seem like an important question for Homeland Security officials to answer. On what basis can they seize domains and what role did ICANN play in those seizures?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 8:51am

    Legal Authority

    "See this badge? See this gun? That's all the authority I need!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 8:52am

    Didn't you know IP law and ACTA is now a national security issue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 8:54am

    Wikileaks

    Next up, Wikileaks!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    wallow-T, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 9:01am

    I wonder how long it will take "average" users to learn how to load piratebay.org and megaupload.com into a Hosts file?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Joel (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 9:05am

    Wait what?

    Did I miss the meeting were Homeland Security was transferred over to a corporation??

    So the Pirate Bay and MegaUpload are putting national security at risk, how are they doing this?

    Can government separate itself from corporations just like it did from religion, or are they being a bit too greedy?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    Modplan (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 9:05am

    A note from one of the admins of the sites taken down:

    http://www.saveninjavideo.net/2010/07/letter-released-yesterday.html

    At least for them, they disabled the site of their own accord.

    It's also funny that they make the claim of these sites having no respect for creativity or innovation - I know for a fact Ninjavideo in particular had a strong artist community that even produced a very well done comic about the site amongst other things.

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ct-piracy-20100701,0,2871905.story

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    wallow-T, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 9:06am

    Another point I wanted to mention earlier: what Homeland Security brings to the party is the authority to wiretap Internet traffic. IIRC, a warrant isn't even required to read source and destination addresses.

    So, a model for busting users could look like this:

    - wiretap a linkswapping forum, collect user IPs
    - wiretap a few of those IPs, look for high volumes of traffic from locker services such as Rapidshare and Megaupload
    - convince a judge that high volumes of file-locker traffic is sufficient probable cause for a raid on the end user.
    - profit! :-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 9:08am

    "On what basis can they seize domains and what role did ICANN play in those seizures? "

    Because they're the enforcement branch of the government and as such they can do whatever they want. Unless congress decides to impeach the president, but Congress is just as corrupt.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 9:13am

    well since they are now calling copyright reformists "radicals", pirates and the sites that enable them are "terrorists" acting on their behalf.

    and now it's the dept. of homeland security that needs to get involved to put an end to this terrorist activity.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 9:14am

    Re:

    It seems to me that insecurity is the issue, not security...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Modplan (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 9:25am

    Re:

    Also, this has been the only place I found the original report sent from ICE:

    http://www.saveninjavideo.net/2010/07/official-article-from-immigration-and.html

    Note that they claim these sites made millions, of which there is no evidence for.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 9:28am

    From the article you quoted: "The report did not cite under what law the domain names were seized. As far as I know there is no federal law that allows the seizure of domain names."

    I'm not sure what the misunderstanding is. The very screen shot they posted answers their own question: http://www.thedomains.com/wp-content/Screen-shot-2010-07-01-at-11.22.31-AM.png

    Authorities got a seizure warrant first from a US District Court under 18 U.S.C. 981 and 18 U.S.C. 2323.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 9:41am

    The whole purpose of defending our borders is to defend our monopolies. The whole purpose of "spreading democracy" is to spread monopoly.

    What else do you expect from the government granted monopoly capital of the world?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 9:42am

    Re:

    (btw, this was a somewhat sarcastic statement).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 9:55am

    Re:

    Today's sarcasm is tomorrow's reality.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Michael, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 9:59am

    Re:

    By the laws the warrant has been issued for, they seem to assume direct action by the site in the form of money laundering and criminal copyright infringement or counterfeiting.

    It will be interesting to see what evidence they produced to get the warrant, but if they do have evidence of these against the site owners, it just lends itself to the question of whether the domains are 'property' under these laws and if they have jurisdiction over them.

    It seems questionable to give any single country jurisdiction over a domain name as it could easily lead to countries having domain name wars.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    WTF_man!, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 10:07am

    WTF !

    Anyone reliese besize me this Kind of conflict of such said laws seems to be happening more and more day by day >.>shhh big brother is watching as they say,all I can say is websites ,step your encryption up

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 10:08am

    wouldn't make a difference if they did.. a domain is just a name... a piratebay by any other name is still what it was previously.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re:

    "By the laws the warrant has been issued for, they seem to assume direct action by the site in the form of money laundering and criminal copyright infringement or counterfeiting.

    It will be interesting to see what evidence they produced to get the warrant, but if they do have evidence of these against the site owners, it just lends itself to the question of whether the domains are 'property' under these laws and if they have jurisdiction over them."

    It's a criminal investigation, to be sure. All they needed was probable cause to get the warrant. The domain is an instrumentality of the crime, so it makes sense to me that they seized it. I'm curious to see one of these cases go to trial. Should be interesting.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 10:19am

    Shhh! Don't let them know.

    I just went to the library and borrowed the Chronological Donald: Volumes 1 through 4 for free! As far as I can tell, lots of other people in town are doing this, too. Better shut down the library, evil sharers of copyrighted works.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 10:20am

    Re:

    I'm not sure what the misunderstanding is...
    Authorities got a seizure warrant first from a US District Court under 18 U.S.C. 981 and 18 U.S.C. 2323.


    Those laws only allow for the seizure of real and personal property, of which domain names are neither. Thus, the " misunderstanding" arises from the citing of laws that aren't applicable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    ChronoFish (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 10:53am

    Bottom line - can't trust the US (or any) Government

    Regardless of who is in control - Democrat or Republican. The bottom line is that if you're using a US controlled asset (The Internet was born in the US as a US Military project via DARPA don't forget) or if you're dealing with the US in any way - you do so at your risk.

    Same can be said of any country - the US just happens to be the powerhouse at the moment.

    Governments aren't fair. They are restrictive and protective by design.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    darryl, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 11:04am

    what is the deal with disney ? they are not allowed to play ? WHY?

    "We (I) focused on the incredibly troubling fact that the whole thing appeared to be coordinated by Disney, a private corporation."

    There you go, I learn something new everyday !!.

    So if you work at a private corporation, or I assume are mearly a private citizen. Then when you ring up the authorities, police or homeland security.

    The first think they ask you is your name, and who you work for.

    If you happen to work for a private corporation, they say, "Sorry, we dont help private corporations, or private citizens" so forget about the crime you saw..

    So who do the homeland security people work for ? is it only if your a government corporation or what ? to get help from the authorities ?

    So if I own a private corporation that is a bank, and I see lots of counterfiet money being imported, and I go to homeland security, they will tell me to go away, because your 'just' a private corporation..

    Sure you pay our wages, with your taxes, and you pay for our government with your taxes and productivity, but because your a private corporation we will not help you..

    What a great country you live in :)..

    At least where I live we have equal rights under the law, does not matter if your employed, or not or who you are employed by.

    It does not matter what race, color or sex you are, it does not matter if you work for disney, or are on social security.

    I did not know that in the US this was specific rule for specific people, and that the government was not allowed to help specific types of people, based on employment, race, age and so on.

    So if I worked for Disney, I would not have the same rights that someone who worked for what ? else.?

    May be you should trying something constructive like.

    "A government by the people,, FOR the people". that might work !!

    How many 'major strikes' will it take Mike ?? you might be about the find out !!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 11:11am

    Re: what is the deal with disney ? they are not allowed to play ? WHY?

    Darryl, your consistent level of confusion is admirable if amazing.

    No one said that Homeland Security shouldn't do things that protect people. The problem is when it appears they are working directly for a corporation, rather than for the people.

    As I noted in the original post, if the FTC announced action against Intel at AMD's headquarters, people would cry foul. Yet when Homeland Security announces actions against file sharing sites from Disney's headquarters?

    You don't have any problem with that?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    bob, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 11:29am

    In Rem, It's Because The Property Is Bad

    Federal Asset Forfeiture Laws allow for the "in Rem" seizing of criminal assets without regard to due process.
    That's how they get away with it.

    It's been part of English Common law for centuries and was brought over into our law.
    The 1984 Omnibus Crime Bill increased the powers of police Confiscation.
    That's why a guy busted for being with a hooker in his car can have the car confiscated.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    ChronoFish (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 11:41am

    Re: what is the deal with disney ? they are not allowed to play ? WHY?

    I would expect Disney to be directed to the FBI. And then I would expect the FBI to follow the rule of law - including doing nothing if Disney's complaints where not criminal in nature.

    I would expect "Homeland Security" to be a go-between agency that helps the iron out communication issues between the CIA and the FBI, local Police, Border Patrol and DEA.

    -CF

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 11:59am

    Re:

    Do people even use http to find stuff anymore?

    They'll never do this because in the future http and likely dns(as we know it) will be outdated as protocols. Searches will move from "public" google and search field on a web page, to "distributed" edonkey, magnet style.

    Piracy is evolutionary, it follows along a predictable path, and it will simply evolve beyond the laws' ability to ever get close. Amusing to watch those caught in the net, however.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Shavines, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 12:32pm

    Re: be careful

    Its not that simple if you read into those codes they only pertain to the seizure of "assets" and what constitutes
    that seizure which is a violation of a list of laws. the problem is that no where under those codes does it directly
    assume a domain is an "asset" so the code that they used to seize the domain needs to appear before a jury, essentially the laws prohibiting this type of seizure or allowing it have not been written into regular law. the only place where this type of seizure is clearly stated is under the patriot act and that should have never existed in the first place. I would bring into question how they lawfully attained a warrant to monitor communications in the first place since
    the organizations that executed these warrants have no jurisdiction over this matter. This may be something america
    needs since law has not caught up with todays technology this could either be the next step to the obvious police state america has become or a step back towards our freedom.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    darryl, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 12:40pm

    incredibly troubling ....why ?

    " As I noted in the original post, if the FTC announced action against Intel at AMD's headquarters, people would cry foul. Yet when Homeland Security announces actions against file sharing sites from Disney's headquarters?

    You don't have any problem with that?


    If Intel was clearly breaking the law, and the law was against an issue that homeland security is interested in (like customs and counterfeit), and the 'crime' or alledged crime was against AMD, and commited by Intel, then the 'scene of the crime' is AND, and the criminals are Intel.

    So if one accounting firm finds out the burnie madoff is a scam, they are not allowed to tell the authorities, or make charges against Madoff, because they are in the same industry ?

    You dont think it would be right to have the authorities announce their actions from the scene of the crime, or where the crime was exposed ?

    It's common, and nothing you should find "incredibily troubling"

    So all of a sudden, according to you, the authorities are getting into trouble because they are trying to uphold the present laws.

    Because of that, you attack the authorities and the people seeking the law to be upheld.

    You make out it is somehow bad for someone to want the existing laws applied and enforced. Saying nothing about those breaking the law.

    Thats ok, to break the law, but if you get the authorities to enforce the law, you are bad somehow, especially if you work for a private corporation, something you find "incredibly troubling"..

    so for you its not incredibly troubling that people are willfully and knowingly breaking the law, but its incredibly troubling that people seek to try to uphold the law.

    No wonder your once great country is going to hell in a handbasket..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    average_joe (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 12:52pm

    Re: In Rem, It's Because The Property Is Bad

    True enough. I found a little court snippet that explains:

    "a civil forfeiture proceeding is an in rem action against property, rather than a proceeding against the owner. Thus, “[t]he Government need not prove, within the criminal justice system that the owner committed a crime” in order to proceed with a civil forfeiture. Indeed an acquittal on a criminal charge does not bar a civil forfeiture proceeding. Moreover, as the Second Circuit has held, “[a] forfeiture proceeding may even be commenced where no criminal action is brought."
    Lopes v. U.S., 862 F.Supp. 1178 (S.D.N.Y. 1994).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    ChronoFish (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 12:59pm

    Here is Legal Maze

    I'm no lawyer. In fact this is probably the first time I've done this type of research. But here you go. The crime, The punishment, and the enforcement per legal code (as best this novice can tell).


    (Following From http://openjurist.org/)
    18 USC 2323 - Forfeiture, destruction, and restitution

    (1) Property subject to forfeiture.
    The following property is subject to forfeiture to the United States Government:
    (A) Any article, the making or trafficking of which is, prohibited under section 506 of title 17, or section 2318, 2319,....



    (Following from http://www.law.cornell.edu)
    TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 113 > § 2319 - Criminal infrigement of copyright

    Any person who commits an offense under section 506 (a)(1)(B) of title 17

    TITLE 17 > CHAPTER 11 > § 1101 a.3 (Unauthorized Acts. Anyone who, without the consent of the performer or performers involved distributes or offers to distribute...)




    TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 46 > § 981
    The following property is subject to forfeiture to the United States:
    (A) Any property, real or personal, involved in a transaction or attempted transaction in violation of section 1956,

    TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 95 > § 1956
    a.3.a. Whoever, with the intent to promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity;
    c.7.d. the term "specified unlawful activity" means ...an offense under...section 2319 (relating to copyright infringement)
    e. Violations of this section may be investigated by such components of the Department of Justice as the Attorney General may direct, and by such components of the Department of the Treasury as the Secretary of the Treasury may direct, as appropriate, and, with respect to offenses over which the Department of Homeland Security has jurisdiction, by such components of the Department of Homeland Security as the Secretary of Homeland Security may direct.....


    (following from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Homeland_Security)
    United States
    Department of Homeland Security
    Child agencies:
    ...
    U.S. Customs and Border Protection
    ...
    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
    ...

    -CF

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 1:00pm

    Re: incredibly troubling ....why ?

    The scene of the 'crime' here is the internet. Not Disney's HQ.
    Okay, rather than go off pointing out a lot of problems with rebuttals, I am just going to quote you to make my point.

    You said:
    an issue that homeland security is interested in (like customs and counterfeit)

    The easiest point being made is that the reasons they seized them have absolutely nothing to do with Homeland Security. Nothing. At. All.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    ChronoFish (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Here is Legal Maze

    Oops forgot the important one:
    (following from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Homeland_Security)
    Child Agencies:
    National Protection and Programs Directorate

    (following from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Protection_and_Programs_Directorate)
    The National Protection and Programs Directorate[1] (NPPD) is a component within the United States Department of Homeland Security led by the Under Secretary for National Protection and Programs. NPPD's goal is to advance the Department's risk-reduction mission. Reducing risk requires an integrated approach that encompasses both physical and virtual threats and their associated human elements. The components of the National Protection and Programs Directorate include the Federal Protective Service, Office of Cybersecurity and Communications, Office of Infrastructure Protection, Office of Intergovernmental Programs, Office of Risk Management and Analysis, and US-VISIT.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 1:07pm

    Homeland Security is a joke at all levels of government. Even the name is silly...Homeland? How about Stompin Ground Security... It conjures up images of tuh-backy chewin and hee-hawin' Yeeee Haaawww gud buddy...lets russel us up some doh-mains and them magic boxes that they live in!! Look at all them blinkin lites on that there magic box...I got me one!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Here is Legal Maze

    TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 46 > § 981
    The following property is subject to forfeiture to the United States:
    (A) Any property, real or personal, involved in a transaction or attempted transaction in violation of section 1956,


    Yep, which would not legally include domain names since they do not fall under the legal definition of real or personal property. See the problem?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 1:21pm

    Re: incredibly troubling ....why ?

    So if one accounting firm finds out the burnie madoff is a scam, they are not allowed to tell the authorities, or make charges against Madoff, because they are in the same industry ?

    No one said the company cannot report things to the authorities. The question is how involved are they in the followup investigation and seizure/raids. Private companies should not be involved.

    You dont think it would be right to have the authorities announce their actions from the scene of the crime, or where the crime was exposed ?

    The offices of a competitor? You REALLY don't see the conflict of interest there?

    You make out it is somehow bad for someone to want the existing laws applied and enforced. Saying nothing about those breaking the law.

    No, I said quite clearly in the original post that if they were breaking the law it's reasonable for legal action to be taken. I'm still questioning why Disney is so heavily involved when they are not an impartial observer.

    Thats ok, to break the law, but if you get the authorities to enforce the law, you are bad somehow

    Again, I said no such thing.

    so for you its not incredibly troubling that people are willfully and knowingly breaking the law, but its incredibly troubling that people seek to try to uphold the law.

    I said no such thing.

    It is impossible to argue with someone who makes up what other people say.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    icon
    ChronoFish (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Here is Legal Maze

    Additionally:

    (from the DHS website http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/laws/gc_1214597989952.shtm)

    Homeland Security Presidential Directive-7

    December 17, 2003

    SUBJECT: Critical Infrastructure Identification, Prioritization, and Protection

    ....

    #
    Coordination with the Private Sector

    # In accordance with applicable laws or regulations, the Department and the Sector-Specific Agencies will collaborate with appropriate private sector entities and continue to encourage the development of information sharing and analysis mechanisms. Additionally, the Department and Sector-Specific Agencies shall collaborate with the private sector and continue to support sector-coordinating mechanisms:

    1. to identify, prioritize, and coordinate the protection of critical infrastructure and key resources; and
    2. to facilitate sharing of information about physical and cyber threats, vulnerabilities, incidents, potential protective measures, and best practices.

    ....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    darryl, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 1:35pm

    We focused on the incredibly troubling fact that the whole thing appeared to be coordinated by Disney, a private corporation.

    "We focused on the incredibly troubling fact that the whole thing appeared to be coordinated by Disney, a private corporation."

    That is what you said, Mike.

    You said it is "incredibly troubling fact that the whole thing "appeard" to be coordinated by Disney, a private corporation.

    You said PRIVATE CORPORATION, that means to mean at least ANY private corporation, and because it is a 'private corporation, you find it incredibly troubling.

    I dont, I find it common and normal that a private corporation would seek the help of authorites to uphold the law.

    I was just wondering what you found so incredibly troubling about a private corp working with the authorities to stop a crime.

    Yes, the accounting firm that found madoff, did ALOT of work with the authorities, and if you remember, the authorities failed badly and taking their advice.

    "this man has given you a roadmap and a flashlight leading to this pile of dung that is burnie madoff, and you guys could not work it out!!!"

    So there is nothing at all about private citizens or private or public corporations working with authorities to identify and stop crimes.

    thats how things are supposed to work, that very thing you find incredibly troubling, thats all I was saying.

    But that at least I know you said.. I did not copy/paste it from nowhere.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 1:39pm

    Re:

    Homeland Security is a joke at all levels of government. Even the name is silly...Homeland?

    It's inspired by the old Nazi "Fatherland Security" and Soviet "Motherland Security" organizations. The people putting together the similarly named US organization wanted to pay homage to a couple of organizations they greatly admired and desired to emulate, hence the name.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 1:47pm

    Thank God there is solutions already.

    Osiris serverless portal, no government can control what it happens inside and it will be open source.

    Besides that how about a physical server that cost $50 bucks?

    http://hackaday.com/2010/07/01/arduino-webserver/

    Put one in every hotspot in the country with a copy of the piratebay.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 1:48pm

    Re: In Rem, It's Because The Property Is Bad

    It's been part of English Common law for centuries and was brought over into our law.

    They used to publicly torture and execute people over in Merry Olde England, too. That's why the founders of the US thought certain things needed to prohibited in the constitution.

    As to taking people's property, they apparently thought that a clause plainly prohibiting the taking of property without "due process" would be enough to prohibit such behavior. It seems that they were wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 1:53pm

    Re: We focused on the incredibly troubling fact that the whole thing appeared to be coordinated by Disney, a private corporation.

    "I was just wondering what you found so incredibly troubling about a private corp working with the authorities to stop a crime."

    I don't know about Mike, but for me it is incredibly troubling indeed.

    - The corporation in question was not acting as a citizen and informing the government it was indeed in the front seat and apparently barking orders to a government agency, when was that we surrendered control of the government agencies to corporations?

    Have anybody see citizens coordinating attacks with the government ever?

    Have anybody see citizens being invited to participate and plan anything?

    Why corporations are being call in to the action?

    Would the government call the EFF to monitor and make sure the law is being fallowed?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 1:54pm

    Re: We focused on the incredibly troubling fact that the whole thing appeared to be coordinated by Disney, a private corporation.

    Well the bad things is that they didn't call the EFF to coordinate with them also to see that everything was within the law.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Freedom, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 2:01pm

    Will find a way...

    How long until more and more governments start trying to control the Internet such that government controlled programs like domain registrations aren't used by "questionable sites" any more?

    I can easily see private (but publicly) available hosts files or similar being used instead - heck, probably even distributed via torrent sites, or IP redirects via bit.ly and such.

    Just seems silly and a waste of time. The holes are many and people will find a way. As I believe has been said before, this will just drive the traffic in such a way that it will be harder to track and combat for the authorities, but the behavior will remain the same.

    Freedom

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 2:04pm

    Re: incredibly troubling ....why ?

    MORONALERT!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 2:06pm

    Re: We focused on the incredibly troubling fact that the whole thing appeared to be coordinated by Disney, a private corporation.

    Disney sure is powerful.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 2:09pm

    Re: We focused on the incredibly troubling fact that the whole thing appeared to be coordinated by Disney, a private corporation.

    I was just wondering what you found so incredibly troubling about a private corp working with the authorities to stop a crime.

    Because when that "crime" is really competition, then there are serious concerns about the conflict of interest. Do you not see that?

    Yes, the accounting firm that found madoff, did ALOT of work with the authorities, and if you remember, the authorities failed badly and taking their advice.

    Totally different situation and you know it. In that case, Markopolos did the research and *sent it* to the SEC for the SEC to deal with (which, they failed to do). If the SEC had then had Markopolos to lead their investigation, it would have been a huge conflict of interest which everyone (outside of you, apparently) would have found quite troubling.

    Again, there's nothing wrong with Disney providing info to the authorities for the authorities to then make their own determination over. What's troubling is to then continue to involve the biased party in the investigation/raids/seizures and announcements.

    The SEC never would have busted Madoff and announced it at Markopolos' office. Everyone would have thought they were crazy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Re:

    Not sure how you reached the conclusion that domain names aren't property. (Only one of the statutes cited is limited to "real or personal" property, and that's not really much of a limitation.) Some courts found to the contrary a decade ago, but most courts, and most people, acknowledge a property interest in domain names. The statute says property is subject to seizure. There may be reasons why doing this is a bad idea, but the statute says the government can seek an order to do it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 4:23pm

    Re:

    You might be interested in the "Kiosk of Piracy":

    http://kioskofpiracy.org/2009/09/07/the-pirate-kiosk-is-now-live/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Mike H, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 6:36pm

    Re: Wait what?

    ...They separated themselves from religion?!

    Surely you jest.

    Look at half the elected leaders in congress, biblethumpers tried and true. There is no separation. 'We pledge allegiance to...the USA ... "One nation under God"' (A slightly abridged version of the flag speech every kid is forced to recite. Daily. To what end? I don't know.)

    There is no *clearly drawn* line. There really has never been, nor in any foreseeable future will be.

    Sorry.

    And if they can't keep their hands out of religion...

    'God' knows they can't keep their hands off of every last cent they can get.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 8:31pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Only one of the statutes cited is limited to "real or personal" property, and that's not really much of a limitation.

    Exclusion of domain names seems like a real limitation in this case.

    Some courts found to the contrary a decade ago,

    Which courts and cases?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Any Mouse, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 1:42am

    Re: Re: Wait what?

    Kids are not forced to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Don't wanna say it? Stand there quietly. Some schools do not allow the Pledge. The 'under God' part? That wasn't even originally a part of the Pledge.

    Still, I agree, no clearly drawn line between politicians and religion.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    gorehound (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 5:31am

    Re:

    I would be boycotting Hollywood as much as possible.They are now the enemy as if they were not before.
    MAFIAA GO AWAY !!!

    they make no money then they will collapse just like one of the websites they illegallly took down.

    Vote out the Republicans and Democrats next election.Find Independents and try to get them in.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 7:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But that's just it - domains names aren't excluded. (You keep insisting that they are, but you haven't put forth any basis for that belief). Property basically falls into one of two categories -- "real" property is essentially everything immovable, and "personal" property (or "chattel") is everything else. That's why saying any property, "real or personal," isn't much of a limitation. It's like a law saying that someone is forbidden from doing something "at any time, night or day." You can try to argue that if you commit the act right at dusk, it's neither "night" nor "day," but you'd sound pretty ridiculous (and you'd have to ignore that phrase, "any time").

    As for cases that might support your view, why don't you go find them?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 8:17am

    Re: Wait what?

    Did I miss the meeting were Homeland Security was transferred over to a corporation??

    I don't think any of us were invited to that meeting. :-(

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 8:36am

    Re: Re: incredibly troubling ....why ?

    There's no point in arguing with Darryl. There's no chance of convincing him of anything, and some risk you could get some of his stupid on you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 8:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Here is Legal Maze

    Even after all that, I still don't see why DHS has any jurisdiction over copyright infringement.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    Richard Bennett (profile), Jul 9th, 2010 @ 2:30pm

    The law is obvious

    The principle of Eminent Domain Names allows the government to seize names for the public good.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 2:59pm

    Re: Re: Here is Legal Maze

    Well, if domain names really did not "fall under the legal definition of real or personal property," that might be a problem for domain name forfeiture. But most courts that have looked at the issue say domain names are property. Not sure where you found a "legal definition of real or personal property" that excludes domain names, but it doesn't appear to be the same "dictionary" the rest of the U.S. legal system is using.

    Of course, just because domain names are property subject to forfeiture doesn't mean it's a good idea for the government to do it, especially while wearing those embarrassing Mickey Mouse ears.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 9th, 2010 @ 7:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Here is Legal Maze

    But most courts that have looked at the issue say domain names are property.

    Ok then, name them, please. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. But so far no one has cited such court rulings.

    Not sure where you found a "legal definition of real or personal property" that excludes domain names, but it doesn't appear to be the same "dictionary" the rest of the U.S. legal system is using.

    OK, which "dictionary" is this that "the U.S. legal system is using"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    icon
    dickeyrat (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 3:22am

    Whaddaya expect?

    This should demonstrate the true evil power of Disney, more so than any god or devil, which some in Southern California have seen manifested through Disney's hold over Judges and other facets of the SoCal legal system. Upon its engorgement of ABC, eager Disney managers/political hacks gleefully proved their unending loyalties to the Mausreich, by targeting certain seemingly-indispensible longtime key ABC employees, then using varied means to destroy their careers. These tactics included manufacture of then-new-Internet "evidence", alleging abuses such as pornography downloads (the more creative such efforts involved allegedly-visited URLs of BOTH Straight and Gay sites!), along with wrongful terminations and subsequent Blacklisting of individuals. Some of these Employees (especially those represented by NABET) proceeded to seek redress in the Courts, only to be met with moves designed strictly to intimidate, including the "purchases" of Plaintiffs' attorneys, and no doubt of Judges as well...all with full silent-sanction gladly surrendered by Disney-pocketed NABET hacks). After all, everyone (especially in SoCal and Central Florida) has fond loving memories of frolicking along Disney lanes hand in hand with Mickey, Minnie and Pluto (appropriately named after the Roman god of the Underworld)...how could these wonderful, family-minded, sweet thangs possibly propagate, or even merely represent such evil?? Employees facing critical life-junctures due to age and other circumstances were played against each other like Chess pieces, by overpaid Disney-legal tools, and even by approved outside-attorney firms, manned by old Law School colleagues of said tools...all under the full shuffling smiling approval of NABET. Plenty of good times were had by these purveyors of Wonderful Family Fun, assembling as one to snort rails of cocaine off the career-corpses of the once loyal and valued. In one case involving an ABC man who found a blatantly-illegal listening device during NABET talks, in an area known to house Union employees, Federal laws involving just those circumstances, as well as so-called "whistleblower" and anti-retaliation statutes might as well have been nonexistent; they were most certainly ignored by all involved in "the system", at Disney's corporate behest. Now in 2010, I am surprised to see that this Disney-orchestrated wielding of the actual Federal structure itself, took so long to occur. Heil Walt!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    icon
    chillienet (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 7:42am

    Re: The law is obvious

    Can you inform me of what "public good" this domain name seizure has done?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2010 @ 2:18pm

    Pirate Bay has been seized by Homeland Security, apparently they think this is where the African pirates are hiding

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This