Who Needs COICA When Homeland Security Gets To Seize Domain Names?

from the this-won't-end-well dept

By now you probably know that over the Thanksgiving Holiday, Homeland Security wasn't just feeling up your grandmother and staring at your naked daughter at the TSA, but ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) went way beyond its mandate to seize a whole bunch of domain names. This is not the first time it has done this, of course. Back in June, we noted a very similar, if somewhat smaller, raid. That one was equally questionable, as not only did it involve seizing domains without an adversarial trial, but also the announcement was made at Disney headquarters, which should make you wonder when Homeland Security started working for private corporations to shut down websites it does't like without a trial.

The latest set of seizures is no less troubling. These domain seizures come even without the COICA law being in place, and despite assurances from COICA supporters that no such domain seizures would ever possibly come without a full trial first, many of the operators of the domain names seized in this round state they hadn't received any notification of complaints, let alone demands to be taken down.

And it gets even more ridiculous, as some of the sites taken down appear to be nothing more than search engines, which did not host any content and did not host any trackers, but simply acted as perfectly normal search engines. For anyone who actually understands how the internet works (i.e., clearly not Homeland Security) this is a massively troubling move, suggesting that if Homeland Security doesn't like how your search engine works, it can simply seize your domain and put up a really scary looking graphic, claiming it has taken over your website:
Even the search engine folks are quite worried about this -- and they're not the sorts who usually pay too much attention to questions about copyright.

And, of course, none of this is actually stopping these sites from working. Within hours, many had popped back up elsewhere. The whole thing seems highly questionable. Seizing domain names without a trial, and taking down sites that appear to be nothing more than search engines, rather than actually hosting infringing material, is a huge, dangerous step, which appears to have absolutely nothing to do with Homeland Security's mandate.
Authoritarian


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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 6:45am

    It is time

    Someone needs to create a P2P DNS system, or just a strait up P2P web. We can't trust the government to do the right thing.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 6:54am

      Re: It is time

      You could have just stopped at, "we can't trust the government."

       

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      Hephaestus (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:27am

      Re: It is time

      "create a P2P DNS system"

      Its been done already. DDNS

      "or just a strait up P2P web."

      This is already being developed.

       

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        Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:52am

        Re: Re: It is time

        DDNS doesn't look like it's been worked on in years. Plus, I can't find any information on what to do with the .jar file.

         

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          Freak, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:56am

          Re: Re: Re: It is time

          Typically, you use a JVM to run .jar's. Just in case you didn't know.

          I'm finding a severe lack of info as well. I hate having to dig into source just to figure out "What does this software do?" Not gonna waste my time, in this case.

           

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            Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:09am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: It is time

            The problem isn't opening the .jar (Windows knows what do do with that by default), the problem comes with knowing how to open it properly. Can I just double click on it (no, nothing happens), do I need to launch it from the command prompt with special arguments?

            This is usually the problem with really cool, really useful software. It's designed by a developer who's been doing this so long they've lost touch with non-developers.

            You want to make something useful that will spread (and something like this needs to spread) you have to make it simple enough that 95% of the world can use it, that way it spreads quickly and easily (and add advanced features so those who know what they're doing can enhance the experience).

             

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      Designerfx (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:13am

      Re: It is time

      i2p has been around for a long time, chrono.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I2P

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:33am

      Re: It is time

      There is already 2 prototypes that work(I know I tested them)

      Netsukuku and Osiris Serverless Portal System(Soon to be GPL'ed).

      Both came from the country that is trying to destroy freedom(Italy), so if history fallows that, you can see a lot more people going that route.

       

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      vivaelamor (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 1:06pm

      Re: It is time

      "Someone needs to create a P2P DNS system"

      You may be interested in alternative DNS roots as another option.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 6:55am

    So just wondering, did this announcement come from Google's or Bing's Headquarters?

    Since the first announcement of seizures was from Disney (related to sites 'infringing' on Disney's IP), it follows that the seizure of several competing search engine domains must have come from one of the main Search Engine's offices, right?

    Oh, they aren't really trying to eliminate the competition for the 'big boys' so that they can have a backdoor into all users search activity....

    Ok, nothing to worry about move along folks, waves hand in the air while intoning 'These are not the search engines you are looking for' ....

    Apparently homeland security has joined the JEDI religion and thinks we will fall for their silly mind tricks.... Silly Homeland Security... Trix are for kids

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:04am

    i believe this to be serious business. i plan to write my senator about this (and yes, i'll use capital letters) and explain politely but soundly why i believe this to be wrong.

    where was the trial? the due process? what happened to 'innocent until proven guilty'?

    were the people who owned these sites even american? (that i need to look up before i write)

    this is not a good thing, this is a dangerous slope.

     

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      Anonymous, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:28am

      Re:

      No due process?

      "pursuant to a seizure warrant issued by a United States District Court."

      Property is seized from druglords all the time before trial.

      You people need to grow the fu*k up.

       

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        Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:53am

        Re: Re:

        If these sites involved counterfeiting and commercial infringement, which I know some of them did, then fine—those things are crimes, being investigated federally, and property seizure with a warrant makes sense.

        What's concerning is the sites that hosted absolutely no infringing material at all, including at least one (torrent-finder) that was just a search engine. It was essentially no different from conducting google queries with "filetype:torrent" attached. It would be a huge legal stretch even to file a civil infringement suit against that site, let alone accuse them of a crime, so I see absolutely no legal basis for seizing the domain. COICA might contain provisions for that, but the law as it stands doesn't.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:11am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If these sites involved counterfeiting and commercial infringement, which I know some of them did, then fine—those things are crimes, being investigated federally, and property seizure with a warrant makes sense.

          Yeah, who needs a silly trial, right? Criminals don't deserve trials, those are only for the innocent, huh? Yeah, makes perfect sense.
          /s

           

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            Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:15am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Er, what?

            Obviously I still think there should always be a trial, and there always will be a trial. We are talking about where along the line proper adversarial proceedings occur.

            So what I'm responding to is the comparison to seizing a drug lord's property, which can happen with a warrant as part of an investigation. In the case of criminal infringement charges I can see the similarity - in the case of potential civil infringement or no evidence of infringement at all, it seems like massive censorship.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:32am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              So what I'm responding to is the comparison to seizing a drug lord's property,

              Which is also a violation of due process.

               

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                Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:44am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Is it? I'm not really familiar with the law there. But if I understand correctly, search and seizure warrants happen all the time as part of criminal investigations. In any case, it is clearly an even more egregious violation when it concerns non-infringing sites.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:43am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Is it?

                  Yes.

                  But if I understand correctly, search and seizure warrants happen all the time as part of criminal investigations.

                  Violations of due process are routine. They are, however, still violations no matter how routine they may be.

                   

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                Anonymous, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 11:32am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                No it isn't, not if there's a warrant.

                This is yet another way false bs gets spread on techdirt...

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2010 @ 12:23am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  No it isn't, not if there's a warrant.

                  Yes, it is. Due process is due process whether some judge signs off on violating it or not.

                  This is yet another way false bs gets spread on techdirt...

                  You were referring to your own comment?

                   

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              xenomancer (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 6:21am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "and there always will be a trial."

              So, where are the trials for the June domain name seizures?

               

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                average_joe (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 6:54am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                So, where are the trials for the June domain name seizures?

                That's a great question.

                The seizure warrant from 7 of the domain names seized in June is here: http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/06/30/Warrant.pdf

                United States v. TVShack.net et al., S.D.N.Y., No. 10 MAG 1421

                I couldn't find anything on Westlaw, Lexis, or PACER. It could be sealed, or else maybe I'm just not using the right search terms. I dunno.

                 

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                  average_joe (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 8:13am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  So, where are the trials for the June domain name seizures?

                  I've been thinking about this one, and I think the answer is that under the law as it stands now, there is nothing that says the feds have to immediately inform the domain name owner of the seizure, nor must they at the same time give them a hearing on the issue. In other words, the government can stall things.

                  But, under COICA I believe there is a requirement of simultaneous notification to the domain name owner of the seizure with a window of opportunity for them to respond. In other words, COICA gives more protection to the domain name owners, in this respect anyhow, than they get under the current law.

                  And you guys were complaining that COICA was all bad. Sheesh. :)

                   

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          nasch (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Even if everything were above-board and there was ample evidence of criminal infringement... why is ICE and DHS involved?? What does this have to do with immigration or security? I just don't get it, if this were really legitimate (which I doubt) it should be done by the Federal BI.

           

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            average_joe (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Even if everything were above-board and there was ample evidence of criminal infringement... why is ICE and DHS involved?? What does this have to do with immigration or security? I just don't get it, if this were really legitimate (which I doubt) it should be done by the Federal BI.

            It's the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center): http://www.ice.gov/iprcenter/

            According to the website, it's a coordinated effort by:

            * U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
            * U.S. Customs and Border Protection
            * Federal Bureau of Investigation
            * Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations
            * U.S. Postal Inspection Service
            * Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration
            * U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
            * Naval Criminal Investigative Service
            * Defense Criminal Investigative Service
            * U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Command, Major Procurement Fraud Unit
            * General Services Administration, Office of Inspector General
            * Consumer Product Safety Commission
            * INTERPOL
            * Government of Mexico Tax Administration Service

            Considering that these are federal crimes occurring interstate and internationally, I'm not surprised at who the players are.

             

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              Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:19am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Oh, wonderful. Army CIC and NCIS are involved in freaking copyright infringement?

               

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                ComputerAddict (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:47am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                How about "Oh, Wonderful. Food and Drug Administration are involved in freaking copyright infringment?"

                You gotta be careful about those torrent files... they can contain viruses and poison your computer...

                 

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              Karl (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 2:23pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Considering that these are federal crimes occurring interstate and internationally

              Um, it's likely that most of these sites aren't engaging in "federal crimes."

              They could possibly be sued for contributory infringement, but that's hardly the same as being guilty of criminal infringement. Criminal infringement must be "willful" and commercial.

              So, a whole slew of Federal agencies are spending manpower and resources on people who may be tort defendants, but are not criminals.

               

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                average_joe (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 3:04pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Criminal infringement must be "willful" and commercial.

                That is simply not so. The Net Act criminalized non-commercial copyright infringement. Also, keep in mind that these sites are being seized for trademark infringement and/or copyright infringement.

                So, a whole slew of Federal agencies are spending manpower and resources on people who may be tort defendants, but are not criminals.

                No offense, but I'll take a federal prosecutor's and a federal judge's determination that there is probable cause that the sites were involved in criminal acts over your theory that they weren't.

                 

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                  Karl (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:01pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  The Net Act criminalized non-commercial copyright infringement.

                  Yes, I know. But the word "willful" is actually in the law. The NET Act merely re-defined "commercial" to include "the expectation of private gain" - so trading software is also "commercial." It also set minimum dollar amounts to be considered "criminal" infringement (which are ridiculously low).

                  However, all of that applies to direct infringement. I've never seen a single case in copyright history where a contributory infringer was charged with criminal infringement. Even Napster, Limewire, and Grokster weren't charged with a crime, and those sites are much more "devoted to infringement" than any of the sites taken down this weekend.

                   

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                    average_joe (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 9:37am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Yes, I know. But the word "willful" is actually in the law. The NET Act merely re-defined "commercial" to include "the expectation of private gain" - so trading software is also "commercial." It also set minimum dollar amounts to be considered "criminal" infringement (which are ridiculously low).

                    However, all of that applies to direct infringement. I've never seen a single case in copyright history where a contributory infringer was charged with criminal infringement. Even Napster, Limewire, and Grokster weren't charged with a crime, and those sites are much more "devoted to infringement" than any of the sites taken down this weekend.


                    How do you figure that the criminal copyright laws only applies to direct infringement? 17 U.S.C. 506 doesn't say that: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html#506

                    I think maybe you're thinking in terms of civil liability, where with these seizures the issue is criminal liability.

                    In criminal law, there is accomplice liability, conspirator liability, aiding and abetting, hindering prosecution, etc. I think you need to look at their activities through a criminal law lens.

                    I've never really researched the issue, and I'm too busy now to do so, but I'd be really surprised if liability for criminal copyright infringement only applied to direct infringers.

                     

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                  Karl (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:15pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Oh, yeah:

                  I'll take a federal prosecutor's and a federal judge's determination that there is probable cause that the sites were involved in criminal acts over your theory that they weren't.

                  You don't have to - some are back up at a mirror sites:
                  http://torrent-finder.info/

                  It doesn't host infringing content; doesn't host torrent files; and doesn't run a torrent tracker. It is functionally no different than Google (though it's a major pain in the ass).

                  Another site was RapGodfathers.com, a five-year-old forum site. That site is also back online at an .info domain, so you can judge for yourself whether they deserve to be locked up.

                   

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                average_joe (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 4:51pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Take a look at the PRO IP Act too which altered the Code on civil forfeitures, among other things.

                 

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              Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2010 @ 12:10am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              * Naval Criminal Investigative Service
              * Defense Criminal Investigative Service
              * U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Command


              So, the military is also going to be at Disney's beck and call.

              Looks like Crazy Horse 18 is going to be having a little fun with "illegal downloaders" too. (That'll teach 'em.) I wonder if we'll get the video. Will people get missile strikes for sharing it?

               

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              jchance, Jan 27th, 2011 @ 2:52pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The FDA, USPS, Immigration and Customs, Boarder Patrol, Department of Commerce, US Patent and Trademark Office, NCIS, DCIS, ACIC, GSA, CPSC, in the US have no mandate or jurisdiction regarding these types of matters and they are part of the US Government and military. Then with INTERPOL or the Government of Mexico Tax Administration Service, they are foreign law enforcement agencies with absolutely no jurisdiction in the US. Knowing all of this, what DHS is doing, especially having bedfellows like this is beyond illegal!

              It is like the CIA operating within the US boarders. That is illegal and they have been proven to do so. An example being how the CIA could not believe Jesse Ventura was elected governor of Minnesota. Before he even walked into the governor's office they took him to the basement, put him in a room, proceeded to interrogate him, and most in the room with the CIA would not say who they were or what their position in the CIA was.

              What the CIA did was not only a violation of the CIA mandate, it was a violation of the state's law, Federal law, and the US Constitution. Which is exactly what this little group working together is as well. One reason being is that it is illegal for foreign law enforcement to be involved in the governing or enforcement of laws in the United States.

              If any supposed crimes are taking place in regards to this and it is an American citizen or legal resident committing them, then it falls under the jurisdiction of the FBI solely or the state it is taking place in, not DHS, NCIS, or any other Federal organization / law enforcement agency.

              On that note of legal citizens, have you ever heard of them going after an illegal alien? Nope! And guess what they never do on any level. An illegal alien drives drunk and they are let go. Two illegal aliens try to steal an old man's trailer from his yard, in the process try to run him down, he shoots at them to defend himself, and they are let go while the old man is charged with attempted murder. You can Google that! It happened in 2010.

              So how about as a nation we worry about these types of things first. Focus on securing our boarders where we have lost 80 miles in from the boarder of Arizona to Mexican drug cartels, corrupt cops, and military, then worry about everything else.

              The US Government claims we could be terrorists while irradiating us and sexually assaulting us in violation of the Constitution, but it leaves the Mexican boarder wide open for real terrorists to come right in, which the cartels, the Mexican cops and military they have on the payrolls, are all terrorists under the twisted US Government definition of the word. They have secured the Canadian boarder going so far as splitting towns that straddle it, separating families, if not deporting families from their homes of generations.

              Like some Canadian is going to commit a terrorist act against the US, come on, Mexico is full of individuals who want to destroy the US. They stopped the fence and virtual fence going up along the boarder. They even admitted they had no intent of putting it up.

              Wake the hell up. This is just a ploy to silence alternative outlets to the mainstream media the government and corporations to control with using these sites as a test to see how far they can push us.

               

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        Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:11am

        Re: Re:

        Mike raises another important response to this in an upcoming post (yay crystal ball) which I suggest you read. Simply put: websites are speech, not property, and censorship has a much higher bar than seizure.

        (sorry for the leak Mike but I felt like that had to be brought up here!)

         

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          Anonymous, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:41pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Websites themselves are not speech. They are vessels for expression and speech. A website can not express something on its own. It must be created, and there is always a person(s) behind that.

          Thus, they are considered the property of those that use them as such.

          Counterfeiting, copyright infringement, and contributory infringement are against the law and are not examples of protected free speech or expression.

          When website property is seized due to committing the above illegal acts, it is NOT CENSORSHIP.

          There is NO PRIOR RESTRAINT. If there was, Napster, Grokster, and Limewire would have successfully used that 1st Amendment protection for their defense.

          As shown by Arcara v Cloud Books, even if an entity happens to engage in some legal activity, that does not exonerate them from their illegal activity.

          Trying to import and export counterfeited property into the US is illegal. There WAS due process done by Customs; A court order and warrant were obtained prior to seizure.

          People on this ridiculous, propagandistic blog need to stop lying about what happened Thursday, and what will continue to happen to those that think they can break the law on the internet.

           

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            BearGriz72 (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "As shown by Arcara v Cloud Books"

            Tired argument is tired...

            Try using a RELEVANT argument to the issue at hand.

             

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            Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 11:43pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Websites themselves are not speech.

            And with that one statement you show you do not understand the law *at all*. Seriously talk to *any* 1st Amendment lawyer and have them set you straight.

            They are vessels for expression and speech. A website can not express something on its own. It must be created, and there is always a person(s) behind that.

            Wow. You do not understand what qualifies as speech. Based on this argument, a newspaper isn't speech either. And you must know that's wrong.

            There is NO PRIOR RESTRAINT. If there was, Napster, Grokster, and Limewire would have successfully used that 1st Amendment protection for their defense.

            *sigh* Already explained why this is wrong.

            As shown by Arcara v Cloud Books, even if an entity happens to engage in some legal activity, that does not exonerate them from their illegal activity.

            Already explained why Arcara doesn't apply.

            People on this ridiculous, propagandistic blog need to stop lying about what happened Thursday, and what will continue to happen to those that think they can break the law on the internet.

            The only one lying appears to be you. Seriously. A website isn't speech? I can't stop laughing.

             

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              Anonymous, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 7:18am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You never explained anything of the sort, Masnick.

              Link to why Napster, Grokster, and Limewire didn't successfully use a prior restraint defense?

              Link to where you successfully refute that Arcara doesn't apply?

              Of course there's no links. They don't exist.

               

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                Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 7:28am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                This is so massively different from Napster, Grokster and Limewire. We are talking about pre-trial seizure, not a court order to cease activities. It's apples and oranges and you know it.

                And if you want to head back to the recent post where Arcara got tossed around for two straight days, you will see Mike and a few other lawyers in the comments refute it over and over and over again (not that any of you people who keep bringing it up seem to bother reading those refutations - then you'd have to admit they exist, I guess)

                Look, let me try to say this clearly: your point seems to be based on the fact that you believe these sites should go down, and you refuse to believe that a procedure which achieves your desired effect could be wrong.

                But that's the rub - even if I agreed with you that these sites are evil and should be banished from the web, I wouldn't agree with how it was done here. Because it's absolutely vital that we are consistent about the law, even when we don't like the outcome - after all, it's those undesirable outcomes that force laws to change and evolve and move forward.

                So apart from the fact that I disagree with your stance on these sites, I question whether you are even mature or intelligent enough to participate in a debate about the law, since for you it is all about achieving your desired goals, not about interpreting the law properly.

                 

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                  Anonymous, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 9:09am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  The Attorney General of the United States requested, and got, these sites taken down with a court order; warrants issued by a judge.

                  Are you claiming you know more about the law than them?

                   

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                    Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 3:50pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Oh for chrissakes... so after all this, your argument is "well, it happened, so it can't have been wrong"?

                    Fine. You're right, I can't claim to "know more about the law" than the AG and a judge, and neither can anyone here. So... discussion over, I guess?

                    Next time, just say that at the beginning then go away and let the grownups talk.

                     

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2010 @ 12:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Websites themselves are not speech. They are vessels for expression and speech. A website can not express something on its own. It must be created, and there is always a person(s) behind that.

            Oh, kind of like how a newspaper itself is not speech, but merely a vessel for expression and speech. As such, there is nothing wrong with shutting one down for whatever reason, huh?

            What a load. You industry shills really take the cake.

            People on this ridiculous, propagandistic blog need to stop lying about what happened Thursday, and what will continue to happen to those that think they can break the law on the internet.

            Come on, darryl, we know it's you.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:36am

        Re: Re:

        If people grow up you don't sell anything, just ask which segment of society buy the crap you are trying to sell LoL

         

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        Freak, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:48am

        Re: Re:

        Seizing property for criminal investigation is done, AFAIK, to prevent the destruction of the property as potential evidence. (Could someone in the know tell me whether I'm right on this?)


        In the case of websites, simply take a copy of the website.
        You don't have to 'take the website away', just like ripping a CD onto your computer doesn't magically melt the CD.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 11:58am

        Re: Re:

        see that is the thing. i don't want to grow up, i'm a toys r us kid, and there are a million toys at toys r us that i can play with.

        i mean, from bikes to trains to video games it is just the biggest toy store there is. so i don't want to grow up because, AC, if i did, i couldn't be a toys r us kid.

         

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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:13am

    Was over a torrent freak and posted these ideas

    1) an rss feed of seized domains and their ip addresses this way you can add them to your hosts file.
    2) Use an alternate DNS server that keeps the URLs and addresses.
    3) an automated app to automatically grab the seized domains and add them to the hosts file.
    4) split off from ICANN and do an alt DNS system the US has no control over.

    What Home Sec is not doing is remembering history. The catholic church used to maintain a list of banned books, the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. The problem with the list is the books all became best sellers.

    I think what you are going to see is curiosity kick in and people are going to seek out those sites. Much like the streisand effect. It will take less than 6 months for this to be an ineffective tool for Home Sec to use as the internet routes around obstructions and there have been a ton of suggestions already on how to deal with this.

     

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      Rekrul, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:41am

      Re: Was over a torrent freak and posted these ideas

      1) an rss feed of seized domains and their ip addresses this way you can add them to your hosts file.
      2) Use an alternate DNS server that keeps the URLs and addresses.
      3) an automated app to automatically grab the seized domains and add them to the hosts file.


      Contrary to popular belief, domain names and IP addresses aren't 100% interchangeable. Yes, they work most of the time, but not all the time. Want proof?

      The IP address for www.tvrage.com is 80.246.178.98. Try putting that in your address bar and see what you get. The IP address for epguides.com is 216.239.136.165 but try going there and you'll get the message "Unknown virtual host".

      Just adding IP addresses to your hosts file isn't going to work in every case.

       

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        Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:59am

        Re: Re: Was over a torrent freak and posted these ideas

        There's a vary technical reason for that. To get around that, you put the www.tvrage.com into your host file. The end outcome is exactly the same as if you got that info from a DNS server. The public DNS servers do NOT treat any IP address specially.

         

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        Jon, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:41am

        Re: Re: Was over a torrent freak and posted these ideas

        Actually, it works fine with a hosts file. The whole point of a hosts entry is that it preempts dns resolution. with the proper hosts file entry one *can* put the proper domain name in the address bar and have it work just as if the name was resolved via dns.

        You are correct about what happens if you put an ip address in your address bar because your browser includes the host name in the url in its request, so that shared web servers can differentiate requests coming in for multiple domains that may be hosted on the same server. Using a hosts file allows this mechanism to work properly even if the host name no longer resolves in "real" dns just as well as if you never bother to register it and only use host files (say on a small network of your own).

         

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        jeremy C. Schillinger, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:07am

        Re: Re: Was over a torrent freak and posted these ideas

        "The IP address for www.tvrage.com is 80.246.178.98. Try putting that in your address bar and see what you get. The IP address for epguides.com is 216.239.136.165 but try going there and you'll get the message "Unknown virtual host".

        that is due to a method called Host Header Values (the site listens for for multiple urls on that IP and serves up whichever one you type in. If you were to place the FQDN and IP in your hosts file, then your browser would append the HHV to the GET request and the porper page will come upl.

         

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          Rekrul, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: Was over a torrent freak and posted these ideas

          Thank you to all who responded. I didn't realize that having it in the hosts file would cause the browser to treat the request differently than just using the IP address.

           

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    Colonel Panik, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:14am

    Watching the watchers?

    While we are all feeling safe and comfortable knowing that
    the Touch Some @ss folks are taking care of our security
    maybe we could take time to read "Six Days of the Condor"?
    Or for those who have been severely undereducated there is
    the movie "Three Days of the Condor".

    Life imitating fiction? You bet. Seems like D.C has hired
    our best Speculative Fiction writers to protect us from something that isn't.

    Now the Colonel shall go ride his bike while not wearing a
    helmet.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:20am

    I looked at the various links associated with this article and have to wonder what facts are not mentioned that would serve to explain the totality of this matter. Something is missing and I do not know what it is, other than to note that criminal complaints under the Lanham Act and the Copyright Act are apparently pending against the individuals associated with the sites, complaints that should already be known to each of the individuals.

    This one has me scratching my head in the absence of such other information. Perhaps groups like the EFF will be able to fill in the blanks.

    It does bear mentioning that COICA is not a law, but only a bill being considered within Congress. What does distinguish the provisions of the bill is the mandate for a lawsuit being filed and tried before a federal judge before any action can be taken.

     

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      average_joe (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:50am

      Re:

      I looked at the various links associated with this article and have to wonder what facts are not mentioned that would serve to explain the totality of this matter. Something is missing and I do not know what it is, other than to note that criminal complaints under the Lanham Act and the Copyright Act are apparently pending against the individuals associated with the sites, complaints that should already be known to each of the individuals.

      This one has me scratching my head in the absence of such other information. Perhaps groups like the EFF will be able to fill in the blanks.

      It does bear mentioning that COICA is not a law, but only a bill being considered within Congress. What does distinguish the provisions of the bill is the mandate for a lawsuit being filed and tried before a federal judge before any action can be taken.


      I don't believe it's necessarily true that criminal complaints have been filed against any of the people behind the sites. In fact, I'd be surprised if they have.

      What's happening here is a civil forfeiture proceeding against the domain name (the "res") itself, which is, of course, a case that is an adversary proceeding. The operators of the sites are not themselves a party to the case, but they most certainly have the right to intervene as a third party.

      Here, the prosecutor takes probable cause to a federal judge who issues a seizure warrant allowing the domain name to be seized. From there notice is sent to the person who registered the domain name and they have so many days to intervene if they so wish.

      Of course, prosecutors take probable cause to judges to get warrants all the time, and the person against whom the warrant is issued is given no warning. And of course, such proceedings do not violate due process of law.

      These in rem proceedings are exactly the same type as called for in COICA. In one sense they're nothing new since trademark law has allowed in rem proceedings against domain names under the ACPA for over a decade. In another sense, their use by law enforcement is novel since the underlying "wrong" is presumably a criminal charge and not civil cybersquatting as under the ACPA. I don't think that changes the due process analysis though.

      One thing's for sure, this is all very interesting to watch.

       

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        Hephaestus (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:00am

        Re: Re:

        "One thing's for sure, this is all very interesting to watch."

        Agreed. I wonder what the reaction is going to be.

         

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          average_joe (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:11am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Agreed. I wonder what the reaction is going to be.

          Hopefully someone will challenge these proceedings on constitutional grounds and we get to watch it go up through the legal system. I don't think the constitutionality of these seizures changes whether COICA is law yet or not, so it's would be essentially a test of COICA for one of these seizures to go to court.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:18am

        Re: Re:

        Of course, prosecutors take probable cause to judges to get warrants all the time, and the person against whom the warrant is issued is given no warning. And of course, such proceedings do not violate due process of law.

        When a seizure if of evidence. That's not the case here. The purpose here is to deprive a person of something without trial. Whether that something is freedom, property, or something else, seizing it without trial most certainly does violate due process, despite what any corrupt judge may say.

         

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          average_joe (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:29am

          Re: Re: Re:

          When a seizure if of evidence. That's not the case here. The purpose here is to deprive a person of something without trial. Whether that something is freedom, property, or something else, seizing it without trial most certainly does violate due process, despite what any corrupt judge may say.

          It's not just evidence that can be seized, but also "instrumentalities" of crime. I imagine that's what these domain names would fall under.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:40am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It's not just evidence that can be seized, but also "instrumentalities" of crime.

            Kind of like how gun or automobile dealers or even grocers provide "instrumentalities" of crime. Yes, shut them all down, without trial.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:06am

        Re: Re:

        My comment's reference to criminal proceedings was taken from a memo distributed by the DOJ.

         

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          average_joe (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:53am

          Re: Re: Re:

          My comment's reference to criminal proceedings was taken from a memo distributed by the DOJ.

          Gotcha. They're undoubtedly are criminal investigations tied to these seizures, and it'll be interesting to see how many criminal charges are actually filed.

           

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        Karl (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 11:40am

        Re: Re:

        Here, the prosecutor takes probable cause to a federal judge who issues a seizure warrant allowing the domain name to be seized. From there notice is sent to the person who registered the domain name and they have so many days to intervene if they so wish.

        I still have no idea why this is not considered unconstitutional, as was the case in Fort Wayne Books v. Indiana:

        The pretrial seizure of petitioner's bookstore and its contents in No. 87-470 was improper. While a single copy of a book or film may be seized and retained for evidentiary purposes based on a finding of probable cause, books or films may not be taken out of circulation completely until there has been a determination of obscenity after an adversary hearing. The risk of prior restraint, which is the underlying basis for the special Fourth Amendment protection accorded searches for, and seizures of, First Amendment materials renders invalid the pretrial seizure here. Even assuming that petitioner's bookstore and its contents are forfeitable when it is proved that they were used in, or derived from, a pattern of violations of the state obscenity laws, the seizure was unconstitutional.


        (Emphasis mine.)

        Translation: You shouldn't be able to seize an entire website, just as you shouldn't be able to seize an entire bookstore, until after an adversarial hearing before a judge. It cannot be done "pretrial." If you do, it's "prior restraint" and unconstitutional.

         

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          average_joe (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 12:02pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's certainly a good argument, but I think the simple answer is that copyright infringement isn't protected speech so there isn't prior restraint. I don't have time to read through the case you linked to see what's going on there. Maybe later...

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 12:28pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            If you don't know what the material in question was, how can you be sure there isn't prior restraint?

            Oh, I get it, the government TOLD you that they were seizing the websites for copyright infringement and you believed them... Guess we'll never know what the real reasons are, since the sites that could be used to prove or disprove have been taken by the government.

            First they came for the Copyright Infringers, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't one,
            Then they came for the Political Dissidents, and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't one,
            You can figure out the rest....

             

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            Karl (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 12:33pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            copyright infringement isn't protected speech so there isn't prior restraint.

            Obscenity isn't protected speech either, yet that's exactly what the case was about.

             

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              average_joe (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 2:57pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Obscenity isn't protected speech either, yet that's exactly what the case was about.

              I get the argument, but I'm just not sure a domain name being seized under copyright and trademark law is analogous to a bookstore being seized under anti-obscenity laws. Of course you can argue that it is, but I think it's debatable, and I'm not aware of any caselaw on point.

               

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                Karl (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:27pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I'm just not sure a domain name being seized under copyright and trademark law is analogous to a bookstore being seized under anti-obscenity laws.

                They were already ruled as being analogous in CDT v. Pappert, which used the Fort Wayne Books ruling as case law.

                And the Pappert case was about child pornography, a much more serious problem (and much less protected form of speech) than copyright infringement.

                 

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                  average_joe (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 6:42am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  They were already ruled as being analogous in CDT v. Pappert, which used the Fort Wayne Books ruling as case law.

                  And the Pappert case was about child pornography, a much more serious problem (and much less protected form of speech) than copyright infringement.


                  I don't really think Pappert does much work for us here, since in that case the problem was the lack of adversary proceedings. Not to mention they took down over a million websites in an effort to block less than 400 sites accused of having kiddie porn.

                  By the way, Karl, I read this paper last night when I was up with the little one, and I thought you'd enjoy it: http://www.law.ucla.edu/volokh/copyinj.htm

                  Title is "FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND INJUNCTIONS IN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CASES"

                  It argues that there shouldn't be injunctions in IP cases. Professors Lemley and Volokh always make for a good read.

                   

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          Karl (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 12:21pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Expanding on this: These cases exemplify why such adversarial proceedings need to take place. Because seizing many of these websites is a clear-cut case of prior restraint.

          For example: One of the domains seized was RapGodFathers.com, which was a discussion site devoted to rap-related issues. Occasionally, a user (not a moderator) would post a link to a "mix tape" he made; mix tapes are often used by rap artists to break into the scene. The site itself hosted no infringing content, did not operate a tracker, and did not advertise itself as a site where you could download any content (infringing or not). If the site owners got a DMCA takedown request, that request would be honored, and the posts would be edited or removed.

          In other words: it's a site whose primary purpose was protected speech, and was obeying the law as it currently stands, yet it was taken down without prior notice.

          Another example: The site Torrent-Finder.com. Not only did this site not host infringing content, it didn't host torrent files either, nor did it run a tracker. Instead, it allowed you to search other websites, and it displayed the results in an iframe. If you don't believe me, torrent-finder.info (a mirror) is still up and running; check it out yourself.

          Not only was it not involved in direct infringement, it wasn't a third party to infringement either. More like a "fourth party." If it is guilty, then so is Google, Bing, or Yahoo!, all of which do the same thing.

          I'll bet if I checked out the other sites, I'd find that the majority of them were sites like the ones above. And these sites should not be shut down at all - much less without a trial.

           

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          Mel, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:36pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Here, the prosecutor takes probable cause to a federal judge who issues a seizure warrant allowing the domain name to be seized. From there notice is sent to the person who registered the domain name and they have so many days to intervene if they so wish."

          This did not happen. I'm affiliated with 2 BLOGS (not music piracy sites) that were on this list and neither were notified, still have not been notified, were given no warnings in advance nor notices, and 99% of the content on the blogs was provided by the record labels, artists, and producers. In fact there are several instances of the artists and labels themselves tweeting links to those two BLOGS to promote the songs on the blog.

          The sites actually went down on Thanksgiving, and there has still be no communication with anybody and no information whatsoever on who to contact or how to proceed.

          http://twitter.com/kanyewest/status/29634496522

           

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    Jan Bilek (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:20am

    fake?

    Some comments at http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/101127-010659 suggest it's just a hoax. Are we sure it's not?

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:21am

    Toe in the water?

    Perhaps it's just me, but this all seems to have a "dip their toe in the water" feel towards domain seizures and internet censorship. They're doing it under the auspices of protecting IP infringement now...perhaps to set a precedent?

    Imagine if you will: a public somewhat used to domain seizures for filesharing suddenly finding themselves unable to go to websites that the DHS has deemed as "promoting/protecting terror".

    Feature creep, perhaps?

     

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      Hephaestus (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:49am

      Re: Toe in the water?

      "Imagine if you will: a public somewhat used to domain seizures for filesharing suddenly finding themselves unable to go to websites that the DHS has deemed as "promoting/protecting terror".

      Feature creep, perhaps?"

      By the time it gets to the point of feature creep DNS will be out of US hands. I claim the future top level domains .Dave .David .Hephaestus .ThanksDHS .... Welcome to the new wild west

       

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        Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:36am

        Re: Re: Toe in the water?

        I want the TLD .local just to piss of a few IT guys who have no idea how to work active directory and local DNS.

         

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          Jeremy C. Schillinger (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:14am

          Re: Re: Re: Toe in the water?

          .internal and .local with windows 2000 were the MS preferred way to set up AD. it has NOTHING to know how to seperate local and public DNS. it has everything to do with place an organizational buffere in place that cant be messed by your linux admins who think they are AD Admin (I assume you fall into that category)

           

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            Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Toe in the water?

            I'm actually referring to how Windows workstations use DNS with Windows AD Servers. If a workstation points outside for DNS resolution then it cannot get a proper response from "server.local" for authentication and other things internal DNS is used for. I see it far to often, and it's annoying as crap.

            I want the TLD .local so I can make it respond to requests for *anything*.local with a message "your IT guy didn't setup your network properly". If a network is setup correctly, this can not affect it.

            I will be the first to admit that I know nothing about how Linux domains work.

             

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              vivaelamor (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 1:47pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Toe in the water?

              'I want the TLD .local so I can make it respond to requests for *anything*.local with a message "your IT guy didn't setup your network properly". If a network is setup correctly, this can not affect it.'

              Even this well written article on the issue presumes for the 'best option' that you have a domain name. Buying one for the sole purpose of Active Directory seems rather silly.

               

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    Anonymous, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:21am

    LOL, Masnick. I assume when the Coast Guard does something you also refer to it as "Homeland Security", right? Because it is also under DHS, as are some 20 other agencies.

    Did you know that the US Customs Service has been around since 1789? They did their job well Thursday. And legally.

    Re COICA: No one ever claimed "no such domain seizures would ever possibly come without a full trial first". I wonder how that smelled when you pulled it out of your ass...

    And stop with the "nothing more than a search engine" bullshit, Mike. We all know a piracy apologist like yourself is well aware of the contributory infringement decisions that have ended the life of so many of your beloved music piracy sites.

     

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      RD, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:33am

      Re:

      "And stop with the "nothing more than a search engine" bullshit, Mike. We all know a piracy apologist like yourself is well aware of the contributory infringement decisions that have ended the life of so many of your beloved music piracy sites."

      So when do they go after Google then, which, after all, is THE SINGLE LARGEST ABUSER OF 'CONTRIBUTORY INFRINGEMENT' ON THE PLANET??

      Please. Enlighten us about this. Because, you cant jump and scream bloody murder about everyone else on this topic, and then just give Google a pass. They have 10,000 TIMES more links/info/references than ALL the other 'pirate' sites COMBINED.

      Stop being an industry apologist shill.

       

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      thublihnk (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:38am

      Re:

      Try googling anything with 'torrent' attached to the phrase. Google's leading to piracy! Google is a contributory infriger! GOOGLE MUST BE STOPPED.

       

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      Hephaestus (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:39am

      Re:

      Manic much? You seem very enthused by these seizures (web sites not grand mal type). The problem you face is that this is openning a huge can of worms that has alot of the webs architects and standards types discussing removing ICANN and DNS from US control.

       

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      AJ, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:51am

      Re:

      I know i shouldn't feed the trolls, but they're soooo hungry....

      "nothing more than a search engine"

      You can do a file type search on all major search engines, does that make them all guilty of "contributory infringement"? Why doesn't the government go after Google? eh? Not so easy of a target perhaps?

      "....decisions that have ended the life of so many of your beloved music piracy sites."

      should read... decisions that have ended the life of so many of your beloved music piracy sites, only to have them pop back up hours later somewhere else.

      You, like the government, are an idiot if you think any one governement, person, or agency can "block" or "remove" anything from internet. If the people want it, it will simply show up somewhere else. The internet is designed to route around problems, you sir, have been routed around...

       

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      average_joe (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:01am

      Re:

      Re COICA: No one ever claimed "no such domain seizures would ever possibly come without a full trial first". I wonder how that smelled when you pulled it out of your ass...

      I didn't really understand that comment either. Under COICA, as here, the *temporary* seizure warrant is issued ex parte. But once the domain name is seized, the person who registered the domain name is contacted and invited to intervene in the proceedings. Whether or not they do in fact intervene is their choice, but you cannot say they did not have an opportunity to make their case. In other words, there is a trial if the people behind the site want it. The *temporary* seizure warrant is not made *permanent* until after the adversary hearing is over.

      Nobody ever said that the *temporary* seizures would not happen absent an adversary hearing, and I believe it is incorrect to suggest otherwise. That's simply not how COICA or these in rem proceedings work. What people have claimed, and what is true, is that the seizure does not become *permanent* until there is an adversary hearing.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:52am

        Re: Re:

        Nobody ever said that the *temporary* seizures would not happen absent an adversary hearing, and I believe it is incorrect to suggest otherwise.

        Only a "temporary" injustice, huh? Would you mind if I "temporarily" beat you about the head with a large stick? I'll eventually stop, I promise.

        Or maybe "temporary" will just be for a "limited time", like copyright, like life plus 70 years. Or maybe "forever minus a day". Yeah, temporary's just fine.

         

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          average_joe (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Only a "temporary" injustice, huh? Would you mind if I "temporarily" beat you about the head with a large stick? I'll eventually stop, I promise.

          Or maybe "temporary" will just be for a "limited time", like copyright, like life plus 70 years. Or maybe "forever minus a day". Yeah, temporary's just fine.


          I don't really follow you. The site's operators can intervene immediately once the warrants are executed.

           

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        Karl (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 1:22pm

        Re: Re:

        Under COICA, as here, the *temporary* seizure warrant is issued ex parte.

        We discussed this above, but seizing any materials even potentially protected by the First Amendment, prior to an adversarial hearing, is unconstitutional prior restraint. Whether that seizure is "temporary" or not.

        Yes, the temporary seizures happen without an adversarial hearing. (The permanent seizures do not.)

        And yes, materials that are potentially infringing are protected speech. They don't lose their protected status until after they're found to be infringing.

        Furthermore, under the current COICA text, the government isn't just taking action against the alleged infringers, but against third parties as well. ISP's face penalties if they resolve the domain name; "financial transaction providers" (e.g. Visa) face penalties if they allow their services to be used by the websites; and advertisers face penalties if they allow their ads to be placed on the sites. Those penalties kick in the moment the temporary warrant is issued.

        What's worse: even if those ISP's, credit card companies, and advertisers do not get an injunction from the Attorney General, they are immune from all liability if they cut off service to any websites that they believe are "dedicated to infringing activities."

        This bill is both unconstitutional prior restraint regarding the "infringing" websites themselves, and de facto censorship through those third parties.

         

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          average_joe (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 3:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          We discussed this above, but seizing any materials even potentially protected by the First Amendment, prior to an adversarial hearing, is unconstitutional prior restraint. Whether that seizure is "temporary" or not.

          And yet preliminary injunctions are issued in infringement cases with regularity.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:43am

      Re:

      LOL, Masnick. I assume when the Coast Guard does something you also refer to it as "Homeland Security", right? Because it is also under DHS, as are some 20 other agencies.

      Heh, these industry shills are pretty obvious sometimes. They sure hate the truth, don't they?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:15am

      Re:

      Like this site: http://oink.cd/

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:43am

      Re:

      LOL, Masnick. I assume when the Coast Guard does something you also refer to it as "Homeland Security", right? Because it is also under DHS, as are some 20 other agencies.

      There is nothing inaccurate in my statement, is there? I'm at a loss as to what you're complaining about. Customs is under Homeland Security. Saying so is accurate. If you are complaining about something where I made a factual error, please clarify.

      Re COICA: No one ever claimed "no such domain seizures would ever possibly come without a full trial first". I wonder how that smelled when you pulled it out of your ass...

      In the earlier comments sections on COICA stories people did, in fact, make such a claim. I didn't make it up. I find it funny that those who made that claim are now hiding from it by pretending I made it up. Amusing.

      And stop with the "nothing more than a search engine" bullshit, Mike.

      Again, you seem to have a real problem when I describe something accurately, because you don't want such accurate descriptions being made. I would suggest this might say more about your position than your belief in truth.

      We all know a piracy apologist like yourself is well aware of the contributory infringement decisions that have ended the life of so many of your beloved music piracy sites.

      I've never had any "beloved music piracy sites." I don't file share. I've never used any such sites. But, in response to the key part of your comment, yes, we are aware of contributory infringement decisions under US law. TPB is not based in the US, so US law on the matter is not binding.

      Furthermore, the US legal rulings were a definite shift in the law due to a court's decision. Congress had a chance to put contributory infringement into copyright law and *chose not to do so*. This is a highly dynamic area of law, and assuming that a couple of US decisions is suddenly well established is pretty funny.

      Furthermore, there are some key differences between those that were found guilty of contributory infringement, such as Grokster and The Pirate Bay in how they function. Those who don't wish to understand the actual issues and the unintended consequences are free to pretend they're the same, but the end results may come back to haunt you.

      Finally, if you believe so strongly in contributory infringement decisions in the court, then these sites should have been taken to trial, not just seized by the government.

      Why would you be against due process like that? I do wonder...

       

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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:23am

    Worse than draconian is LAWLESS.

    I've been consistently correct that the gov't is no longer bothering with "laws". At least recognize the trend, people.

    All of Mike's theories are premised on stable gov't that at least pretends you have rights, but as the TSA molestation and DHS seizing web sites now shows to even the dullest, all that's irrelevant in the 21st century.

     

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    lux (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:33am

    Please note...

    DHS is far less concerned about piracy than it is with the dissemination of state secrets in the form of the Wikileaks leak.

     

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    Howard the Duck (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:47am

    Torrent-Finder not on the list

    Homeland security doesn't list Torrent-Finder on their list of seized domains? http://www.ice.gov/news/releases/1006/100630losangeles.htm

     

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    pegr, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 7:50am

    This is CyberWar

    The US Government has been hiring IT security experts (and by experts, I mean management types)though contracting arrangements via Carnegie Mellon and others for the last year or so. They are gearing up for big things. This is just a test run. We have yet to see the big hammer drop.

    Yes, this is what they mean when they say "cyberwar" and National Security. Reshaping the Internet into their vision is their purpose. Things are going to get very interesting indeed.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:05am

    Interesting stuff

    "What everyone should have noticed was when the cyber chief of the US Department of Homeland Security, Rod A. Beckstrom, resigned last year and was immediately appointed the president of ICANN."

    From the comments

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:49am

      Re: Interesting stuff

      "What everyone should have noticed was when the cyber chief of the US Department of Homeland Security, Rod A. Beckstrom, resigned last year and was immediately appointed the president of ICANN."

      Actually, I wouldn't read too much into that. While I disagree with much of what ICANN does, Rod is a smart guy. He was only cyber chief for a very short time, and he left because the Defense Department and the NSA tried to claim control over fighting "cyberwar." Rod's book "starfish and the spider" says a lot of stuff that actually agrees with what we talk about here, about the power of distributed forces vs. centralized ones.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:10am

    Thank God they did that!!!! I trust government more than any of you whack jobs!

     

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      Gwiz, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:31am

      Re:

      Thank God they did that!!!! I trust government more than any of you whack jobs!

      Well good for you. Now be a good sheeple and move along - nothing for you to see here and ignore the man behind the curtain.

      As for myself - I trust no one's authority but my own.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:34am

      Re:

      0/10

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:30am

    Mandates

    Seizing domain names without a trial, and taking down sites that appear to be nothing more than search engines, rather than actually hosting infringing material, is a huge, dangerous step, which appears to have absolutely nothing to do with Homeland Security's mandate.

    Silly boy, there are written mandates and unwritten mandates. Homeland Security's unwritten mandate is to eliminate freedom, foster a totalitarian state, and serve the interests of the corporate-government state. Thus, these actions follow that mandate perfectly well.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 8:54am

    http://netsukuku.freaknet.org/

    Netsukuku is great in that it can create wireless mesh networks that bypass ISP's completely(although I didn't test that yet).

    http://osiris.kodeware.net/

    Osiris portals are serverless, so they spread through the P2P network members.


    Both are writen in real languages not that JAVA crapoula.

    Isn't that great

     

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    conserned American, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:37am

    Hummmmmm

    Sounds like Uncle Sammy has its own mini ss goon squad

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 9:47am

    GNUNet also uses their own DNS system kind of thing.

    gnunet://ecrs/chk/C00KA4ESVK7URORI2ID42H3FL6S8RERV1AG2MRKE8M7J6JKLTSL7OB9VAC8PSLAEU7NMIK4C HTOC098HTRU74JJ5TFMIL0DU5ROEEJ8.VRO032B02MDKCNO3FBML29K03FT0BU53ODFTDDE9QVPFODJHC55FH7OST244V51655HV QFEVBPBOTDNN9FBC65N13LHJ4NB2TEQJP4G.6135

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 10:58am

    The seizing of the domains had one big effect on the internet, this thing is hot right now.

    Probably will blow up in the face of the government.

    I saw a lot of law blogs linking to those news and they are not happy about it apparently.

     

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    Mel, Nov 29th, 2010 @ 6:22pm

    If OnSmash

    If OnSmash and DaJaz1 are such notorious music pirates why exactly would Kanye West himself link to them to promote his video? http://twitter.com/kanyewest/status/29634496522

     

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    Dave, Nov 30th, 2010 @ 4:29am

    UK are at it as well

    Seems this sort of thing is catching. UK police are asking for powers to take down websites that they believe may be involved with criminal activity. Note that this is without due process through the courts. Since when have the police got the authority to shut down a website? They are supposed to uphold the laws of the land, as decided elsewhere by the peoples' representatives, not make up new ones as they go along. Whether something or someone is attempting to pervert the course of justice is for a court and/or jury to decide. If the site owners are suspected of doing something illegal, they should be investigated and a court will act accordingly. This smacks of the same problem of perfectly legal street photographers being harassed by police (and others) whilst engaged in their legitimate hobby. Police here and your Homeland Security people should be reined in a bit, in my opinion.

     

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    Martin LaBelle (profile), Nov 30th, 2010 @ 7:52am

    Press the Reset Button

    Sometimes I think we need to press the reset button on legal precedent. We are really hurting

     

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    otakucode, Dec 1st, 2010 @ 10:56am

    People need to start fighting whatever domain maintaining organizations corroborated with these criminal actions. Just because someone knocks on your door and says "I'm from the government" does not mean that you relinquish all moral responsibility for your actions from then on. If they tell you to lock the domain, you tell them to present an actual legitimate court order or get the hell out of your office. DHS could not have done this without corroboration.

     

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    identicon
    BrandtMorain, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 8:03am

    Piracy IS Illegal

    Told you so!

    Copyright law has been well established for decades now. No new law needs to be created in order to enforce existing copyright statutes. These websites are lucky that their developers/CEO's weren't arrested/fined outright.

    Marie Summers, Director of Marketing
    BrandtMorain Studios
    www.brandtmorain.com

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 11:18am

      Re: Piracy IS Illegal

      Copyright law has been well established for decades now.

      And tyranny has been well established for eons. So what else is new? Both should be abolished.

       

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


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