Talking About Homeland Security's Domain Seizures

from the priorities dept

We've had a bunch of posts this week about Homeland Security's seizure of domain names under questionable legal reasoning. Yesterday I went on The Alyona Show to discuss it. Here's the clip (though, I was actually in Sunnyvale, CA about 400 miles from Los Angeles, despite the claim that I'm in LA):


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 5:56pm

    No brown blazer?

     

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    Esahc (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 6:18pm

    It was nice knowing you due process.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2010 @ 6:24pm

    Good job Mike! Keep doing what you're doing. I for one appreciate it.

     

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    average_joe (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 7:21pm

    That's what you look like? Somehow you look a lot different to me in this pic: http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/photos/uncategorized/2008/12/12/mike_masnick_660px_2.jpg

    Maybe it's the angle.

     

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    Gary (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 7:22pm

    If DHS can take control of hundreds of domain names, why is wikileak not shutdown. Not that i want it shutdown, but you have to ask.. A few video's get DHS sites shutdown, but a "classified" leak that threatens world leaders isnt important enough to get a site shutdown?

    Who's playing who?

     

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      average_joe (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 7:36pm

      Re:

      If DHS can take control of hundreds of domain names, why is wikileak not shutdown. Not that i want it shutdown, but you have to ask.. A few video's get DHS sites shutdown, but a "classified" leak that threatens world leaders isnt important enough to get a site shutdown?

      Who's playing who?


      I think the reason is that wikileaks uses a .org top-level domain which is not managed by a company on U.S. soil, i.e., they could not serve a seizure warrant on them.

       

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    .-=RWW=-., Dec 1st, 2010 @ 7:43pm

    But, but, but...

    I am curious why you didn't mention that they failed to utilize a DMCA take down process as a first resort - for the sites accused of infringement (versus the sites selling the counterfeit goods, which appears to be an intentional blurring of the diversity of the two issues), rather than instituting an immediate seizure. Also, she asked you a lot of questions she should be asking an ICE man (like maybe Agent Silver Streak). ;-)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2010 @ 8:01pm

    Putting to one side the technical issues associated with trying to effectively drive a web site out of business, it does not seem to me to be problematic when the USG makes it more difficult for a website engaged in the sale of counterfeit goods to keep plying the illicit trade of such goods. Even purchasers in the US who actually take the time to determine if such sites are in fact selling legitimate goods can easily be misled. One of the sites, for example, advertised it was selling honest-to-goodness Ping golf clubs. Turns out that when orders were received the purchasers were none to happy that they had been dupped and instead received POS knockoffs. Sad to say, but this is an issue that arises quite frequently on eBay, for example. Of course, I do agree that safe harbor is an important feature of US law to cabin service provider liability.

    I daresay nobody who purchases a $5 Rolex on a street corner in NYC is misled in the slightest. It seems to me it is a different matter when the seller is located behind an official looking website, most of which it seems are situated in countries such as China.

    Of course, blogs and torrent sites raise a host of other issues, which I readily admit can include legitimate issues under the First Amendment. Blogs situated in the US certainly enjoy rights under the First Amendment. However, it does not necessarily follow that blogs situated outside the US enjoy similar rights since such rights are territorially limited.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 11:39pm

      Re:

      Putting to one side the technical issues associated with trying to effectively drive a web site out of business, it does not seem to me to be problematic when the USG makes it more difficult for a website engaged in the sale of counterfeit goods to keep plying the illicit trade of such goods.

      Sure. Sue them, take them to court and have a trial. Then you can put them out of business. But seizing it first and never charging anyone with a crime where a trial can be had? You don't find that even the least bit troubling?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 7:29am

        Re: Re:

        In the case of those companies introducing counterfeit goods into the US that are outside the reach of US authorities, I am not particularly troubled. Since a trial against the people running those companies is virtually impossible, resort to an In Rem action seems reasonable under the circumstances.

        Importantly, it was determined beforehand that they were in fact selling counterfeits. Likewise, the authority to seize was cabined by the fact that before seizure US authorities had to present competent and relevant evidence to the court, and then secure the court's order.

        Of course, the dynamics and procedures would have changed completely if any of these companies were physically present in the US. The principals would have been arrested, and the actual facilities padlocked.

         

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          mkam (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 7:54am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Importantly, it was determined beforehand that they were in fact selling counterfeits. Likewise, the authority to seize was cabined by the fact that before seizure US authorities had to present competent and relevant evidence to the court, and then secure the court's order.

          Huh??? Determined beforehand they were guilty? Do you have a transcript of the case because I was not aware of any trial. It seemed we had a guilty until proven innocent seizure here. It has been pointed out here and other places that a couple of the sites were search engines that didn't host any content, and a couple of the other sites were hosting content that definitely included legitimate content (maybe some illegitimate content too).

          DHS has overstepped their bounds by a great deal and trampled free speech in the process. I for one hope that people get fired and the courts get involved.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 9:32am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            If you happen to read my various comments, you will see that they are limited to those off-shore companies that are selling conterfeit goods. I purposely did not include torrent sites because they raise some different issues.

            Let me ask you a practical question. How would you propose to handle sales by such companies into the US when they are beyond the reach of US authorities? People doing this in the US would be arrested and their sales/shipping facilities closed. These matters would then be addressed at a criminal trial. But what about companies where you are unable to arrest the individuals and close their facilities because they are located outside of the US? It seems to me that making it harder for such companies to ply their illicit trade in the US is a reasonable response.

            It might help to put the shoe on the other foot. You are a purchaser of goods, you buy a product from one of these off-shore sites, and then when the product arrives you discover you have been duped. Yes, sometimes what these sites sell is so discounted that only an idiot would think they are getting an honest to goodness product. Unfortunately, it is not at all unusual for many of these sites to sell their counterfeits at a modest discount over what you would otherwise pay to a retailer here in the US. Even a cautious buyer can find himself in a position of having been screwed big time and having no effective recourse to cure what has happened.

             

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              ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:51am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "You are a purchaser of goods, you buy a product from one of these off-shore sites, and then when the product arrives you discover you have been duped."

              Oh come on. How often does either the merchant or the customer believe they're dealing with authentic goods?

              Everyone except the trademark holder is perfectly happy with this arrangement.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 11:10am

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

                The merchants already know they are selling bogus goods. It is their customers who may be missing this tidbit of information.

                 

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                  ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 11:50am

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

                  "It is their customers who may be missing this tidbit of information."

                  Morons in a hurry? Maybe. The rest not so much.

                   

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              nasch (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 11:20am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Seems the WTO would be a great place to start.

               

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              athe, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 1:53pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Caveat emptor

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:23pm

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

                Remember this should you ever buy a used car and later learn that the odometer has been reprogrammed to show fewer miles.

                 

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    Anonymous, Dec 1st, 2010 @ 8:14pm

    The Alyona Show. Russia. The birthplace of Marxism.

    This is just too funny.

    It's like "Free Ammunition Day" at the gun shop...

     

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      average_joe (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 8:24pm

      Re:

      The Alyona Show. Russia. The birthplace of Marxism.

      This is just too funny.

      It's like "Free Ammunition Day" at the gun shop...


      I wondered why the clock at the bottom left told the time in Moscow. :)

       

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      Free Capitalist (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 10:16am

      Re:

      Hehe that is kind of funny (though they didn't actually "birth" Marxism). In essence he's talking about government takeover and control of a market in the land that tried very hard to make that work in scale and showed just how badly it fails in the long run.

      I hope the IP industries enjoy cold fish soup for breakfast.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2010 @ 9:41pm

    Germany was the birthplace of Marxism.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 1st, 2010 @ 10:18pm

    and we've discovered that people are willing to pay for the really good ones


    She is right, I would pay for the good ones, the good ones being open source music the rest is just not worth it.

     

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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 1st, 2010 @ 10:34pm

    It's like, they accuse someone of running an illegal smuggling/counterfeiting/whatever operation in your home, and they send the police to SEIZE THE ADDRESS PLAQUE on your house.

     

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      Gwiz, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 7:48am

      Re:

      It's like, they accuse someone of running an illegal smuggling/counterfeiting/whatever operation in your home, and they send the police to SEIZE THE ADDRESS PLAQUE on your house.

      In a couple of the cases it seems more like a newspaper who printed a want ad of someone selling something illegal and they rushed in and seized the newspaper's printing presses.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 1:15am

    So thats what mike looks like, different than in my head haha.

    Nice clip mate, fingers crossed some people listened!

     

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    spc, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 3:09am

    Thank God for Russia. The gold standard for democracy and respect of law...

     

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      Richard (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 3:51am

      Re:

      Hmm...
      Look at the general direction they have moved over the last 30 years - and compare with the US or Western Europe.

      They still have a lot of problems - but, broadly, things are getting better.

      Over here on the other hand I'm not so sure.

       

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      Gabriel Tane (profile), Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 7:51am

      Re:

      Because American politicians and representatives have proven beyond doubt by practice that they truly have law and order in their hearts and would never do anything for personal gain that might be against the law or represent a threat to our democratic republic form of government.

      Yup. Sure does give me the warm fuzzies just thinkin about it!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 4:46am

    "... Rusia. The birthplace of Marxism."

    Homeschooled in Texas?

     

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