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Freedom Of Information Document Dump From ICE About Domain Seizures Almost Totally Redacted

from the see-what-you-can-find dept

With the (way too late) return of Dajaz1.com after over a year of prior restraint and denied due process, there's increasing interest in Homeland Security's efforts to censor websites through its Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division. Earlier this year, we noted that ICE appeared to be stalling in response to Michael Robertson's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for info related to the round of domain seizures that got Dajaz1 (as well as still unaccounted for domains OnSmash.com and Torrent-Finder.com).

Robertson has sent over the entirety of what ICE eventually sent over. They claimed to have found 754 responsive pages... but 144 of those pages are completely redacted. The other pages are also full of redacted info. I've gone through a few hundred of the pages, and it's pretty useless. It basically looks like the administrative paperwork ICE filed on its activities. Details are pretty slim, though you can catch a glimpse of their thinking here or there -- such as saying that when seizing domains that are still part of an investigation, "no seizure noticed should be issued to the violator." Ah, the US government -- seizing speech and refusing to even notify those impacted.

Either way, I figure with a lot more eyes looking over these documents, perhaps someone would pick up a detail or two that isn't readily obvious on a quick skim of all the documents... so have at the embeds below:


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Violated (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 11:08am

    Here is your open and accountable Government. I guess Present Obama once wanting such falls second to lobbying funds.

     

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  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Poster, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 11:27am

    This country just gets shittier by the day.

    Why do we lie back and accept this sort of thing? Are we really that complacent as a society -- or is it because we're not as tightly knit a society as other countries are?

    The attack on our freedoms that ICE's domain seizures, SOPA/PIPA, the NDAA, and other similar moves by the American government are unheard of -- but we do next-to-nothing about them that catches the government's attention. (For all of the letter and phonecalls and whatnot concerning SOPA, the government cronies debating it seem to not give a shit about the opposition's fears.)

    There needs to be a moment in time where American citizens, as a society, stand up to the government and declare in one voice that we will not let this country become something that the Founding Fathers would have fought against. There is an air of tyranny in actions like ICE's domain seizures and the passage of the NDAA; SOPA would just be another step in that direction.

    Americans, this is our country; do we deserve to be cattle for the corporations, government cronies, and ultra-wealthy...or do we deserve to be a free and prosperous people?

    If you believe the latter, then find a way to fight back against this tyranny-in-progress before it's too late.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 11:36am

    Re:

    Much of the problem is the fact that the government grants monopoly power to a self interested media cartel and hence this media cartel uses the power of the state to keep us ignorant and to indoctrinate us with opinions that are in their best interests and not the public interest. Fundamentally, government established cableco and broadcasting monopolies need to be abolished.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    bigpicture, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Corruption Index

    The good old US Government posts what is named a "Corruption Index" where all the countries of the world are ranked according to their level of corruption in Business and Political dealings. I guess when you get to rank yourself you don't have to go to the top of the list, so then you can even be corrupt about Corruption Ranking, because you get to set the standards about what is corrupt and what isn't. On my personal index the US is number one, because of the sheer scale of the lies, deceit, and dirty dealings. Never did see those WMDs in Iraq, but I heard about some sweet oil deals with Halliburton involvement, and saw a lot of people loose their lives. But that's not corruption because (we passed a law) the Iraqi citizens are now so FREE. Hitler passed a lot of Laws too, to make tyranny legal. Wake Up before it's too late. The Founding Fathers did not put in the Right to Bear Arms because governments have no self promoting agendas..

     

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  5.  
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    iamtheky (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 1:53pm

    Thats awesome that in their SEACATS remarks they put (RIAA) next to the artists name as if that somehow validates that DAJAZ1 is infringing. It moreso just makes the (unsigned) stand out on the Rapgodfathers takedown.

    pg.354 of 2011FOIA7113

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 1:55pm

    The level here of cynicism, bordering on disgust, directed at the USG is astounding. Perhaps those cynics should pause for a moment and ask themselves how many other countries would tolerate many of the comments that are regularly posted here.

    Our system of government is by no means perfect, but given a choice it is the one to which I would default every time.

    As for FOIA, there is nothing at all unusual about responses such as this. Frankly, I am somewhat surprised that the FOIA officer did not also use Exemption (b)(5).

    Do all the redactions mean someone is or has done something nefarious and is trying to hide it? To simply assume this is what is being done is shortsighted, uninformed about FOIA and how it works, and almost certainly wrong.

     

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  7.  
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    iamtheky (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 2:13pm

    Re:

    Do all the redactions mean someone is or has done something nefarious and is trying to hide it? To simply assume this is what is being done is shortsighted, uninformed about FOIA and how it works, and almost certainly wrong.

    The reasons why it is redacted do not matter, only that they are authorized exemptions. So, how does the public verify that redacted information is actually subject to the exemption?

    must just be a cynic, but the big black blocks are a grand reminder of the transparency they are truly striving for.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Poster, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 2:15pm

    Re:

    Our system of government is by no means perfect

    Perfection is unattainable by any government.

    That doesn't mean the government has to say "fuck it" and let itself be corrupted because it can't be perfect.

    Make no mistake, the government is corrupted. The MPAA and RIAA write laws for copyright that benefit nobody but the MPAA and RIAA, the richest people in the country spend more money to shape politics than they do to help fix the country's problems, and elected representatives are more concerned about keeping their cushy jobs (and all the perks contained therein) than serving the people who elected them in the first place.

    The ICE domain name seizures are another example of that corruption. Secret hearings, lack of due process/adversarial hearings, redacted court documents...if that doesn't smell corrupt, then I don't know what does.

    I'm not advocating anarchy, and I'm not advocating a violent overthrow of the government -- but I do think it's time that Americans take a long look at what's going on in Washington DC, figure out if the government's serving the American populace or the corporations who pay for the campaigns and the laws that ultimately benefit the corporations, then decide on a course of action to fix the corruption in the government.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re:

    In response to your question, the requestor may file an administrative appeal in accordance with the provisions of the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (in this case those of the DHS).

    If after the appeal the requestor is not satisfied with the answer, the requestor may file an action in the Federal District Court in which he/she resides, or in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia.

     

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  10.  
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    Zimzat (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 2:35pm

    Re:

    how many other countries would tolerate many of the comments that are regularly posted here.


    Just because we're not as bad as some other countries is no excuse not to try to be better. I see this line of reasoning all the time in many companies. "It could be worse" or "It's better than in [team/company/country]" is no excuse to stop trying to be better.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 2:37pm

    Re: Re:

    Just a thought, but if Dajaz1, for example, had gotten off its behind when the seizure took place and quickly filed a motion in the district court things would have moved along quite nicely. For reasons unknown, it chose not to do so (or perhaps its attorney never thought to do something so simple as file a motion).

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Poster, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 2:39pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Who's to say that it didn't - the government?

    How do you know that Dajazi didn't file a motion as soon as they learned of the seizure? How do you know that the government didn't stall proceedings and notifications until they legally had to do something? How do you know that Dajazi's attorneys didn't think this was just some big misunderstanding that would get hammered out in a few days?

    You trust the government to do the right thing way too much, especially in this day and age.

     

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  13.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 3:12pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Just a thought, but if Dajaz1, for example, had gotten off its behind when the seizure took place and quickly filed a motion in the district court things would have moved along quite nicely. For reasons unknown, it chose not to do so (or perhaps its attorney never thought to do something so simple as file a motion).

    You keep saying that and I've answered you before and you ignore it. Why? I don't know.

    (1) DOJ made it clear that it would go absolutely ballistic on anyone who did that.

    (2) There is an official process to follow when goods are seized. Dajaz1 and its lawyers chose to follow the process. How dare they!

    (3) Even as this was going, it was strongly suggested that if they went to court, DOJ would file criminal charges against the principles. While there was no basis for such a threat, when the DOJ threatens you like that, you take it seriously and stay out of harms way.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 3:27pm

    Re:

    There are several unsigned on the OnSmash take down as well. I'm assuming that's what you meant. People seem to confuse RapGodfathers as one of the blogs, but they are a forum.

     

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  15.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 3:27pm

    Re:

    The level here of cynicism, bordering on disgust, directed at the USG is astounding.

    Really? After the USG seized and censored a website for over a year with no due process? After it wouldn't even let them see the "secret extensions" it claimed to get from court? I'd say that your response is the only astounding one.

    Perhaps those cynics should pause for a moment and ask themselves how many other countries would tolerate many of the comments that are regularly posted here.

    This is one of the most obnoxious logical fallacies around. Don't complain or try to fix things, it could be worse...

    That's bullshit.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 3:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I do not recall where you made the point that the DOJ would have gone ballistic. Motion practice is explicitly provided in the seizure laws, so it does seem a bit odd that the DOJ made it clear it would go ballistic.

    There is an "official process" in the law that the DOJ follows. That same "official process" includes that a party subject to seizure of its property can promptly file a motion seeking its return.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 3:49pm

    Seized a website for over a year with no due process?

    Would not let them see "secret extensions"?

    Let's get real for a moment. Any lawyer well knows that the filing of motions is SOP in matters pending before a court, whether state or federal. Why the site did not pursue this course eludes me completely. BTW, I assume it did not file a motion because the comments attributed to its attorney made nary of mention of having done so.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 4:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Law nerds vs. actual nerds. One wonders which will win?

     

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  19.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 5:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That same "official process" includes that a party subject to seizure of its property can promptly file a motion seeking its return.

    How many times need we tell you: THEY DID file a motion asking for the property to be returned.

    And that's when the government went to court in secret and got everything delayed.

     

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  20.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 5:27pm

    Re:

    Let's get real for a moment.

    We have been real. You've been full of shit.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 6:25pm

    I love how casually they say HSI funds were used to purchase these counterfeit goods (page 618).

    As if are tax dollars aren't already mismanaged.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 6:37pm

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

    Something is inconsistent here, or at least it seems so to me. Please link for my edification where in any prior articles it is mentioned that the website filed a motion shortly after its site was seized trying to secure its return. I do not recall this having been mentioned.

    I have made comments based upon my understanding that at the time of seizure no motion for returning the site to its owner was made.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 6:45pm

    Re: Re:

    I have taken a look at your 12/8/11 article and find nothing in it that says the site filed a motion for the property's return right after it was seized by the government. Perhaps this was stated in another of your articles to which you can direct me.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 6:47pm

    Re: Re:

    I looked at your 12/8/11 article. No mention of a motion there. Perhaps another of your articles?

     

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  25.  
    icon
    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 7:06pm

    Re:

    Shut your pie-hole, you maundering twit! You have no goddamned idea what the hell you are spouting drivel about. You are, quite simply, a shill, and apologist, and a raging sphincter. GDIAF, and GTFOH. Twat!

     

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  26.  
    icon
    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Dec 16th, 2011 @ 7:09pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm sorry, but sometimes Anonymous Cowards need a vigorous kick in the balls, even if it is ad hominem.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:53pm

    Re: Re:

    I can understand why you feel this way since the vitriol you spout makes it only too clear that you have no familiarity whatsoever with the statutory process by which property is seized/forfeited and the rights accorded property owners to challenge such seizures and forfeitures.

    You are obviously well versed in acronyms. Perhaps next time you might use some that show a willingness to learn something about how our system of laws actually works, as well as show more tolerance for those whose views differ from yours.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 16th, 2011 @ 8:55pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I am afraid that the only thing you kicked was your head, and, quite frankly, it rings hollow.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2011 @ 5:37am

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

    There is a proper procedure and it was followed.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110612/21573514664/list-sites-challenging-domain-seizures.sht ml

    States clearly from a DHS source that Dajaz1 was challenging the forfeiture proceeding. This would indicate that they filed whatever motion was required under the law to ask for the domain back.

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2011 @ 6:31am

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

    Thank you for the reference. While it does not say what MM states above, at least I can understand where he got information on the cases.

    In all candor, I haven't a clue what other "process" he was talking about since the cases were already before a federal district court.

     

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  31.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Dec 17th, 2011 @ 10:40am

    Re:

    This brings to mind a question. By the GAO report, these products will be destroyed. However, some of these are pretty expensive. Why in the world would HSI buy golf clubs to show that they're counterfeit? (Pg 583)

    I'm calling shenanigans unless there's an additional report that shows the determinations of these goods.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2011 @ 12:19pm

    We've seen in the past how redacted documents can be unredacted. Remember the TSA manual?

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2011 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re:

    Government itself needs to be abolished.

     

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  34.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Dec 17th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    While he's versed in acronyms, you're still full of shit. You have yet to try for a rebuttal, instead opting for your crypto-language you're known for.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2011 @ 1:22pm

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

    The only people that apparently spoke to the Judge was the DOJ. That is the issue. The DOJ had a time period with which to respond, and rather than do so they got secret extensions under seal without Dajaz1 having the opportunity to be heard on the matter. This denied Dajaz1 due process.

     

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  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2011 @ 2:13pm

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

    The DOJ "spoke to the judge" by filing suits in federal district court in which it requested the judge to issue warrants authorizing the seizure of sites. The site owners could have done the same by timely filing motions contesting the seizures. Had they done so they would have thusly made a formal appearance before the court and would have been full participants in all proceedings before the court, which would include motions for extensions of time.

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 17th, 2011 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There is nothing cryptic about pointing out that instead of sitting in the dark the site owners could have simply filed motions with the court at the outset contesting the seizures. After all, this is what the federal statute provides. This is something that is standard practice before all courts, state and federal, when one wishes to contest a matter.

    Apparently, pointing out what is obvious to even lawyer initiates is not well received here.

     

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  38.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Dec 18th, 2011 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There is nothing cryptic about pointing out that instead of sitting in the dark the site owners could have simply filed motions with the court at the outset contesting the seizures

    Which caused the silence of the blog for an entire year without due process. Congratulations.

    After all, this is what the federal statute provides.

    The statute provides. The ICE did not provide.

    Apparently, pointing out what is obvious to even lawyer initiates is not well received here.

    No, you can have any opinion in the world. But when the only thing you do is insist on being as cryptic as possible, much to the consternation of those that actually *want* to debate, expect people to say what you're full of.

    Maybe when you actually come out with an argument, then you're treated with more respect in kind. It's entirely your choice.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2011 @ 12:02pm

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

    To my knowledge the site you assert was denied "due process" did not file anything with the court right after the seizure contesting same. One can hardly say he/she was denied "due process" when he/she apparently did nothing to present themselves before the court to challenge the seizure.

    ICE does not control in any fashion the right of a party to make an appearance before the court. Why you keep saying things to the contrary makes me wonder if you have any substantive understanding of how our court system works.

    The is nothing cryptic in the slightest about noting that the site had the right under law to file an appearance before the court. It is only cryptic in the minds of those who do not wish to admit this very simple fact.

    I am not at all sure where you are coming from in making your comments. All I can say is that whatever your source, you could not be more wrong.

    If you really want to present something that traverses my comments, then all you need do is provide a citation to the court record where the judge ruled that only ICE was entitled to appear before it concerning this matter.

     

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


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