Homeland Security Won't Even Admit Whether Or Not It Seized Mooo.com, Taking Down 84,000 Innocent Sites

from the transparency-in-government dept

Yesterday, I wrote about how there were many reports, starting over the weekend, claiming that Homeland Security’s inept Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) group had once again screwed up the process of seizing domains. However, this time, the mistake appeared to be on a much larger scale. While some other sites have simply assumed that Homeland Security seized the entire mooo.com domain, thereby publicly accusing 84,000 sites (nearly all of which were perfectly legitimate) of trafficking in child porn, we were at least willing to give Homeland Security the benefit of the doubt and question whether it was really involved.

Given that no one seemed to confirm that Homeland Security was involved, I figured I might as well ask. I sent off a quick email to a press contact at Homeland Security, asking a simple question: did Homeland Security seize — and then unseize — the mooo.com domain? It seemed like a simple yes or no question, and given that Homeland Security is a part of the Obama administration, which has promised the utmost transparency, I figured the least it could do was provide that simple answer. Instead, the response I got was:

“I need to refer you to DOJ for a response to your question.”

This, of course, is not true. The actions were taken by Homeland Security’s ICE group. It was Homeland Security that put out the bragging press release about seizing more domains and putting up their “this site trafficked in child porn” graphics. But it can’t even answer a simple yes or no question about a specific domain? That’s not transparency. It also seems to suggest quite strongly that DHS and ICE did, in fact, screw up royally here.

I responded to the press contact, and pointed out that there is simply no reason that Homeland Security cannot answer this question, and repeated the question, but I have not heard back. I also sent an email to the Justice Department, and have also received no response.

Lots of folks are pointing out the incredibly serious First Amendment concerns brought out by such a seizure. Of course, we’ve pointed out such concerns with all of the previous domains seized, and people said they were overblown concerns. I’m somewhat stunned that we still had people defending such seizures without any due process, when 84,000 legitimate sites might have taken down, as a result.

And, once again, if there were actual due process, involving an actual adversarial hearing, moves like this would be avoided. On top of that, if Homeland Security wanted to actually go after child pornographers by tracking them down and arresting them, rather than just seizing domains, mistakes like this would be avoided. Of course, that would involve doing real work. And that’s something that Homeland Security apparently isn’t interested in, from the special agents who have failed massively in their investigations on these various takedowns all the way to the press spokespeople who can’t even be straight with the American public when they make a massive First Amendment-violating mistake.

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Comments on “Homeland Security Won't Even Admit Whether Or Not It Seized Mooo.com, Taking Down 84,000 Innocent Sites”

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141 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

I’m somewhat stunned that we still had people defending such seizures without any due process, when 84,000 legitimate sites might have taken down, as a result.

Go ahead and be stunned. Actually they took down 1 site. That site had 84,000 subsites, but that isn’t really relevant. By that logic, all torrent site owners would need to do is create a bunch of third level entries for blogs talking about flowers or something, attribute them to “anonymous” users, and somehow their sites would be all legal and peachy. Would it be different if it was a single site with 84,000 pages?

As for Homeland Security, who is responsible for them? DoJ.

BackPackAdam says:

Re: Re:

“As for Homeland Security, who is responsible for them? DoJ.”

Are you talking about the Department of Homeland Security? Because Janet Napolitano is responsible for them. And then President Obama is responsible for her.

But then, the people of this country are responsible for him, so I guess the collective ‘we’ are responsible for them?

I think in the end, you are responsible for the Department of Homeland Security.

If you are not talking about DHS, please be more specific so I can help you with that answer.

Anonymous a-hole says:

Re: Re:

That site had 84,000 subsites, but that isn’t really relevant.

Umm, yea it is. If the owner of a office park is laundering money, you don’t get to close the doors of every business in the office park without due process for each business therein.

That’s kind of the whole fucking point. Due process wasn’t followed.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Go ahead and be stunned. Actually they took down 1 site. That site had 84,000 subsites, but that isn’t really relevant. By that logic, all torrent site owners would need to do is create a bunch of third level entries for blogs talking about flowers or something, attribute them to “anonymous” users, and somehow their sites would be all legal and peachy.

Yes, because it’s absolutely impossible for DHS to figure out how to just target the illegal sites, huh?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

es, because it’s absolutely impossible for DHS to figure out how to just target the illegal sites, huh?

Well, I know you are a smart guy. I know you understand how third level domains work. I know you can understand why this might be a little difficult to accomplish, especially when people tend to use dynamic dns techniques to move from computer to computer, often outside of the country.

But you are smart, you know all that.

freak (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

And that excuses homeland how?

If it IS so easy just to move the sites around, then why isn’t homeland doing something that might actually work instead of damaging the reputation of 83,999 websites by accident?

Fun fact, even when you target the right site and only the right site, it’s still just as easy to slip out from the domain grab.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

this might be a little difficult to accomplish

If they’re policing the internet it’s their job to overcome that difficulty. Being given orders by their superiors not to talk to the domain owners and ISPs hinders their investigation. Then adding a seizure notice on the wrong sites causes a liability.

They could have called/emailed/located the owner of mooo.com via WHOIS information and had him assist with investigation. Just taking down the domain name won’t stop the child pornographers from moving to another domain name. The strategy of not communicating with anyone besides Verisign has failed on so many levels.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Well, I know you are a smart guy. I know you understand how third level domains work. I know you can understand why this might be a little difficult to accomplish, especially when people tend to use dynamic dns techniques to move from computer to computer, often outside of the country.

Yeah, it’s *****so***** difficult to go to the free DNS provider and say “shut off this subdomain.” I mean, it’s impossible compared to going to the registrar and saying “shut off this domain.” Oh wait, no, it’s the same damn thing.

But, even more to the point, DHS would have avoided all of this if it simply filed a lawsuit like it should have in the first place.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Yeah, it’s *****so***** difficult to go to the free DNS provider and say “shut off this subdomain.” I mean, it’s impossible compared to going to the registrar and saying “shut off this domain.” Oh wait, no, it’s the same damn thing.

Well, you see, there you are wrong, it isn’t the same thing at all.

What happens if the “freeDNS” provider happens to be actually in the business of selling child porn, or perhaps one of their key staffers is doing it? Before you start laughing, remember EstDomains, EstHost, and all that load of crap? All of that was set up specifically so that they could receive the sort of request you are suggesting and appear to answer it, while isolating their illegal activities from actual law enforcement action.

I do not imply anything for moooo.com or any of it’s workers, staff, owners, or anything like that. It’s just that we have already seen how the be nice system can be convoluted by people who want to take advantage of it.

It might have been nice to contact them, but it also might have been meaningless.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“What happens if the “freeDNS” provider happens to be actually in the business of selling child porn, or perhaps one of their key staffers is doing it?”

People are not guilty until proven innocent.

“It might have been nice to contact them, but it also might have been meaningless.”

How could they know until they at least contacted them first. It’s their job to investigate this stuff first before just randomly taking sites down. Shoot first, ask questions later is dumb.

They could have contacted them first, told them to take down the specific sites in question, subpoenaed the required information, contacted them and asked them for that information, got the information, and continued on with their investigation. If they contact them and the host isn’t cooperative is when they should take further action against the host. But don’t just assume they won’t be cooperative without at least making some effort to contact them.

I understand they’re lazy and don’t want to do their jobs, because they are very aversive to work, but this is ridiculous. They’re getting paid, by taxpayers, to do work and I don’t think it’s asking too much for us to require of them at least a minimal amount of effort.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

but at least you’re not denying that they should have been contacted first, which they likely weren’t. and seizing a bunch of sites like that should require some due process. What if moo didn’t think the sites should be taken down because they thought they weren’t violating any laws. Due process is in order, it’s for a court (not the enforcement branch of the government) to make that determination.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

but at least you’re not denying that they should have been contacted first,

Not saying that. I am saying the COULD have been contacted before, they MAY have been contacted before, but is there any reason to contact people commiting crimes ahead of time to see if they can just stop for a while?

What if moo didn’t think the sites should be taken down because they thought they weren’t violating any laws. Due process is in order

See, your problem is you are replacing the courts with Mooo’s judgement. Ice doesn’t do the work without a court order, so you are looking at enough probably cause for the judge to sign the warrant. Due process has already started before the takedown occurs.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Ice doesn’t do the work without a court order, so you are looking at enough probably cause for the judge to sign the warrant.

First it has to be “a preponderance of evidence” not “probable cause”.

So you are really trying to spin this as “a judge had a preponderance of evidence to shutdown 84,000 sites”?

Really?

How much time was spent looking at all of those 84,000 sites? Seems to me it would take a pretty long time to even look at the landing pages for 84,000 sites.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

o you are really trying to spin this as “a judge had a preponderance of evidence to shutdown 84,000 sites”?

No, I didn’t say that at all. Do you insist on putting words in other people’s mouths?

They shut down (for a short period of time) a single domain. There was apparently infringing material on that domain. There may be non-infringing material as well, but the domain was showing infringing material. There was (as you say) a preponderance of evidence of something on that one and single unique domain, mooo.com

I don’t think anyone really cared if there was 84,000 “sites” or 84,000 “pages” or 84,000 “blog entries”. There is only one domain. The rest is “content”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re:

I don’t think anyone really cared if there was 84,000 “sites” or 84,000 “pages” or 84,000 “blog entries”. There is only one domain. The rest is “content”.

And when people say the enforcement agencies and justice are incompetent to judge technology people say they are over reacting.

That right there just proves their incompetency and the risks involved with such strong measures on the internet.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

“but is there any reason to contact people commiting crimes”

A: Just because someone that the site hosts maybe committing crimes does not mean that they are committing crimes.

B: Yes, they have a right to face their accuser and to defend themselves in court, which requires them to be contacted.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

A. There were not hosting. They were only offering DNS services (and a third level domain name), which actually pointed to remote servers. mooo.com was not the host, only a dns provider.

B. Yes, I agree – but that doesn’t stop the seizures. They can still have a day in court, but there is no reason to tolerate and permit clearly illegal activity to continue without stopping. Otherwise, all those people sitting in jail waiting for trials should all be released. They haven’t had a day in court yet.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

What happens when all those pedo guys go more underground and start using heavy encryption?

Damn one could just post pedo material on Youtube using steganography or one could use and automated tool to create a series of posts in every forum(i.e. Twitter, Flickr, Gov domains and so forth) to use special characters to encode image data in plain text and use a mapping archive to retrieve that data, voila you have child pornography in plain sight.

Basically by shining light at them and doing nothing is as good as looking to the other way, that works well when you don’t really want to do any work or don’t know how to deal with something, but really doesn’t do anything for the abused children and it almost guarantee that it will be harder in the future to find those people.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“But, even more to the point, DHS would have avoided all of this if it simply filed a lawsuit like it should have in the first place.”

Governments are too blunt an instrument to stop crime. Having the government stop crime is like trying to carve out one of Michelangelo’s sculptures with a wrecking ball. Not only will it not accomplish the intended task, it will destroy everything else in its path.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I know you are a smart guy and understand that what they did acomplish 2 very real things:

a) It alerted those predators that someone was looking at them, which will make them scramble to more secure locations.

b) Made the appearance of doing something be more important then doing something, just looking away why those children are still being forced into sex is like preaching about how bad it is while you turn your face to another place and don’t look at it happening right at your side.

I can understand they seizing such a site after they have identified and apprehended those people, then they would have done a great job, not shooting light just to see the creatures scatter in every direction.

Also this pedo thing needs strong controls and more transparency, many people are being accused of pedo behavior when they should not and it is being used like some sort of magic wand to pass legislation that erodes civil liberties that cost blood to gain.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

So, to take down x.mooo.com, they would need to access and modify servers beloning to mooo.com

No, they just need to get mooo.com to modify x.mooo.com in their mooo.com DNS servers. And mooo wasn’t hosting the sites, either.

rather than asking Verisign to modify mooo.com in their .com servers.

They could have done the exact same thing with mooo.

Michael (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If they were actually targeting mooo.com, it would not be back up. They were targeting one or more of the sub-domains. Unless 850 of them were child porn sites, less than 1% of the sites they took down were their target.

I made this point yesterday. If this had been a drug bust in an apartment building, they had a target of one or two apartments. To get that target, they arrested everyone in the building – posted notices on their doors, answering machines, and voicemails that they had been arrested, and then released everyone except the drug dealers (actually, they may have let the dealers go too) several days later. The damage they have done to innocent people and businesses is probably pretty bad.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

To get that target, they arrested everyone in the building – posted notices on their doors, answering machines, and voicemails that they had been arrested, and then released everyone except the drug dealers (actually, they may have let the dealers go too) several days later.

So? The police can’t know for sure who’s innocent and who’s guilty beforehand. That’s what trials are for. What you describe is just the way the system works.

The damage they have done to innocent people and businesses is probably pretty bad.

That’s just the price you pay for a safe society. Too boo-hoo bad.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

So you’re happy that no pedophiles were harmed in this operation. You’re actually pleased that nothing was achieved and all the pedophiles using any of those sites are unharmed and still free. You support pretend actions that actually protect child-molesters?

Yes, apparently he’s pleased that it failed to stop a single pedophile and failed to protect a single child.

Now why would you be glad about that?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

But it wouldn’t be just “down”. Hotmail would be forced to reply to every incoming message stating your email has been seized due to a child pornography trafficking investigation. Then after they’re done and your service is restored there would be no explanation posted anywhere.

If you believe this is the right way to go about things, why don’t you try setting a vacation message like that on your email account now? It couldn’t do any harm to you right? There’s no such thing as vigilantes right? Right???

ChronoFish (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You realize that this the case today. Hotmail has no control over its users for such uses.

Every web host, every email provider, every ISP, every search engine is guilty by association (based on your “control” statement).

There is no ability to “control” how users use an open system. There is no safe place on the Internet.

What you’re saying is that you’re okay with dismantling the Internet because bad people use it.

If that is the case, and you are okay with having your email/Internet cut off until it can be made safe and crime-free, then in all honestly you should, based on your stated principle, give it up.

-CF

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

But you see, that is why it is all a BS piece of mental bubble gum, and nothing more.

Emails in and of themselves aren’t going to get anyone shut down, now are they?

If I started to see hotmail providing dynamic dns and freebie third level domains with instant activation and no checking of sites, I would very likely not use it for email, because it would be risky.

What you (and the original poster) are doing is trying to set up a situation that is not permitted under law. If you can come with with an example that would pass legal muster, we can discuss. But wandering off on a parade of bizarre absolutes and impossible circumstances isn’t going to go very far.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Do you access Hotmail frequently to keep your account alive?

Because if you don’t, one could just go there and recreate that account and start using it as it was you.

Is your secret question made up of a sixteen or larger string of characters, because if it is not people may get in there, is your secondary email account active? Can I recreate that account and ask another password with it?

Lets hack your email and start using it to do bad things and see you go down for it, shall we?

That is how I know you are full of s.

Security experts recently got hacked and if even they couldn’t fallow security simple rules, I doubt you can and will be a easier target.

Do your company have a website? does it have a public space?
I can use that to do illegal stuff, I just need to encode hardcore pr0n into text or whitespaces and keep posting that data there and each peace will point to the next and it would be invisible to most people but your company will be part of a crime in no time.

And you want hardcore laws to deal with that?

LoL

You will receive in no time the right punishment, this will come back and bite you in the ass.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“If I started to see hotmail providing dynamic dns and freebie third level domains with instant activation and no checking of sites, I would very likely not use it for email, because it would be risky.”

Only because the legal system is broken.

“What you (and the original poster) are doing is trying to set up a situation that is not permitted under law.”

No, “providing dynamic dns and freebie third level domains with instant activation and no checking of sites” is permitted by law. and it should be.

Your argument is like saying that because people can use the mail delivery system for illegal purposes, the USPS should open up and inspect all packages before delivering. Ridiculous.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Emails in and of themselves aren’t going to get anyone shut down, now are they?

Really? Why not?

If I started to see hotmail providing dynamic dns and freebie third level domains with instant activation and no checking of sites, I would very likely not use it for email, because it would be risky.

So what does your personal ignorance have to do with anything?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

If hotmail is unable to control it’s users, I would rather my mail is down than have that sort of thing going on.

Hotmail IS unable to control it’s users. (And has often been used for illegal purposes). In fact, the whole internet in general has been used for illegal purposes. I suspect the internet itself is what you would really like to see shut down.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

So why support an action that did nothing to stop pedophilia?

Why are you being duplicitous about this by pretending to care while actively supporting and defending actions that are designed not to stop pedophiles, but to actuall hide them better?

When you defend pedophiles raping children because it helps you defend copyright then you are a sick and warped individual that needs to be taken out of society.

How twisted can you get?

Michael (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Oh wait…

Weren’t you one of the people saying that this latest batch of seizures is a new operation about child pornography and not simply a renaming of the old operation to make it more difficult for people to criticize?

When did torrent sites end up part of this discussion? I though they were going after child pornography sites.

Anonymous Coward says:

Wildcard setup is the smoking gun

If you point a non-seized, even completely made up domain name to “74.81.170.110” with your HOSTS file, it will show a copyright warning. When you point mooo.com to that IP, it will show a child pornography warning instead. Here are the relevant lines to add to HOSTS:

74.81.170.110 reallyfakehostname111.com
74.81.170.110 mooo.com

See the difference?

John Doe says:

You are in big trouble now...

Mike, by asking apparently hard questions you have probably gotten yourself in big trouble. If you hear screeching tires outside your home or office, look out the window and see if there are big, black SUVs with tinted windows. Also look up to see if there are any black helicopters. You won’t hear them as they will be in stealth mode.

Vic says:

Yeah, I am a little at a loss here. If you follow their logic then it’s long overdue to seize the whole Internet thingy. I heard there are some very illegal sites out there…

Heck, they should also seize some cities, no, wait, some countries. I know for sure there are some bad people out there doing some bad things to children…

Joe Publius says:

A disfunctional cycle

Let me see if I can pull out the old magic 8-ball on this scenario.

1. Gov’t engages in potentially corrupt, tyrannical, or unconstitutional activity.
2. Gov’t lies, denies, obfuscates and delays any details of their involvement.
3. Gov’t employee gets tired of working inept liars, and potential tyrants, leaks details of gov’t involvment in the activity.
4. Gov’t arrests employee. Promises reforms to inept activities, and better “protections” for whistleblowers.
5. Gov’t argues that the activity was done, and the employee arrested to protect the integrity of the law, and the gov’t right to keep secrets for: Artists and Inventors/National Security/The Children.
6. If there is continued disatisfaction from rightfully concerned citizens, the activity is sent to a Blue Ribbon Panel, where reccomendations will be made, but no action taken, unless it increases gov’t power. This panel will include memebers of both parties, who despite any past rhetoric, realizes and benefits from “gov’t in our lives”.
7. All is quiet until the next activity.

If I weren’t so cynical, this would be a cycle worthy of grief and mourning. Instead it gets a sad name, like “politics as usual”, in order to numb our wounded souls.

What makes it worse IMO, is that this is a road to Perdition built one pebble at a time by people with mostly good intentions.

Joe Publius says:

Re: Re: Re: A disfunctional cycle

The tinfoil hatters make up 7 point lists to try to explain every government action and inaction as an affront to their personal freedoms.

Actually, I’m pretty consistent there. I find government inaction as beneficial to personal freedoms. It means that some actual thought or debate might be occuring.

The past 10 years are a good example that most restrictions to freedom, whether they succeed or not, are rapid responses to moral panics (Terrorism! Pirates! Violent Video Games!), not careful, thoughtful reactions, where options are seen in the light of real risks, or possible alternatives.

Some actions, like the PATRIOT Act I even understood in the beginning, if for nothing other than this response was to a real event. But it’s been 10 years now, and not only is it likely to be renewed dispite no real insight into its effectiveness, the original rationale has become a moral panic, essentially a springboard for more intrusions, like the TSA’s “detailed scan or grope” process at airports. At the time nobody thought about the implications, and at this point they still aren’t, and that creates an inertia that’s poisonous to the liberties the US aspired to build itself on.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 A disfunctional cycle

Actually, I’m pretty consistent there. I find government inaction as beneficial to personal freedoms. It means that some actual thought or debate might be occuring.

Inaction is good for personal freedoms as long as the inaction doesn’t lead to others infringing into your personal freedoms. Inaction is a sign of tolerance, tolerance tends to lead to people pushing the boundries, and when the pushback happens, it is usually appears strong and is often resented.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 A disfunctional cycle

I also resent the fact that it is possible to do very fine tunned targeting of those things and they are not done, there is no excuse to take down and entire platform, because of a few bad players is like closing the roads because people are speeding.

This is also a true first emendement issue, as they took down a lot of protected speech.

So you keep up with your FUD and drinking that kool-aid.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 A disfunctional cycle

Commercial speech that infringes copyright or trademark doesn’t get the same 1st amendment protections as other speech. In fact, any illegal speech (aka unprotected speech) is outside the scope of the 1st amendment and therefore not covered.

If you are going to pull out the “first emendement”, you may want to understand all of it’s legal implications (and heck, learn to spell it).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 A disfunctional cycle

Why is section 230 being violated?

http://www.eff.org/issues/bloggers/legal/liability/230

Why is First Amendment being violated?
Why is the law being selectively applied?
Why are we warning predators to the presence of law enforcement in the vicinities of their operations?
Why is the police not seizing the criminals first and letting them escape? and consequently teaching them to be better criminals.

And there are more questions, keep up the f’cking FUD because your rhetoric is only that FUD to confuse those issues, because no reasonable human being would make snark remarks about that or consider them something lesser.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 A disfunctional cycle

> In fact, any illegal speech (aka unprotected
> speech) is outside the scope of the 1st amendment

So you’re saying unprotected speech is not protected?

Brilliant!

What you failed to note is that only obscenity and incitement to imminent violence falls outside the scope of the 1st Amendment, neither of which apply to copyright infringement.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 A disfunctional cycle

Do you realize how stupid you’re making yourself look? According to you, the government can simply pass a law declaring a type of speech illegal. Then that speech will no longer have first amendment protections…because the first amendment doesn’t protect illegal speech, according to you.

Anonymous Coward says:

“if Homeland Security wanted to actually go after child pornographers by tracking them down and arresting them, rather than just seizing domains”

Exactly, seizing a bunch of arbitrarily unrelated domains isn’t going to do anything to stop them whatsoever. Go after them, prosecute them, and put them in jail. IOW, do your job you lazy retards.

Atkray (profile) says:

Re: Now that was just mean.

In the course of my life I have been around many people that were “handicapped” in such a way as to be called retards.

All of them exhibited energy levels exponentially higher than what is normally observed in government workers. Associating retards with Homeland Security is just being mean to retards.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

One also has to question why are they alerting child molesters that they are being observed.

That is the best early warning system for criminals ever devised LoL

Those people have all the incentives in the world to be tech savy and adopt ever more complex systems to evade the law.

This ad show what they are doing it was done for Europe but it is valid for the U.S. too.

Cleanternet – for a cleaner and safer Internet – cleanternet.org

The government basically is using the prove and tested practice of ignoring the problem and looking away.

Rob says:

Intentional?

I theorize it was an intentional effort to make a visible “effort” to take down sites.

It’s not like this was just a typo, this went through multiple individuals.

It’s also a year before elections. Now is great time to step up activities so someone can run next year for senate/congress or sit in front of a congressional hearing for an appointment and say “we made a huge effort that you all saw”.

Same way DA’s all over the country start going after high school students with a tiny age difference and charge them as child molesters so that they can say they were “cracking down”.

dan says:

DHS

ICANN is the governing body of internet domains. They are an international organization that controls the use of domain names. There are organizations below them for specific regions, but AFAIK, neither DHS nor DOJ has authority over them. Unless they are hosted in the US and they have applied for the appropriate search warrants and it is within the U.S. only then would they have the permissions to seize authority over these domains.
over reach is all I can say.

erin says:

of course not.. that would require them to admit that even suspected child pornographers still deserve the Constitution.. and nobody wants to be the one that brings up that suspects still have rights…

… or that someone should probably do a little investigation first. What a mess.

using “we’re protecting children” is how the DOJ is going to shove ridiculous stuff like this at us… it’s vile

Tom Landry (profile) says:

what if I had my general contracting business hosted at that domain and the these pro’s put up a banner stating I was taking part in child porn distribution? Is any court willing to assess the possible damages to loss of business and, more importantly, personal reputations?

A hundred class action lawyers pants just suddenly got tighter.

Mike Masnick Advocates Child Pornography? says:

One bad apple spoils the bunch

Casualties in war are inevitable, this is a war after all. Maybe these 84,000 “innocent sites” shouldn’t be doing business with an entity that supports the distribution and proliferation of child pornography. Maybe mooo.com should have set their s#*t up properly and this might not have happened. This is what happens when the DMCA safe harbors are abused, and nothing is ever anyones fault.

You’d think everyone, including Mike Masnick, would be glad that a child pornography site was taken down…

Adrian Lopez says:

Re: One bad apple spoils the bunch

“Maybe mooo.com should have set their s#*t up properly and this might not have happened.”

You might be singing a different tune if you were the one at risk of being held responsible for your users actions. Can you imagine if the same standard were applied to, say, Gmail whenever somebody used Gmail to break the law?

PS – You’re an idiot.

Joe Publius says:

Re: One bad apple spoils the bunch

This is what happens when the DMCA safe harbors are abused, and nothing is ever anyones fault.

Way to miss the point of the safe harbors. The whole point is the fault goes exactly where it should go, the person committing the crime.

Then again, as has been mentioned here already, nowadays shutting up the free and innocent speech of tens-of thousands, is seen as a lot easier than actually seeking out the guilty party. And of course those innocent people were just asking for it, right?

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: One bad apple spoils the bunch

You’d think everyone, including Mike Masnick, would be glad that a child pornography site was taken down…

Way to play the emotional card from the bottom of the deck, there – props.

But, even though child pornography is disgusting and needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent – it STILL needs to be done within the boundaries of the law. Period. No exceptions.

Just because DHS/ICE is targeting child porn (or anything for that matter) does not give them a free pass to side step the restraints placed on them. Those restraints are there for good reasons.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Of course, that would involve doing real work. And that’s something that Homeland Security apparently isn’t interested in.”

Dust off those Cheetos fingers, Mike. You sure complain a big game, but I don’t see you doing anything to stop the problem their attacking. Who cares if they screwed up? Shit happens all the time, technology is not perfect – you out of anyone should understand that fact. But sit back in your ivory tower blog and cast judgments down on your subjects – god knows this community can’t stand a dissenting opinion.

OMG the gov’t screwed up – is that news for you?

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“but I don’t see you doing anything to stop the problem their attacking.”

Truth be told its sad and all, but I don’t think everyone can solve every problem. This is a site about IP, techno foul ups, the content industry. If you want to find an audience that cares about this subject go to one of the “help the exploited children” sites.

If you are looking to SEO this site up with k1dd!e pr0n searches feel free to keep commenting.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

So when the local cops in Seattle paralyzed a guy when they mistook him for their suspect, it isn’t their fault because “Who cares if they screwed up? Shit happens all the time”?

I care when law enforcement screws up.

Understandable mistakes are one thing, purposefully ignoring the checks and balances built into our system to prevent abuse and then fucking up royally is entirely different.

If you don’t give a shit about abuse of power and ignoring due process, you should move to a country that agrees with you, like Russia. “Shit happens” over there all the time.

opit (profile) says:

Re : Dysfunctional Cycle

“The road to Hell is paved with Good Intentions”

I recall the Bu$h/Cheney maladministration well. A favourite and comprehensive tactic was installing as administrators people with a religious agenda who persecuted whistleblowers and systematically destroyed any remnant of functioning bureaucracy by overloading staff with futile and contradictory makework and legislation : especially as in regards to environmental protection and infrastructure maintenance…and ‘Security’. That’s the catchword for Operation Clusterfuck…Father…oops…Homeland Insecurity.
Check out Levees.org, born of outrage over the treatment of people in NOLA by denying access to a navy hospital ship, shootings by private contractors, defective water pumps and neglected levees…which require constant maintenance as they sink in mud…dredging of the ship channel which had gone on for decades.

Crediting people with good intentions is just as silly as saying GWB – survivor of flying a widowmaker jet fighter – is stupid, 128 IQ and all.

These are’facts not in evidence’ : excuses promoting malice as stupidity. ‘Great job, Brownie !’

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