Rep. Lofgren Tells Seized Sites They Should Sue The Gov't For Defamation
from the good-for-her dept
On Friday, we posted about Rep. Zoe Lofgren challenging IP Czar Victoria Espinel on the legality of Homeland Security seizing domains without any real due process (where she did a wonderful job shooting down Espinel’s empty claim that a magistrate judge’s rubber stamping in the absence of adversarial hearing represents any kind of “due process”). About an hour after I posted that, I actually had a chance to chat with Lofgren for a few minutes at the High Tech Law Institute’s Symposium about Section 230. Lofgren was happy to hear that lots of folks appreciated her words, and expressed dismay that others in Congress really don’t understand (or care) about the issue.
When it became her turn to talk on stage, she doubled down on her comments earlier in the week, and explicitly said that she thinks that the innocent sites taken down in the mooo.com seizure should sue the government for defamation. After all, she points out, the government falsely plastered 84,000 websites with claims that they were associated with child pornography — and did so with “seals of approval” from Homeland Security and the US government. It will be worth seeing if anyone follows through on this, but it’s nice to see another elected official horrified by Homeland Security and the Justice Department running wild with these domain seizures.
I have no idea if any of the sites in question actually will do this, but it might finally help get some attention to what the government is doing in seizing domains without any actual due process.