ICE Seizes Another 150 Domains As SOPA/PIPA Debate Heats Up
from the this-is-how-censorship-works dept
Torrentfreak was the first to point out that Homeland Security’s ICE group has ramped up their domain seizures, seizing 131 domains on Friday.
They also grabbed one more today. That last one is interesting, since the seizure came on a .com that was actually transferred from a DNS provider in Australia, which raises additional questions about ICE’s jurisdiction here (though may explain why the transfer came two days later). Update: that last one looks like it was a prank. However, ICE has officially announced that it seized 150 domains — and of course, timed it to coincide with “Cyber Monday.” Nothing like the feds propping up a marketing campaign.
It looks like, as it has done recently, most of these seizures focused on trademark issues with sites selling counterfeit goods. These are somewhat less troubling than some of last year’s seizures of blogs and forums that had tons of protected speech — and which appeared to link to content that was sent by copyright holders directly for promotional purposes. Still there are significant questions concerning the legality of such seizures, with ongoing challenges. It kind of makes you wonder if ICE is ramping up these seizures for a reason. The challenges concerning its authority to do so continue, while SOPA and PIPA, which would expand its ability to do these kinds of seizures, has been running into more speedbumps than expected. So might as well seize as many domains as possible before the party ends…