Congress Begins To Wonder Why ICE & DOJ Censored A Popular Hip Hop Blog For A Year
from the asking-good-questions dept
We already discussed the RIAA’s attempt to downplay its role in helping the feds seize and censor the popular hiphop blog Dajaz1.com. It seems the feds are also trying to brush this off as if it’s nothing important. According to a comment they gave Ben Sistario at the NY Times:
Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Sunday that government officials had followed all proper procedures in the case of Dajaz1, which was one of more than 760 sites seized.
That really makes you wonder. How is it possible that they could have followed “all proper procedures” when the end result is that they stopped a popular blog from publishing for well over a year, without ever actually filing a lawsuit? If that’s the “proper procedure” then the procedure is what most people call “unconstitutional.”
Thankfully, it appears some are noticing this. Senator Ron Wyden clearly understood what’s going on and told Techdirt:
“The domain name seizures show that some agencies in the Obama administration care more about the interests of Hollywood studios and the big record labels than due process, transparency, and accountability. It is hard to believe that ICE and DOJ had Dajaz1’s Fifth amendment rights in mind when they seized their property and held it for more than a year without ever being able to build a case.”
Rep. Zoe Lofgren spoke out about the case to Politico, pointing out that the seizure appears to break the law:
“A blog has the same protections as a newspaper or magazine, and yet ICE saw fit to seize this site for over a year for dubious reasons,” Lofgren told MT. “It’s an outrageous abuse of First Amendment and due process rights, raising serious questions about why the Department of Justice allowed this seizure to continue when the government clearly did not have probable cause.”
Indeed. With Wyden concerned about the Fifth Amendment and Lofgren concerned about the First… I’m guessing that this isn’t the end of the discussion around this particular seizure.