Here We Go Again: Operation In Our Sites Round 4 Kicks Off With More Domains Illegally Seized

from the ice:-where-free-speech-is-for-suckers dept

It had been a while since Homeland Security's ICE group stomped on anyone's free speech and due process rights, so it seems they had to just run out and illegally seize a bunch more websites this weekend, once again without any notice or adversarial hearings as required by the Constitution and the case law on the matter. What's truly bizarre is that the folks at ICE are fully aware that these actions are unconstitutional and they are still moving forward with them. Having spoken to numerous people involved on all sides of these seizures (more on that soon), the picture that's becoming clear is that many of the ICE agents are uncomfortable with these seizure procedures, feeling (as many of us have suggested) that their considerable resources and time should be focused on stopping actual crimes, not people putting up blogs and forums online. At the same time, there is tremendous pressure from the top, driven by an almost fever pitch of lobbying efforts by the RIAA and MPAA to shut down parts of the internet that they can't figure out how to compete with.

TorrentFreak is keeping a list of the seized domains for now, and once again, it appears to be a mix of linking sites and some that are involved in trademark infringement. In fact, some of the sites seem to just link to other streaming sites. This seems incredibly problematic, in that they seem to involve a gross expansion of what the law actually says concerning indirect infringement and criminal liability. But, even if you could read the law in the extreme manner suggested by ICE and the Justice Department, it doesn't change the fact that these seizures are improper under the Constitution. It's pretty sad, because Homeland Security and the Justice Department are supposed to be about defending the Constitution, not ignoring it.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 May 2011 @ 7:40am

    Re:

    But it's okay how ICE pretends it's a foregone conclusion that these seizures are constitutional?

    I'd hope that erring on the side of caution when it comes to constitutional rights would be best practice, but...sigh.

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