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.

Filed Under: copyright, domain seizures, due process, free speech, homeland security, ice, operation in our sites

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. icon
    Karl (profile), 23 May 2011 @ 9:27am


    Torrentfreak has a small update on the whole affair, here:

    The quotes from "PiraCee," admin at, are particularly revealing:

    "We have only ever had two DMCA takedown requests for Source Code and Hobo With a Shotgun," PiraCee told us. "We removed both."

    To sum up:
    - They did not host any infringing content.
    - They did not stream any infringing content from sites that did.
    - They apparently obeyed every single DMCA notice that they received (all two of them).

    In other words, this particular site was a poster child for 17 USC 512 compliance. Even if not, they were possibly not guilty even of civil infringement, under the Google v. Perfect 10 ruling. The notion that their actions are "criminal" is simply absurd.

    On a related subject - Mike, do you know what's happening with the sites that are contesting the seizures? I don't know any of the players involved, and they're being (understandably) mum about ongoing litigation. Any news?

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown for basic formatting. (HTML is not supported.)
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.