Last week, we wrote about how the Assistant Deputy Director of the US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unit of the Department of Homeland Security, Erik Barnett
, was in Stockholm talking up the "success"
of ICE's legally questionable domain seizure program. One line in his speech specifically caught our attention:
"The notice says that you can challenge the seizure, but no one has yet."
Now, as we stated via our own investigations, we knew this was untrue
, and that multiple sites had been trying
to challenge the seizures, but had found the process to be incredibly difficult. I had thought that perhaps Barnett was being misleading, but technically truthful, in that perhaps none of the official challenges had been filed yet.
However, a confidential source with knowledge of these things suggested that Barnett is either uninformed or lying in his comments that no one has challenged the seizures. That source has passed along a list that was put together within ICE
of the sites that are, in fact, trying to get their domains back. The list is as follows:
I asked the press office at ICE to explain the discrepancy in Barnett's statements with reality, and the response was that the sites that are trying to get their domains back have filed a different type of challenge than the one Barnett is talking about
, and therefore "at this point in time the statement remains accurate." Looking at the details, the sites in question appear to have chosen to focus on the process that is most likely to get their domains returned. The "other process" that Barnett "meant" not only is more convoluted and limited, but runs additional risks for the domain holders. Either way, it seems pretty questionable for ICE to suggest publicly that no one has challenged the seizures, when it's pretty clear that these sites are very much challenging them. Update
: I've discussed this with a few folks with knowledge of all this, and they suggest ICE's excuse is hogwash, saying there is only one procedure, and all the sites in question are using it...