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US Gov't Seizes 130+ More Domains In Crackdown

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the appetizer-for-the-sopa-main-course dept.

The Internet 219

An anonymous reader writes "The DoJ and ICE have once again taken up the banner of anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting by seizing over 130 domains allegedly involved in those activities. TorrentFreak points out that this newest digital raid happened just before 'Cyber Monday,' a time when consumers are encouraged to do a bunch of online shopping. From the article: 'Compared to previous seizure rounds, there are also some notable differences to report. This time the action appears to be limited to sites that directly charge visitors for their services. Most of the domains are linked to the selling of counterfeit clothing (e.g. 17nflshop.com), and at least one (autocd.com) sold pirated auto software. Last year several sites were taken down because they allowed their users to access free music and movie downloads, and these were followed by several streaming services a few months later. No similar sites have been reported in the current round.'"

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219 comments

Difference between US and China (5, Insightful)

CmdrPony (2505686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174780)

In my opinion this is much worse than Chinese firewall. At least China keeps it to themselves and within their own laws. US just seizes what it wants, even if the sites would be lawful in other countries.

Re:Difference between US and China (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38174810)

Bullshit is this much worse. The US does it because people are selling things they shouldn't be selling. China does it to crush free speech. There isn't even a comparison here - China is FAR worse.

Re:Difference between US and China (2, Insightful)

CmdrPony (2505686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174828)

It's a matter of opinion. US and Chinese cultures are different. Many Chinese people agree that government should restrict some hate speech. Hell, even US does - just try yelling "fire!" in a crowded theater. It's a slippery slope, and can't be justified just because US people think it's ok in this case.

Re:Difference between US and China (4, Insightful)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174882)

Many Chinese people agree that government should restrict some hate speech.

..and you can find just as many supporters of that in the US, but if popular support doesn't legitimize it here then why should it in China? If we accept your premise that free speech falls under the rule of public sentiment, then this legitimizes these domain seizures even more, since it is the public votes the legislators who enact these ip protection laws.

Re:Difference between US and China (5, Interesting)

CmdrPony (2505686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174892)

I'm just saying that every country should keep it to themselves. If US government wants to block those domains, feel free to make your own firewall. But as it is now, US is deciding for the whole world. Regardless if other countries want it or not.

Re:Difference between US and China (4, Insightful)

arkenian (1560563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174954)

I'm just saying that every country should keep it to themselves. If US government wants to block those domains, feel free to make your own firewall. But as it is now, US is deciding for the whole world. Regardless if other countries want it or not.

So once upon a time, I would've agreed. But these days? If you don't want to be subject to a country's laws, then don't register your domain in their country. Every country in the world has its own domain registry, pretty much. Yes, its true, if you have a .CH domain or something, people are likely to think your stuff is fake and not buy it. But why shouldn't the US prevent you from selling stuff to US persons in a US domain, which means that you're, by definition, doing business with a US company. Its always been the law that if you use US assetts to commit something considered a crime in the US, those assets get seized/frozen. If this was going after the 'free' sites, that'd be one thing, but this is pretty much within the narrower interpretations, and i think its perfectly fine.

Re:Difference between US and China (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38175066)

But why shouldn't the US prevent you from selling stuff to US persons in a US domain, which means that you're, by definition, doing business with a US company.

Because .com and .net are not simply US domains just used by companies doing business in the US.

Re:Difference between US and China (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38175276)

.com and .net ARE simply US domains. Even when a non-US entity holds the lease, it is a US domain.

Any non-US entities that run websites legal in other parts of the world can register domains operated by those parts of the world.

Re:Difference between US and China (4, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175564)

.com and .net ARE simply US domains.

No, they're not. The .us domain IS the US domain. The .com/.net/.org/.edu are international domains.

Or are you suggesting that a multinational corporation should have to register a different domain in every country where they operate? If I want to go go IBM's main web site, which country should I pick?

If they WERE simply US domains, they would require a US address to register them.

Re:Difference between US and China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38175440)

"Because .com and .net are not simply US domains just used by companies doing business in the US."

Actually that's not true. Both originated AND are fully administered within the US. Yes, we allow other countries to register names in those domains, but they are very much US domains. They were invented here, started out as 100% US companies and organizations, and are administered fully within the United States.

Re:Difference between US and China (5, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175326)

But why shouldn't the US prevent you from selling stuff to US persons in a US domain, which means that you're, by definition, doing business with a US company. Its always been the law that if you use US assetts to commit something considered a crime in the US, those assets get seized/frozen.

Hey American--There are other people on the internet. And sometimes, we don't even care if you're on the internet or not.

In fact the rest of the internet can quite happily function if the US decides to seal itself up behind a firewall like the Chinese. But we can't function if the US decides to unilaterally interfere with our business on the internet in its own interest. If that happens, then current US custodianship of the internet/DNS will be de-legitimised and ended before too long.

This doesn't have to happen, but it will if the US continues to regard its own domestic laws as superior to those others countries even within the jurisdiction of those countries. The the US cannot recognise basic principles of jurisdiction, then the international system of internet controls cannot continue be based there.

Re:Difference between US and China (0)

arkenian (1560563) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175464)

But why shouldn't the US prevent you from selling stuff to US persons in a US domain, which means that you're, by definition, doing business with a US company. Its always been the law that if you use US assetts to commit something considered a crime in the US, those assets get seized/frozen.

Hey American--There are other people on the internet. And sometimes, we don't even care if you're on the internet or not.

In fact the rest of the internet can quite happily function if the US decides to seal itself up behind a firewall like the Chinese. But we can't function if the US decides to unilaterally interfere with our business on the internet in its own interest. If that happens, then current US custodianship of the internet/DNS will be de-legitimised and ended before too long.

This doesn't have to happen, but it will if the US continues to regard its own domestic laws as superior to those others countries even within the jurisdiction of those countries. The the US cannot recognise basic principles of jurisdiction, then the international system of internet controls cannot continue be based there.

so that was kind of my point. The US only retains certain domains, and other countries have domains that they control. This isn't the 90s anymore, where the US controls all domain registration. Not even close. But lets set all that aside.... Someone is committing fraud on the internet (bearing in mind that this time we're not talking about piracy, but people selling fake goods as 'real'), what do you think should be done?

Re:Difference between US and China (3, Informative)

The MESMERIC (766636) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175350)

.ch is switzerland.

.cn is china.

Those companies haven't violated any US law (3, Insightful)

YA_Python_dev (885173) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175626)

There has been no trial, in the US or elsewhere, so we should assume that they are innocent.

Remember:

First they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the gays, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't gay.

Now someone is knocking at my door...

Re:Difference between US and China (2)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175482)

It's not like the US is taking down foreign sites. They are taking down sites hosted in the US, which are therefore covered under US anti-piracy laws.

It sucks (I believe everything digital should be free) but it's how the government works these days. No regard for due process - just slam the door wherever they see fit.

Re:Difference between US and China (1)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174994)

That is the whole purpose of the Constitution. There are certain things that even the vote of a majority is not allowed to do, such as deprive others of their right to express ideas, even if the majority find them repugnant.

If only they'd had the foresight to extend it to disallowing the majority to vote to pilfer the property of others, but I digress...

Re:Difference between US and China (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38175150)

That is the whole purpose of the Constitution. There are certain things that even the vote of a majority is not allowed to do, such as deprive others of their right to express ideas, even if the majority find them repugnant.

Not that people don't try anyway.

Comprehension FAIL && perception of realit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38175570)

Imagine a craftsman going "So I fixed your wall, but I don't want you to pay me $500. Instead pay me $5, but everyone who ever has any use of that wall, has to also pay $5. And if you let anyone in without him having paid first, I'll sue you both for $500,000,000, call you and all your friends 'rapist sea-thugs', and even though I am only a one-person company that makes less money than your cleaning lady, will force the government to change the law so they will hunt you down like drug dealers, just for me."

You will agree, that that is fuckin' insane!

Making information is a service, and must be paid as a service. One time. Fixed amount. Done.
Everything else you can hope for (e.g. like a tip you get out of respect), but never demand or even expect.

Because information itself isn't a physical object, can't be owned, stolen or sold, is abundant,can be copied at will without harming anyone, and its distribution is physically impossible to control (unless you put DRM chips in everyone's head).
So clearly the above mentioned craftsman's business model is the right way to go... :P

Re:Difference between US and China (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175086)

Because they are a different country with different culture and values.

This bubble in which some people live in never ceases to amaze me. The sheer foolishness of belief that their values are by far the best for everyone, and shared by everyone is beyond stupid and turning on your TV to watch the news debunks it time and time again. Yet they believe...

Re:Difference between US and China (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175298)

Maybe.

What about those in the culture that don't agree the oppression of them is ok? How many people would you have to be to legitimately claim that you should not be oppressed?

Re:Difference between US and China (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175454)

What of those white plantation owners who didn't agree with abolishing of slavery? Religious leaders that didn't agree with people's right not to belong to their religion?

In general, our culture is based on maintaining a certain level of balance between all members. One of the biggest negative changes to hit our daily lives this century have been because some have acted to extract a nice extra bit profit out of the system at the cost of the system itself. We still haven't figured out how to get out of that one.

And I was talking about banking if you were wondering. Though you could easily apply the same reasoning to modern copyright.

Re:Difference between US and China (2)

beltsbear (2489652) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174844)

Like apple power chargers that cost one third of what Apple sells them for. Yea, they should not be selling those!

Re:Difference between US and China (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174872)

China does it to keep the party in power. The US does it to keep the copyright/trademark industries in power. Here is how vast the difference is:

sed -e 's/communist party/intellectual property industries/g'

Re:Difference between US and China (5, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175152)

"shouldn't be selling"? Says who?

the most important part of your completely bullshit claim, is where is the court hearing? Where is the proof?

innocent until proven guilty is a key cornerstone of our law, even as generally dismantled as it exists.

So until this goes to court, there's no proof they've done anything wrong or shouldn't have done, etc. It is a first amendment violation of prior restraint, however.

Re:Difference between US and China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38175188)

When will they be taken to court to defend themselves?

Re:Difference between US and China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38175512)

Selling? How is it over there in looney fantasy land, where people actually believe you can "sell" data. Because here in the real world, file sharing has nothing to do with "selling" anything at all, and you don't "buy" software anyway.
(You buy a "license", which is a contract that if you get a copy of that information, you won't pass it on. Even though it is physically impossible for them to verify when you do it anyway, unless there is a chip in everyone's head for total surveillance. And so the contract is nonsense, and its only purpose is that they want to make more money without doing any more work [Remember: Making software is a service. That service itself deserves a one-time fixed-amount payment. Nothing more.], essentially defrauding you. But go on and protect your own worst enemies, idiot.)

Re:Difference between US and China (1, Flamebait)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174832)

This is at the DNS level, so if the DNS registers are US companies then it's conducted within US law. I'm pretty sure if the hosts for those sites are not located in the US, they're mostly likely still alive and accessible via their ip addresses. At worst, we can guess US is the same as China in the area of censoring ip infringement. As for overall difference between the two countries, Slashdot likes to talk about the fallacy of moral equivalence when defending something they like which the general public doesn't, so perhaps it's also a fallacy to make the same mistake here.

Re:Difference between US and China (0)

paxcoder (1222556) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175052)

You sir, just crapped a load.

Re:Difference between US and China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38175342)

Yet another brainless turd heard from... why don't you go and spend the next 5 years of your life developing a software application, then have someone make millions on it by selling illegal copies of it. Bey you will be running to the DoJ and ICE asking for help then...

Less US control (2)

Garybaldy (1233166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174816)

This is why other governments are less interested in the US controlling most of the net. Before they were willing to let us have most of the control due to our hands off approach. With the seizing of domains some not even in the us who have broken no laws in their own country.

Re:Less US control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38174842)

There's an easy solution, don't register as a .com. Want to sell illegal stuff, the a .ru TLD where the US has no power (at least not without the Russian government's help).

Re:Less US control (5, Funny)

CmdrPony (2505686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174880)

ICANN is still US-based, and they ultimately have power over it. It would be best for everyone if the things ICANN handles would be moved under neutral party, like UN.

Re:Less US control (4, Funny)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174908)

It would be best for everyone if the things ICANN handles would be moved under neutral party, like UN

That's a very funny joke you just made there.

Re:Less US control (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175090)

Are you suggesting that UN is LESS neutral then USA, or are you laughing at your attempt to strawman the argument by pretending he said "neutral" in absolute terms?

Re:Less US control (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38175190)

Being neutral means being in absolute agreement with US policy, and preferably the ideology of the country's founding fathers.

(At least that is what it seems to mean to many Americans.)

Re:Less US control (2)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175278)

Are you suggesting that UN is LESS neutral then USA

No, I'm saying that people who put countries like Iran in charge of UN commissions on human rights have no business dealing with freedom of speech issues like domain management. Of course you know that.

Re:Less US control (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175312)

Ah, you mean like those that put USA, Russia, GB, France and China as permanent members on security council?

Funnily, the list pretty much sums up everyone in the world who creates major conflicts in one way or another. So it would seem that Iran is indeed very fit for human rights council.

So perhaps it's quite neutral, and your world view is massively skewed by the bubble you're living in?

Re:Less US control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38175582)

So perhaps it's quite neutral, and your world view is massively skewed by the bubble you're living in?

Uh, no. You obviously just provided evidence in support of his point. Two decidedly non-neutral acts do not a neutral organization make; they don't somehow cancel each other out. It just shows that the organization is even less neutral than we knew. Good job.

Re:Less US control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38174942)

The only control ICANN could exercise of over second level domains within .ru (or any other cTLD) is to remove it from the root name servers entirely, and that ain't ever going to happen.

Re:Less US control (1)

DinDaddy (1168147) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175302)

Actually, it would be best if the things ICANN handles would be moved under a neutral party that was absolutely nothing like the U.N.

Like the internet (2)

GeneralTurgidson (2464452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174822)

Piracy routes around it. I'm guessing ICE are the guys who accidentally deleted a bunch of SRV records at work and were promptly fired. Who knew they could find a job with those skills.

Re:Like the internet (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174940)

I'm guessing ICE are the guys who accidentally deleted a bunch of SRV records at work and were promptly fired.

Firing people over a single accident?
Had you said incompetence, I might have nodded, but accident?
Restoring the last zones doesn't take long.

Firing the one who gave people a bigger gun than they could handle, and the incompetent sysadmin who made it easy to accidentally delete SRV records would, IMNSHO, be more appropriate.

Pointless (4, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174834)

This will just push people toward less centralized systems; Tor hidden services come to my mind as does Freenet, but there are others out there.

It is time to admit that the age of copyrights is over, and the longer we wait in developing a new method of monetizing creative works, the harder it will become.

Re:Pointless (1)

CmdrPony (2505686) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174854)

There is still need for copyrights. It would be impossible to monetize creation of movies etc. Now, there's some change but only regarding games. Valve started offering Team Fortress 2 for free, with in-game items. Facebook games have done so for a long time. Not everyone likes that, but that is actually companies adjusting to the situation. It's been like that in Asia for a long time. Now I have no idea how to apply it to music and movies, but it works for some games.

Re:Pointless (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174926)

There is still need for copyrights. It would be impossible to monetize creation of movies etc.

Is the entertainment you get from movies worth the loss of freedom all around that the movie industry buys?

Re:Pointless (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174974)

False dichotomy, there's no reason why there couldn't be a medium of some sort here. In fact for decades that's how it worked out. People will figure out how to get around restrictions if need be, but you can't do that if the media isn't being produced in the first place.

As far as that goes we'd have to come a lot further towards totalitarianism before that becomes a serious issue. For all the well justified hubbub we'd be better of just contributing to pay off the few suits that the *AA actually bothers to file.

Re:Pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38174972)

There is still need for copyrights. It would be impossible to monetize creation of movies etc.

No it wouldn't. Look at some of the Kickstarter or Indie Gogo projects to get a hint of how funding projects that don't need all the copy protection is done.

For freemium music, try concerts (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175002)

It would be impossible to monetize creation of movies etc.

How was the short film Sintel financed?

Now I have no idea how to apply it to music

Live concerts and feelies (e.g. T-shirts) are the canonical method for applying the freemium model to recorded music. But I'll admit that this method doesn't translate well to movies, as few films are adapted into stage plays.

Re:Pointless (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175036)

maybe not the content of the movie itself, but around the convenience of watching it, or the kids toys (look at how much cars made from the sale of movies, vs the sale of other "hard" goods). To be honest I hardly pirate anything, just a few motor-sports events(you know the ones where they have to turn in both directions, and change speed) that i just can't seem to find with decent coverage here in the states. If someone where to offer me a better option than bittorrent that would allow me to watch when i have time to over say 2-3 weeks from the time of the event, with at least the same quality as the 720P bit streams of the commercial free BBC coverage I get now I'd likely pay for it.

Anyways, thinking the content is the valuable part is the wrong way to look at it. Movies sell popcorn and Halloween costumes, not the movie itself.

Re:Pointless (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175094)

The difference between "some copyright" and "what we have right now and direction in which we are headed" is similar to "USA" and "China" in terms of individual political freedom.

Re:Pointless (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175392)

Most Hollywood movies are already collecting 10s of millions upfront for incorporating advertisements. They are entitled to nothing, not even theater receipts.

Re:Pointless (2)

beltsbear (2489652) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174856)

Namecoin is one option, decentralized so that it can not be shut down. Namecoin is an addition to DNS and can be added to a regular linux nameserver. http://dot-bit.org/ [dot-bit.org]

Re:Pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38174886)

This will push nerds towards less centralized systems; but these raids are very effective at keeping the common folk for buying this shit.

Re:Pointless (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174980)

Is it though? Since the RIAA started fighting piracy seriously its sales have dropped dramatically from where they were in the late 90s. They might be having success with piracy, but it's not likely to be helping their bottom line.

Re:Pointless (3, Insightful)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174890)

This will just push people toward less centralized systems; Tor hidden services come to my mind as does Freenet, but there are others out there.

Really? You really think that someone who Googles for discount ("cheap") versions of otherwise somewhat costly software for automotive use, or who are looking for logo-oriented things like NFL jerseys are going to be sing Tor to do their buying of counterfeit goods? When they want to pull out a credit card and get a brand-name purse or shoe at a tenth of the normal price (and are dumb enough to not consider the fact that they're buying a poorly made rip-off of the actual item), you think they'll be looking to a ghost network of proxies and hidden networks?

Or is it possible that it's just a lot simpler than that. That, just as mentioned in the fine article, you're dealig with web sites run by scam artists and counterfeiters who are hoping that average consumers looking to place an online order won't recognize that they're dealing with criminals. Sites being run by plainly obvious counterfeiters got shut down, just like their warehouses are shut down if they're within the jurisdiction of law enforcement agencies that see what they're doing and have the mandate to stop them.

Did you read the list of sites? (4, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174896)

The list of sites reads like a "who's who" of counterfeit goods, not torrent sites. I didn't see a single torrent-related site that I recognized on the list.

Re:Did you read the list of sites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38175340)

Well, the way I see it, they're free to switch focus of those activities quite freely. What happens if on the next batch, amid those counterfeit goods and torrent sites you'll find some blogs and personal websites deemed to be a a threat to national security?

Re:Did you read the list of sites? (4, Insightful)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175442)

The list of sites reads like a "who's who" of counterfeit goods, not torrent sites. I didn't see a single torrent-related site that I recognized on the list.

What does it have anything to do with torrent sites? The problem is that they're seizing domains without due process and shutting down foreign websites, some of which (like Rojadirecta last time) are legal in their home countries.

This is not the way the internet is supposed to work. And the problem is, if we set this kind of precedent, how long until other countries reciprocate? Do we find it perfectly alright for China to make YouTube disappear from the internet over dissident videos by advertising a route to its IP and then dropping the packets, like Pakistan did in 2010?

The problem is that we have a choice: We can have an internet which is subject to the least restrictive laws of any country, or we can have an internet which is subject to the most restrictive laws of any country. There is no option that says "the internet as a whole is subject to US law but not French or Chinese law."

But if it makes you feel any better, the torrent sites are next on the agenda.

Re:Pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38174946)

age of copyrights is over
That is wishful thinking. This *is* the age of copyright, and it is about to get 100x worse. Thanks to our bought and paid for politicos.

This movie was supposed to be a comedy not a documentary...
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104114/ [imdb.com]

Re:Pointless (2)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174988)

It is time to admit that the age of copyrights is over, and the longer we wait in developing a new method of monetizing creative works, the harder it will become.

I agree, but I have a rather bleak view of it. It seems to me that when confronted with competitors that have only production costs, the creative people will endeavor to make their money in the extremely short window of time before the counterfeiters can get into the market. I fear this would cause them to withhold their revolutionary ideas from the public, to release products with incremental improvement and an emphasis on mass appeal. We'd end up having shorter and shorter intervals of fads made to appeal to hundreds of millions over weeks and months. A few weeks after initial release, when counterfeiters are just catching up, the original creators would start the next fad. It would be like the fashion industry taking over games, music, movies, etc. And from the things we're seeing now, I think we're already heading in that direction.

I'm confused (0)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174862)

Why are you guys bitching about the government not allowing the sale of counterfeit clothing or distribution of pirated software again? Could have sworn those things were against the law.

Re:I'm confused (5, Insightful)

apcullen (2504324) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174912)

There is no bitching about not allowing the sale of counterfeit clothing or pirated software. The point is that the US government is, without any form of due process, taking down web sites. And some of these web sites are located in other countries, where the US government has no direct jurisdiction. There. Now you're not confused anymore.

Re:I'm confused (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38175020)

but they're not taking down the host, only enforcing law on US-based DNS registrars. you can probably still access those sites via ip.

Re:I'm confused (1, Insightful)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175198)

Due process, goddammit. Do - you - understand - it? (apologies to Pulp Fiction)

Re:I'm confused (2)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175030)

And some of these web sites are located in other countries, where the US government has no direct jurisdiction.

As long as ICAAN is under US Jurisdiction, that's something of a moot point.

Re:I'm confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38175296)

So ignoring due process on foreigners is OK?

Re:I'm confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38175050)

And some of these web sites are located in other countries, where the US government has no direct jurisdiction.

Cheaper than extraordinary rendition.

Re:I'm confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38175088)

Yes, but as a US citizen, I feel much safer now.

Re:I'm confused (2)

Slyfox696 (2432554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175132)

There is no bitching about not allowing the sale of counterfeit clothing or pirated software. The point is that the US government is, without any form of due process, taking down web sites.

In fairness, and I admit I don't know the whole process, but can those domains not challenge the takedown, and if they win, have the domain restored? At which point, is it any different than when an officer sees you breaking into a car and arrests you for it?

Don't get me wrong, the idea bothers me as well, and I waffle back and forth about how I feel about their ability to unilaterally take down websites, especially for domains not located in the United States. But the summary makes it sound as if these sites were selling counterfeit goods (many times to American citizens), which affects the regular citizen every bit as much as it does businesses. Which is to say there is a difference between this and the taking down of torrenting sites.

Re:I'm confused (2)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175590)

In fairness, and I admit I don't know the whole process, but can those domains not challenge the takedown, and if they win, have the domain restored? At which point, is it any different than when an officer sees you breaking into a car and arrests you for it?

Let's consider this for a minute. Assume you can go to court in the US and demand they give you back your domain name.

You're some guy in Russia who makes barely enough to buy food and shelter by selling legitimate products which you buy as damaged goods for a steep discount and then repair them yourself before reselling. Your website has just disappeared, so you now have no income. In order to get it back, you have to go to court in the United States. The plane ticket will cost you $2000, but first you'll have to get a Russian passport and a US travel visa. Then you'll have to live in a hotel for who knows how long and hire a lawyer who charges more in one day than you make in a year, who you can't communicate with very well because you don't speak very good English. While you're in the US away from your wife and kids you won't be allowed to work or generate any income because your travel visa doesn't allow it. By the time all is said and done, and you've got your domain back, you'll have accumulated a debt equal to about four times your annual income (assuming someone was even willing to lend you the money).

There is a reason why jurisdiction does not normally extend outside a country's borders. The hardship on someone who has to travel to the other side of the world to protect his livelihood is too great. And you're subjecting foreign nationals to US laws without giving them a vote.

I think you can see why the analogy to someone breaking into a car is inapt: When you get arrested the government provides you with a lawyer. You get a trial, which is held where you are instead of on the other side of the world. If you can't make bail you have a criminal defendant's right to a speedy trial, and in the meantime the government provides you with food and shelter. By contrast, when you have your domain name taken by a foreign government, there is no trial beforehand, you have no opportunity to be heard, the government doesn't provide you with a lawyer and there is a mountain of bureaucracy and a cash furnace between you and getting back what belongs to you.

Re:I'm confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38174924)

True...its illegal...its their job to protect and enforce the law. You all need to think about the day when the government stops...you will then have grounds to complain...

Re:I'm confused (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38174928)

Yes, its against the law but normally people who break the law have an opportunity to defend themseves in court. There is always a grey area. You should have a right to defend it.

Re:I'm confused (3, Informative)

LordThyGod (1465887) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174952)

"Law" implies some kind of due process. This is more how authoritarian regimes work, by decree.

Re:I'm confused (0)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175144)

It's hard to figure, isn't it? Apparently Slashdot supports "free" as in "ripping people off"

Re:I'm confused (4, Insightful)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175208)

Ok, seriously, here's the answer:

I don't know that any of the sites in question are selling counterfeit goods. I'm not talking proof-beyond-reasonable-doubt or anything like that, just vague informal subjective stuff. What was autocd.com doing? I never heard of them. I can't even begin to guess.

Under normal circumstances, this is an easy problem to solve. You just go look at what the accused person was saying. If they're actually guilty and their crime happens to involve soliciting transactions, then all you have to do is go look at the things they've been saying, and you'll very likely see stark black-and-white evidence of them incriminating themselves.

Oops, we can't see them shooting their mouths off in public about their own crime, because they've been censored.

That's bad. Really bad. As a very distant-second choice, though, at least some information will eventually come out at their trial. Oops, except we've decided to unanimously vote for parties who say "Fuck due process." There will be no trial.

I'm being asked to accept on 100% faith that someone did a bad thing. I'll never see any evidence myself that it's true, and I'll never even receive an assurance that "the system" that we all count on serving justice -- the same thing we rely on protecting you and me -- reviewed this apparently-too-sensitive-for-the-public evidence and came to that conclusion. Maybe you're enough of a religious nut for that amount of faith, but I'm not.

All the formal and informal checks have been bypassed; we're talking about true anarchy and a breakdown of law here. Given that, why would anyone care about something as relatively trivial as counterfeit goods? ICE's actions themselves totally overshadow that.

Re:I'm confused (3, Insightful)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175424)

According to the ICE website, they seize domains after they have collected evidence and obtained a warrant, the same way they seize things in any other crime.
I don't expect you to read it yourself, but its right here"

http://www.iprcenter.gov/reports/fact-sheets/operation-in-our-sites/view [iprcenter.gov]

Now go back to your spittle-flecked rant.

Re:I'm confused (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175610)

According to the ICE website, they seize domains after they have collected evidence and obtained a warrant, the same way they seize things in any other crime.

In what sense is a domain name evidence in a crime?

Are you saying that if the police claim I'm selling counterfeit DVDs they can seize my telephone number and redirect it to their own phone, thereby probably putting me out of business even if I'm completely innocent?

This is purely about punishment without conviction.

Scribd? Seriously? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38174884)

Why the fuck do we even have HTML if no one is going to use it?

It's not too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38174906)

We still have time to save ourselves. [cnet.com]

Re:It's not too late (1)

Kraftwerk (629978) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174984)

I'd be careful with the Ron Paul stuff, liberty and personal responsibility doesn't fly well here.

How effective is this really? (1)

apcullen (2504324) | more than 2 years ago | (#38174938)

so... the DNS addresses were seized, or frozen, or censored (use your own term). Can these guys just register a new one tomorrow and be back in business the next time google does an indexing? Can't you still reach these places if you know the IP address? What's to stop them from posting something saying what their IP address is so people can reach them directly without using DNS?

Length of a domain's history (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175014)

Can these guys just register a new one tomorrow and be back in business the next time google does an indexing?

To distinguish serious, established, reliable web sites from fly-by-night web sites, Google is reported to take into account how long a domain has been continuously registered and how many years of registration have been paid in advance.

Re:Length of a domain's history (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38175308)

Pretty much this. They'd really need to spread through informing people manually.

And to be honest, most of the time that is the better option since it keeps them under the radar for longer.
Although in the cases of selling stolen goods, it is going to be much harder to get any money this way.

One alternate solution would be contacts in a bunch of different countries printing out some leaflet things and passing them around.
They could look for the "dodgy" types, the people who you know would likely want to buy the cheaper knock-off stuff rather than the nice, tidy respectable looking people since they are less likely to be corrupt enough, and in some cases would just contact the police with the information.
Word of mouth would keep the site in the back alley, so to speak.

Of course, I probably shouldn't be posting this, I'd rather not help the actually corrupt form of piracy, selling others products and IP for a profit. That's just over the line.

There Goes Christmas Shopping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38174958)

Guess no one is getting their "authentic" Aaron Rogers or Tony Romo "gersery" this Christmas. Thanks ICE!

In other news (2)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175024)

Minutes later 1000+ domains went online.

MAFIAAfire (1)

Digana (1018720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175040)

Oh, great, finally an udate to MAFIAAFire [mafiaafire.com] .... plus advertising for the seized domains! Now I want to check out what the US is censoring, and thanks to MAFIAAFire I can!

Re:MAFIAAfire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38175092)

Seriously, when I first read this, I couldn't help wondering, "What is 'pirated auto software'?" ICE has just piqued my curiosity.

alternates (2)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175082)

We need truly open DNS NOW.

Re:alternates (1)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175202)

Already here [opennicproject.org] .

Really, it baffles my mind why people keep calling for an "open" DNS structure when there is already one in place, has been in fact for over a decade. With enough public nameservers in place mirroring the root zone, it would literally be impossible for any government to shut down OpenNIC.

It's already here, my friend...all you need to do is pitch in and help.

Re:alternates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38175250)

It's yours, my friend... as long as you have enough rupees.

Piracy for profit... (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175126)

Is wrong, so if they stuck with that agenda i wouldn't have a problem with it.

Places selling cheap knockoffs where they state its not real, or 'fan sites' that get some ad revenue to keep their site open should be left alone.

Campaign Issue (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175228)

What legislative candidates are running on a platform of enacting something that will explicitly outlaw what ICE did here? (Don't tell me it's already illegal; whether it's true or not, the courts have apparently decided otherwise.)

What executive candidates are running on a platform of, by order, prohibiting ICE from doing this?

America needs to know these two things, and we need to know right now.

Re:Campaign Issue (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175406)

Candidates do what they are told or they are not allowed to run.

Cannot wait till this fascist scumbag is out of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38175262)

... office...

Re:Cannot wait till this fascist scumbag is out of (1, Interesting)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175386)

Replace him with the GOP candidate who is even more Fascist and won't wimp out and cave in to Fascism but will openly promote those ideals (minus the negative terminology.)

They don't say trickle down anymore, its "job creators" and even the racists (with a bit of a brain) have migrated towards cultural and socioeconomic variations on social Darwinism to feed their dysfunctional emotional needs. Hell, classic racists like David Duke have a lawyer have a public relations man to look good... just your "friendly liberal KKK"... (that is an old song reference.)

The public can't handle rank voting or more than two rigged parties; those of us outside the 1 dimensional idiotic political spectrum have been upset longer than those of you who are finally being left behind as the whole thing shifts further towards despotism. If you only woke up sooner and in greater numbers... it wouldn't be too late.

"autocd.com"? What about Feist vs, Rural Telephon (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175324)

"autocd.com" sold parts catalogs for old vehicles. "AUTO CD.COM is your best, one-stop source for all electronic parts catalogues, auto repair manuals, service manuals, automotive repair, spare parts, auto diagnostics and auto repairs software available.

Auto parts catalog information is not copyrightable. That's been litigated, and the distributors of the third party parts catalog won. See ATC Distribution Group Inc. v. Whatever It Takes Transmissions & Parts Inc., 402 F.3d 700 (6th Cir. 2005). That follows from Feist vs. Rural Telephone, the telephone directory case. There is no creativity in a parts catalog.

Re:"autocd.com"? What about Feist vs, Rural Teleph (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38175348)

No...but service manuals and other repair guides are surely copyrighted. They go for good money usually and MANY places sell cheap counterfeit copies.

Re:"autocd.com"? What about Feist vs, Rural Teleph (1)

spikestabber (644578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175466)

Obviously ICE is seizing first, asking questions later. (if at all)

Onoz! 17nflshop.com is down! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38175362)

Fortunately, 18nflshop.com is still up. Got worried there for a second.

Bye, Bye (1, Interesting)

brit74 (831798) | more than 2 years ago | (#38175414)

Sorry, I don't really care that so many on Slashdot have a problem with this. If the sites are acting like scumbags, then I don't have a problem with these sites being taken down. The excuses seem pretty hollow:

"the US is forcing their laws on everyone else"? Seems that these sites are breaking laws agreed on internationally. It's not like copyright is a "only in the USA" thing. Most slashdotters seem to want the US to make a "great firewall of the USA" - and then they'd mock the US for having a "great firewall" and say that everybody will route around it anyway. As I've said for a long time: the internet, by its nature, is international which means that either copyright is enforced everywhere or copyright is nullified everywhere. I know many slashdotters prefer the latter, but at least recognize the inherent tension between these two options. When the piratebay can disregard copyright with total impunity, it means that everyone on the internet can disregard copyright with impunity.

"They should have the right to a trial"? Okay, but I'd like to see how well that works when people are in a different country. How long did it take before Roman Polanski was brought to justice again? Even worse, they're probably using registration-anonymizing services and it might be very well impossible to find out who these people really are. Let's say your site is breaking IP laws. You live off in Latvia or China or something. Here's your options: (a) ignore the US summons to appear in court and since you haven't had a trial your site stays up, or (b) book a ticket to the US, identify yourself to US authorities, have a trial. Who in their right mind is going to pick option "b"? Besides, it's not like the US is throwing them in prison or killing them.
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