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Government's War On Piracy Turns Ugly

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posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 07:13 AM

The U.S. government’s crackdown on file sharing and counterfeiting has taken a new and disturbing turn.

Recently its been reported that the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement office has seized, a site that linked to other sites that hosted and shared torrent files of copyrighted material. The news itself was not too unusual; what struck us as out of order was that the site had been shut down without the owner being notified and without a court conviction or, to our knowledge, any other legal proceedings.

At the time, we knew that several other websites had also been seized; however, today, we are hearing reports that as many as 77 different websites have been seized and shut down, all without any notification or warning to the owners.

As the owner of said, the sites were seized “without any previous complaint or notice from any court… While I was contacting GoDaddy I noticed the DNS had changed. Godaddy had no idea what was going on and until now they do not understand the situation, and they say it was totally from ICANN.”

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is seizing sites directly from ICANN because of complaints filed against them; the agency is not doing so under the auspices of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) or a more recently introduced, so-called “censorship” bill, the Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeits Act, or COICA, which was created specifically to address the issue of piracy.

While both of these acts have serious issues that many free-web advocates find disturbing, the implementation of either law might be better than no law at all.

Rather than using DMCA or COICA, the DHS has, as one spokesperson told The New York Times, “executed court-ordered seizure warrants against a number of domain names.”

So far, TorrentFreak is counting 77 domains seized. These URLs indicate that sites were used to peddle counterfeit goods as well as illegally shared media files.

What we can’t debate is that the government has a right to enforce its own laws. If copyrights are being infringed upon and goods are being counterfeited, the government does have the authority to put a stop to those activities.

But when legislators have taken great pains to construct and pass laws that create procedures for dealing with these exact issues, it does seem a bit off that none of those procedures were used.

For example, COICA would create a blacklist of censored URLs. If infringement of copyright or the trafficking of counterfeited goods is central to the operation of the website, the attorney general can ask a court to place that website on the blacklist.

The DHS is bypassing typical laws and procedures to quickly stamp out file-sharing and counterfeiting — perhaps in time to thwart knock-off holiday shopping, we could speculate. We might also speculate that the reason for the rush job has something to do with the impending passage of COICA, which would create a longer process for closing these sites.

Speculations aside, this great haste is as confusing as it is perturbing; it doesn’t sit well with the traditionally American sense of due process.

edit on 3/12/10 by TedHodgson because: spelling

posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 07:33 AM
"When theres something strange, on the internet
Who you gonna call?..........Anonymous!"

I can see some huge DOS attacks coming their way if they carry on shutting down sites like that.

posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 07:46 AM
This is the camel's nose under the tent. The American KGB, Homeland Security, will be expanding their unconstitutional and illegal internet operation to shuting down sites they deem "terrorism" and and as we know from the actions of TSA, all of us are now suspected domestic terrorists. If we resist any unconstitutional action politically, we are confirming the AmKGB suspicion.

posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 09:20 AM
reply to post by TedHodgson

Professional economists agree.

posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 10:06 AM
Personally, I think we are seeing this now because the left is in power and their biggest and most outspoken voices are the people in the entertainment business. For some reason, these same people feel like they are getting ripped off from getting their .02 a copy in royalty fees and are bitching about it, prolly to the extent that they say they will no longer throw their voices to the left if something isnt done. Not that the right is free and clear either btw. They are trying to go after wikileaks like crazy. Ive even heard some talking heads and congressmen asking for the death penalty if the people involved are convicted of treason. Its rediculous.

Its like many of us on here have said, the two "sides" are really one in the same. Now they have the power to shut down torrent sites. Whats next? Because of the slippery slope theory, depending on who is in power and what their view of who the "enemy" is, anything can be shut down, its just a matter of how they sell it to the public. The machine is rolling and it isnt gonna be stopped anytime soon. This is why EACH AND EVERY canidate and sitting government official should be held under the microscope and never for once should we turn our backs for even a split second. The power in our government is far too great to not corrupt even the most honest of people.

posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 10:27 AM
reply to post by TedHodgson

Department of Homeland Security has absolutely no right what so ever to seize an internet site..

This is the job of federal law enforcement, example, FBI .. who would have to get a warrant. DHS is protected by the Patriot Act to do whatever the hell they want, but it is indeed a dirty trick, it's quite disgusting.

posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 10:34 AM
well everyone would be uploading wiki information in the mass on torrents :\

posted on Dec, 3 2010 @ 10:42 AM
I am puzzled.. under what principles can a court order the seziure of physical or intellectual property when such property is not actually evidence in a criminal case?

The DNS entry in and of itself is not part of any alleged crime. It is mearly an address pointer.. much like a yellow pages entry. Removal of it does not stop any alleged crimes, per se.


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