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DHS Prosecutes Website Owner For Simply Linking To Other Websites

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posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 01:47 PM
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By the definition of illegal activity provided by the DHS, about 90% of the internet is now subject to criminal prosecution.

The Huffington Post
March 9, 2011


Until a few weeks ago, Brian McCarthy ran a website, channelsurfing.net, that linked to various sites where you could watch online streams of TV shows and sports networks. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seized his domain name in late January. All you’ll find there now is a “This domain has been seized” warning, complete with a screeching eagle dive-bombing your face as he clutches a banner that reads “Protection is our trademark.” Then, in an unprecedented move, on Friday they arrested McCarthy and charged him with criminal copyright infringement — punishable by five years in prison.

Demand Progress just obtained a copy of the complaint that DHS and ICE made against him: they do not even allege that he made a copy of anything. Just that he ran what they call a “linking website” which linked to various sites with infringing material.


Of course, it's much easier to go after the little guys rather than the big fish.

You'll never see the DHS pull a stunt like this with YouTube.

Which of course is the entire point of the exercise - the only people allowed to engage in victimless "illegal" activity are mega-corporations and the government.

Anyone else does it and it's off to a dungeon.




edit on 10-3-2011 by mnemeth1 because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 01:52 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 01:52 PM
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reply to post by mnemeth1
 


Well yes and no, they have basically declared almost everything illegal yes. But running a site (probably with paid ads) that links to other sites that are illegally streaming content, is illegal. Doesn't mean I agree with it, it's absurd, but they created the legislation and linking to infringing content is their new target.

You can blame most of this on bittorrent. They argue that a torrent file is not infringement, it's merely a link, so hosting torrent files, while not running a torrent tracker, is merely providing a link, not the file itself. Which is true, but so many of these sites are making money (lots of it) that it can not be ignored, and we the people suffer.

Such is the world when we allow ignorant people to write laws to regulate something they simply don't understand, while the entire time taking input from only 1 side of the debate, the side with a monopoly at stake.




You'll never see the DHS pull a stunt like this with YouTube.


Lol do you even use youtube? Copyrighted content illegally uploaded is removed fairly fast. Even videos that aren't copyrighted but contain copyrighted audio, are flagged and the audio disabled.

Back when youtube started it was one of the worst copyright infringement sites, but they sold out, partnered, and now offer legal videos (with ads) and remove illegal ones.

A more to the point argument would be google, and DHS might not be going after them, but some of the copyright groups are putting pressure on them. Why? Because I can google and get pirated content links right from them. This is why they removed piracy related search terms from the instant search.

The more important point of this all, that people appear to be missing, is this:

Why is the Department of homeland security seizing domains of sites that are in most cases linking to pirated content. How does this possibly fall under their jurisdiction? Shouldn't that department be more concerned about issues related to HOMELAND SECURITY?
edit on 10-3-2011 by phishyblankwaters because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 01:58 PM
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reply to post by mnemeth1
 


This is more soviet behavior by DHS. They truly think they are storm troopers do they? I mean come on now. This is just stupid.



posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 02:08 PM
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newsflash - DHS and ICE are now the sword used by the entertainment industry to enforce their copywrite protection. That's right - federal agencies now act to protect the profits of large, multinational corporations and call it "defending our homeland"



posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 02:12 PM
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Originally posted by TXRabbit
newsflash - DHS and ICE are now the sword used by the entertainment industry to enforce their copywrite protection. That's right - federal agencies now act to protect the profits of large, multinational corporations and call it "defending our homeland"


That is correct.

Government is the corporate gun.



posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 02:17 PM
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Oh, DHS is just upset because their kiddie porn site got shut down.


The Department of Homeland Security reportedly set up an undercover Web site designed to catch men who want to have sex with underage girls. But the site was apparently so sleazy, its web hosting company shut it down, not knowing it was a government sting operation. Source


Haha DHS. I wonder how many of their ass-grabbing TSA workers visited the site?

Im sure by several thousand degrees of separation ATS could be linked to their sting site.
Will ATS be prosecuted?


I gotta wonder how much this all costs us and how many man hours are spent on stuff like this.

I know it doesnt help me any if some linking copyright site goes down. Seems it only helps lawyers and the media corps. How much do I have to pay to make sure DHS and Sony Entertainment keep some kid from downloading an episode of Seinfeld?



posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 02:24 PM
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What the hell does DHS and ICE have to do with copyright infringement ?

And here I thought they were created to deal with terrorism and immigration .

No wonder there is still such a big problem with terrorists and illegal immigrants , the agencies designed to deal with these issues are instead on the web trying to catch the latest criminal who downloads a Lady Gaga tune .

And people wonder why the rest of the world think we are all stupid and ignorant .



posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 02:42 PM
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This is just pitiful. Homeland security and ice should then shut shut down google as it provides links to the same website's Brian McCarthy linked to. Oh but I forgot google works with the government.



posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 02:43 PM
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Ever go to a movie and have this cute little phrase thrown at you:
"You can click but you can't hide"

Well, think about that statement and you will see where all this is going.

Really, it doesn't take a prophet to see that freedom for anything on the net is doomed.

Your lucky you still have the freedom to even discuss this topic. In a matter of time, it will be gone.

Crazy? No, the reason all this is coming is simply because, they cannot control this material, it's out there and they can't do a dammed thing about it. Even these measures will do nothing to stop it, there's going to HAVE to be new levels of prosecution, and/or fear, and/or control, each time they realize they are still losing the battle.

Imagine the day where, you get prosecuted for being the victim of computer malware (hey your PC is your responsibility). Or you get served for clicking something on youtube (sure youtube took it down later, but you clicked). Those days are coming.

Enjoy the now, while it lasts, these are the good times folks.



posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 02:58 PM
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Reply to post by drwolf
 


Hit the nail on the head. Any way you slice it, Google does the same thing.


 
Posted Via ATS Mobile: m.abovetopsecret.com
 



posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 04:56 PM
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Originally posted by Lemon.Fresh
Reply to post by drwolf
 


Hit the nail on the head. Any way you slice it, Google does the same thing.



Absolutely.

A petition needs to be created to have the DHS seize Google's domain hahaha.

The public outcry over disabling google would be like a tidal wave hitting a toy boat.



posted on Mar, 10 2011 @ 09:18 PM
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After reading the document with the accusations, I believe what happened is this:

The website listed links to shows.
The links took the user to a new page on the same site that had either an iframe or a flash video player embedded
The contents of the iframe or the video player was presenting copyrighted material.

Now, technically, the website did not HOST the content. They hosted a presentation of the content. I know it is iffy, but unless the guy has a really clever defense attorney, he's scroomed. A somewhat slanted reading of copyright laws will place this as an authorized screening of a copyrighted item, regardless of whether the guy actually hosted the video.

That's the problem with vague laws. They go both ways and the person with the more expensive attorney wins.



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