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State of Kentucky Seizes Control of 141 Domain Names 505

Posted by timothy
from the when-the-state-is-an-avaricious-prig dept.
ashmodai9 writes "In a rather interesting (read: insane) decision, a district judge in the State of Kentucky has awarded control of 141 online gambling domain names to the governor of the state. Most of these are hosted offshore, and very few are registered under US domain name registrars, let alone registrars in the State of Kentucky (are there any?). You can check out the press release here, and confirm that the Commonwealth of Kentucky does in fact now 'own' these domain names by performing a WHOIS search on any of the domains listed here."
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State of Kentucky Seizes Control of 141 Domain Names

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  • Rule of 3 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zerth (26112) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @12:16PM (#25153755)

    Live in one country, host in a second, DNS in a third. Preferably non-contiguous ones that don't share languages.

  • Re:Jurisdiction? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 25, 2008 @12:22PM (#25153841)
    They are taking bets from people within Kentucky in violation of state law. If the African store was selling drugs to Americans, the same thing would happen. The feds don't enforce most of the drug and gambling laws. The states do.
  • by Capt James McCarthy (860294) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @12:27PM (#25153945) Journal

    What the hell is so fundamentally wrong with gambling?

    As long as it's taxed and has governmental oversight, nothing. There are state owned and run lotteries, Nevada and New Jersey have casinos, many other states have "Riverboat casinos," and many horse/dog tracks around the country.

    Hell, the Kentucky Derby isn't there to look at the "purdy ponies."

  • I live in Ky (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 25, 2008 @12:31PM (#25154013)
    and I have never been so ashamed. Ky doesn't just deserve its backwards reputation it earns it!
  • Lovely precedent (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Biff Stu (654099) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @12:34PM (#25154067)

    So does this mean that the state of Alabama could seize the domains names of all vendors of on-line sex toys?

  • by Shivetya (243324) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @12:40PM (#25154143) Homepage Journal

    this isn't about beliefs, it is all about money.

    Just like alcohol and cigarettes are regulated all in the name of money.

    Gambling is no different, if the state license it then its permitted, otherwise its not. Simple as that. nothing about religion here (but maybe in KY) because many states that forbid gambling have lotteries (which of course are state sanctioned : the key word)

  • by MSTCrow5429 (642744) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @12:44PM (#25154199)
    Um, where's the link to the court ruling??? If there isn't yet one published, the parent needs to say so.
  • WTO Ruiling (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 25, 2008 @12:45PM (#25154219)

    Didn't the WTO rule that online gambling is legal, and doesn't that trump this? Also, isn't the domain name registrar outside the law? I could be wrong, but this ruiling is rediculous.

  • Re:no. just imagine (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nick.ian.k (987094) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @12:49PM (#25154283)

    does that look like a nice picture ?

    That's entirely dependent upon whose brand of pig-headed nationalism you want to subscribe to and whose you want to take a giant shit on.

  • by ashmodai9 (644800) <spamtrap&ashmodai,com> on Thursday September 25, 2008 @12:51PM (#25154321) Homepage

    I think you are right, because I checked again, and only 10 or so domains currently are owned by the State of Kentucky. Yesterday, the number was much higher - over half - and it wasn't a matter of registrar compliance (I don't think the individual registrars had a say in the matter), ICANN was the one who handed control of the domains to the State.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 25, 2008 @12:54PM (#25154373)

    They operated an illegal buisness in the US. These laws have been on the books since at least the early 70s. The consequences of operating an illegal enterprise is the misfortune that occurs when it's brought in contact with the law. Don't like it? Force your US customers to use proxies and foreign banks to gamble. If you must have a site visible to Americans, it's simple, redirect them to a ad supported not for pay site. The ads can even be for things of interest to them, foreign proxies and banks abroad. Handing the organizational oversite to the UN does nothing without a treaty between the US and UN that gives the UN specific authority over the DNS system in Amercia. Guess what will never happen?

    But for the sake of argument, "What happens if ICANN gets policy made at the UN?" Judge issues orders compelling whoever owns the most authoritative DNS servers in the US to change the entries. I'm totally fine with DNS breaking. I can't tell you how much I won't miss the rest of the world. BBC, Economist, and a few others accepted. Oh wait, they'll have a plethora of sites serving everyone in such a dystopian eventuality.

    I don't hear anyone whining for the small businessmen trying to get by selling heroin in Turkey.

  • Luck failing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by just_another_sean (919159) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @01:02PM (#25154479) Homepage Journal

    Apparently gambling911 took a shot at using Drupal and have lost.

    Unable to connect to database server

    If you still have to install Drupal, proceed to the installation page.

    If you have already finished installing Drupal, this either means that the username and password information in your settings.php file is incorrect or that we can't connect to the MySQL database server. This could mean your hosting provider's database server is down.

    The MySQL error was: Too many connections.

    Currently, the username is bohearn and the database server is localhost.

            * Are you sure you have the correct username and password?
            * Are you sure that you have typed the correct hostname?
            * Are you sure that the database server is running?

    For more help, see the Installation and upgrading handbook. If you are unsure what these terms mean you should probably contact your hosting provider.

  • Re:Jurisdiction? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dgatwood (11270) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @01:02PM (#25154483) Journal

    Well, there's a little thing called lex causae that kicks in here. We have laws of one state attempting to govern people who are not within that state and are not technically doing business in that state. This is effectively allowing the state of Kentucky to overrule the sovereignty of other countries. Such extraterritorial influence should only be allowable if the action they are prohibiting causes provable harm to victims within the state (e.g. fraud laws). These laws, however, prohibit harm to third parties (legal in-Kentucky gambling institutions).

    Kentucky should have the right to punish its citizens for online gambling, but IMHO has no legitimate claim for punishing anyone outside of KY for taking the bets any more than they have the right to fine companies in California for shipping wine directly to KY residents (see Granholm v. Heald [wikipedia.org]). In fact, that case is pretty much an exact mirror of the way this one would go down if it ever reached the Supreme Court except that in this case, Kentucky doesn't even have little bits of the 21st Amendment to help prop up their position.

    This law about as clear a violation of the interstate commerce clause as you can possibly get, and it's only a matter of time before it gets overturned. That said, given that Kentucky has done this before with other industries and has been slapped down, I think this time the Kentucky government needs to be slapped down a LOT harder, much like a repeat offender gets a longer jail term....

  • Re:Confirm? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The Cisco Kid (31490) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @01:02PM (#25154485)

    Interestingly enough, the DNS for GOLDENCASINO.COM is still live, and it still appears to serve the casino's website.

    Perhaps the Kentucky secretary of justice doesn't quite understand how DNS works. ;)

  • Re:Jurisdiction? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Verteiron (224042) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @01:12PM (#25154625) Homepage

    Naturally, I cannot find the quote now, but I remember hearing yesterday (I want to say it was on the BBC world service) that the judge involved "was aware that the ruling could affect other countries' access to the gambling sites, but said he was only concerned with Kentucky.".

    In other words, he knew perfectly well what he was doing was going to affect people outside KY and he did it anyway. Can't we do something do him for that?

  • Re:Rule of 3 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pollardito (781263) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @01:16PM (#25154689)

    I think what you meant to say is "Buy three houses in different countries, buy hosting in all three countries, have three different domain names under three different DNS registrars in different countries"

    The only thing less stable than being subject to the whims of the lawmakers in one country is being subject to the whims of lawmakers in three separate countries. Safety is having multiple providers for the same services, not having each of three different services under a different provider.

  • by waterford0069 (580760) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @01:26PM (#25154831) Homepage
    OMG Ponies!
  • Re:Chicken (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eln (21727) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @01:33PM (#25154937) Homepage

    I've actually made "cloned" recipes from that site, and most of them are...not exact, to say the least. They're from people who tried to make something that tasted like the original dish, not the actual authentic recipes for the dishes in question.

    Besides, if anyone ever posted the authentic recipe, the KFC mafia would find them and smother them to death in beakless, clawless chickens with enormous breasts. Everyone knows that.

  • Re:Wow. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kesuki (321456) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @01:33PM (#25154943) Journal

    well it helps if you know the 'rest' of the story. not only are these offshore gambling sites using rigged double dealing programs, so that nobody ever wins 'big' prizes... but some of them are so dishonest that they then sell your CC info to credit card pirates, or even double or triple bill people.

    so basically they're a reverse ATM you spend hours and hours giving these sites your money, so they can put it in a bank.

    there is no way to win, which is why people should only play casino games online if they're 'free' to play with no membership fees or prizes...

    if you want to wager money go to a a reputable casino, avoid bar units, gambling rooms, and some Indian casinos. or at the least, play a real card game with real cards where they use a machine shuffler.

    las vegas is generally clean, but there have been times that corruption in the state gambling agency that grants licenses that have allowed machines to be 'chipped' to avoid the big prize.

    online gambling is the biggest set of crooks since the mob learned that reel machines could be mechanically rigged to mint money.

  • by mkcmkc (197982) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @01:44PM (#25155107)

    What the hell is so fundamentally wrong with gambling?

    Assuming you're not trolling, the answer is that it entails exploitation of the weak. In particular for some fraction of people who gamble, it becomes an addictive behavior. Those people, in risking more than is rational, do damage to themselves and their loved ones (who may also be relying on them financially).

    Over and above that, at a broader level it promotes greed and a "something for nothing" mentality that is corrosive to society.

    The particulars might be in dispute, but you'd have to be blind to not see that gambling causes considerable suffering. I thank my lucky stars that I have other options for gainful employment available to me.

  • Justice (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @01:53PM (#25155271)

    Am I the only person who would be delighted if through some mysterious cause, all resolutions of Kentucky's government-related domain names get redirected to off-shore gambling sites?

  • Probably Temporary (Score:3, Interesting)

    by maz2331 (1104901) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:28PM (#25155809)

    My guess is that the judge did that to prevent damaging the owners prematurely, but did give the state the names.

    It looks like he at least tried to balance the interests of the state and the owners, for now, especially as how there are further proceedings planned.

    The owners did NOT participate in this case, and the judge wants to be careful not to damage someone who later might prevail.

    At least that's my guess for now.

  • Re:Confirm? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:33PM (#25155873) Journal

    Furthermore, it's a modern conceit to think poetic speech is somehow required to say "3.14" instead of "3".

    3 is plenty good when just talking and rounding. It is the proper integer to round pi to, after all.

    Moreover, although strained, when you consider "3" is acceptable for rounding from values from 3.499 to 2.500, the description of 3x the diameter most certainly falls within this range.

    I.e. the math works out, and it's a fraud to claim this somehow "disproves" the accuracy of the Bible.

    Because God knows there's plenty of other junk in there more than capable of it.

  • Re:Wow. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nicklott (533496) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:58PM (#25156247)
    It will happen/is happening because the good ol' US legal system encourages registrars and hosts (and in fact pretty anyone) to roll over at even the faintest whiff of a legal threat, cf the DMCA. It used to be that you were "innocent until proven guilty" (except in Louisiana of course), but it's now very much that you are "guilty because we say you are".
  • by LibertarianWackJob (881478) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:10PM (#25156449) Homepage
    Speaking about PETA, check out this article from today's Dallas Morning News:
    PETA asks Ben and Jerrys to use human breast milk in ice cream [dallasnews.com]

    PETA asks Ben & Jerry's to use human breast milk in ice cream

    09:37 AM CDT on Thursday, September 25, 2008

    Associated Press

    MONTPELIER, Vt. -- Ice cream made from breast milk?

    That's what the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream to consider making.

    The Virginia-based nonprofit group sent a letter to company co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield on Tuesday asking them to use human breast milk instead of cow's milk in their products.

    PETA says the health of consumers and cows would benefit from the switch.

    Ben & Jerry's spokesman Rob Michalak said the company applauds PETA's creative approach to bring attention to an issue, but believes that a mother's milk is best used by a child.
  • Re:Chicken (Score:2, Interesting)

    by RealGrouchy (943109) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:10PM (#25156453)

    I like to use empty honey containers (the squeezy kind with the yellow lids, on the left [glorybeefoods.com] in this photo) for my jams (also for maple syrup).

    The narrow tip makes for convenient knife-free spreading, and the lid comes off for relatively easy refilling. (Tip: the width of the mouth is just wider than a standard plastic cola bottle mouth, so just cut off the top of a cola bottle for a refill funnel)

    Un(?)fortunately, I stopped buying grocery-store honey in favour of refilling the containers with bulk honey or buying jars of honey directly from local producers, which makes it harder to have extra of these containers to reuse.

    - RG>

  • by BlueStrat (756137) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:37PM (#25156995)

    The US has already been punished for interfering with offshore gambling. I believe one country was given the right to ignore US copyrights as repayment for actions by the US... This is definatly going to get pulled to federal court and dismissed.. the precedent here would be disasterous

    This is why Slashdotters should be encouraging this, not criticizing it!

    Imagine the WTO ruling that no member country had to honor US copyrights as retaliation/punishment?

    Free proprietary games, free proprietary software & operating systems..music..books...plus, so many countries doing this at once that the US wouldn't have near enough bombs, missiles, ships, or soldiers to dare trying strong-arm tactics!

    What a circus that would be! As an added bonus, maybe it would keep politicians busy enough for a while to not be able to pass more stupid crap to remove more freedoms and money from the people.

    Go, clueless Kentucky courts!

    Cheers!

    Strat

  • Re:Chicken (Score:2, Interesting)

    by operagost (62405) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:05PM (#25157453) Homepage Journal
    Your post reads like a boring leftist's car bumper. By the way, it's 2008, and Kentucky has had many non-whites in prestigious positions in government and business. It's notable that they were neutral in the Civil War, if you're really interested in history.
  • by SleptThroughClass (1127287) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:23PM (#25157723) Journal
    GOLDENCASINO.COM is registered to Kentucky. Going to the site... Gasp! Why, they're offering gambling! Kentucky is offering a gambling site!

    Technically, I see that DNS lookup is pointing at an IP which is probably in the Caribbean. Maybe Kentucky hasn't altered the DNS info yet, but they should have had someone fixing that because they are required to reduce damage -- if Kentucky thinks the gambling is bad they should stop it, but if Kentucky doesn't know gambling is bad they are required to not damage the site's income.

  • Re:Confirm? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by The Cisco Kid (31490) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @08:55PM (#25160553)

    Yes, actually I do. I've been setting up DNS servers since before you knew what one was.

    I know how to directly query an authoritative server for any given zone, bypassing any local resolver cache. Do you?

    Oh, and given that further reading of the court order finds that 'the domain configurations shall otherwise remain the same', it seems I really do know wtf I am talking about, doesn't it?

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