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US Dept. of Justice, ICE Still Seizing Domains 252

Posted by timothy
from the gotta-keep-in-practice dept.
Chaonici writes "Operation In Our Sites, a US initiative to crack down on websites related to online copyright infringement, appears to be ongoing. Rojadirecta is a site that links to (but does not host) broadcasts of major sporting events, including soccer matches. It is highly popular in Spain, where it has prevailed twice in court after its legal status was challenged. However, US authorities have now seized the .org domain of the website without notifying the site's owner or its web host, GoDaddy. Rojadirecta can still be accessed through .com, .es, .me, and .in domains, which are not controlled by the US, but rojadirecta.org currently redirects to this well-known image."
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US Dept. of Justice, ICE Still Seizing Domains

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  • I saw this heading is red.

    Why?

    Is slashdot trying to make me read certain articles?

    • by MoonBuggy (611105)

      Red headings are "mysterious future" articles - the brief preview that subscribers get before they're posted publicly. I've been seeing them occasionally, too, so it's either a glitch with the new design or somehow related to the "Ads Disabled. Thanks again for helping make Slashdot great!" box that you get for spending far to much time here without subscribing.

      • by MoonBuggy (611105)

        And apparently I fail at previewing; s/to/too/g

      • by icebike (68054)

        Glitch in the new design? How would you tell?

        • You'd see one story, and then the same story immediately after it.

          Oh wait, is that the Matrix or /.? Probably both

        • I don't mind so much these glitches. But clicking on a reply in my comment list and being linked to some arbitrary article that has nothing to do with mine is kind of a letdown.

          Let me ask again: Can we get a "use old design" button? Pretty please? With a cherry on top? And ponies?

          • by icebike (68054)

            If you click Account, then Discussions tab it has an offering of Classic Discussion System (D1). Don't know if that is what you are looking for, as I haven't tried it yet.

        • And now I can't post for some reason.

      • a glitch with the new design

        I saw them with the old layout, too, so it isn't just from the design change.

      • ... "Ads Disabled. Thanks again for helping make Slashdot great!" box that you get for spending far to much time here without subscribing.

        I get that.

        But I also still get "Slow Down, Cowboy!"

        Seems odd. I'd expect the "disable ads" option to be intended to encourage people whose postings are considered valuable and well-considered to post more of them. But the one-per-five-minutes limit for such people (who can often compose postings quickly) seems to work at cross-purposes to the option. So I'd have expec

    • by Baseclass (785652)
      I'm guessing it's another perk for us longtime users with good karma.
      Like having the ability to disable ads (as if that ever stopped us).
  • by MaskedSlacker (911878) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @08:15PM (#35074718)

    Rojadirecta.org works as of 4:14 pm, two minutes after this story was posted. No ICE image at all.

    Rojadirecta.com has the ICE image.

    • by ethan961 (1895082) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @08:22PM (#35074788)
      No, it really is seized. As of 4:20 PST I get the ICE image. The change is probably still propagating.
    • by c0lo (1497653)
      If on Windows "ipconfig /flushdns" might solve your problem.
      • Not on windows, and never used the site before. Rojadirecta.org keeps coming up with the pic of the creepy looking dude in the top left corner and the following text:

        US authorities "steal" our domain rojadirecta.org and rojadirecta.com!

        Fast translation to English: US authorities have blocked access to Rojadirecta.org and now also Rojadirecta.com but we continue and we will continue our service on territorial domain names such as Rojadirecta.es (.me, .in, be...).

        We are now on: www.rojadirecta.me www.rojadirecta.es www.rojadirecta.in and in many other domains that are not controlled by US authorities.

        Do not send e-mails to our dot com account, the new one ends on .in
        SPREAD our new address!

        • by Ash Vince (602485) *

          Not on windows, and never used the site before. Rojadirecta.org keeps coming up with the pic of the creepy looking dude in the top left corner and the following text:

          US authorities "steal" our domain rojadirecta.org and rojadirecta.com!

          Fast translation to English: US authorities have blocked access to Rojadirecta.org and now also Rojadirecta.com but we continue and we will continue our service on territorial domain names such as Rojadirecta.es (.me, .in, be...).

          We are now on: www.rojadirecta.me www.rojadirecta.es www.rojadirecta.in and in many other domains that are not controlled by US authorities.

          Do not send e-mails to our dot com account, the new one ends on .in
          SPREAD our new address!

          It sounds like your ISP is just caching the DNS record on its servers and not reissuing the a DNS lookup to the master DNS servers for this site. It probably means someone who shares your ISP did a DNS lookup of Rojadirecta.org before the DHS guys nicked the domain. This will persist for whatever time the DNS Time To Live was set for on the old DNS record. I can't look up what this was from here as the DNS change has already landed on my ISP.

          This is why new DNS records are near instant but a DNS change to a

      • Ya got that backwards. ;-)

        It's turnover and updating of local DNS caches that allows them to get away with this crap in the first place. The solution is to make those DNS entries static, like perhaps embedding them in the local hosts file or using Treewalk or some DNS filtering utility.

        Well, either that or bypass DNS entirely by using URL shortcuts that directly reference the IP address....

        • by c0lo (1497653)

          Ya got that backwards. ;-)

          Apologies, forgot to grin before/after the posted suggestion.

    • I use Google's DNS service, and the .org domain name appears to be seized, but the .com domain name still points to the owner's servers. However, Rojadirecta's Web site says that both their .com and .org domain names were seized, so I would assume it's only a matter of time before DNS records are updated globally.

      That's probably why you're still able to access the Web site via one of the seized domain names.

      Cheers.
  • by metrometro (1092237) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @08:33PM (#35074888)

    ... is a complete lack of due process and the right of appeal in regards to Internet censorship. This is appalling. The entire Western legal code is built on the idea that if you cannot be penalized for something without the right to defend yourself in court. I realize that the seizures are of property and not people, but it's not hard to argue, hey, maybe seizing someone's business and wrongly broadcasting that the owner is a criminal* might negatively impact the owner.

    * I'm referring to the case of the hip-hop blogger, who was hyping unreleased material on the request of labels and accused of piracy. I don't know the details of the site in question here.

    • by pugugly (152978) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @09:11PM (#35075178)

      I hate to be blunt, but the authorities have long since seized the right to abscond with *actual* property - cars, homes, et al based on the mere accusation of a drug related crime. Unfortunately everyone save the Libertarians (and some Liberals, including the ACLU.) went "Well, that's drug stuff - I'm sure they did *something* to deserve it".

      From Findlaw [findlaw.com]

      "As detailed in a Frontline report from 2000 [pbs.org], federal and local practices regarding property seizure in drug cases shifted in 1984, when federal law created forfeiture funds for property seized by the DEA and FBI, and allowed local law enforcement to share proceeds from the sale of property seized."

      You've waited about 25 years too long to suddenly realise "Oh . . . this could apply to *me*?!?" (Good old Saint Reagan - Who'da thunk it? I mean - not counting people actually familiar with his record.). If people don't like this, they're going to have to go back to stopping the actual real property seizures and start pushing back from there.

      Pug

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 02, 2011 @01:14AM (#35076870)

        Additionally, if I recall, this includes money. They freeze your accounts, etc. Which often times can make it hard to defend yourself in court, when you don't have any access to hire a decent lawyer.

        When I learned of this, lawyers on retainer suddenly made sense. I always wondered why you would give money to a lawyer prior to being accused of something, when you could just hire them when the need arose.

    • by MarkvW (1037596)

      They have the authority to interdict material illegally brought into the US.

    • > What Egypt and the US have in common is a complete lack of due process and the right of appeal in regards to Internet censorship. This is appalling. The entire Western legal code is built on the idea that if you cannot be penalized for something without the right to defend yourself in court. I realize that the seizures are of property and not people, but it's not hard to argue, hey, maybe seizing someone's business and wrongly broadcasting that the owner is a criminal* might negatively impact the owner

      • by b0r0din (304712) on Wednesday February 02, 2011 @02:20AM (#35077160)

        Of course you're welcome to defend yourself in court, against lots of lawyers and monetary interests (because court victories are mostly bought nowadays) and leave yourself at the hands of a 50-yr old jurist who probably can't figure out how to plug in his friggin toaster.

        Power is always misused, but in terms of law, well let's just say that the US government is way behind on real justice anymore. The law is written to protect the corporate interests.

        Copyright and patent law is broken. It's totally broken. And corporate lobbyists with money and very specific interests want to make sure no politicians challenge their little cabal of self-preservation. And politicians happily accept this money and there's very little you can do about it.

        I'm increasingly despondent at the state of our country right now, when stuff like this is actively happening, when our own government wants a kill switch on the Internet. It saddens me that we even need 1st amendment rights, but Jefferson's insistence of their inclusion was apparently the right choice. I know we're talking about specific sites here, but now we're getting into some serious territory here, FREEDOM OF SPEECH, CENSORSHIP. When the government is seizing sites like this, you know some businesses are just going to move offshore to avoid exactly the same problem. It'll happen quicker than you think.

      • That means someone in a judicial capacity has approved the seizure.

        So what's to stop them from having a judge on the payroll to rubber stamp warrants?

        • Nothing at all, and that generally is what they do. But if someone rubber-stamps a warrant where there was no probable cause, you not only are likely to get the evidence excluded, you can sue the government for having violated your rights. So your pre-seizure due process may be mostly a formality, but if it's not done right, there are consequences.

      • by the_arrow (171557)

        And you are entitled to petition Congress. And the Supreme Court. And the President.

        Even non-US citizens?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The entire Western legal code is built on the idea that if you cannot be penalized for something without the right to defend yourself in court.

      The Western Legal system sold itself out long before even the bankers did. It no longer represents anything resembling justice or its supposed philosophical principles. It's a tool of monied and corporate interestsâ"when it isn't being a another soulless bureaucracy.

      Looking for justice in the courts is like looking for prudence in a bank manger. You're 40 years

    • by rilian4 (591569)
      Seizure of property is, in theory, protected by the 4th Amendment. The US government has been violating it constantly for decades.

      4th Amendment to US Constitution: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
  • DNS replacement (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joe U (443617) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @08:36PM (#35074910) Homepage Journal

    Again, it's past time for a DNS replacement.

    Not an alternate DNS root, an actual replacement that maps some kind of human readable names to an IP address.

    ICANN and Network Solutions have proven that they are happy to hand over domains without a full trial, it's time to replace them.

    • by mentil (1748130)

      You mean like a server setting its IPv6 IP to some kind of hash of its domain name?

    • by machxor (1226486)
      Isn't the point of a temporary restraining order/seizure warrant to stop an action/take something before a full trial has occurred? Under whose laws should a full trial be held? Am I naive in believing that ICANN delegates control of the TLDs?
      • Re:DNS replacement (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Joe U (443617) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @10:26PM (#35075784) Homepage Journal

        Isn't the point of a temporary restraining order/seizure warrant to stop an action/take something before a full trial has occurred? Under whose laws should a full trial be held? Am I naive in believing that ICANN delegates control of the TLDs?

        The problem with the current system it's an instant death penalty when it comes to seizing a domain. It's tough to recover from that, and we should be operating under innocent until proven guilty.

        As for whose laws, I've always been a fan of where the server is located, or in the case of cloud computing, where the owner is located.

        ICANN delegates to NetSol (and others) for .com and others. ICANN doesn't really register domains directly.

  • by bobdotorg (598873) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @08:40PM (#35074938)

    Had never heard of Rojadirect.

    Now I have another bookmarked site.

    • by Inda (580031)
      atdhe.net was also removed, so I was told this morning. I cannot check from this work PC.

      myp2p is still going strong.

      iraqgoals is still a firm favourite.

      SopCast can never die - true p2p

      Trawl the sporting forums, there are a metic shitload of these sites.
  • ATDHE.net (Score:4, Informative)

    by doroshjt (1044472) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @08:42PM (#35074958)
    • I loved the article, especially: "A spokesperson from ICE confirmed that it was a legitimate seizure and that there is an ongoing investigation into the matter." Shoot first, ask questions later!
    • by Potor (658520)
      ARGH!!!! I loved that site for the EPL and other sports leagues ...
    • Channelsurfing.net as well
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @08:46PM (#35074988)

    Countdown until the EU starts bitching about USA control of ICANN servers again? Starting... now.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_governance#Globalization_and_governance_controversy

    Fucking morons. The diplomatic consequences of this will be far reaching and even if we get to keep our queen despite taking these pawns, the diplomatic backlash over the soon to ensue ICANN debate is going to cost the USA billions of dollars over the next decade. How? In lost profit from trade agreements as a consequence of losing our bargaining position.

    Let the record show that no one can claim the reprecussions of this were unforseeable. It took me 10 seconds from reading the summary to understand the big picture consequences.

    Hopefully this will be the straw that breaks the camels back and causes a public uproar which will put an end to this pro-Corpyright anti-fair use insanity.

    • by TheCarp (96830)

      So what? Honestly, I am here in the US and, do have plenty of reason to enjoy the status quo, but this even pisses me off, and makes me think that it needs to be fixed. I think the best ideas that I have heard have been ideas like bitdns (which is nowhere near even being proof of concept implemented) which gets rid of the entire concept of governance and goes completely to decentralized P2P.

      I tend to lean more towards those sorts of solutions. Why create another single point of failure?

    • hahahaha . im in the web hosting industry and i can tell you that the internet has started moving away from .com .net .org registrations already.
  • by TheCarp (96830) <sjc&carpanet,net> on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @08:50PM (#35075022) Homepage

    It really is pretty bogus that the US has such control over non-.us domains.

    This is a pretty good reason to argue for the removal of ALL US hosted servers from root zone files.

    There was some interesting discussion in the bitcoin forums about setting up a system similar to bitcoin for DNS, which would assign domains based on proof of work problem solutions. Essentially, generating a block of new unbound domains every time someone processed a block of work, the same way bitcoins are now generated, and allowing the generator to then assign them names and transfer ownership to others.

    Would be interesting since it essentially becomes a system of ownership based on consensus amongst working nodes, and there is no way to effect the network by fiat. It has drawbacks, no way to revoke any domain... for any reason. Probably not really workable like that... but given that its just a system of consensus rules built around a proof of work block chain, other agreements on the rules are possible...

    Some thoughts anyway,

    • It really is pretty bogus that the US has such control over non-.us domains.

      This is a pretty good reason to argue for the removal of ALL US hosted servers from root zone files.

      Well a lot of that stems from

      The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), was the world's first operational packet switching network and the core network of a set that came to compose the global Internet. The network was created by a small research team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the United States Department of Defense. ARPANET [wikipedia.org]

      As a result of that and the development of the DNS system the .gov and .mil gTLD refer to

      • by TheCarp (96830)

        Though who says DNS is THE name system? If people decide to stop using it, then those definitions don't matter anymore. This is enough to convince me that I am open to possible transitions.

  • Can the US shut down .org domains, but not .com domains? That's what the article summary seems to say.

    If this is the case, is the entity that "controls" .com domains better?

    I was about to buy a .org domain but now I have to research this first.

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @09:21PM (#35075286) Homepage Journal
    Just have Google return IP addresses instead of domain names and I bet you'd eliminate 90% of the DNS traffic in the world today. Perhaps we should just move past it...
    • Virtual hosts.

      Or we could just have everybody use Google's DNS servers, then Google decides who has control of a domain.

    • Considering how many people do not enter their target in the URL line of their browser but instead in the search line of Google, this is not the worst idea.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @09:33PM (#35075358) Homepage Journal
    dont excuse the language - i cant find any stronger words to stress the travesty thats going on here :

    america is whoring itself out to a particular industry, while killing another. the internet which was associated so closely with '.com' extension, will not be associated with it anymore. in web hosting industry, customers are already moving away from .com .net .org domains. can you imagine what the impact of this will be ? they will also be moving away from american outlets for hosting, dedicated servers, vpses and cloud, because the place which will register their NON american controlled extension, will naturally be offering deals to them during their domain purchase.

    way to kill an entire industry that de facto built internet, in order to whore yourself out to a fading out one, america.

    troll ? no. appalled to oblivion maybe. i cant any stronger words to stress the travesty of the situation, really. other than 'whoring' or 'morondom'. really.
    • by c0lo (1497653)

      the internet which was associated so closely with '.com' extension

      The final deflation of the dotCom-bubble just started. The internet will be fine... until somebody will start seizing the IP addresses.

  • http://www.rojadirecta.com/ [rojadirecta.com]. Tell me what you see.

    (For the lazy, it's quite similar to the image from TFS.)

  • Most of my favorite websites that are frowned upon by certain government agencies have already begun their transition to other domains such as .me just like Rogadirecta. I hope the others quickly start doing the same.
    • by 1u3hr (530656)
      transition to other domains such as .me

      Why would you trust Montenegro to stand up for your rights? All these tiny nations that have turned over their TLD to some company that promotes them due to some accidental similarity with an English word have not the slightest interest in the people who use the domains. They could cancel them all tomorrow, give them to someone else, or if the US leant on them.

      I used to think that .com was boring but safe from arbitrary interruption; that's not true now. I don't do

      • by c0lo (1497653) on Wednesday February 02, 2011 @12:24AM (#35076612)

        transition to other domains such as .me

        Why would you trust Montenegro to stand up for your rights?.

        I don't. But before considering OpenNIC [wikipedia.org] or the like, here why .me has a better level of trust:
        - historically, nobody heard about .me domains being seized (not that it cannot happen in the future)...
        - ... but .org, .net and .com... continue to happen.

        Between .me and {.org, .net, .com} - excluding others - who do you trust better?

        • by HJED (1304957)
          last time I used OpenNIC it started redirecting all dns queries for 'facebook.com' to a North Korean IP address. That's the problem with community based root servers.
        • by 1u3hr (530656)
          - historically, nobody heard about .me domains being seized (not that it cannot happen in the future)...

          Historically, no one has heard of .me domains being used for for anything except vanity sites. If they had Wikileaks.me and let it stand in spite of pressure, say, that would be something,. But no one cares about the sites that are there now.

          Between .me and {.org, .net, .com} - excluding others - who do you trust better?

          Why "exclude others"? There are hundreds of TLDs, I would leave tiny countries l

  • by d6 (1944790) on Tuesday February 01, 2011 @10:51PM (#35076020)
    This keeps the US safe from the terrorists how exactly?

    Change the name to 'The Department of Homeland Security and Corporate Enforcement' guys
  • by evanism (600676) on Wednesday February 02, 2011 @02:17AM (#35077144) Journal
    The DNS isn't free of political interference. So it is time to fracture the DNS away from the current regime.

    It would seem that entire countries are on the verge of locking the entire system down anyway (Australian monitoring and NBN, Egypt, US Kill Switch) so why not anticipate it and use IPv6 as the ultimate mass obfuscation tool.

    Build 90,000,000 "registers". Each machine or Ethernet card gets 16.9 bazzillion IPv6s allocated to it. "Register" X-gazillion of them with each of the Tor-like registers. The original registration is "deemed" to be authoritative and given a super huge uber crypto key with which to package up all the others for propagation and allow updates. Change of an arbitrary and previously "registered" domain, like example.com is propagated out and lives, essentially, forever. If a "register" is removed, or the example.com deleted, it loves on as a permanent undead/ghost.

    As you can see, it is just the first off the cuff/top of head, but it permanently gets rid of registrars, governments, tripup-abilitiy, etc. The only way to take it out is to get the machine. Cloud it out to N-thousand cloud providers and make it indestructible.

    Please free to critique. We need more and better ways to defeat a government who is no longer FOR THE PEOPLE.
  • by Loki_666 (824073) on Wednesday February 02, 2011 @02:42AM (#35077242)

    What the hell does the Department of Homeland Security have to do with copyright infringement anyway? Or is the department of fatherland homeland security allowed to do whatever it likes?

  • by Meneth (872868)

    Never mind legal, how is it even technically possible to seize a domain without forcing the registrar?

    A quick bit of research indicates that Afilias [wikipedia.org], an Ireland-based company with offices in Pennsylvania, is the top-level operator of the .org domain. They would be able to take over any .org domain they choose (or are forced to).

  • When they hijack a domain like that, I presume they could then read the cookies of the visitors and from that potentially identify users? All this without any judicial oversight at all? Scary stuff.

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