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Inside the DOJ's Domain Name Graveyard 72

Posted by timothy
from the government-cheese-dot-com dept.
hugheseyau writes "Between November 2010 and May 2011, the US Department of Justice (DoJ), under many banners including the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), seized over 140 domain names from sites allegedly engaged in the 'illegal sale and distribution of counterfeit goods and copyrighted works' or other illegal activities. But what exactly happens when domains are seized in such a manner? This article provides insight into the takedown process as well as providing a unique look into the DoJ's domain name graveyard."
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Inside the DOJ's Domain Name Graveyard

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  • by Hazel Bergeron (2015538) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @03:04PM (#36323490) Journal

    Intellectual property is censorship. The First Amendment should be read as an implicit repeal: if only "protected speech" is protected - for example, speaking a derivative work is not regarded as protected - then there is no anti-censorship provision whatever.

  • what they were doing that was so illicit, perhaps borntrade was selling babies.
    • by jhoegl (638955)
      I would think botnets, spam servers, spam/malware websites (where you go to buy the crap they are peddling) would be higher on the list.
      But, I guess scamming people is a "business"...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 02, 2011 @03:14PM (#36323622)

    It's mostly counterfeit goods domains seized, almost nothing for online pirate streaming, though a few of those are there.

    But this points out that the DNS system is a weak link, and can no longer be trusted. Something peerless should replace it, but at this point in time, anything that does needs to bridge the existing DNS system.

    • by formfeed (703859)

      It's mostly counterfeit goods domains seized, almost nothing for online pirate streaming, though a few of those are there.

      Mostly counterfeit goods, but quite a few gambling sites (was in the news a while ago), and then things like torrent-finder.com, planetmoviez.com, filespump.com, thepiratecity.org

    • by lothos (10657)

      A fair number of the seized domains weren't hosting pirated material, but linked to sites that streamed media.

  • by hackertourist (2202674) <hackertourist&xmsnet,nl> on Thursday June 02, 2011 @03:16PM (#36323646)

    Will the domain names stay 'seized' forever? Or will the DOJ allow them to be sold at some point in the future, the way other seized assets are sold off?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Taxes - they WILL be used against you.

  • I really am against the policy of the DoJ. They are policing the Internet and are ignoring fundamental values that have made the Internet a great place.
    • by jhoegl (638955)
      Free porn and virused WAREZ?
      • by fysdt (1597143)
        Are you telling me that you are perfectly fine with a government that blocks domains because they do not *like* it? What's next?
        - Block a domain because it has offended the president
        - Block a domain because they are 'against us'
        - Block a domain because of activists

        and the list goes on...
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by jhoegl (638955)
          Are you telling me that you are perfectly fine with a government that jails violent people because they do not *like* it? What's next?
          - Jail a person because they have sold drugs
          - Jail a person because they force people to sell their bodies
          - Jail a person because they ran over someone else while drunk

          and the list goes on...
          • - Jail a person because they have sold drugs
            - Jail a person because they force people to sell their bodies
            - Jail a person because they ran over someone else while drunk

            One of those things is not like the other...

            • Different how? You can get dead from all 3.
            • by baerm (163918)

              - Jail a person because they have sold drugs

              - Jail a person because they force people to sell their bodies

              - Jail a person because they ran over someone else while drunk

              One of those things is not like the other...

              Interesting, the oddball I would have picked is the one above that does not have a person actively doing something to second person that the second person doesn't want.

              • I was along the same vein of thought except to me I see it as thus:

                Selling drugs - for whatever reason the person wants the drugs. I'm not debating addiction, just that the both parties are willing participants. Same thing with the sex worker (once again, slavery is something else)

                But hitting someone with your car while your DUI? That seems pretty damn jail-able to me.
          • by fysdt (1597143) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @03:38PM (#36323922) Homepage
            Murder is an obvious crime. The people operating these websites did not commit crimes. For example, torrent-finder was taken down by the ICE and this website is not even close to criminal. It is metasearch engine. The DoJ is probably getting lobbied by the MPAA.
          • by ElectricTurtle (1171201) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @03:41PM (#36323950)
            Wow, that's an awesome strawman. I mean who else would have thought about comparing freedom of expression to violent crime? I suggest you wrap that up and put it in a field somewhere for the crows.
          • by fysdt (1597143)
            Copyrighted material can be taken down by the owners of the websites according to the DMCA. There is no need to block domains, it is plain wrong.
            • by bws111 (1216812)

              What? The DMCA does not say content can be taken down by the owners. It says that IF the owners request content to be removed, AND THE SITE DOES IT, then the site can not be charged with copyright infringement.

              • by fysdt (1597143)
                I was trying to explain that website owners can comply with the law by taking down copyrighted material if copyrighted material resides on their website. Anyway, torrent-finder was taken down by the ICE. However, the website does not contain copyrighted material. Is an iframe to isohunt considered as copyright infringement?
          • by houstonbofh (602064) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @03:52PM (#36324118)

            - Jail a person because they ran over someone else while drunk

            If you can run over someone in the US while driving drunk in France, it may be a comparison. However, this is the US going to France and kidnapping the drunk driver for running over someone IN FRANCE. And is still a very bad analogy.

            • Replace "France" with "Mexico", and "Drunk driving" with "shooting a DEA agent", and you have, in fact, got something the US has done at least once or twice in the past.

              Or, perhaps, replace "France" with "Pakistan", and "Drunk driving" with "Organizing terrorist plots", and you've got something the US did fairly recently and made a big show of...

        • by JWSmythe (446288)

          Actually, it seems they like those. They read them all the time. Well, if they publish frequently enough. I've seen every intelligence organization I've ever heard of, and quite a few even friends in the government (current and retired) couldn't guess at. Some of them take some substantial research, but you know it's bound to be something with the US Gov't when it ends in .gov or .mil. Very few .gov's that I've seen come by are locate or state. Maybe it's because of the demographic w

      • by fysdt (1597143)
        This is plain old censorship so suppress people and misuse of power
  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @03:28PM (#36323802) Homepage

    Hey, Slashdot; Could you clue me? What is the state of alternative DNS systems, particularly something mesh- or web-of-trust- oriented? Any live systems that are usable now? Any projects that look promising where I could lend a hand with code or whatever?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's really hard to visualize just how fundamentally corrupt the US government is. Today's /. gives a clue - Patent Trolls, Video Felonies and a school superintendent pointing out that schools are less important the prisons.

    We the people, really need to get in on the process and figure out how to buy some politicians.

  • Any volunteers want to add gov't domain names to the gov't's own list of seized domains? I'm sure they'll have a great laugh about it! Note to law enforcement, I'm not volunteering!
  • viewdns.info looks pretty nifty for a free tool.

    However, it lacks a historical WHOIS tool.. and using a historical WHOS tool I can see that the domain had an invalid WHOIS record until they anonymised it yesterday...

  • seizedservers.com and seizedservers.net are on the list. Does this mean that the DOJ actually registered these two names, or that someone else registered them, and the DOJ seized them to prevent them from infringing the DOJ's exclulsive status as the king of domain name seizures?
    • by lothos (10657)

      seizedservers.com, seizedservers.org and seizedservers.net each have different owners.

  • I noticed that most are .com, but I did notice 5 in .net, 2 in .org and 1 in .cc.

    Does the US own .org and .cc like the own .com/.net? (one may argue finer points of ownership, but if they can do with them as they will, the point is moot).

    If they the .org TLD, why would pirate-bay.org be up?

    Is it a matter of what registrar they are registered with and it just so happens
    that .com is almost (or is entirely?) owned by US registrars, while .net/.org/.cc have multi-national registrars?

    • Organization of the Internet aside, I figured they could seize them as property of someone in their jurisdiction who ran afoul of the law.

    • by lothos (10657)

      Each of the seized domains were using a TLD/ccTLD extension where the registry was in the United States. .cc is administered by Verisign.

    • by Coren22 (1625475)

      All of the domains seized were essentially property owned by the company that happens to lie on US soil. If the owner of the web site was convicted of a crime, this would be fair game, but I don't think there was any court proceeding over these domains, though the vast majority of them were seized for good reason from looking at the names. Selling counterfeit drugs, designer good, and stuff like that will get you the notice of powerful people.

  • I entered one of my own ips and got back only 7 of the 40 or so domains hosted on that box. Most of those domains have been there for years. Any other tool I've ever tried for this before always disclaims that the results will be incomplete as they are based on using search engines.

    • What are the TLD's of those domains? Whilst we have over 130 million domains in our database, we unfortunately don't have all data for all CC-TLD's. We do cover almost all of the global TLD's however. We do not use search engine data at all.
  • Don't forget that in many cases there will have been no proof whatsoever of wrongdoing, just suspicion and unsupported copyright/trademark claims. We shouldn't be enabling the authoritarians by publishing puff pieces like this for their macho 'takedown' nonsense.

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