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The Internet Crime Government Piracy United States Your Rights Online

US Gov't Seizes 130+ More Domains In Crackdown 219

Posted by Soulskill
from the appetizer-for-the-sopa-main-course dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The DoJ and ICE have once again taken up the banner of anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting by seizing over 130 domains allegedly involved in those activities. TorrentFreak points out that this newest digital raid happened just before 'Cyber Monday,' a time when consumers are encouraged to do a bunch of online shopping. From the article: 'Compared to previous seizure rounds, there are also some notable differences to report. This time the action appears to be limited to sites that directly charge visitors for their services. Most of the domains are linked to the selling of counterfeit clothing (e.g. 17nflshop.com), and at least one (autocd.com) sold pirated auto software. Last year several sites were taken down because they allowed their users to access free music and movie downloads, and these were followed by several streaming services a few months later. No similar sites have been reported in the current round.'"
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US Gov't Seizes 130+ More Domains In Crackdown

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  • by CmdrPony (2505686) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @11:40AM (#38174780)
    In my opinion this is much worse than Chinese firewall. At least China keeps it to themselves and within their own laws. US just seizes what it wants, even if the sites would be lawful in other countries.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 26, 2011 @11:47AM (#38174810)

      Bullshit is this much worse. The US does it because people are selling things they shouldn't be selling. China does it to crush free speech. There isn't even a comparison here - China is FAR worse.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by CmdrPony (2505686)
        It's a matter of opinion. US and Chinese cultures are different. Many Chinese people agree that government should restrict some hate speech. Hell, even US does - just try yelling "fire!" in a crowded theater. It's a slippery slope, and can't be justified just because US people think it's ok in this case.
        • by poity (465672) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @11:59AM (#38174882)

          Many Chinese people agree that government should restrict some hate speech.

          ..and you can find just as many supporters of that in the US, but if popular support doesn't legitimize it here then why should it in China? If we accept your premise that free speech falls under the rule of public sentiment, then this legitimizes these domain seizures even more, since it is the public votes the legislators who enact these ip protection laws.

          • by CmdrPony (2505686) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @12:01PM (#38174892)
            I'm just saying that every country should keep it to themselves. If US government wants to block those domains, feel free to make your own firewall. But as it is now, US is deciding for the whole world. Regardless if other countries want it or not.
            • by arkenian (1560563) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @12:12PM (#38174954)

              I'm just saying that every country should keep it to themselves. If US government wants to block those domains, feel free to make your own firewall. But as it is now, US is deciding for the whole world. Regardless if other countries want it or not.

              So once upon a time, I would've agreed. But these days? If you don't want to be subject to a country's laws, then don't register your domain in their country. Every country in the world has its own domain registry, pretty much. Yes, its true, if you have a .CH domain or something, people are likely to think your stuff is fake and not buy it. But why shouldn't the US prevent you from selling stuff to US persons in a US domain, which means that you're, by definition, doing business with a US company. Its always been the law that if you use US assetts to commit something considered a crime in the US, those assets get seized/frozen. If this was going after the 'free' sites, that'd be one thing, but this is pretty much within the narrower interpretations, and i think its perfectly fine.

              • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

                by Anonymous Coward

                But why shouldn't the US prevent you from selling stuff to US persons in a US domain, which means that you're, by definition, doing business with a US company.

                Because .com and .net are not simply US domains just used by companies doing business in the US.

                • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

                  by Anonymous Coward

                  .com and .net ARE simply US domains. Even when a non-US entity holds the lease, it is a US domain.

                  Any non-US entities that run websites legal in other parts of the world can register domains operated by those parts of the world.

                  • by 0123456 (636235) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @02:37PM (#38175564)

                    .com and .net ARE simply US domains.

                    No, they're not. The .us domain IS the US domain. The .com/.net/.org/.edu are international domains.

                    Or are you suggesting that a multinational corporation should have to register a different domain in every country where they operate? If I want to go go IBM's main web site, which country should I pick?

                    If they WERE simply US domains, they would require a US address to register them.

                    • by msobkow (48369)

                      True, but international domains are subject to international law. And when the products being sold through the website are things like NFL jersey rip-offs, it's pretty clear that the owner of the domain is hoping to con US citizens who would be interested in those products, and that they're doing so for profit.

                    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @01:34AM (#38179734) Journal

                      True, but international domains are subject to international law.

                      Which exact international law was used to justify taking down of those domains? Last I checked, they were all taken down by order of U.S. courts citing U.S. laws.

                  • by Stalks (802193) *

                    .com .net .org .edu etc. are called gTLD for a reason. They are not country specific, and whilst the US currently hold the keys for these domains they can exploit the privilege, dangerously pushing for fragmented DNS, or an under-ground system out of their control.

              • But why shouldn't the US prevent you from selling stuff to US persons in a US domain, which means that you're, by definition, doing business with a US company. Its always been the law that if you use US assetts to commit something considered a crime in the US, those assets get seized/frozen.

                Hey American--There are other people on the internet. And sometimes, we don't even care if you're on the internet or not.

                In fact the rest of the internet can quite happily function if the US decides to seal itself up behind a firewall like the Chinese. But we can't function if the US decides to unilaterally interfere with our business on the internet in its own interest. If that happens, then current US custodianship of the internet/DNS will be de-legitimised and ended before too long.

                This doesn't have to happen, but it will if the US continues to regard its own domestic laws as superior to those others countries even within the jurisdiction of those countries. The the US cannot recognise basic principles of jurisdiction, then the international system of internet controls cannot continue be based there.

                • This doesn't have to happen, but it will if the US continues to regard its own domestic laws as superior to those others countries even within the jurisdiction of those countries. The the US cannot recognise basic principles of jurisdiction, then the international system of internet controls cannot continue be based there.

                  Actually, basic principles of jurisdiction *do not work* in the internet age. And in any event there is arguably jurisdiction if at least a part of the transaction occurred in the United States--for example, if the DNS server is in the US.

                • by jroysdon (201893)

                  Newsflash, most (all?) of the gTLDs are run by US countries. Therefore they are under US jurisdiction.

                  • by pehrs (690959)

                    Newsflash, most (all?) of the gTLDs are run by US countries. Therefore they are under US jurisdiction.

                    I know that corporations have a rather high standing in the US society, but declaring them countries I think is taking things a little too far. Can't we settle for just declaring them citizens?

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by The MESMERIC (766636)

                .ch is switzerland.

                .cn is china.

                • .ch is switzerland.

                  .cn is china.

                  Yes, but where is the root server that is handling primary request for those TLDs?

              • by YA_Python_dev (885173) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @02:47PM (#38175626) Journal

                There has been no trial, in the US or elsewhere, so we should assume that they are innocent.

                Remember:

                First they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

                Then they came for the gays, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't gay.

                Now someone is knocking at my door...

              • by Dan541 (1032000)

                These are .com not .us that are being seized.

                17NflShop.com appears to be using a Chinese registrar.

            • It's not like the US is taking down foreign sites. They are taking down sites hosted in the US, which are therefore covered under US anti-piracy laws.

              It sucks (I believe everything digital should be free) but it's how the government works these days. No regard for due process - just slam the door wherever they see fit.

              • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @01:36AM (#38179742) Journal

                It's not like the US is taking down foreign sites. They are taking down sites hosted in the US, which are therefore covered under US anti-piracy laws.

                The sites are not hosted in U.S. - they just happened to have a .com domain name, which is defined as "international", but DNS hosting for which is located in U.S. A lot of people are rightly wary of the notion that U.S. has the sole jurisdiction over something that is supposed to be an international shared resource.

          • by WCMI92 (592436)

            That is the whole purpose of the Constitution. There are certain things that even the vote of a majority is not allowed to do, such as deprive others of their right to express ideas, even if the majority find them repugnant.

            If only they'd had the foresight to extend it to disallowing the majority to vote to pilfer the property of others, but I digress...

            • by Rich0 (548339)

              The thing that concerns me most here is that the domains are being siezed without a trial.

              If there were a trial and a jury awarded the domains to the RIAA or whatever, I could at least see the due process in that. However, these are being handled as administrative matters where people are being deprived of property without a trial. My feeling is that a jury should be required to issue a verdict before ANY kind of government seizure. I can see seizing evidence with a warrant temporarily, but temporarily h

          • by Luckyo (1726890)

            Because they are a different country with different culture and values.

            This bubble in which some people live in never ceases to amaze me. The sheer foolishness of belief that their values are by far the best for everyone, and shared by everyone is beyond stupid and turning on your TV to watch the news debunks it time and time again. Yet they believe...

            • by migla (1099771)

              Maybe.

              What about those in the culture that don't agree the oppression of them is ok? How many people would you have to be to legitimately claim that you should not be oppressed?

              • by Luckyo (1726890)

                What of those white plantation owners who didn't agree with abolishing of slavery? Religious leaders that didn't agree with people's right not to belong to their religion?

                In general, our culture is based on maintaining a certain level of balance between all members. One of the biggest negative changes to hit our daily lives this century have been because some have acted to extract a nice extra bit profit out of the system at the cost of the system itself. We still haven't figured out how to get out of that

              • Maybe.

                What about those in the culture that don't agree the oppression of them is ok? How many people would you have to be to legitimately claim that you should not be oppressed?

                Human rights, one person.

                International Law other than human rights law, a large enough area--there was a case where Quebec sued for their right to secede, the Canadian Supreme Court, applying international law principles, said that basically they had the right to if their claim were legitimate, but that they didn't have the right to yet because they hadn't tried to work out their differences like rational human beings.

                Kinda reminds me, incidentally, of a more polite version of George III's response to the A

          • since it is the public votes the legislators who enact these ip protection laws.

            I might agree if said legislators were obeying the will of the people. I think that the very evident, widescale reaction against SOPA and Protect-IP indicates that our elected officials are doing the exact opposite (in spite of content industry rhetoric.) Our leaders are doing what a few large copyright holders want them to, and if a bunch of us get hurt in the process ... well, that's just too bad. So don't you dare blame the American public for this: when we're well-informed as to consequences (as is happ

        • "Fire" is not hate speech.

          The US does allow some restrictions on speech, but is generally quite permissive--and is most permissive when it comes to political speech, because it views is as the cornerstone of our democracy, where the solution to untruthful speech is truthful speech. (Empirically this is not the effective solution, but the idea that it is sounds very good and anything overturning it would have a massive chilling effect on free speech, so they don't overturn it.)

          China does not have this probl

      • Like apple power chargers that cost one third of what Apple sells them for. Yea, they should not be selling those!
      • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @11:58AM (#38174872)
        China does it to keep the party in power. The US does it to keep the copyright/trademark industries in power. Here is how vast the difference is:

        sed -e 's/communist party/intellectual property industries/g'

        • by jamesh (87723)

          China does it to keep the party in power. The US does it to keep the copyright/trademark industries in power. Here is how vast the difference is:

          sed -e 's/communist party/intellectual property industries/g'

          Somewhere along the way it seems you got lost in the difference between copyright in terms of "stealing media" and the concept of "stealing ideas".

          1. If I spend millions making a movie and I don't make any money because everyone just takes a copy of it then the world is a worse place for it - I won't make any more movies (this presumes I was good at making movies in the first place, but you get the idea).

          2. It I spend millions developing an idea and I don't make any money because everyone just copies it the

      • by poetmatt (793785) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @01:01PM (#38175152) Journal

        "shouldn't be selling"? Says who?

        the most important part of your completely bullshit claim, is where is the court hearing? Where is the proof?

        innocent until proven guilty is a key cornerstone of our law, even as generally dismantled as it exists.

        So until this goes to court, there's no proof they've done anything wrong or shouldn't have done, etc. It is a first amendment violation of prior restraint, however.

      • by Dan541 (1032000)

        Who are you to declare what someone should or shouldn't sell?

      • Life must be so simple for someone like you. Everything is black and white, cut and dried. The US only goes after criminals, and China only persecutes their peace loving people who want to practice freedom of speech.

        So many of the rest of us have to wrestle with all the many shades of gray, in between your black and white absolutes.

        Meanwhile - WTF do fake clothes and copyright infringement have to do with "Homeland Security"? Sorry, I realize it's an idiot question. The "Security" implied is for the int

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by poity (465672)

      This is at the DNS level, so if the DNS registers are US companies then it's conducted within US law. I'm pretty sure if the hosts for those sites are not located in the US, they're mostly likely still alive and accessible via their ip addresses. At worst, we can guess US is the same as China in the area of censoring ip infringement. As for overall difference between the two countries, Slashdot likes to talk about the fallacy of moral equivalence when defending something they like which the general public d

  • This is why other governments are less interested in the US controlling most of the net. Before they were willing to let us have most of the control due to our hands off approach. With the seizing of domains some not even in the us who have broken no laws in their own country.
  • Piracy routes around it. I'm guessing ICE are the guys who accidentally deleted a bunch of SRV records at work and were promptly fired. Who knew they could find a job with those skills.
    • by arth1 (260657)

      I'm guessing ICE are the guys who accidentally deleted a bunch of SRV records at work and were promptly fired.

      Firing people over a single accident?
      Had you said incompetence, I might have nodded, but accident?
      Restoring the last zones doesn't take long.

      Firing the one who gave people a bigger gun than they could handle, and the incompetent sysadmin who made it easy to accidentally delete SRV records would, IMNSHO, be more appropriate.

  • Pointless (Score:5, Interesting)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @11:52AM (#38174834)
    This will just push people toward less centralized systems; Tor hidden services come to my mind as does Freenet, but there are others out there.

    It is time to admit that the age of copyrights is over, and the longer we wait in developing a new method of monetizing creative works, the harder it will become.
    • by CmdrPony (2505686)
      There is still need for copyrights. It would be impossible to monetize creation of movies etc. Now, there's some change but only regarding games. Valve started offering Team Fortress 2 for free, with in-game items. Facebook games have done so for a long time. Not everyone likes that, but that is actually companies adjusting to the situation. It's been like that in Asia for a long time. Now I have no idea how to apply it to music and movies, but it works for some games.
      • by russotto (537200)

        There is still need for copyrights. It would be impossible to monetize creation of movies etc.

        Is the entertainment you get from movies worth the loss of freedom all around that the movie industry buys?

        • by hedwards (940851)

          False dichotomy, there's no reason why there couldn't be a medium of some sort here. In fact for decades that's how it worked out. People will figure out how to get around restrictions if need be, but you can't do that if the media isn't being produced in the first place.

          As far as that goes we'd have to come a lot further towards totalitarianism before that becomes a serious issue. For all the well justified hubbub we'd be better of just contributing to pay off the few suits that the *AA actually bothers to

          • by russotto (537200)

            False dichotomy, there's no reason why there couldn't be a medium of some sort here.

            The movie industry is the reason there cannot. They have forced the DMCA upon us, and it did not work. They have sued everyone they can find, and it has not worked. Now they want (and will likely get) the power to ban people from the Internet on their own say-so; of course, it will not work, so they'll come up with something even worse. Content fingerprinting in every videocamera, perhaps, much as the RIAA suggested an a

      • It would be impossible to monetize creation of movies etc.

        How was the short film Sintel financed?

        Now I have no idea how to apply it to music

        Live concerts and feelies (e.g. T-shirts) are the canonical method for applying the freemium model to recorded music. But I'll admit that this method doesn't translate well to movies, as few films are adapted into stage plays.

      • by cynyr (703126)

        maybe not the content of the movie itself, but around the convenience of watching it, or the kids toys (look at how much cars made from the sale of movies, vs the sale of other "hard" goods). To be honest I hardly pirate anything, just a few motor-sports events(you know the ones where they have to turn in both directions, and change speed) that i just can't seem to find with decent coverage here in the states. If someone where to offer me a better option than bittorrent that would allow me to watch when i h

      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        The difference between "some copyright" and "what we have right now and direction in which we are headed" is similar to "USA" and "China" in terms of individual political freedom.

    • Namecoin is one option, decentralized so that it can not be shut down. Namecoin is an addition to DNS and can be added to a regular linux nameserver. http://dot-bit.org/ [dot-bit.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ScentCone (795499)

      This will just push people toward less centralized systems; Tor hidden services come to my mind as does Freenet, but there are others out there.

      Really? You really think that someone who Googles for discount ("cheap") versions of otherwise somewhat costly software for automotive use, or who are looking for logo-oriented things like NFL jerseys are going to be sing Tor to do their buying of counterfeit goods? When they want to pull out a credit card and get a brand-name purse or shoe at a tenth of the normal price (and are dumb enough to not consider the fact that they're buying a poorly made rip-off of the actual item), you think they'll be looking

    • by msobkow (48369) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @12:02PM (#38174896) Homepage Journal

      The list of sites reads like a "who's who" of counterfeit goods, not torrent sites. I didn't see a single torrent-related site that I recognized on the list.

      • by Anthony Mouse (1927662) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @02:08PM (#38175442)

        The list of sites reads like a "who's who" of counterfeit goods, not torrent sites. I didn't see a single torrent-related site that I recognized on the list.

        What does it have anything to do with torrent sites? The problem is that they're seizing domains without due process and shutting down foreign websites, some of which (like Rojadirecta last time) are legal in their home countries.

        This is not the way the internet is supposed to work. And the problem is, if we set this kind of precedent, how long until other countries reciprocate? Do we find it perfectly alright for China to make YouTube disappear from the internet over dissident videos by advertising a route to its IP and then dropping the packets, like Pakistan did in 2010?

        The problem is that we have a choice: We can have an internet which is subject to the least restrictive laws of any country, or we can have an internet which is subject to the most restrictive laws of any country. There is no option that says "the internet as a whole is subject to US law but not French or Chinese law."

        But if it makes you feel any better, the torrent sites are next on the agenda.

        • by msobkow (48369)

          Every one of those sites uses an international .com or .net address, not a country TLD. If they were using country TLDs, I could see the argument that they're under a foreign nation's jurisdiction. But .coms and .nets are international, and have to abide by international law, including those protecting businesses from blatant rip-offs of their products.

          • Your argument is completely without merit. The operators of the sites are not in the US. The servers are not in the US. There is no "international law" being applied here, because if there was they would apply it against the actual operators of the website in their own country.

            You can always find some frivolous relationship to any given country to try to claim jurisdiction. The TLD registrar has an office in the jurisdiction, the ad company has an office, the payment processor has an office, one of the ISPs

    • by poity (465672)

      It is time to admit that the age of copyrights is over, and the longer we wait in developing a new method of monetizing creative works, the harder it will become.

      I agree, but I have a rather bleak view of it. It seems to me that when confronted with competitors that have only production costs, the creative people will endeavor to make their money in the extremely short window of time before the counterfeiters can get into the market. I fear this would cause them to withhold their revolutionary ideas from the public, to release products with incremental improvement and an emphasis on mass appeal. We'd end up having shorter and shorter intervals of fads made to appeal

  • by lennier1 (264730) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @12:27PM (#38175024)

    Minutes later 1000+ domains went online.

  • Oh, great, finally an udate to MAFIAAFire [mafiaafire.com].... plus advertising for the seized domains! Now I want to check out what the US is censoring, and thanks to MAFIAAFire I can!
  • by Iamthecheese (1264298) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @12:42PM (#38175082)
    We need truly open DNS NOW.
    • by pongo000 (97357)

      Already here [opennicproject.org].

      Really, it baffles my mind why people keep calling for an "open" DNS structure when there is already one in place, has been in fact for over a decade. With enough public nameservers in place mirroring the root zone, it would literally be impossible for any government to shut down OpenNIC.

      It's already here, my friend...all you need to do is pitch in and help.

  • Is wrong, so if they stuck with that agenda i wouldn't have a problem with it.

    Places selling cheap knockoffs where they state its not real, or 'fan sites' that get some ad revenue to keep their site open should be left alone.

  • What legislative candidates are running on a platform of enacting something that will explicitly outlaw what ICE did here? (Don't tell me it's already illegal; whether it's true or not, the courts have apparently decided otherwise.)

    What executive candidates are running on a platform of, by order, prohibiting ICE from doing this?

    America needs to know these two things, and we need to know right now.

  • by Animats (122034) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @01:38PM (#38175324) Homepage

    "autocd.com" sold parts catalogs for old vehicles. "AUTO CD.COM is your best, one-stop source for all electronic parts catalogues, auto repair manuals, service manuals, automotive repair, spare parts, auto diagnostics and auto repairs software available.

    Auto parts catalog information is not copyrightable. That's been litigated, and the distributors of the third party parts catalog won. See ATC Distribution Group Inc. v. Whatever It Takes Transmissions & Parts Inc., 402 F.3d 700 (6th Cir. 2005). That follows from Feist vs. Rural Telephone, the telephone directory case. There is no creativity in a parts catalog.

    • Obviously ICE is seizing first, asking questions later. (if at all)
    • Yeah, see they weren't selling "parts lists" they were selling service guides. Service guides (albeit wrongly IMHO) are copy-writable. Just because they use the word "parts list" to describe detailed step by step deconstruction, rebuild, and reconstruction instructions, does not mean they were innocent.

      Under existing law(USA), the mechanical steps necessary to repair any portion of your car are considered proprietary and you can't know them unless you pay extortionist fees for that information. NOTE:
  • Bye, Bye (Score:2, Interesting)

    by brit74 (831798)
    Sorry, I don't really care that so many on Slashdot have a problem with this. If the sites are acting like scumbags, then I don't have a problem with these sites being taken down. The excuses seem pretty hollow:

    "the US is forcing their laws on everyone else"? Seems that these sites are breaking laws agreed on internationally. It's not like copyright is a "only in the USA" thing. Most slashdotters seem to want the US to make a "great firewall of the USA" - and then they'd mock the US for having a "gr
  • Most of these sites have the word "jersey" in them. It looks as if the NFL's licensing squad went a-hunting, and gave the list of unauthorized vendors to Uncle Sam. What's not obvious is whether all of these sites simply sell unauthorized jerseys, or whether other jersey vendors, or people from a certain island or state, also got nailed in the crosfire.

  • We put more effort into stoppping piracy of MS software then we do into real terrorism. What makes this even odder, is that it was Gates who pushed piracy of MS crap to kill off competitors. Now, he wants the USA to pay to stop it, even though the MS shits still push piracy in China, as well as sell it for $2-4 for what sells here at $200-400.

    America really has become a fascists nation.
  • Fucking hypocrites and corporate cowards.

  • When they seize sites, the feds (DOJ/FBI/ICE) point the domains to their server 74.81.170.110. Therefore, using a Reverse IP tool, we can see a list of all seized sites - http://viewdns.info/reverseip/?host=74.81.170.110 [viewdns.info]
  • by pgn674 (995941) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @10:56PM (#38178756) Homepage

    If you're wondering how many different images exist for all the seizures, the answer is 9. You can see them all here [google.com]. In my gathering, I found 338 seized domains pointing to 74.208.15.160 and 74.81.170.110

I tell them to turn to the study of mathematics, for it is only there that they might escape the lusts of the flesh. -- Thomas Mann, "The Magic Mountain"

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