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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 @10:40AM (#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 @10:47AM (#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.

  • by CmdrPony (2505686) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @10:50AM (#38174828)
    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 betterunixthanunix (980855) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @10:58AM (#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 poity (465672) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @10:59AM (#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.

  • Scribd? Seriously? (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 26, 2011 @11:00AM (#38174884)

    Why the fuck do we even have HTML if no one is going to use it?

  • Re:Pointless (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ScentCone (795499) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @11:00AM (#38174890)

    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 to a ghost network of proxies and hidden networks?

    Or is it possible that it's just a lot simpler than that. That, just as mentioned in the fine article, you're dealig with web sites run by scam artists and counterfeiters who are hoping that average consumers looking to place an online order won't recognize that they're dealing with criminals. Sites being run by plainly obvious counterfeiters got shut down, just like their warehouses are shut down if they're within the jurisdiction of law enforcement agencies that see what they're doing and have the mandate to stop them.

  • by msobkow (48369) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @11:02AM (#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.

  • Re:I'm confused (Score:5, Insightful)

    by apcullen (2504324) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @11:06AM (#38174912)
    There is no bitching about not allowing the sale of counterfeit clothing or pirated software. The point is that the US government is, without any form of due process, taking down web sites. And some of these web sites are located in other countries, where the US government has no direct jurisdiction. There. Now you're not confused anymore.
  • by arkenian (1560563) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @11:12AM (#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.

  • by poetmatt (793785) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @12:01PM (#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.

  • Re:I'm confused (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fnj (64210) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @12:13PM (#38175198)

    Due process, goddammit. Do - you - understand - it? (apologies to Pulp Fiction)

  • Re:I'm confused (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sloppy (14984) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @12:15PM (#38175208) Homepage Journal

    Ok, seriously, here's the answer:

    I don't know that any of the sites in question are selling counterfeit goods. I'm not talking proof-beyond-reasonable-doubt or anything like that, just vague informal subjective stuff. What was autocd.com doing? I never heard of them. I can't even begin to guess.

    Under normal circumstances, this is an easy problem to solve. You just go look at what the accused person was saying. If they're actually guilty and their crime happens to involve soliciting transactions, then all you have to do is go look at the things they've been saying, and you'll very likely see stark black-and-white evidence of them incriminating themselves.

    Oops, we can't see them shooting their mouths off in public about their own crime, because they've been censored.

    That's bad. Really bad. As a very distant-second choice, though, at least some information will eventually come out at their trial. Oops, except we've decided to unanimously vote for parties who say "Fuck due process." There will be no trial.

    I'm being asked to accept on 100% faith that someone did a bad thing. I'll never see any evidence myself that it's true, and I'll never even receive an assurance that "the system" that we all count on serving justice -- the same thing we rely on protecting you and me -- reviewed this apparently-too-sensitive-for-the-public evidence and came to that conclusion. Maybe you're enough of a religious nut for that amount of faith, but I'm not.

    All the formal and informal checks have been bypassed; we're talking about true anarchy and a breakdown of law here. Given that, why would anyone care about something as relatively trivial as counterfeit goods? ICE's actions themselves totally overshadow that.

  • 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.

  • Re:I'm confused (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Smallpond (221300) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @01:05PM (#38175424) Homepage Journal

    According to the ICE website, they seize domains after they have collected evidence and obtained a warrant, the same way they seize things in any other crime.
    I don't expect you to read it yourself, but its right here"

    http://www.iprcenter.gov/reports/fact-sheets/operation-in-our-sites/view [iprcenter.gov]

    Now go back to your spittle-flecked rant.

  • by Anthony Mouse (1927662) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @01:08PM (#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 YA_Python_dev (885173) on Saturday November 26, 2011 @01:47PM (#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 shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @12:34AM (#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 shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday November 27, 2011 @12:36AM (#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.

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