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US Shuts Down Canadian Gambling Site With Verisign's Help 354

Posted by samzenpus
from the long-arm-of-the-law dept.
First time accepted submitter ausrob writes "Domain seizures are nothing new, but this particular case is interesting. The Department of Homeland Security has seized a domain name registered outside of the U.S., by individuals who are not American citizens, and who registered with a Canadian registrar. From the article: 'The ramifications of this are no less than chilling and every single organization branded or operating under .com, .net, .org, .biz etc needs to ask themselves about their vulnerability to the whims of U.S. federal and state lawmakers (not exactly known their cluefulness nor even-handedness, especially with regard to matters of the internet).'"
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US Shuts Down Canadian Gambling Site With Verisign's Help

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  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @09:07AM (#39207191)
    At least, I assume it does, otherwise why would the DHS be involved in closing down gambling sites?

    Either that, or they are just trying to spend money and justify their existance and vast budget somehow.

    Also, first.
  • United Nations (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 01, 2012 @09:07AM (#39207193)

    This is why we should move the control over the internet infrastructure to UN. United States is, once again, abusing their privileges. Even China acts nicely and only censors within their border. US does everywhere and for other nationals. In my opinion, US is much worse than China in terms of censoring.

  • Re:lol (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 01, 2012 @09:14AM (#39207237)

    Sure, the moment America's clueless lawmakers stop trying to push their cluelessness on the rest of the world.

  • by ddtracy (2565031) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @09:19AM (#39207257)

    Yeah, and they say "terrorists" hate "our freedom"...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 01, 2012 @09:28AM (#39207319)

    This was a Maryland law, which makes it illegal to run a gambling site anywhere in the world that the guy was convicted of, the US is enforcing with this domain.

    So if one of those religious US nut-job states (you know the kind that think the world was created 5000 years ago by Adam and Eve, Santorum voters) decides that pornography is a crime, even if the sex took place in Japan, then likewise, the US will prosecute those Japanese and will shut down their websites.

    I think the USA can't be trusted with the Internet.

  • by Xest (935314) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @09:33AM (#39207367)

    It doesn't matter if US firms run those domains and so they're under US jurisdiction, the fact is .com, .net and .org have long been recognised as the domains for international organisations as opposed to organisations content with a single specific nationality or set of nationalities, and so if the US can't be trusted to maintain them for that purpose then it's time the US handed them over to somewhere like the UN where they genuinely can be managed to a standard they're intended for.

    You're right that this isn't new, but it only serves to reaffirm the urgency that the US must give up control of these international domains. With it's escalating seizures now affecting legitimate international businesses enough is enough.

  • Re:United Nations (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@NoSpAM.gmail.com> on Thursday March 01, 2012 @09:37AM (#39207397) Journal

    Yes give control to the UN so that you can suffer the censorship and control of ALL countries instead of just the US. You'll get the same pro-culture-theft and US-interest bullshit, PLUS you won't be able to post pics of Allah, download whatever kind of porn Britain's latest serial killer happened to be into, or talk about Tiananmen Square.

  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @09:38AM (#39207399)
    If you RTFA, you'll see why. This was done by ICE, because it involved a movement of money across US borders and abroad that violated customs regulations by violating the laws of one of the states the money originated in.

    The scary thing here is that this move is actually an attack on the Internet itself -- it is an attack on a global, borderless network. If every website is forced to follow the laws of every country whose citizens might connect to that website, or in other words the laws of every country in the entire world, it will be impossible to run a website. What will happen is an increase in the number of website that refuse to provide service to people from certain countries, and eventually an Internet that is fractured and divided into regulatory domains and whatnot. Not that people in the government have a problem with that; from TFA:

    Many of the harms that underlie gambling prohibitions are exacerbated when the enterprises operate over the Internet without regulation

    It is not hard to guess what these people want to do to the Internet.

  • Re:United Nations (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @09:40AM (#39207407)
    So, instead of the United States deciding who gets free speech who doesn't, we'll let Russia, China, Syria, Iran, etc... decide?

    The solution isn't "different" control... the solution is "no control"
  • by liamevo (1358257) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @09:41AM (#39207423)

    erm, no it's not it was intended for commercial entities world wide. You have .us to use.

  • by Albanach (527650) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @09:43AM (#39207433) Homepage

    If you're a Canadian company with Canadian customers, use .ca, eh? .com makes it seem like you're targeting your southern neighbors.

    You mean in the same way as US firms with US customers use .us?

  • by lexsird (1208192) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @09:50AM (#39207491)

    Sovereignty, who's got it anymore? It seems Canada sold us theirs at a garage sale.

  • Re:United Nations (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@NoSpAM.gmail.com> on Thursday March 01, 2012 @09:51AM (#39207499) Journal

    I'm at work but look up "female ejaculation" on Wikipedia and search for "legal" on-page and it should point you in the right direction.

    Also, remember that porn featuring women with small breasts is considered child porn in Australia.

  • by Jawnn (445279) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @09:52AM (#39207505)
    They do. No argument there, but the real shame is how easy it is for them to manipulate our leaders into destroying those very freedoms for them. Again, "...the terrorists win."
  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @09:53AM (#39207517)
    Welcome to the new, not-free, not-open Internet. To your left, you will see China trying to attack your servers as part of an effort to spy on Chinese opposition movements and to download your trade secrets; to your right, you see the US trying to apply its laws to other countries by seizing domain names and promoting national firewalls.
  • by lexsird (1208192) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @10:03AM (#39207621)

    It seems like a full court press on the Internet lately. Too much freedom of information to suit the powers that be I guess. Agree with or not, the censorship of Occupy Wall Street should have a chilling effect on anyone breathing "free air". Note how this kicked into high gear after OWS and the fact we have probably the most polarized elections in recent history coming.

  • by cardpuncher (713057) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @10:06AM (#39207655)

    The issue of Internet jurisdiction really ought to have been sorted out by now. At present it's shoot first and ask questions later.

    It's hard to make a case for any online business if the mere fact of its availability outside the country in which it is domiciled can render it (and its staff) potentially liable for criminal, privacy, libel, patent and other legal processes in countries where it may not even know it has customers - or indeed can have its service disrupted by actions against upstream providers with whom it has no contractual relationship. The Internet is as precarious as the Pony Express.

    The US, in particular, seems particularly resistant to international discussion on any aspect of the Internet - witness the bizarre conspiracy theories spouting forth from FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell which prompted the wonderful headline in the New American "Obama Quiet as UN & Dictators Push to Control Internet" [http://thenewamerican.com/tech-mainmenu-30/computers/10953-obama-quiet-as-un-a-dictators-push-to-control-internet].

    Unfortunately, if there isn't some progress on the subject of jurisdiction we're going to have a series of discrete regional networks (US, Europe, China, ...) and a distributed Great Firewall of Protectionism.

    In the meantime, if you're looking for a new business idea, I'd suggest whittling might be fairly safe, provided you produce no rectangles with rounded corners.

  • by Tokolosh (1256448) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @10:19AM (#39207867)

    The manufacturing sector has been hounded out of the US and now it is the turn of the most vigorous replacement industries (those based on the internet).

    The reason the internet has been such a phenomenal success, with the most amazing record of growth ever, is that up to now the government has, perhaps unwittingly, kept its hands off. But there is nothing that the government can't improve, and they are going to improve the hell out of the internet.

    I know I am picking on the USA. Up to now freedom has been greatest there, and Americans have reaped the benefits. Now Americans have the most to lose. Like gun and abortion rights, this is going to be a never-ending battle against the forces of darkness.

    Support the EFF!

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @10:19AM (#39207869) Journal

    If the UN was in control, NOTHING would get censored because NOBODY could agree on it. Just like there is no resolution against Syria because China and the USSR doesn't want it. The US could veto ANY UN censorship attempt, so could the UK and a host of other nations.

    Now the US has total control and the US has shown to be far worse at it then the countries you list, none of them have tried to censor outside their own borders.

  • by msobkow (48369) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @10:35AM (#39208125) Homepage Journal

    This kind of abuse would be why the rest of the world is demanding that internet control be transferred to an INTERNATIONAL organization like the UN and ITU. WE'RE TIRED OF US JACKBOOTING ALL OVER OUR LAWS AND PROCEDURES.

    In this case, the site SHOULD have been shut down, because they have evidence they were taking US customers. But there are CHANNELS for taking the sites down through CANADIAN law, and that was circumvented and ignored for the sake of American convenience.

    Again.

    Fuck the United States of Lobbyists.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @10:35AM (#39208131) Homepage

    Newsflash - a company registered outside the US and not doing business in the US is not bound by ANY type of US law, federal or otherwise. Perhaps someone should remind the US authorities that they don't run the world just yet.

    Apparently if it's .com, .biz, .net, and a bunch of other common TLDs they do.

    It does highlight a little hypocrisy, because when other countries mess with the internet the US is the first to say the internet should be free so it can foster the things they believe in.

    Just don't have a gambling site.

  • I'm sorry but I disagree. The site should NOT have been taken down simply because a citizen decided to break the law and use the site if indeed they weren't supposed to. The site itself shouldn't have to police users to the extent that implies, suppose some state or country somewhere had a law that stated gambling could only occur on Sundays - would they be expected to follow that too?

  • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @10:56AM (#39208393) Journal

    we have probably the most polarized elections in recent history coming.

    No we don't. We have a corporatist versus a corporatist. If there were going to be a polarized election, we'd actually have to have candidates with, you know, different policies.

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @10:57AM (#39208403) Homepage

    In this case, the site SHOULD have been shut down, because they have evidence they were taking US customers.

    So what? I can shop from Amazon.com instead of Amazon.ca ... I've bought stuff from Japan and Europe over the internet as well. If I buy something illegal, my government can charge me, but charging the vendor with breaking Canadian laws would be absurd.

    So why does the fact that Americans don't want their citizens gambling place any legal obligations on a company not operating in the US?

    But there are CHANNELS for taking the sites down through CANADIAN law

    The site it perfectly legal according to Canadian law. So why on Earth do you believe there would be a way for it to be shut down by using Canadian law?

    This is a case of someone saying "waaah, you didn't stop our citizens from doing something we didn't want them to".

    Should it be possible for, say, Iran to shut down a US web site because it didn't prevent Iranian citizens from accessing something it deems illegal? Of course not, because Iran are the "bad guys".

    If you don't see this as the US applying their laws to external entities, you're missing the entire point. Because the business was operating legally within Canada. If the Americans want to be sure their citizens can't access sites on the rest of the internet ... well, then I suggest implementing the Great American Firewall, and give up the pretense that you're in favor of freedom. It's not up to other countries to implement your laws.

  • by nedlohs (1335013) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @11:18AM (#39208667)

    To those who don't see a problem with unregulated gaming, read up on the history of organized crime and gambling. The Nevada Gaming Commission exists for a goddamned reason.

    Which is why it makes so much sense to refuse to regulate them.

  • by Dishevel (1105119) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @11:32AM (#39208865)

    Everyone says their country is better and that the others are backwards and losers.

    I agree.
    Although if you are a member of a country where large numbers of people take to the streets and people must die because a book got accidentally burnt or a picture of your prophet was drawn. Then I would say that your country has some growing up to do.

  • by msauve (701917) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @11:32AM (#39208881)
    No, your completely wrong. .com, .net, .org are, and always have been, US domains, although registration of domains under them has never been restricted. When you create something, you get to make certain choices, and the US government funded DARPA Internet development came up with those domains.

    You want your own national domain, then co.countrycode, and similar seem to be popular choices. If you want the UN to control DNS - let them administer a *.un hierarchy.

    Having said that, I have two points to make - first, no web site was shut down, this was just a removal of DNS entries. Second, I believe that this, although ordered by a US court, is in violation of the US Constitution's free speech protections. A DNS request is analogous to looking up someone's number in a phonebook. Publishing a phone number (or DNS entry), even for a criminal, should be protected free speech.

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