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Senator Wyden Asks DHS To Explain Domain Seizures 243

An anonymous reader writes "With Homeland Security continuing to seize domain names without warning and without giving site operators a chance to respond to charges, it appears that at least some people in the US government are quite concerned about this turn of events. Techdirt has a copy of the full letter Senator Wyden has sent to both Attorney General Eric Holder and ICE director John Morton, asking a series of pointed questions concerning the domain seizures and how they impact due process, free speech and sovereign rule in foreign countries."
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Senator Wyden Asks DHS To Explain Domain Seizures

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  • About time... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mace9984 ( 1406805 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @12:07PM (#35104126) Journal
    He has my vote..
  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Friday February 04, 2011 @12:14PM (#35104212) Journal
    Allow me to answer the questions from the honorable Senator for the DHS which was established to protect me from the terrorists:

    concerning the domain seizures and how they impact due process

    Basically ICE assumes that since we are now dealing with the 'cyber' prefix, none of the old laws apply that don't specifically call out domain names. So your due process is largely non-existent and we just sorta make it up as we go along. I mean, a lot of the stuff gets reversed. You're actually guilty until proven innocent in our books! If you don't agree with that, it logically follows that you're a terrorist. That's your first warning.

    free speech

    Ah, yes, 'free speech.' Well, basically our domain seizing takes free speech, bends it over an arcade machine and violently rapes it in front of everyone. It's sort of funny because you'd think you wouldn't be able to rape anyone in public but, well, so far everyone's just been standing around and watching us so ... And I mean we're DHS so what're they gonna do anyway, right? Side note, this is your second warning for asking terrorist questions, Senator.

    sovereign rule in foreign countries

    Foreign countries? No no no, there are two countries in the world: United States and everybody else. Everybody else gets rules only after our rules are established [techdirt.com]. And that's strike three, mister.

    That's an awful nice schedule you got there, Senator, be a shame if someone were to put you on the No Fly list! wyden.senate.gov will now redirect to DHS and ICE seals until the good Senator can prove he did not import unlicensed pandas in 1978. Terrorists like Wyden make me sick.

  • by chispito ( 1870390 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @12:19PM (#35104254)

    ... the terrorists have already won? That seems the logic behind the DHS seizing domains at the RIAA's request.

    I'm pretty sure even if there were never 9-11 hijackers or a DHS, the RIAA and MPAA would have found some other government agency to overstep its bounds and pull this kind of crap. Hooray for the good senator in trying to shed light on it.

  • by MoonBuggy ( 611105 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @12:20PM (#35104262) Journal

    That's an awful nice schedule you got there, Senator, be a shame if someone were to put you on the No Fly list!

    Particularly worrying is the fact that recent developments suggest that they could very easily do exactly that [reuters.com] - oversight seems to be pretty much non-existent. Unfortunately, the news media seem less than concerned [toothpicks.org] about this one - I'm not suggesting any government conspiracy, it's just surprising given their common cries of "the sky is falling" to boost sales.

  • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @12:27PM (#35104318)

    I'd find it hilarious if other countries protested by grabbing a few domains that violated laws Americans think are kooky, e.g. Germany confiscating domains that sold Nazi memorabilia.

    Its kind of like when Brazil started finger printing all US citizens who arrived in their country. Which upset said citizens until it was pointed out the the US was doing that to all foreign nationals arriving in the US. At least some people in the world still have balls.

  • Murder is bad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cajun Hell ( 725246 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @12:44PM (#35104462) Homepage Journal

    Murder is bad. I mean, really bad and it has all sorts of negative consequences to our society, and government needs to something about it.

    Therefore, suspected murderers shouldn't have due process.

    Looks like airtight logic to me! Anyone see a problem with it?

  • by nitehawk214 ( 222219 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @12:53PM (#35104588)

    The best part is from TFA. From Wyden's Letter:

    In an affidavit written by Special Agent Andrew Reynolds, he uses his ability to download four specific songs on the domain name dajaz1.com as justification for seizure of this domain name. According to press accounts, the songs in question were legally provided to the operator of the domain name for the purpose of distribution.

    So it doesn't even matter if the distribution is legal or not anymore.

    Of course not. Legally shared songs are an even bigger threat to the RIAA than pirated ones.

  • Time to Godwin (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jimmydevice ( 699057 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @12:54PM (#35104602)
    I hate to point this out, But isn't "homeland security" going down the same path those guys in brown shirts tried some 80 years ago?
    Even their names, "homeland security" and ICE sound Orwellian.

    People from Oregon may be kooky ( I was born and lived there for 30 years ) but they believe in freedom, The real kind, not the plastic,
    corporate centric mommy state the feds have crapped out since 911.
    Every morning is a Smirnoff morning., but I'm having beer for breakfast.
  • by MickyTheIdiot ( 1032226 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @01:06PM (#35104722) Homepage Journal

    Oh no... clearly the majority of people in the US are contented idiots or just more concerned about themselves and their lawns. Most people I know wouldn't care if half their city blew up as long as there was still food at the grocery store. It's why basically the powerful can do what they want... there isn't a knowledgeable base or voters to stand up and fight and make sure someone who really wants to lead the country and not use office as a chance to line their pockets with corporate cash. (And even if these imbeciles in Congress aren't getting paid right now, they will get a paid off down the road with a cushy job or the like. They are ALL getting paid by corporate cash now or later.)

  • by hawguy ( 1600213 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @01:35PM (#35105064)

    Of course not. Legally shared songs are an even bigger threat to the RIAA than pirated ones.

    Exactly! It's just like when someone distributes free porn, the pay-for-porn distributors suffer!

    http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/02/03/2216235/Free-Internet-Porn-Is-Legal-Says-California-Appeals-Court [slashdot.org]

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.