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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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  • by Zerth ( 26112 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @12:17PM (#35104244)

    Does the Administration consider whether a domain name operated overseas is in compliance with the domestic law from which the domain name is operated?

    What standard does DoJ expect foreign countries to use when determining whether to seize a domain name controlled in the U.S. for copyright infringement?

    Does the Administration believe that websites that facilitate discussion about where to find infringing content on the Internet represents speech or the distribution of infringed content? What if the discussion on these websites includes hyperlinks to websites that offer downloadable, infringing content?

    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.

  • by hsmyers ( 142611 ) * on Friday February 04, 2011 @12:39PM (#35104428) Homepage

    I wrote Senator Wyden even though he is not mine--- I live in orange county north, i.e. Idaho. Here is what I said:

    I believe that your recent letter to John Morton and Eric Holder represents a "still small voice" of resistance in a dangerous slide to corporatism. When former President Eisenhower warned against the military-industrial complex no one listened--- and perhaps rightfully so since the attack on our rights comes not from Northrup and Boeing, but from Hollywood and Walt Disney. It is still an attack designed to eliminate precious rights that all citizens need preserved even if they don't clearly under stand them. I salute your efforts and would like to know how I might help in your efforts.

    I don't particularly expect a response and have no idea of what I could do, other than to voice my support. Still as the events of the last month or so have shown, great change comes from critical mass and critical mass is acquired incrementally...

  • by jdev ( 227251 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @01:05PM (#35104716)
    Considering ICE just seized a Spanish domain that was deemed legal in Spain [], I hope this gets more attention. The government is totally out of control here.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 04, 2011 @01:22PM (#35104920)

    Eh, they asked an empty question. They, and we all know exactly what the response will be:

    "National security, top secret, can't tell you."

    They just asked the question for which they know with an almost absolute certainty they won't get an answer for, purely to get votes.

    It's obviously worked.

    Good show gaming the system there Wyden.

  • Re:About time... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Transkaren ( 1925482 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @01:32PM (#35105032)
    Yes. And as one of his constituents, he has earned my vote over and over. Same with Peter DeFazio, though he's not quite as good at the tech stuff.
  • by bradley13 ( 1118935 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @02:02PM (#35105326) Homepage

    Following links from TFA, we find this fascinating quote []: "Law enforcement officials picked this week to shut down the sites for a reason. The Superbowl, the most-watched sporting event of the year, is this Sunday. ICE wants to make sure football fans who planned on going online to watch the big game turn to legitamate broadcasters instead."

    Who needs due process? Just follow the money...

  • by Joe U ( 443617 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @02:09PM (#35105390) Homepage Journal

    DNS is the Achilles Heel of the Internet. If the Internet is going to be controlled, DNS is going to be the most likely way to do it.

    A few Senators are not going to stop this trend. It's going to get worse. It's good to see that someone is paying attention, but I don't see anything that can be done to fix the basic flaw with DNS. DNS is controlled by one group that you can't trust.

    So, yet again, I'm calling all the smart people out there, lets start talking about replacing DNS once and for all.


  • by daath93 ( 1356187 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @02:12PM (#35105420)
    i live in his district,voted against him because he was the last vote needed for health care reform,and knowing this would piss constituents off immediately turned around and asked for an exemption from the individual mandate for the state. he isnt wacky crazy far left, and we could do worse. I would have preferred that Jim Huffman won because he is a Constitutional scholar at Lewis and Clark university but sadly Oregon is far too liberal for that.
  • Re:About time... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @02:14PM (#35105436) Journal

    And he just got reelected so you know his stand on this isn't posturing for next years election.

    He seems genuine and worthy.. even though I typically do not like democrats. I guess he is one of the few good ones left.

  • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @02:29PM (#35105570) Journal

    In Oregon a referendum to do so was voted down. It appears the citizens of that state are happy to pay a little more at the pump to provide jobs that could otherwise be spread out amongst other industries.

    Well, that or the people who objected couldn't afford the gas to drive to the polling place and vote for the ban of the ban.

    Maybe I should move to Oregon so my college and other accreditation wouldn't stand in my way of getting a job pumping gas. Or better yet, I could open a gas station, organize it as a club, sell memberships, make all members volunteer-employees, and sell the gas at lower costs with those volunteer employees pumping it.

    Anyways, if that is actually something the people of Oregon want to do, more power to them. I guess my scam would fail. But I have done other things to get around the smoking ban in my state too. A bar I own part of, we purchased an old motor home and parked it in the courtyard of the beer garden. Gutted out the inside, put a cage around the drivers area, and extended out the sides, and put a covered awning going to the side door of the establishment. Now "members" can go into a comfortable, heated environment that escapes the regulation defining building and smoke while drinking any time they want, those that don't smoke can stay inside, and all I have to do is keep the tags current and drive it around the block ever month or so. The bar is a dump, but it's the most popular bar in town.

  • by AmigaHeretic ( 991368 ) on Saturday February 05, 2011 @02:39AM (#35109722) Journal
    There are gas stations just as you describe in Oregon. Card lock fuel stations we call them. You get a membership card (basically like a credit card) and you can drive up and pump your own gas. There is no one that works at them at all usually and they're usually near a Wal-Mart.

    Thing is the gas isn't any cheaper. That's why people in Oregon vote down the self serve gas initiatives over and over. Because we know we will lose thousands of jobs and the gas prices will just stay the same. Basically moving money from working Oregonians to the pockets of oil execs.

"I will make no bargains with terrorist hardware." -- Peter da Silva