The Homeland Security Department's customs enforcement division has gone on a Web site shutdown spree, closing down at least 76 domains this week, according to online reports.Where is the due-process for this fuckery? Why would Homeland Security be involved when it doesn't have a friggin thing to do with protecting the...cough... 'Homeland'? Eric Holder, who evidently has nothing better to do than protect the public from counterfit handbags and such, released a statement on the seizures:
While many of the web domains were sites that trafficked in counterfeit brand name goods, and some others linked to copyright-infringing file-sharing materials, at least one site was a Google-like search engine, causing alarm among web freedom advocates who worry the move steps over the line into censorship.
All the shut sites are now displaying a Homeland Security warning that copyright infringers can face up to five years in prison.
Homeland Security's ability to shut down sites without a court order evidently comes from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a Clinton-era law that allows Web sites to be closed on the basis of a copyright complaint. Critics have long assailed the DMCA for being too broad, as complainants don't need to prove copyright infringement before a site can be taken down.
"With today's seizures, we are disrupting the sale of thousands of counterfeit items," U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said. "We are cutting off funds to those looking to profit from the sale of illegal goods and exploit the ingenuity of others. And, as the holiday shopping season gets underway, we are also reminding consumers to exercise caution when looking for deals and discounts online. To put it simply: If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is."Yeah, you go get em Holder, you refused to prosecute Tom Delay or any of the Bush Administration's henchmen that tortured people, but this shit is real-fucking-important right dude?
How friggin pathetic is that? Chalk another one up for The Corporatocracy. Protecting their rights is so much more important than anything else out there that needs protecting.
From the WSJ, EFF has the following comment on these seizures:
Peter Eckersley, senior staff technologist at the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, said Friday that his group had "a lot of concerns" about authorities seizing Internet domain names without prior notice. The civil-liberties organization has been lobbying against a proposed law known as COICA—the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act—that would give the government additional powers to move against sites involved in copyright infringement, even if they weren't located in the U.S.Senator Ron Wyden has vowed to stop COICA before it gets to the floor of the senate for a vote in this session. The bill would then have to start over during the new session next year, which will be controlled by the rightwing nutters for the most part. Personally, I love that Wyden will use one of the Rethugs favortie tactics....holding up a bill in committee.