Authorities Compared Domain Names Seizures to Car SeizuresAdded: Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011
Category: Recent Headlines Involving File Sharing > Ridiculous Criminal Trials
Tags:ET, p2p, Torrent, Piracy, Peer To Peer, Network, Hackers, Internet, BitTorrent, Google, utorrent, bitcomet, extratorrent, 2010, www.extrattorrent.com
ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) boss John Morton announced that his organization is able to seize anything “associated with the crime”. However,some of the online services targeted were either legal in their country or contained non-infringing material as well.
John Morton, Director of ICE has been defending the seizures of almost 100 of domains the authorities have carried out within the ongoing “Operation in Our Sites” campaign. However, it seems like he has a curious distortion of the letter of the law. Morton claims that the ICE is wrongly accused of trying to infringe on free speech, as well as to regulate the web. This, he believes, is very far from the truth, since Immigration and Customs Enforcement doesn’t have any interest in regulating the web. In fact, the agency has no responsibility in doing so, as it is a law enforcement organization and therefore only investigates crimes and attempts to deter criminal activity. Thus, John Morton announces that his agency is only trying to protect the rights of US consumers and manufacturers.
But, somehow, this is exactly what it is doing – it is seizing speech, which is arguably violating US citizens’ rights rather than protecting them. That’s what the Center for Democracy and Technology pointed out last year, noting that the First Amendment implies that free speech can only be blocked in the rarest of circumstances, and that the total suspension of an online service’s domain would block legitimate material along with infringing content.
As if it wasn’t enough, the recent domain seizures involved parties outside the country, which were apparently unable to seek a fair trial to contest the ICE’s actions. For example, the authorities completely disregarded the fact that one of the targets, Rojadirecta.org, has repeatedly been ruled by Spanish courts legal in its home country. Moreover, the ICE compared domain names seizures to other forms of seizures, like those of bank accounts or vehicles – in other words, anything that can be associated with the crime.
While John Morton claims that his agency has no interest in pursuing bloggers or forums, some of the targeted sites were just that. For example, 4 of the seized services were hiphop related music blogs. Moreover, part of the “evidence” of the suspected infringement was music that record labels specifically forwarded to those blogs to promote!
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011
|Hey ICE? When are you then going to seize Google, AOL, Jeeves, ASK, etc.? They all contain Infringing content....|
When is BREIN going to start to seize American domains and other as well? ICE you started this stupidity in censorship...
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