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Old 11-26-2010, 05:06 PM THREAD STARTER               #1 (permalink)
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U.S. Gov seizes 77 domains this week


http://www.domaincensorship.com/?p=40

The US Government this week seized 77 domains related to torrent search engines, online piracy and counterfeit goods. RapGodFathers.com, one of the seized domains, didn’t host copyrighted materials and carried no direct downloads but instead only linked to file-hosting websites such as RapidShare and MegaUpload. Torrent-Finder.com has no tracker, carries no torrents, lists no copyright works unless someone searches for them and responds just like Google, and was also seized this week.



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Old 11-26-2010, 05:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Shame to see innocent ones get taken:
Originally Posted by lothos View Post
...one of the seized domains, didn’t host copyrighted materials and carried no direct downloads...
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Old 11-26-2010, 06:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Another step towards net censorship by the US govt-what next? And you thought China was bad

ICANN should be ashamed of themselves.Perhaps they can go and have another meeting in an exotic location to discuss the situation.


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Old 11-26-2010, 06:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Um, it's time to call bullshit.

I was looking at RapGodfathers.com's revived site at the .info, and their download links are pretty damned direct. To pretend they're not trafficking in illegal downloads is to plainly ignore the letter of the law.

This is like saying that you stored your cocaine in someone else's warehouse, so how can anyone claim you traffic narcotics.
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Old 11-26-2010, 06:53 PM THREAD STARTER               #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mrjohn View Post
Um, it's time to call bullshit.

I was looking at RapGodfathers.com's revived site at the .info, and their download links are pretty damned direct. To pretend they're not trafficking in illegal downloads is to plainly ignore the letter of the law.

This is like saying that you stored your cocaine in someone else's warehouse, so how can anyone claim you traffic narcotics.
no direct downloads, meaning the downloads aren't stored on the rapgodfathers website. They clearly link to the files on fileserve, mediafire and megaupload.



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Old 11-26-2010, 11:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Here's a related story http://www.p2pnet.net/story/46011

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/11/25/nominet_crime/

Quote:
At present, there is no specific obligation under Nominet's terms and conditions for owners to ensure their domain names are not used for crime.

Despite this, in December, at the request of the Met's Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU), Nominet revoked the domain names of 1,200 websites it said were being used to sell counterfeit designer goods. For legal cover, it said the owners breached their contracts by supplying registars with incorrect details.

Plans for more such action, which was taken without any court oversight, are likely to raise concerns over the potential for increased censorship online.

Last week, for example, the PCeU contacted the ISP hosting Fitwatch, a website the Met alleged was offering illegal advice to student protestors, and had it taken down. Mirror sites and copies of the information it carried quickly sprang up across dozens of hosts, making the attempted censorship ineffective.

By working through Nominet, however, it would be much easier for police to centrally block such efforts by revoking the domain name of any website republishing the allegedly illegal information.
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Old 11-27-2010, 05:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 11-27-2010, 09:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mrjohn View Post
Um, it's time to call bullshit.

I was looking at RapGodfathers.com's revived site at the .info, and their download links are pretty damned direct. To pretend they're not trafficking in illegal downloads is to plainly ignore the letter of the law.

This is like saying that you stored your cocaine in someone else's warehouse, so how can anyone claim you traffic narcotics.
Your analogy is illogical and pathetic. There aren't any 'illegal' files stored on their servers and the US government isn't capable of taking down the servers the 'illegal' files are actually stored on, so they are going after smaller websites.
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Personally, I see no logical (or legal) reason for anyone to link to an illegal file, whether it's on your server or not.

What other recourse does the government have other than to strike where they can? If they can't hit the server hosting the material, then the next logical step is to hit those linking to it.

And I'm not exempting anybody.. SE's (and ISP's) need to police their links as well.
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Old 11-27-2010, 12:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dave in Carthage View Post
Personally, I see no logical (or legal) reason for anyone to link to an illegal file, whether it's on your server or not.

What other recourse does the government have other than to strike where they can? If they can't hit the server hosting the material, then the next logical step is to hit those linking to it.

And I'm not exempting anybody.. SE's (and ISP's) need to police their links as well.
There is no law which makes it illegal to link to an 'illegal' file.
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Old 11-27-2010, 12:59 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Old 11-27-2010, 01:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by CyXic View Post
There is no law which makes it illegal to link to an 'illegal' file.
Enabling illegal acts is a crime.
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Old 11-27-2010, 02:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mrjohn View Post
Enabling illegal acts is a crime.
Who's to say all these websites are owned and operated where it is considered illegal?


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Old 11-27-2010, 02:18 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dave in Carthage View Post
Personally, I see no logical (or legal) reason for anyone to link to an illegal file, whether it's on your server or not.

What other recourse does the government have other than to strike where they can? If they can't hit the server hosting the material, then the next logical step is to hit those linking to it.

And I'm not exempting anybody.. SE's (and ISP's) need to police their links as well.
Originally Posted by CyXic View Post
There is no law which makes it illegal to link to an 'illegal' file.
Originally Posted by mrjohn View Post
Enabling illegal acts is a crime.


The issue is not about whether enabling illegal acts is a crime or not but the mere fact that the US government has decided to forget about that pesky freedom of speech it has been bleating on about for the last 230 years and its vaulted legal system it claims to be the best in the world and arbitrarily seize numerous domains without anyone being any the wiser simply because it wants them. (at the behest no doubt of conglomerates who will not pour money into their pockets if they are disinclined to acquiesce to their request.)

Regardless of whether it is a wrong thing having them, what happened to the proper legal channels and due process or whatever it is called this week?

If someone murders someone then they are entitled to a trail, regardless of whether or not the kangaroo court simply wants to string them up and go for a pint.
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Old 11-27-2010, 05:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Yesterday's coordinated take-downs, supported by court-ordered seizure warrants, according to ICE spokesperson Cori W. Bassett, appear to be a preemptive attack that will, if nothing else, provide real world examples of the need for COICA, a controversial piece of legislation that Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) has already promised to block, at least during the lame duck session of Congress.
http://business.avn.com/articles/ICE...es-418406.html


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Old 11-27-2010, 05:43 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Is this the end of the internet as we know it?

Thank Goodness we have one non corrupt senator in the US

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/11/o...nsorship-bill/
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Old 11-27-2010, 07:37 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Sparhawke View Post
If someone murders someone then they are entitled to a trail, regardless of whether or not the kangaroo court simply wants to string them up and go for a pint.
Do you honestly believe these folks aren't going to stand in front of a judge? At least those of their number who will bother to even answer the summons.

Originally Posted by Sparhawke View Post
the US government has decided to forget about that pesky freedom of speech it has been bleating on about for the last 230 years and its vaulted legal system it claims to be the best in the world
Gawd, I hate listening to foreigners berate America. I'll save you some trouble. Please look up the following: Korematsu. I just throw it out there, because frankly trashing the American legal system isn't all that hard. And there's zero need to stand on principle to do it.

No serious adult in America has any illusions about the magical awesomeness of our system.

Likewise, no serious adult is going to defend taking someone else's work -- the source of someone else's livelihood -- and pretend that it isn't stealing.

Yes, the media companies need to rethink their relationship with the consuming public. But, realistically, until they do, it is still against the law to steal their shit.
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Old 11-27-2010, 09:11 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mrjohn View Post

No serious adult in America has any illusions about the magical awesomeness of our system.

Likewise, no serious adult is going to defend taking someone else's work -- the source of someone else's livelihood -- and pretend that it isn't stealing.
Wow. I am probably the polar opposite of Sparhawke politically, and I know he gets too worked up about the US. But he's right.

I'm a serious adult, and I think the idea of the USA was the greatest civilization advancement in history. But the only thing "magically awesome" about this is that there are so many Americans who are perfectly OK about losing their rights, and handing over dictatorial powers to the gang in Washington.

As you said, taking someone else's work ("the source of their livelihood") is stealing. Well, that's exactly what the US government is doing.

Whatever your thoughts about intellectual property rights, I hope you at least believe in due process of the law. Seizing domains in this way means they can take anything they want, without any due process.

And since they profit from it, expect to see many more such actions. They could take your life savings and your business tomorrow just on the suspicion that you might not be on the up and up. By the time you go through the legal expense and procedure to get it back, your business will be destroyed and you will be broke.

This is happening now, and these domains are just a part of that.

I am constantly amazed how my fellow Americans constantly talk about freedom, yet don't give a moment's thought to what it is. I'm a 20 year ex-pat, and have no intention of ever moving back with the way things are going.

The average Chinese understands freedom better than the typical American, sorry to say.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:11 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:05 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Seizing domains based on what a site links to raises issues because the domain owner, the site owner and the hosting contract holder can all be different parties.

Usually if there is a problem with a site the hosting company is the route for the authorities to take down the site.

Sites you link to can change their content without you knowing, and if you have user-generated content you don't know at first what you've linked to.

Plenty of big-name sites have disclaimers saying they are not responsible for the content of external sites they link to.
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Old 11-28-2010, 01:11 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I don't understand the procedure they are following to seize domains.
Can they just take anybody's domain or only domains owned by US citizens? If the latter, then will whois privacy help in any way or will registering the domain by some non-us proxy be a solution?
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Old 11-28-2010, 02:51 AM   #22 (permalink)
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The problem with AVN’s reporting on this is that none of these sites have anything to do with torrents or the like. They all seem to have been trafficking in actual hard goods… some had TV shows, some had knockoff electronics, one had counterfeit golf equipment (with an Illinois customer service number even?)… not one that I can find had torrents.

I found one that wasn’t even created until less than 2 weeks ago… it seems that they were all owned by just a few, if not one, individual as well… that’s hard to see but it does look that way upon investigation.

I do think they went through the Registry for this one… just a hunch but if you notice – there are only domains that go through VGRS (Verisign) Registry -.net & .com… no .orgs even(PIR). Note that none of the Registrant info is changed, more like the name was hotlisted at the Registry to override any NameServer directives at all eminating from the Registrars. example: usaoutlets.net shows completely different nameservers on the Registrar whois output, while the Internic output shows the SeizedServers NS. – and it has been 4 days since this happened.

I’m not thinking that it matters much where they were hosted either… most of these names changed IP’s more often than some people do laundry… they flipped around all over the place.

I could be wrong, but it looks to me like there is a lot more behind this than it seems upfront. My guess would be that ICE was targeting a few (or even one) individual that they had in their cross hairs after investigating the source of what seems to be a pretty substantial counterfeit/piracy endeavor.

The seemed lack of “Due Process” should alarm anyone though…
Also, before you go off and paste any of those names into your browser to go have a look-see… be warned – ICE has a rather nasty looking tracking code embedded into their landing page.
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Old 11-28-2010, 06:44 AM   #23 (permalink)
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My guess is that this is what happened:

1) The government gathered substantial evidence of some kind of joint conspiracy between these sites to enable the transaction of illegal goods.

2) The court issued a warrant to seize the sites (not take ownership) in order to stop the illegal transactions.

3) There will be charges brought by the government and possible trials unless it is settled out of court (this would be the due process component).

It is quite new but seems within the way law is generally applied when there are illegal transactions. As others have commented, the government doesn't allow illegal transactions to continue while awaiting trial. However, if it is shown that there was no crime, the sites will probably be returned to the control of the owners.
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Old 11-28-2010, 08:34 AM   #24 (permalink)
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In the UK in 2009 a huge number of .co.uk names were suddenly suspended as part of an investigation into counterfeit goods sites. The suspensions were technically legit because the whois info was inaccurate or out of date.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/01...disconnection/
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Old 11-28-2010, 12:13 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Domainace View Post
Wow. I am probably the polar opposite of Sparhawke politically, and I know he gets too worked up about the US. But he's right.

I'm a serious adult, and I think the idea of the USA was the greatest civilization advancement in history. But the only thing "magically awesome" about this is that there are so many Americans who are perfectly OK about losing their rights, and handing over dictatorial powers to the gang in Washington.

As you said, taking someone else's work ("the source of their livelihood") is stealing. Well, that's exactly what the US government is doing.

Whatever your thoughts about intellectual property rights, I hope you at least believe in due process of the law. Seizing domains in this way means they can take anything they want, without any due process.

And since they profit from it, expect to see many more such actions. They could take your life savings and your business tomorrow just on the suspicion that you might not be on the up and up. By the time you go through the legal expense and procedure to get it back, your business will be destroyed and you will be broke.

This is happening now, and these domains are just a part of that.

I am constantly amazed how my fellow Americans constantly talk about freedom, yet don't give a moment's thought to what it is. I'm a 20 year ex-pat, and have no intention of ever moving back with the way things are going.

The average Chinese understands freedom better than the typical American, sorry to say.
Exactly, it may be a simple thing to say that they were breaking the law by having these sites but who made that decision?

A few companies with politicians in their pockets or through proper channels with juries of their peers?

As soon as you start crossing that blurry grey line you start scuffing it out, eventually there isn't even a mark to show where it was and anyone can simply seize whatever they want if they have wallets deep enough.

The US Government (along with others) is always banging on about having the best legal system in the world but in this case they must've mislaid it, and once they start doing that it gets very easy to do it again...maybe next time it will be your site if some competitor takes a dislike to your wares MrJohn. It would be a very easy thing to get any government to take the side of a company with deep pockets, it has not only happened with the USA but with the English and the Boxers, Inquisition and the witches culminating in Salem (1692) in case you get bored of reading about Korematsu

Once you start involving governments in commercial matters to take reprisal steps then there is only one way it can go.

Now, someone is likely going to come back at me with tales of "bad" pornography sites being seized and how that is illegal or similarly how the seizing of a drug trafficking domain would be illegal based on my rationale. It isn't, because they serve no commercial interest, they are simply the laws of the land/world; no drug trafficking, no child pornography, no adverts to blow up innocent people. Warner Bros does not send you a packet of cocaine to enjoy with your DVD. Once you decide that downloading a music file that takes 20c from the pockets of a conglomerate is in the same league then you start worrying me. Even molesters, terrorists and traffickers are afforded a trail.

But I suppose the US government setting a precedent for illegal action was set a long time ago, not least with Afghanistan and Guantanamo. It would be remiss of me to think that they wouldn't use those powers they bullied people into accepting wouldn't be used against ordinary people one of these days.

This is going to be one very tough crackerjack to put back in the box...
Last edited by Sparhawke; 11-28-2010 at 02:35 PM.
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