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Homeland Security Seizes Domain Names

The investigative arm of the Homeland Security Department appears to be shutting down websites that facilitate copyright infringement.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has seized dozens of domain names over the past few days, according to TorrentFreak.

ICE appears to be targeting sites that help Internet users download copyrighted music, as well as sites that sell bootleg goods, such as fake designer handbags.

The sites are replaced with a note from the government: “This domain named has been seized by ICE, Homeland Security Investigations.”
For instance,,, and have each been seized.

One of the site owners told TorrentFreak that his site was shut down without any notice or warning.

The effort comes as Congress considers the Combatting Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA). Critics, including Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) say it is too heavy-handed. He has vowed to put a formal hold on the bill.

(Source: The Hill)

6 Responses

  1. Why would Homeland Security be bothering. This sounds like a bureaucracy gone amok. There is a Copyright Office which deals with such matters, as well as people in the Justice Department, and the Commerce Departments. Homeland Security should stick to, well, “homeland security”.

  2. Can it be that akuperma and I agree one something?

    Why is Homeland Security dealing with this? This is a copyright infringement issue. Maybe HS ran out of 90 year old nuns at the airport?

  3. #3. The issue is that such cases are to be handled by the courts. The Goverment has no right to just take someones bussiness (aka Domain) away. That’s the reason that it was done by Homeland Security, for they have the ability, not the right, to do this in National Security cases.
    But really this is ludicrous! The Goverment can’t stop WikkiLeak with all its stolen documents and major national security issues, and they think they could stop pirates. They will just register a new name, with some Nigerian or some other country registry, and Presto, they are back.

  4. #3 – the law in the United States, is that a criminal violation of the copyright law is dealt with by the police (meaning the FBI or a United States Marshall), acting under a warrant, arrest you. For a civil violation, the Justice Department goes into a District Court, to which you are summoned and have a right to appear, and asks a judge for an injunction.

    How would you like it if someone in the Obama administration decided someone was cheating on food stamps or WIC, and promptly seized them and tossed them in prison without trial, or marched into their house and seized their property. Well, yes, he is enforcing the law – but our laws are based on laws – AND HOMELAND SECURITY SEIZING PROPERTY ISN’T ONE OF THEM. Once you dispose of all the archane rule of criminal and civil procedure, we are at the mercy of whomever runs the government, without rights or remedies, if oppressed. Freedom means rule of law that binds even the government.

  5. Note the article in Monday’s paper about the Attorney General announcing that the JUSTICE DEPARTMENT was seizing domain names (for counterfeit goods) – with enforcement carried out by ICE (the Customs agency). The law addresses such matters as illegal use of internet resources – but Homeland Security isn’t involved. The article seems a bit bogus.

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