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US Customs: It Has The Right To Seize any .com, .net or .org
engine




msg:4426063
 3:39 pm on Mar 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

US Customs: It Has The Right To Seize any .com, .net or .org [wired.com]
When U.S. authorities shuttered sports-wagering site Bodog.com last week, it raised eyebrows across the net because the domain name was registered with a Canadian company, ostensibly putting it beyond the reach of the U.S. government. Working around that, the feds went directly to VeriSign, a U.S.-based internet backbone company that has the contract to manage the coveted .com and other “generic” top-level domains.

EasyDNS, an internet infrastructure company, protested that the “ramifications of this are no less than chilling and every single organization branded or operating under .com, .net, .org, .biz etc. needs to ask themselves about their vulnerability to the whims of U.S. federal and state lawmakers.”

But despite EasyDNS and others’ outrage, the U.S. government says it’s gone that route hundreds of times. Furthermore, it says it has the right to seize any .com, .net and .org domain name because the companies that have the contracts to administer them are based on United States soil, according to Nicole Navas, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman.


 

incrediBILL




msg:4426073
 3:58 pm on Mar 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Just because the US originally built ARPANET, um the internet, doesn't give them the right to act like they own it? My house my rules doesn't apply? Hmmm...

Playing internet God is how the US will eventually lose that control when the international community rebels. If they won't give up that control, the internet will simply fracture as a result.

I'm thinking the Internet should fall under the full control of the UN, not any individual nation, which would actually give the UN something they can own outright.

IMO, the internet will ultimately be the catalyst that ushers in a truly global government since everyone is now communicating on a global scale so get started sooner than later and hand it over to the UN.

ChanandlerBong




msg:4426082
 4:19 pm on Mar 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think the UK should enforce the Tim Berners Lee Law right away.

Marshall




msg:4426100
 4:48 pm on Mar 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

I can fully understand the rationale of seizing domains that are engaged in illegal activity, and honestly, I do not have a problem with it. However, as with any other such authority, you have to question the oversight. The government is using a statute that allows the seizure of assets used in illegal activity (an extension of the war on drugs) and presumably needs a court order to implement the seizure. And while the legal system is not perfect, one does need to present a prima facia probable cause to the courts. In other words, it is not just some arbitrary action.

Marshall

netmeg




msg:4426108
 5:06 pm on Mar 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm thinking the Internet should fall under the full control of the UN, not any individual nation, which would actually give the UN something they can own outright.


I imagine the New World Order people will have a field day with that. Oh wait - they're not on the internet, right?

bakedjake




msg:4426141
 6:54 pm on Mar 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm thinking the Internet should fall under the full control of the UN, not any individual nation, which would actually give the UN something they can own outright.


Yeah, that's a good idea. Especially considering the members of the security council and their record on censorship.

I suspect this is a short term problem and an alternate root will be popping up soon to address it.

graeme_p




msg:4426144
 6:55 pm on Mar 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

The US has retained control because everyone thought a multilateral body would be worse. The US government is determined to prove them wrong.

jmccormac




msg:4426147
 7:01 pm on Mar 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

The UN? The people who put the "UN" in unable? :) Domain names in C/N/O are often deactivated or seized at the behest of the US government. One UK travel agent that was running tours from the UK to Cuba a few years ago had his .com seized. He then started using a .co.uk domain.

Regards...jmcc

J_RaD




msg:4426163
 7:27 pm on Mar 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

yea the UN hahha no way.

incrediBILL




msg:4426175
 8:14 pm on Mar 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

See, you guys obviously have no sense of when I'm using sarcasm, thought my lead-in about the US "house rules" was pretty obvious where I was heading, never mind :)

I can fully understand the rationale of seizing domains that are engaged in illegal activity, and honestly, I do not have a problem with it.


Although gambling sites were only illegal in the US, not other countries, and we shut them down for violating US laws when in fact they were perfectly legal elsewhere.

Closing the pirate goods sites, I didn't have much issue with that.

Closing the gambling sites, IMO that's when the US really stepped over the line.

Of course the ones doing really illegal stuff deserved it, but the others, not so much.

Marshall




msg:4426181
 8:33 pm on Mar 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Although gambling sites were only illegal in the US, not other countries, and we shut them down for violating US laws when in fact they were perfectly legal elsewhere.


I agree with your point, but since the internet has no lines, where do you draw one?

Marshall

anshul




msg:4426185
 8:41 pm on Mar 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think the UK should enforce the Tim Berners Lee Law right away.

I'm thinking the Internet should fall under the full control of the UN, not any individual nation, which would actually give the UN something they can own outright

I can fully understand the rationale of seizing domains that are engaged in illegal activity, and honestly, I do not have a problem with it.

Why there should be any kind of seizure? It is all about intellectual property and freedom of expression. They can put ban and control but seizing a domain from the outright owner doesn't make any legitimate meaning.

incrediBILL




msg:4426204
 9:10 pm on Mar 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

It is all about intellectual property and freedom of expression.


If someone sets up a domain solely to defraud someone there is no IP or freedom of expression, it's a crime.

You would defend a site set up for nothing but phishing?

I hardly think you would.

greenleaves




msg:4426224
 10:17 pm on Mar 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

If someone sets up a domain solely to defraud someone there is no IP or freedom of expression, it's a crime.

You would defend a site set up for nothing but phishing?

I hardly think you would.



Actually I would defend the site. Because it is not up to pannels or burocrats to administer justice. This is not due process.

If the owner is found guilty of fraud, take his site. NP. But I'm never going to be ok with the government having the power to destroy an individual without him being proven guilty in a court of law FIRST. I mean, the MO that is currently being applied is:

Take everything away from someone, throw them in jail. Since a person with all assets frozen can't hire a lawyer, then:
Give them a public pretender... sorry, defender then:
Leave him in jail waiting for years until he strikes a plea bargain (look at Gary Caplan who spent over two years in jail without trial before he finally, pleaded guilty)

I'm sorry, but this to me is not acting according to the presumption of innocence. If the government can't handle due process because of the enormous amount of cases it handles, then the solution lies in correcting a overreaching legal system which deems normal civilians criminals for non-violent acts commit by adults under consent in the privacy of their own property.

Once you deem due process unnecessary (as with copyrights or the 'war on drugs exceptions'), you are going to have a hard time finding any moral ground to preach on when the things YOU find deer are not given due process.

votrechien




msg:4426231
 10:43 pm on Mar 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

My issue with this is the pretenses with which they seized the domain name, which is of course illegal gambling.

It's one thing when a company is violating widely recognized international law and poor moral conduct (underage #*$!ography, blatant copyright infringement, etc). It's a whole other issue when the company is conducting business that is legal in many US states (gambling). It screams of protecting deep pocketed billion dollar American based Gambling interests.

Where do you draw the line? Owning a pet hedgehog is illegal in California. Should the Department of Justice start seizing hedgehog websites because Californians are using these websites?

Strapworks




msg:4426246
 11:36 pm on Mar 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Where do you draw the line? Owning a pet hedgehog is illegal in California. Should the Department of Justice start seizing hedgehog websites because Californians are using these websites?


Yes, hedgehogs should be illegal, I mean come on what good are they? All websites supporting should be seized immediately!
LOL, joke

In all seriousness the government should be required to provide evidence of illegal activity before seizing assets. And there really should be an International (U.N.) set of rules to follow. It really shouldn't be up to one country to decide what is right or wrong.

incrediBILL




msg:4426291
 2:29 am on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Actually I would defend the site. Because it is not up to pannels or burocrats to administer justice. This is not due process.


I see.

If someone running a phishing site that was destroying other individuals, his rights are more important than the rights of all the other individuals being destroyed.

Garbage.

Anyone familiar with the teachings of Spock from Vulcan know logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

I would agree with you on almost any other kind of site, but when individuals are being preyed upon, scammed and cheated, I'd rather the site go down in the short term and limit the victims. Let them sort it out in the end as it's easier to give restitution to one and the domain can always be released but it's much harder to undo the countless damage to the victims.

Besides, the government usually has a decent case before going to such extremes. They just don't head over to Google and search "criminals online" and click "I'M FEELING LUCKY" to find a site to seize.

If corporations could do the same, then I'd be really worried.

FWIW, seizing a domain is virtually meaningless, unless it's a big brand, as most scammers could have a new site up and running anywhere in the world in hours on another domain which is exactly what the gambling sites did. It's not like seizing a building and boxing up someone's business, it's just shutting down a single domain name which is pretty toothless on the internet. Domain names are cheap and bad boys usually already have a backup plan and pop up faster than the little critters in that whack-a-mole game.

Spamford Wallace was a good case study of online resilience despite the many attempts by corporations and government to shut him down over and over and over again so due process doesn't work either.
[en.wikipedia.org...]

The simple fact is if you register a domain that doesn't fall within the jurisdiction of Verisign then the US can't touch it. Smart scammers will start moving to those non dot com domains ASAP, they'll do some 301 redirects and cut their ties to the dot com.

Now how's that for freedom?

Freedom of choice, avoid the dot com and avoid being seized!

Sheesh.

graeme_p




msg:4426332
 4:46 am on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

I can fully understand the rationale of seizing domains that are engaged in illegal activity, and honestly, I do not have a problem with it.


Illegal where? Why in "illegal in the US" rather than, say China or Saudi Arabia?

Remember these are domains not registered with a US registrar, and the domain owners are not based in the US.

piatkow




msg:4426419
 10:32 am on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have always been uncomfortable with the idea of .com being both a global tld and effectively the US ccTLD. Now I think there was good reason for this.

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4426439
 11:53 am on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Bottom line - VeriSign can no longer be trusted. Asking isn't the issue here, by the feds or anyone else, it's VeriSign providing that's the problem.

greenleaves




msg:4426640
 7:59 pm on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ incrediBILL

People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.

Everyone is always ok at first with the government AT FIRST when they take anti-civil liberty steps. There is always a 'valid reason'. It is only after they have gotten used to the anti civil liberty steps that the gov then starts to use it on less 'justifiable' reasons.



If you can't accept due process being applied to terrorists, child #*$!ographers, drug dealers, rapists, serial killers, human traffickers, etc, then eventually, you and your children will not have 'due process' applied when something new comes up that the gov doesn't like.


Take a look at the definition of 'Enemy combatant', how it was introduced, and how it can now be applied to ordinary Americans. Maybe your kid will create the next wikileaks, and he will be categorized a terrorist and enemy combatant? Maybe a religious choice, (like converting to islam) and visiting 'suspect places' will make him get tagged 'enemy combatant'. After all, the people who do the cataloging generally earn <$10 and I'd be surprised if they could do math with more than 2 digits in their head.

And don't kid yourself, the gov ain't stopping websites of headgefund managers and other 'financial gurus' who have stolen billions (but just so happen to contribute to political campaigns), or of crooked weapons dealers, they are stopping websites that conflict with the interests of the corporations (and that just so happen to NOT pay us taxes)

4serendipity




msg:4426642
 8:03 pm on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

the government usually has a decent case before going to such extremes


If they have a decent case then they can go through due process.

And I'm increasingly having a difficult time differentiating between US government interests and large corporate interests. Lobbying has just gotten out of control. The cynic in me wants to think that perhaps one of the root causes of the US government's crackdown on online gambling is all of the revenue gained through state-sponsored gambling.

I just think seizures like these end up being damaging to the reputation of ICANN and VeriSign.

4serendipity




msg:4426647
 8:09 pm on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both.


Yeah, we need to raise Benjamin from the dead.

On the plus side. I do think that the almost universally online US citizenry has the potential to keep the government in line. I was happy to see the effectiveness of the anti-SOPA activities. Whether you agreed with the bill or not, it was great to see cooperating groups of citizens stand up (or at least sit and send emails) and make an impact.

incrediBILL




msg:4426650
 8:16 pm on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure someone seizing my domain name would impact my freedom whatsoever.

Tossing me in jail, that's another story.

This has nothing to do with DUE PROCESS, civil liberties, freedom of expression or wrapping the flag around like a bathrobe while standing on the kitchen chair singing the national anthem with an original tea kettle from the Boston Tea Party whistling in the background.

If a crime is in the process of being committed, you STOP THE CRIME and then follow up with DUE PROCESS to convict the criminal. Using the logic presented above all bank robbers would be allowed to rob the bank, shoot all the people, and spend the money while waiting for DUE PROCESS. You don't allow the criminal to continue committing the crime, you toss him in jail first, or in this case SEIZE THE DOMAIN, and then let a jury of his/her peers sort it all out after the fact.

Last post on the topic, agree to disagree, don't really care, but stopping the crime in progress first has ALWAYS been the standard method of operation for any law enforcement action.

Now go register some .to domains enjoy.

Who said a watched pot doesn't boil? You just have to stir it enough to make it boil and sit back and snicker when it reaches a frothy frenzy.

tangor




msg:4426678
 10:10 pm on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Tossing me in jail, that's another story.

I think we can all describe (pick a country, pick a political style) where it does not take much to see the floor of the hoosgow for little or no reason.

Still, there does not seem to be a fair and balanced (as in law and order) consensus on seizures by USA departments and if we (USA) can't figure that out, how can we (USA) expect the rest of the world to play along? Though in recent years I've got my eye on EU and others on the that side of the Big Pond! :) (note the smile, though none of this is humorous.)

4serendipity




msg:4426679
 10:13 pm on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

incrediBILL,

You aren't understanding everything that is at issue here.

Certainly most reasonable people will agree that the state has the right to forcibly stop illegal behavior, or even suspected illegal behavior.

What is at issue are the questions of what is illegal, the extraterritorial extent of US law, the legal status of the generic top-level domains, the international credibility of ICAAN and domain registrars, among other things.

I, personally, have a difficult time agreeing that information itself can be illegal. I'm increasingly in fear of pervasive censorship. I generally think that the government would only target unquestionably questionable operations, but there has been enough questionable use of government power over the past few years to give me Orwellian thoughts at times.

Also, online gambling is legal under international law (in fact, the EU has argued that the US prohibition of online gambling violates international trade law). Granted, Bodog does appear to have made great efforts to operate in and profit from gray areas, especially in their choice of advertising venues.

And there are due process consequences at stake. I don't know enough about the case to comment on specific procedural due process violations, if there are any. However, a very legitimate argument that the basis for the use of government power in these cases is vague enough to violate due process, and that, additionally, there is a worrisome possibility that non-intuitive application of vague laws could create a chilling effect on legitimate business activity.

Finally, on a personal, common sense level, I just find it silly that our tax money paid for a Homeland Security detective to place sports bets online to make their case. I really do have a hard time not laughing at the condemnation of 'illegal' offshore gambling when there's a huge gambling industry in this country, along with various forms of state-operated lotteries just about anywhere you look.

greenleaves




msg:4426703
 11:49 pm on Mar 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure someone seizing my domain name would impact my freedom whatsoever.


So taking away your only source of income would have no impact on freedom. I admire such detachment to the material world; I doubly admire if your family shared such detachment.

Tossing me in jail, that's another story.

This has nothing to do with DUE PROCESS, civil liberties, freedom of expression or wrapping the flag around like a bathrobe while standing on the kitchen chair singing the national anthem with an original tea kettle from the Boston Tea Party whistling in the background.

If a crime is in the process of being committed, you STOP THE CRIME and then follow up with DUE PROCESS to convict the criminal.


Do you even know what due process is? Do you even know what they did? Funny how little understanding you have on a topic where you have such a strong opinion. You don't even know what due process is; that is clear. You don't even know how the gov is conducting their seizures; that is clear. Yet you support it. Amazing, although sadly common. I guess that is why we have the patriot act and other such wonderful stuff that keeps us 'safe'.

Maybe this will help you:

Imagine if the US government, with no notice or warning, raided a small but popular magazine's offices over a Thanksgiving weekend, seized the company's printing presses, and told the world that the magazine was a criminal enterprise with a giant banner on their building. Then imagine that it never arrested anyone, never let a trial happen, and filed everything about the case under seal, not even letting the magazine's lawyers talk to the judge presiding over the case. And it continued to deny any due process at all for over a year, before finally just handing everything back to the magazine and pretending nothing happened. I expect most people would be outraged. I expect that nearly all of you would say that's a classic case of prior restraint, a massive First Amendment violation, and exactly the kind of thing that does not, or should not, happen in the United States.

But, in a story that's been in the making for over a year, and which has been exposed to the public this is exactly the scenario that has played out over the past year -- with the only difference being that, rather than "a printing press" and a "magazine," the story involved "a domain" and a "blog."


For more on that, look up Dajaz1 case

Using the logic presented above all bank robbers would be allowed to rob the bank, shoot all the people, and spend the money while waiting for DUE PROCESS. You don't allow the criminal to continue committing the crime, you toss him in jail first, or in this case SEIZE THE DOMAIN, and then let a jury of his/her peers sort it all out after the fact.


Your total lack of understand of due process and what happened is very clear. You don't have to make it that painfully obvious.

I actually wouldn't have THAT much of a problem with the whole seizures if they were handled in the same way as a bank robbery. IF IT happened.

See, using the bank robber case. The arresting officers will need to press charges or release the man within 24-48 hours (virtually every civilized country in the world has this). The man will also have a right to an Adversarial preliminary hearing regarding his confiscated property (say he pulled the gun in the bank to scratch his ear, instead of the rob, and the whole thing was a misunderstanding)

In any case, he would then be on trial in a matter of days, weeks, or a few months at the most. If the guy is found not guilty, he would be given his gun back and whatever property that was confiscated. His gun and property would retain value.

But that is NOT what is being done to the people whose domains are seized.

They have their property seized. Sometimes, it can take months for them to even be notified of the charges. Once arrested, the person is held without trial for YEARS. Yes, YEARS. No adversarial hearing for the property confiscation. Then, oddly, the person arrested eventually signs a plea bargain.

This violates your right to a speedy trial. By keeping the proceeding hidden they violate your right to a public trial. By not given you access to the charges being brought up, they are denying your right to notice of accusations. It violates your right to proper representation because by freezing all your assets they leave you without money to pay a lawyer. By forcing a plea bargain they deny your right to a trial of your peers.

Why don't you just admit you have no idea what you are talking about? You are just giving a knee jerk reaction to defending the authorities. You might want to analyze why you have such a knee jerk reaction to defending the authorities. Could it be that they convinced you that they are there 'for you' instead of being a 'necessary evil whose power should be limited'

Last post on the topic, agree to disagree, don't really care, but stopping the crime in progress first has ALWAYS been the standard method of operation for any law enforcement action.


Yes, law enforcement action. Not courts. I know you are smart enough to understand the difference.

I know it has become standard in our society today for people to form an opinion without any understand of the topic they have an opinion about. But why don't you look up the mooo.com case and discover why and adversarial hearing would have avoided over 80,000 INNOCENT VOICES having been shut off by the gov, by accident.



@incrediBILL
There are two ways of handling criminal justice: crime control model and due process model. Each model has pros and cons. You can't have it both ways, can't eat your cake and have it at the same time.

Either you support due process, in which case these domain seizures are an outrage, or you support the crime control model, in which case there are really awesome places you can move to so you can fully enjoy it; china, russia, syria, etc. They are perfect for those who put safety over civil liberty. If only those who wished for such a system would move to it instead of trying to destroy our due process model to gain a little more 'security'

incrediBILL




msg:4426730
 12:35 am on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

You aren't understanding everything that is at issue here.


I understand it very well, oh too well, don't think I don't.

What people replying to me don't understand is I'm sick of criminals being coddled by bleeding hearts under the guise of protecting freedom.

For instance, overcrowding of the jails?
Wah. Too bad, don't do the crime.

Like I said, fully understand, at the moment don't care, sick of all the crybabies. If people would learn to raise their children properly to not be criminals we wouldn't be losing our freedoms to a generation of bandits with entitlement issues.

Marshall




msg:4426731
 12:43 am on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

I will repeat what I said before:
The government is using a statute that allows the seizure of assets used in illegal activity (an extension of the war on drugs) and presumably needs a court order to implement the seizure. And while the legal system is not perfect, one does need to present a prima facia probable cause to the courts. In other words, it is not just some arbitrary action.

Believe when I say I know of what I speak. Further, the burden of proof is on the suspect(s) that funds obtained from an illegal activity were not used to obtain/maintain the assets or property in question. Until such time the suspect(s) can prove otherwise, the government can hold onto those assets indefinitely. This is nothing new and dates back long before the Patriot Act, Homeland Security, and even computers.

Marshall

buckworks




msg:4426735
 12:47 am on Mar 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

sick of criminals being coddled by bleeding hearts


That's a side effect of trying to make sure that ordinary, innocent citizens are not treated like criminals. Deal with it.

Call me a bleeding heart, but I prefer that we prove the person has actually done something criminal before treating them like a criminal.

This 35 message thread spans 2 pages: 35 ( [1] 2 > >
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