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Thoughts on US Gov control of ICANN?



6:10 pm on Apr 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

An interesting side-issue from last week's poker industry debacle caught my eye and I wondered what the general feeling on this was.

When the DOJ/FBI swooped on the poker companies Friday, it sounds like a part of the process involved instructing ICANN to resolve the .com domains of those companies to US Government servers which ICANN duly did.

I may have missed something (or perhaps it's just naivity) but I didn't realise that the Government controlled the .com (and presumably net, org and us) domain and was able to censure/redirect websites that they feel break the law.

Is this something that has been addressed before or is it just a "meh, whatever" issue?


7:21 pm on Apr 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Didn't they also do that with some of the file sharing domains?

There would be a notice in SERPS and if you actually went to the domain there was DOJ wording that basically said, "we own this now - go away."


7:22 pm on Apr 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Music file sharing especially. If I recall correctly.


8:07 pm on Apr 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Yes that rings a distant bell. I guess if a website is doing something illegal then you (they) can justify shutting it down.

The difference I guess is that in this case, the companies affected have only been *accused* of doing something illegal whereas the music sharing issue is clear-cut.


1:12 am on Apr 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm not up to speed on the poker issue. I used to play online and I even played for money but it's been years now.

I've had my ear pretty close to the ground re: the music thing and have followed it as closely as I care to get. The Justice Department (DOJ) has had their eye on this for some time now. Everybody was warned.

Pirate was warned. They were all warned. They seemed to have this "You can't touch us" attitude.

Whether it was the money involved or a point of pride, I couldn't say but you can't ever tell the US Gov they can't do something. That's like an open invitation to do do same. You've just issued a challenge and they will raise up when that happens.

Pirate was flaunting it though.. they were saying "neener, neener, neener, can't touch us.

Yeah well, okay. Not the approach I would have taken but oh well.

Pirate is still online but I suspect it's just a matter of time.

Nice post Simsi...


9:08 am on Apr 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Thanks wyweb. Someone pointed out on another forum talking on a similar issue that it was perhaps interesting that they didn't do a similar thing with Wikileaks. You'd have thought that was far more threatening than poker or music. There is one stand-out difference in that money wasn't a motivating factor but still, perhaps that is an indicator that policy isn't quite along Big Brother lines. Yet, at least.


10:13 am on Apr 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

They have effectively said that .com is a United States ccTLD not a global TLD.


12:10 pm on Apr 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

And the problem here is that I don't think US Gov can touch Pirate. We know who Pirate is right? They're Swedes. I'm sure US Gov would like to get ahold of them but their reach only goes so far. And it should only go so far.

[en.wikipedia.org ]

Swedish Law has made some inroads along these lines but, as I pointed out, the site is still online and they're still making available material that's protected by copyright.

In China or NK this wouldn't be a problem. They'd bully the ISPs into blocking these sites. They may even own the ISPs for all I know. It's another area I'm not up to speed on.

I have mixed feelings about file sharing. I've downloaded songs from peer to peer before so technically I'm guilty. I've also got software because back when I was poor I couldn't afford the 600.00 price tag.

And before anybody jumps on my ass for this... I am in no, way, shape or form saying it's right or correct.

Let me say this before you start crucifying me...

Having downloaded a song from a particular artist that I liked, I've often gone out and bought the entire CD as well. I'll do that. I want to hear more.

Having downloaded some bootleg software and become accustomed to it, when V6.2 came out I was first in line at BestBuy with cash in hand to buy that release. Now I know the software and I want to keep it. I'll pay for it this time.

My experience probably isn't typical but it's how I do it.


2:29 pm on Apr 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

It isn't that the government controls those domains.

They seized the domains as property like they would any other property in a raid. And in doing so redirected traffic, those sites are back up under non .com domains.

The courts will decide if the companies get them back. It is still their property, it has just been seized.


2:38 pm on Apr 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Nice clarification.


11:53 pm on Jun 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

As much as US Gov may suck, ICANN is much worst with their inconsistent UDRP and rules favoring big companies. I, for one am very glad I can go to federal court and save my name--even if it will cost money. ICAAN is now just a bureaucracy doing what it can to survive and spend those $ tens of millions they have in the bank.

Swedish law is not going to help anyone long term, eventually they will have to become one with EU laws, and US and EU have the same attitude in those things.

Demaestro is 100% right. In some US cities they even confiscate your car if you use it to do the thing with a prostitute. The car is a tool used to commit a crime so it's confiscated. Go and explain it to a judge, and your wife.

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