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back to article Feds seize 70 'filesharing, dodgy goods' sites

The US government has seized 70 sites allegedly offering counterfeit goods or links to copyright-infringing material. Among the domains seized was a BitTorrent meta-search engine Torrent-Finder.com, along with other music linking sites. Other sites on the hitlist allegedly sold fake designer clothes. Surfers visiting the seized …

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Anonymous Coward

Good job

I say take down every website that is illegally distributing copyright protected works.

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Big Brother

Great idea...

... let's forget about presumption of innocence, let's forget about the fact that hosts may not *know* that this stuff is on their servers, let's not bother with saying "will you take this stuff down?" let's just put on the jackboots and kick in their doors/ take away their domain names and then leave them with the bill for sorting the mess out.

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WTF?

You lot are downvoting this? Seriously?

I didn't realise The Reg fora were such a hotbed of criminality

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Coat

Hey new guy, Welcome to El Reg!

*bumps, steals wallet*

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USA != The World

"I didn't realise The Reg fora were such a hotbed of criminality"

Not criminality, but applying "US Law" to the rest of the world is something that is frowned upon, because it is a transgression over another country's sovereign law. That's also why there is so much heat against the COICA thingy that would lead to the US shutting down foreign sites; the Scientology dudes would love to shut down Wikileaks with that one.

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FAIL

re : "a hotbed of criminality"

Except that (in the UK anyway) copyright infringement is not a criminal offence.

It's a civil offence.

Besides, we wouldn't want due process to get in the way of law enforcement, would we?

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Pirate

Keep taking down the sites.....

....it will just drive the development of more robust , secure and untrackable methods of distributing the content.

But seriously, downvotes? The vast majority of the content on these sites is dodgy (I'm leaving the "legal" aspects to the pedants). Supporting and using these sites is to condone criminal activity.

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aye

I agree. Google should be taken down for indexing all these sites. Aiding and abetting is a crime isnt it?

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Not before time

A good clear up of the internet is long overdue.

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FAIL

Absolutely!

Let's take down anything that you and the Nanny State don't like, whilst we Think Of The Children!

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What ?

TThese are sites that either sell counterfeit goods or promote the copying of copyright materials. I can understand there may be arguments regarding the latter, whilst I do not agree, I cannot see how you can condone the actions of sites selling counterfeit goods?

Who mentioned children?

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If they had seized the actual servers

pursuant to judicially approved warrants which the plaintiff could read and for which plaintiff was able to consult with counsel before submitting to, you might have a point.

But being as what they seized was purely the domain name, and pretty much all the rest of the requirements were absent as well, even this Law and Order conservative who supports limited waterboarding captured jihadists can't condone the seizure of the site names.

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Pirate

Selling?

Who's selling "counterfeit goods"? IIRC there was even a problem with labeling "copyright infringement" as piracy because no money changes hands, and piracy is "profiting from copyright infringement".

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WTF?

Laughable...

"My domain has been seized without any previous complaint or notice from any court,”

I'll do the letter.

Dear Mr potential criminal,

just to let you know, some law enforcement officers will be popping around later, so would you awfully mind not deleting any potentially incriminating evidence. There's a good chap.

Ta,

The judge.

Knob.

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Pirate

Actually...

If you read the article carefully you will find that they only seized the domain names.

The BBC has more details at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-11863288

"ICE's action involved gaining control of the domain name that sites were trading under. It did not involve removing any content from the sites affected or blocking the use of an IP address."

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@ Actually...

Well of course that's all they did thus far, there'd be no point in removing content or blocking an IP address... (re)uploading the content from your backups or requesting your host put you on an alternate IP # are trivial things. Seizing the domain name on the other hand, keeps everyone from your site till bots have randomly happened upon it so it shows up (far far down the list) on search engines.

However, a lot of these dodgy sites have several domain names and companies owned by the same parent company so if you don't get them all you merely put a dent in their sales figures (or piracy, etc).

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FAIL

the true purpose

of Homeland Security it turns out like many other government agencies is mostly to defend the VIP in the USA, the large corporations. The only exception being their other mission of elaborate security theater that protects no one. So glad we created a new expensive government agency to go after our civil liberties.

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FAIL

Sites already springing back up

A simple matter of a new domain name pointed at the original IP and the sites are already reappearing. I doubt it will take long for the users to learn of the new site names from the community.

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Google?

Google's search seems to be good at finding torrents - are they going after Google as well? :-)

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I wonder how many shills post here?

I don't normally accuse people of such, but it's amazing how many "anti pirates" crawl out of the woodwork when something even remotely related to BitTorrent pops up.

Yes, I'm a freetard. No, I pay for my music, in CD form so I can turn it into an mp3 or ogg without any hassle.

And yes, I use BitTorrent. I can't wait for the day I get one of the meeja industry's legal love letters through the door. Seriously, I'll frame the fucker.

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Troll

sometimes I wonder

...how many commentards are just employees of the government or industry pretending to be the public.

The torrent guy said he got no warrant or warning, and the gov is taking down sites before the Act has actually passed through the houses.

That's not enforcing laws, that making it up as they go along... "what's a few months, it'll be passed in the new year, right? Lets just do it" said Mr Fed.

IMHO country neutral TLDs like com, net and org should be under UN control or other international committee, not the US 'land of the free', patent and copyright trolls.

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Oh Gawd no, not the commies at the UN.

Don't much trust any of those allegedly neutral International organizations either. Maybe a tenth as far as I trust the f*ck-ups who pulled the current stunt.

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Pirate

Go Wikileaks

Pull the arrogant sceptic tanks pants down and show them up for the empirists that they are.

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FAIL

Hmmm.

It seems the sites are all popping up again on new non-us domains.

Who would have thought that would happen?

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Anonymous Coward

For now..

They are only going after sites that may be hosting torrents for illegal file sharing, however you have to keep in mind how the government mentality works.

This week its these sites, next week it will be sites hosting linux torrents because "torrent CAN be used to allow illegal music transfers".

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@AC

>>"This week its these sites, next week it will be sites hosting linux torrents because "torrent CAN be used to allow illegal music transfers"

And the week after that, no doubt they'll be feeling up Your Mom.

Unless, that is, you're actually just looking at the scarily-sharp thin end of an imaginary wedge.

I'd have thought they'd have their hands full trying to stop or reduce things that are (or can at least be be spun to appear to be) illegal.

Given their success there isn't likely to be total, what would conceivably be gained by targetting sites doing nothing wrong?

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First they came for the jews...

sound familiar?

Law can't be served by law breaking felons, and that is why these kind of people mostly want secrecy: to break the law.

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Wedge?

"Unless, that is, you're actually just looking at the scarily-sharp thin end of an imaginary wedge."

The US Government already have a history of using legislation as a wedge in this area.

I give you the DMCA, which has used to kill fair use in so many areas, and is regularly used to bring down websites critical of companies.

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@Aitor 1

>>"First they came for the jews"

>>"sound familiar?"

Vaguely familiar, though in a historical context, it isn't accurate, either as a representation of what Niemoller seems to have said, or of the order of historical events.

In this context, it seems like stupid hyperbole.

Even if the actions were at the limit of what the law allows (or even beyond it), I can't see many people thinking someone has a human right to sell counterfeit goods, acting as a parasite on the back of someone else's business.

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Stop

@David Wilson

Umm.. My father flew on a domestic US flight, with a pin in his hip, which showed on the Perv Scanner. So, they were feeling up a parent. Is that close enough for you?

Or does it have to be the maternal parent?

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@Swarthy

Well, I know people decades ago who would get taken to one side because they had plates in their legs that set off metal detectors.

What does an imaging scanner actually add to that equation?

I can see people might be wary of x-rays, whatever the claims of the manufacturers/government, but if the alternative is a search they could have ended up having even if only metal detectors were in use...

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Double standards

I notice youtube.com hasn't been seized - isn't it funny. Probably the largest cache of copyright infringing video content on the planet is totally immune from such measures - I wonder if that fact it's owned by a large multinational is why?!

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FAIL

Re: Double standards

"The page you have requested contains content from EMI which is not available in your area".....or something very like that anyway.

That's why YouBoob isn't in the firing line, they dance to the approved tune when it's tapped out with one finger on a knackered piano by the rights holders.

@The upvoters of that: All together now: "Baaaaaaaaaaaa".

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hahaha

I have a vested interest in all of this, no im not on the governments side but rather the opposite side so im only going to say so much.

The VIP companies are the only ones that benefit by this as is stated by other posters.

If someone attacks paypal.com nothing short of a military action would be launched to stop the attack. However if your a small business owner with your website(s) being attacked nobody is going to help you in the government.

We have open boarders with illegal aliens claiming portions of Arizona and instead of ICE going in there and cleaning up they are posting up signs saying "this area isn't safe".

So ICE Is now being used for domain control instead of boarder control.

You are never innocent until proven guilty with this kind of thing. I am a manager of a host and I have had interactions with these copyright watchdogs. They almost are always using illegal tactics to prove their point.

I've yet to deal with one that has had an legitimate operation.

I've already had paypal/ebay send me threatening e-mails regarding things that have nothing to do with our operations and when you attempt to respond to them they never respond back..

They send out their threatening e-mails and if their desired resolution doesn't occur they won't talk to you, they will run to the government.

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WTF?

Who are those open boarders?

You mean students who move in to college cities while they are in college, who are open-minded?

However, I fully agree that there is far more resources being put on "copyright infringement" bullshit than stuff that really matters like, you know, real crime, muggers, drug dealers and such. Even here in Mexico, a 14 y/o kid told me how he witnessed a heavily-armed contingent of the Policia Federal (what's with gringos adding an "e" to Federal?) come down with their assault rifles ... to seize pirated CDs/DVDs.

Geeze, I thought these guys were supposed to be fighting drug dealers. But noooooo! Pirated/counterfeit stuff is more dangerous! Hell, they've even claimed that drug dealers get their money from pirated warez stuff. Yeah right ... 'coz Bolivian marching powder isn't as profitable, I suppose. Meh.

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'But what about the real criminals'

>>"Even here in Mexico, a 14 y/o kid told me how he witnessed a heavily-armed contingent of the Policia Federal (what's with gringos adding an "e" to Federal?) come down with their assault rifles ... to seize pirated CDs/DVDs."

So you're saying they shouldn't bother at all, or that they should only be lightly armed?

>>"Geeze, I thought these guys were supposed to be fighting drug dealers. But noooooo! Pirated/counterfeit stuff is more dangerous! "

Aren't they fighting drug dealers as well?

I though that was what quite a few of the deaths in Mexico were supposed to be related to.

>>"Hell, they've even claimed that drug dealers get their money from pirated warez stuff. Yeah right ... 'coz Bolivian marching powder isn't as profitable, I suppose. Meh."

Now *that* was always a kind of logic that intrigued me.

'Counterfeiting is evil because profits are used to fund hard-drug dealing.'

'Smoking weed is wrong because profits are used to bankroll bank robberies'

etc.

Now, I can understand that organised crime may have its fingers in all sorts of pies, and that taking out a counterfeiting operation might well net you some people who are also involved in drug dealing (which is maybe one reason for making sure you're sufficiently well-armed when you do a raid), but the mental imagery the arguments conjure up is of bungling criminals who can't manage to make money out of drug dealing or bank robbery, but who keep doing it anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

How prioritising works

Ok, we've got budget to pull 70 websites to protect our citizen. Should we target terrorism, paedophilia, OR #gasp# sites that host links to something that could potentially be illegal?

#An hand passes on a wad of cash#

The latter it is.

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Happy

Paranoid conspiracy.

The Nazi jackboot of global domination has finally arrived. Welcome to your future fucker, foxconn like factories dotted around the globe and any disagreement will feel the stick. Dystopian delusions of the elite grinding their boot into your face forever and ever as rf chips track your every movement.

Stop the world I want to get off.

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Badgers

@ "And the week after that, no doubt they'll be feeling up Your Mom."

surely that was last week, courtesy of Thousands Standing Around...

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Black Helicopters

@ James Woods

Aliens claiming portions of Arizona? Sure it isn't all just weather balloons?

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IT Angle

Aliens claiming Parts of Arizona?

Let them have Arizona and most of the knee jerk reactionists there are there. While your at it Take most of Alaska and save us from the alien that is already breeding there. PLEASE!

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Is this legal??

How can the US do this to sites offshore (e.g., tvshack.cc - quick whois tvshack.cc in Google shows it's chinese...)? I can only assume one bit of the 'service' is in USA, or the domain registrar is there. Plenty of other countries out there, chaps.

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Anonymous Coward

And the week after that, no doubt they'll be feeling up Your Mom...

..when she chooses to decline the perv scanner at the airport?

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@AC

>>"..when she chooses to decline the perv scanner at the airport?"

Well, if they sincerely think it's the greatest current infringement of their rights, and one significant enough to care about for more than a few minutes, most people could make a point of not flying.

If there aren't enough people who feel strongly enough to do that and impact airline profits, then I guess nothing would change.

And why call it a 'perv scanner' - did the people operating it join up just so they could watch the screen*?

I'd imagine it's a pretty dull job, doing it day after day, and once you've seen a few vague greyscale bodies, you've probably pretty much seen them all.

Like countless other people, I have better things to worry about than fretting whether my blurry image is special enough for someone to perv over.

I get the feeling *some* people would be offended if they went into a scanner and thought that the staff were just doing their job, and seeing at the image as one more thing that needed looking at before the next coffee break.

(*Whereas some doctors choose to *specialise* in gynecology. What kind of pervert does that make them, and how much does *that* worry your Mom?)

I'd have thought that even for a general pervert, 'blurry stressed traveller porn' would be very much a niche thing.

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Jobs Horns

Legal process is there to avoid cockups

The US government doesn't have a reputation for accuracy or independence so the fact that they are closing down sites makes people think "I'm not doing anything wrong (as far as I am aware) but I could be next because of a typo or a snarky corporate lawyer. Then what would I do?". I doubt many people would object to the seizing of a site proven to be selling unsafe counterfeit electrical goods or insecticide ridden counterfeit clothing but without real information the assumption is "US government starts shutting down sites because big corporation asked them nicely".

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Boffin

@ david wilson

the majority of human cultures have taboos on nudity.

whatever your views on those taboos are, it is understandable that many people are not comfortable with the backscatter machines, unless they feel trust with the people operating it.

and i do trust doctors a hell of a lot more than airport security.

that said, privacy is dead.

wake up people, we have atomic dielectric resonance scanners now

(or quadcorders, according to their inventor Colin Stove)...

we can image you down to the atom through ten metres of rock.

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@A T Tappman

>>"the majority of human cultures have taboos on nudity."

True, but aren't many of those along the lines of people being protected from seeing *other* people naked - that is, public nudity.

In situations where people know that they aren't going to offend other people (like communal showers in pools and gyms), most people are much more relaxed.

Surely, this'd be more a case of privacy (like having laws against peeping toms) than nudity taboos as such.

>>"and i do trust doctors a hell of a lot more than airport security."

Though a doctor *does* often know who I am.

The guy looking at the screen in the airport likely doesn't know my name, or my family, or anyone I know, doesn't care who I am, and is going to move on to someone else in a matter of seconds. They may not have even seen my face.

It's hard to imagine a nudity encounter that's much less threatening or intrusive than that.

Maybe if I'm particularly unusually-built, he'll joke about me with friends later, but that could just as well be the case if he was a medic (have you ever heard doctors talking about patients?).

As long as I don't actually find out, that wouldn't actually do me any harm.

At the moment, the images seem to be of a kind that even if images of a megacelebrity were posted on the internet, if there wasn't a name attached it's unlikely that anyone would recognise them unless they had a tin leg (and even then, people still might not know who it was unless they were also told the person was a mega-celebrity).

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Anonymous Coward

oh really?

Apparently you haven't seen the airport scanner images of Ron Jeremy...and no, that's not tin.

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Black Helicopters

Private Nudity?

I am not squimish about nudity, where does it end though?

Anyone seen the pictures that are *SWARN* not to exist on the Internet, I have.

Someone is lying and I think its the TSA.

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Unhappy

"not only tramples on due process"

The U.S. Government no longer recognises the 3-legged principle of government proposed by the founders.

Having trashed The Constitution, with minimal objections, it is now going after the courts who don't seem to be toeing the governments line.

Guess they will be seizing personal property assets next, bypassing all the niceties of procedure.

And what did Obama graduate as?

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