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back to article Unprecedented domain seizure shutters 84,000 sites

The federal government's unprecedented practice of confiscating internet domain names in secret court proceedings took a new and ominous turn last week when it resulted in the closure of as many as 84,000 website addresses. The power grab came last Friday, when the mooo.com, an address a service called Free DNS used to resolve …

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class action?

So, 84,000 lawsuits anyone? Ah, right, it's the US government, they're immune to actually facing the consequences of their actions. Fascism forever!

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Anonymous Coward

Wow!

Godwin's on the first post, my hat is off to you.

While this is bad, and make no mistake - it is - it's hardly fascism. The domains were returned and a whole storm of condemnation has started. If this were a fascist state the domains wouldn't have been returned and there certainly would be no condemnation of state agencies.

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Flame

It's pretty much that.

A shadowy bureaucracy with the name "Homeland" in it, seizes goods under "morally imperative" pretensions pretty much arbitrarily, doesn't care what anyone says or whether anyone is inconvenienced, casts a general chill along the lines of "we are watching you" and will it do it again in a heartbeat?

Yeah, no fascism here, move along. On second thoughts, show me your papers.

[And a "class action suit"? Defended by taxpayer money of course. Suckers.]

[And it's not like child rape is not state sanctioned anyway. Yes, they stopped a Lynndie England.]

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Actually, the AC is right and you're wrong.

What you are describing is bog standard tyranny, not fascism. Fascism is what The Big 0 has been promoting for the last couple of years and what all of you Europeans have actually been living under for the last 40 or so: Government control of the major business decision making processes.

But you've fallen victim to the Internationalist communist propaganda that Fascism = Nazism and therefore can't differentiate between the two.

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Stop

Actually, they're not

Its just an expensive and long winded process. But 84,000 affected people constitute a good sized class so there's enough room to go after them.

Out of control Federal officials are a big problem in the US. The Feds do feel they're above the law with the result that confidence in the Federal government as anything except "the enemy" is currently at a low level (which is exploited by anti-government populist groups like the Tea Parties which, ironically, are stooges for even bigger and more oppressive government!).

Right now it looks like we need to P2P the routing domain and routing information, get it out of the area where our "little Hitlers" can screw with it.

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FAIL

"what all of you Europeans have actually been living under"

Your lack of insight would prompt moderation were I, a "European" to reply bluntly, so I'll sugar-coat it with a vague reference to a suspect education rather than cite some politically incorrect statement ending in 'hic'.

On topic, what is of greater concern is the inherent hypocracy behind this action - it is oft stated, at IGF and other forums, albeit under Chatham House Rules (u can google this term), that China and other custodians of net censorship use the evil of child pornography as a pretext to justify their draconian measures that extend far beyond the issue itself... and this seems to be exactly what the US are doing here. 84000 child porn sites? really?

The real question is were the FBI shooting from the hip on orders from an ignorant figure in departmental/judicial authority, or was this part of a wider strategy under a politically convenient banner?

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FAIL

Sorry, wrong application of Godwin's law.

Look up

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bishop_Galen#Protests_against_euthanasia.2C_Gestapo_terror.2C_forced_sterilizations_and_concentration_camps

to see an example of real fascists retreating in the middle of a real war.

Thus your argument doesn't cut it. Try another one.

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Headmaster

No Nazis-

No Godwins'.

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Megaphone

Wow! indeed

Incorrect citation of Godwin's Law, on the first reply, my hat is off to you.

From the Wiki:

"Godwin's law (also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies or Godwin's Law of Nazi Analogies) As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."

There was no mention of Nazis in OP's post. You're sort-of right though, it isn't fascism until 84,000 domains are seized for criticizing the Coca Cola Company.

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Thumb Down

“Our government has gone rogue on us”

That sums it up nicely. Not that it is my government, but I'm sure mine wouldn't be averse to similar behaviour. It seems it is easy to effectively turn off chunks of the internet : is Hilary really happy about this?

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Grenade

I'm glad they f'd it up this badly

...maybe this will finally get enough attention on this behavior to get them to stop.

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Anonymous Coward

No

86400 is the number of seconds ina day for that calculation

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Grenade

Lets not bicker about details

The point is that the action was wrong, I think a small percentage margin of error can be forgiven.

ANY nunber of sites taken down (or effectivly inaccessible) is wrong.

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3% out

OK, they were out by a little under 3%. Surely it doesn't make it a FAIL?

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Number interpretation fail

86400 is the number of seconds in a day. 172800 is the number of seconds in 2 days. The summation of those numbers you quote indicates the (maximum) time before the domain records in question will be re-requested; ie. the maximum time those _84000_ affected sites will remain inaccessible to some people.

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Anonymous Coward

Err?

Isn't the 86400 a 24hour TTL, not the number of records?

172800 = 2 days

86400 = 1 day

1 + 2 = 3 days

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Big Brother

RE G2

To quote the article

with all due respect: 'fuck off'

The number of sites is NOT the issue here. The issue is the method employed to do this by a government agency that thinks it is above the law

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Black Helicopters

Actually...

... the number of sites *is* the issue here. If ICE had taken down one domain, or a dozen, or even a few hundred, then that would be acceptable insofar as they had narrowed the range of investigation before acting. What is unacceptable - and unconstitutional - is ICE's blanket squashing of every site associated with mooo.com to look for a handful of criminals who they didn't even know for certain were there.

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Unhappy

Flawed logic

So according to you it would be ok for them to completely ignore the correct procedures as laid down in law, which have been upheld in court many times as long as it only affected a small number of domains.

1 or many the law still applies

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Right conclusion, wrong logic.

The number of sites is important because it makes it unmistakeably clear that the process puts everyone's liberty at risk. With a smaller number it could have been swept under the carpet, which still wouldn't have made it right, but then they might have gotten away with it.

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Painting a target on their backs

I'm sure Sen. Ron Wyden will be very interested in hearing the Feds explain shutting down 84,000 sites.

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Who in the hell

Would have this phrase as a registered trademark

“Our government is going into court with half-baked facts and half-baked legal theories and shutting down operations. This is exactly what we thought the government couldn't do. I'm scratching my head why we aren’t' grabbing the pitchforks.” ®

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Re: Who in the hell

That is how El Reg signs off its articles.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm not at all sure

You'd find pitchforks in many third world banana republics, no matter how much money they have.

We ARE talking about a third world banana republic, aren' we?

Sure looks like the activities of one.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: Who in the hell

Haha! Priceless.

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Anonymous Coward

You know...

...sometimes I used to voice my disgust at things like this, and people would say, "Yeah, well, wait until YOU have children!"

Well, I've got a son now, and I'm still disgusted.

I'd rather - and I'd rather have my son - live in a world that's slightly more dangerous and much more free, than the other way around. People tend to take for granted that increased safety is worth whatever cost - whether it's being fondled in airports, having our emails read, or finding that our web sites have disappeared. I disagree.

Even if we supposed that these measures made us all perfectly safe, and guaranteed our lives until disease or old age took us - what would we be alive -for-?

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Coat

The other way around

I think we'd all prefer a world that is slightly more dangerous and much more free than one that is slightly more free and much more dangerous.

Yeah, yeah... I'm going...

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Why do I need a title to reply to a post?

But, as the Mirror would doubtless say...if it saves the life of one child...

To be honest, I don't think the life of one child is worth all the crap we have to put up with these days in the name of child protection...but I'm a miserable old sod, and I don't care.

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Paris Hilton

Great idea - if they think further..

..they'd have to arrest all their soldiers and federal agents immediately beacause some have been convicted of rape and/or murder and many other hideous crimes...and wouldn't that make the world a better place

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Pint

Operation Protect Our Children?

Why not call it by it's real name, "Operation Won't Somebody Think of the Children!", it's obviously designed with Daily Express/Mail/Sun mentaility types in mind, stir up a bit of the old peado-geddon ruckus again!

You can imagine the DHS meeting. "So we need to take down a few sites with the CP on it yes? Why don't we just pull the plug the whole domain? So a few people with some pictures of their pets go offline for a few days, so freaking what?! Yeah threaten the domain owner with the CP laws and 30 years in jail, he'll snap and we can make ourselves feel big and push our point home far quicker."

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The USG pissing on their own constitution (again).

They are not the good guys and you cannot trust them.

I hope the inevitable EU anti-perv legislation states that when they find cheese pizza they block THE IMAGE not the website, host, ISP, and DNS service.

Come on guys. Don't stoop to the level of the USG. That would be embarrassing.

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No they aren't. You obviously haven't been paying attention.

They told you the Constitution means exactly what THEY say it means, even if what THEY say it means contradicts what is clearly written in it. See the Kelso decison.

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Stop

the answer is simple

vote with your feet. dont use anything hosted in america. Plenty of other providers out there.

simple.

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+1

mind you i dont think i would Ever use American hosting UK all the way baby !!!!

I eat British Beef and Use UK Providers (made in taiwan :/ cant have everything)

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Go

I do, already

"vote with your feet. dont use anything hosted in america. Plenty of other providers out there."

Try and have a properly run horse racing rating site hosted in the Land of the Free. Ha!

No, the UK for me all the way. Whilst the Monarch of the Realm owns a few horses, has a few punts then we're going to be safe for a while from fascist nannyisms.

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Black Helicopters

titletitletitle

You think that hosting, dns + domain registrar outside the US protects you from this? The USG holds all the cards. If they want your site down they'll get an order to have your (or your provider's) domain delisted and you got even bigger problems because you don't have ACLU/EFF et al types jumping up and down on Obama's head to get the service back up. You're instead relying on the company - say they're British - hiring lawyers in the US to make this somehow work, and the US consititution doesn't actually apply because you're not a US company/citizen.

Now you're instead trying to get the WTO or something to try to get the US govt to fix this, all your customers are freaking out and going elsewhere, the British govt can't do anything and probably wouldn't even if they could. Hell the FBI probably told them you like pictures of children by now anyways so you've got other concerns.

What it actually needs is for the domain and IP system to be decentralised from the US - but the problem with that is it gives them power to wield so obviously it'll be over their cold, dead bodies.

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Mathster! Mathster! The villagerth are resthleth!

"Eric Goldman, a professor at Santa Clara University School of Law said. “Our government is going into court with half-baked facts and half-baked legal theories and shutting down operations. This is exactly what we thought the government couldn't do. I'm scratching my head why we aren’t' grabbing the pitchforks.”

I now have visions of the US Government living in a dark castle at the top of the hill with the US citizens marching up with pitchforks and flamming torches to burn them out.

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Pirate

As an American

I can only say "If it were only that simple..."

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Megaphone

Fuk Pitchforks, The Bill Of Rights...

*

...was written "in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added"

This might have set a record for most rights trampled in a single action.

First Amendment: Not Just speech, but peaceful assembly. This is why dictatorships want a kill switch.

Third amendment: By a tiny stretch, linking a government webpage is like quartering a soldier.

Fourth Amendment: Yep.

Fifth Amendment: Flipping a switch, or worse, bullying someone else into flipping it is hardly due process.

Sixth Amendment: Jury Schmury.

Seventh Amendment: We don't need no stinking civil law, we are the government.

Eighth Amendment: IF it were MY website down, the angst and hours listening to on hold music would be cruel and unusual.

Ninth Amendment: This was the poster child for mission creep.

Tenth Amendment: We know we can't do this, but think of the children.

So, with a little help from legal acrobatics, we can demonstrate that Certain agencies of our Government have managed to activate all our Bill of Rights protections except the Second... Oh, wait... Pitchfork Upgrades.

*When Magaphones are outlawed, only outlaws will have megaphones.

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And why exactly the short shrift

for the Second?

because that's the one that will enable us to carry the pitchforks when the time comes.

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Coat

Pitchforks?

I thought *this sort of thing* was the reason, the only reason, above all else, so help me Jeebus, for every man and his dog, to own a fucking gun.

Pitchforks.

Perhaps that is all the 'citizens' can handle now? **

Sad.

*Down with this sort of thing!

**Careful now.

I'm off, before I cause offence...

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Black Helicopters

When megaphones and keyboards are banned…

…they can pry mine out of my cold, dead fingers. Though I expect they'll more likely use black Suburbans than black helicopters.

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Wow, the US is oficially now as bad as Australia and China.

Well done!

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WTF?

Waddya mean, "oficially [sic] now as bad"?

Where have YOU been the last decade?!?

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Unhappy

Panem et circenses

"I'm scratching my head why we aren’t' grabbing the pitchforks."

A. Bread and circuses.

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Franklin

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

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Pitchforks

" I'm scratching my head why we aren’t' grabbing the pitchforks."

What good is a Pitchfork against the armada of lethal weaponary the US government has ?

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Grenade

They thought of that one...

Fortunately the US Constitution supports the right to bear arms precisely so that people can take them up in revolution against an unjust government...

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Stop

And yet...

...they will continue to sleepwalk into a dictatorship, just so long as the government doesn't touch their right to bear arms.

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