DHS Shuts Down Copyrighted Material Websites

Remember back a few days ago, I mention the “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act” passing the Senate judiciary committee? Well, apparently the Department of Homeland Security and their Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit doesn’t need any other stinking law. As Torrent Freak reports

Following on the heels of this week’s domain seizure of a large hiphop file-sharing links forum, it’s clear today that the U.S. Government has been very busy. Without any need for COICA, ICE has just seized the domain of a BitTorrent meta-search engine along with those belonging to other music linking sites and several others which appear to be connected to physical counterfeit goods.

Torrent Freak has a screenshot of the takedown message, which is also available if you go to torrent-finder.com. In fact, they did this to over 75 websites dealing with copyrighted material. Raw Story (yes, I’m actually linking that site) adds

Homeland Security’s ability to shut down sites without a court order evidently comes from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a Clinton-era law that allows Web sites to be closed on the basis of a copyright complaint. Critics have long assailed the DMCA for being too broad, as complainants don’t need to prove copyright infringement before a site can be taken down.

If you read the two stories, it seems strange for Torrent Finder to be shut down. The others make sense. But, it seems rather strange for this to be done under the DHS and their subsidiary ICE. I guess customs enforcement sort of comes under their banner, but, really, homeland security? Their plan is

  • Prevent terrorism and enhance security
  • Protect the borders against illicit trade, travel and finance
  • Protect the borders through smart and tough interior immigration enforcement
  • Construct an efficient, effective agency

One would think this would come strictly under the auspices of the Department of Justice. Might it be a tad worrisome that the DHS is getting involved, or, much ado over nothing?

PS thought: if they can do this, why in the hell can’t they shut down Wikileaks?

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6 Responses to “DHS Shuts Down Copyrighted Material Websites”

  1. Very worrisome DHS is involved in this action (what’s the link to terrorism?). It (“Homeland Security”) always sounded Soviet to me, and has definitely proven itself useless to its designed purpose.

    http://libertyatstake.blogspot.com/
    “Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive”

  2. Yeah, it is strange. I agree with shutting down most of the sites which are purely involved in copyright infringement, but, this is heavy handed. DHS/ICE? No warrant? No cease and desist notice? Just “BAMM!”?

  3. gitarcarver says:

    Sorry Teach, but none of this makes any sense.

    This is an extension of the “drug seizures” idea where a person’s property is seized without any type of due process.

    You are correct in that none of these sites have anything to do with Homeland Security. It is just a workaround so that the Obama administration can pay back their cronies.

  4. Ron says:

    “If you read the two stories, it seems strange for Torrent Finder to be shut down.”

    Why? Because the infinately biased torrent news website says so?

    They’re argument is if you run a website that only displays kiddy porn, it’s somehow different if you don’t host the images yourselves, you just link to other sites. If you do this, your website that does nothing but display child pornography is not a child pornography site.

    “if they can do this, why in the hell can’t they shut down Wikileaks?”

    They can, but this wouldn’t achieve anything. The only leaks you care about there aren’t released on the website. They’re released to various newspapers and elsewhere online in encrypted form.

    Whatever you’ve read that’s been leaked by Wikileaks, you didn’t download it off their website the same as 99% of the rest of the world didn’t.

  5. gitarcarver says:

    If you do this, your website that does nothing but display child pornography is not a child pornography site.

    And that would be entirely correct.

    Most people know someone who sell drugs. Does that mean that those same people are guilty of selling or purchasing drugs?

    The protection of intellectual property is a civil issue. What is DHS doing getting involved with this at all?

  6. captainfish says:

    Gitarcarver and Liberty, I agree. The fact that DHS is getting involved is a very bad precedent. This means now, an armed force can now be deployed inside the US to impose civil law all on the guise of “homeland security”.

    … a civilian military force with all the power and might of the armed forces….

    ring a bell?

    This is just another example of the rules of law being ignored and pissed on. No attempt to even try and hide that fact any more.

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