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Politech is the oldest Internet resource devoted to politics and technology. Launched in 1994 by Declan McCullagh, the mailing list has chronicled the growing intersection of law, culture, technology, and politics. Since 2000, so has the Politech web site.

Federal police's new tactic: Seizing control of domain names

This isn't the first time domain names have been seized. See this, from 
WASHINGTON--Federal police have adopted a novel crime-fighting tactic: 
seizing control of domain names for Web sites that allegedly violate the 
law. Attorney General John Ashcroft said Monday that the domain names 
for several Web sites allegedly set up to sell illegal "drug 
paraphernalia" would be pointed at servers located at the Drug 
Enforcement Administration. A federal judge in Pittsburgh granted the 
U.S. Department of Justice permission to do so until a trial can take 
place, the government said.

The domain name at issue there, iSoNews.com, now redirects to 
freecellphones.com. Guess DOJ wasn't paying the domain name renewal fees.

Previous Politech message:


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Elitetorrent raids
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 18:26:26 -0700
From: Bill Stewart <bill.stewart@pobox.com>
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>

Declan - The whole thing looks odd.
I wonder who at the FBI or La Migra or Customs, if anybody,
has the legal authority to declare that
	"This Site Has been Permanently Shut Down by the
	Federal Bureau of Investigation
	and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement."
Courts can probably shut down sites temporarily before a trial,
and permanently after one.  System administrators at
the San Diego Supercomputer Center, where elitetorrents.org
web server and one name server appear to be hosted,
might very well be able to do that sort of thing
(until the domain name owners move the site.)
But police agencies can't close web sites permanently themselves.

Police of various sorts can scare operators into
closing their own site, and that may be what happened here;
presumably the Feds didn't edit the web site themselves.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Politech]  BitTorrent crackdown underway: Raids by FBI, 
Customs [ip]
Date: Wed, 25 May 2005 17:22:29 -0700 (PDT)
From: Thomas Leavitt <thomas@thomasleavitt.org>
To: <declan@well.com>
References: <20050525191355.A6094@baltwash.com>

 >          The Motion Picture Association of America provided valuable
 > assistance to the investigation.

Did they write the press release too? :)

Thomas Leavitt

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	Re: [Politech] BitTorrent crackdown underway: Raids by FBI,
Customs [ip]
Date: 	Wed, 25 May 2005 17:00:40 -0700
From: 	Earthlink <sword85282@earthlink.net>
To: 	Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
References: 	<20050525191355.A6094@baltwash.com>

/This seems strange....the government cannot seem to find the manpower
to arrest 40,000 illegals/month but they can put together a operation
that would nab perhaps one hundred people so that the entertainment
people can make more money.  So, what do we have here; Shut down the
border crossings of illegals, or....give Babs Streisand an extra couple
of million.  Hmmmm....so hard to make those decisions....Security first
or entertainment community greed./

Posted by Declan McCullagh on May 25, 2005 in category intellectual-property

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