Sen Wyden: domain name seizures "alarmingly unprecedented"

Source: Ars Technica
Author: Nate Anderson
Department of Homeland Security, Washington, DC, 20528, United States

Sen Ron Wyden (D-OR) has 10 tough questions for the department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), all of which can be more easily summed up in a single, blunter question: what the hell are you guys doing over there?

Wyden's displeasure is over ICE's Operation In Our Sites, the controversial program that began seizing Internet domain names last year, and just grabbed several more sports-related domains this week. The seizures are all signed off on by a federal judge, but the affected parties get no warning and no chance to first challenge the claim that they are running illegal businesses. In fact, in the most recent takedown, ICE grabbed the domain, a site that links to live sports on the Web and has twice been declared legal by Spanish courts. While different countries of course have different laws, and what may be allowable in one country would be illegal in the US, Wyden raises the obvious question of turnabout: "Did [Department of Justice] and ICE take into account the legality of before it ceased its domain name? ... What standard does DoJ expect foreign countries to use when determining whether to seize a domain name controlled in the US for copyright infringement?"



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