ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) apparently "seized" a bunch of domain pointers the last couple of days and has generated an immense amount of heat and damn little light.
I'll try to add a bit of light and hopefully, not much (if any) heat.
First, these sorts of things are not new. I used to get subpoenas from Customs on a somewhat-regular basis when I ran MCSNet. I considered them one of the more-reasonable government agencies, actually - they paid for their document production and were rational people.
For those who are unaware if you're importing something into the country (yes, digitally counts) Customs has a right to get involved. I know, I know, the all-on "open borders" folks will scream, but the fact of the matter is that this is in fact a specifically-delegated power.
Second, it appears they're actually getting court orders. This means they're convincing a Judge in a US District Court to issue the seizure warrant.
Note that they didn't seize the site - they can't, as it's outside the United States (beyond their jurisdiction.) Instead they seized the domain name pointers.
Meh. That's a lot of staff attorney time and trouble to get a big fat nothing out of it, which is exactly what they get going down this road. Why? Because all they can do is redirect the domain pointers which will do exactly nothing when the sites re-register under a top-level domain not under the US Government's jurisdiction - and there are lots of them.
So let's recap before you go crazy:
Something to get cranked up about? Sorry, but no.
This appears to have been done within the letter of the law and due process, with a warrant signed by a judge.
I just can't get excited about alleged "violations of people's rights" when in fact the law is followed, due process is observed, and warrants are issued.
Sounds like "done right" to me irrespective of the bleating that's coming from the folks who love to steal stuff.
Now about that worthless COICA bill that does nothing more than what ICE just did.....
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