According to a Reuters release United States and European authorities seized 132 domain names. According to DNN’s knowledge this is the first time that an international cooperation in order to seize domain names happened like this:
ICE agents seized 101 domain names in the United States and 31 were taken over by officers in Britain, Romania, Belgium, France and Denmark and by Europol, the European Police Office, ICE Director John Morton said.
A list of the domains has not been published, so it is not quite clear if ccTLDs were also involved. One person in the US was arrested.
The Cyber Monday seizures raise the total number of U.S. sites taken over to 1,630 since ICE began its anti-counterfeit campaign in June 2010.
PayPal accounts identified with the sites and holding a total of more than $175,000 are being targeted for seizure, the ICE statement said.
According to Dailychanges there have been no domains there were added to the previously used nameservers (ns1.seizedservers.com) recently, however we did notice that apparently one of the seized names, golfstaring.com, has expired at Network Solutions and the nameservers were changed to “ns1/2.pendingrenewaldeletion.com”.
As reported by Wired today the US Government has returned the seized domain names of Spanish forum RojaDirecta.com/org domains after the government dropped their claim on Wednesday – 19 months after the domains were originally seized.
The seizing of the domains happened as part of the “Operation in our Sites” together with eight other sites that were accused of being connected to broadcasting pirated video streams of professional sports.
The government, which seized the domain names for simply including links to copyrighted content, dropped the Rojadirecta claim, seemingly due to a recent ruling by Judge Richard Posner. Posner, one of the nation’s most respected judges, knocked down charges that a video bookmarking site was infringing copyright law, just because its users linked to copyrighted videos.
The operator of the site, Puerto 80, said the site that has 865,000 registered users has not committed any copyright infringement. As a discussion board about sports, politics and other topics some of the users may have linked to pirated streams. The group had been trying to negotiate with the US government, but were told that they would only receive control over their domain names again if the site would prohibit its users from linking to any US content.
It looks like the domains are currently though, the site is not back online yet. Interestingly it also looks like the “last updated” date in the registry has not been changed when the domain was seized or returned.
As reported by Wired, it appears that domain seizures are no longer the domain of the ICE alone. It appears that registrar Go Daddy took down the hosted webform service JoftForm.com by changing the domain name’s nameservers. Even though an update to a blog post about the suspension on the site’s blog mentioned that the site is back online, DNN has not been able to access it under it’s old domain name at the time of this post.
- The Domain was suspended on February 15th, 2012
- JotForm asked their users to switch their form integrations from JotForm.com to Jotform.net
- The company operating JetForm (Interlogy Internet Technologies) switched their other domains from Go Daddy to Namecheap and Hover.
- The nameservers were switched back at Feb 16th 5pm EST
- 2 million user generated forms by hundreds of thousand of users were affected by the take down
- Interlogy Internet Technologies has yet to receive an explanation for the shutdown of the site
Last year the ICE seized mooo.com, which runs a free DNS service, and shut down 84,000 subdomains for two days while they were targeting a single site within the network.
(c) 2012 DomainNameNews.com (9)
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In light of the recent domain name seizures, a new Add-on for Firefox called “MAFIAA Fire“, bypasses the seizure of domain names by the US government. The plugin contains a list of the seized domains and will redirect the user to an alternative site if available.
TorrentFreak got in touch with the MAFIAA Fire developer, who told us that this is just the beginning. Inspired by a quote from John Gilmore who once said “the Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it,” they are determined to retaliate against these and other censorship attacks.
Read More: Firefox Add-on ‘Undoes’ U.S. Government Domain Seizures | TorrentFreak.
(c) 2011 DomainNameNews.com (6)
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As reported before, the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has taken to seizing domain names when it sees potential copyright infringement or other unlawful items. On February 15th, as part of their “Operation Protect Our Children”, they seized another ten domain names. According to Torrentfreak, this included the domain mooo.com, which is used to operate some 84,000 sub domain sites through the Free DNS service. Apparently the ICE had discovered a child pornography site hosted on one of the sub domains. DotWeekly also reported this earlier.
It appears the domain mooo.com had its previous nameservers restored at the time of writing this, but for two days they displayed a message saying that the domain was seized due to child pornography.
(c) 2011 DomainNameNews.com (3)
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