Obama Shuts Down Websites Without Due Process-What is Next?

What Constitution?

The Department of Homeland Security seized control of and shut down dozens of web sites SUSPECTED of facilitating internet users in the downloading of copyrighted music.  The arm of DHS that illegally shut down these sites was Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the same department who is incapable of stopping illegal immigration into this country.  ICE gave the proprietors of these sites no warnings, did not read them their Miranda Rights, but merely pulled the plug and routed the users to a DHS warning.  What happened to Due Process; Illegal Search and Seizure; and a whole host of other constitutional protections.

First DHS harasses US citizens and denies them their rights under illegal search and seizure at airports, now they are taking down websites without any apparent legal proceedings to establish or convict of wrong doing.  What is next, blogs that disagree with DHS?  How about targeting Pedophile sites after due process?  If you don’t think this government is out of control and will stop at nothing to abridge personal freedoms for the “common good” you are sadly mistaken.  Congress is considering giving this Administration even broader powers over the internet.  We better stop and smell the roses and stop this personal intrusion now.  It is almost too late.

We absolutely do not condone theft in any form but the theft of a Lady Gaga song versus the theft of our Constitutional Rights is no contest.

RD Pierini

http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/130763-homeland-security-dept-seizes-domain-names

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2 thoughts on “Obama Shuts Down Websites Without Due Process-What is Next?”

  1. Good question. The Federal Investigation is named “Operation in Our Sites.” Piracy of copyrighted materials is typically covered by DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) and other statutes relating to copyright infringement. Violations are usually litigated in civil court. As a software provider, we have had to litigate suspected piracy a few times. This case where the Federal Government directly shuts down the site is unprecedented as far as I can tell.

    That said: RICO statutes, Patriot Act, Interstate Commerce Laws, and other peripheral types of criminal enforecement tools may have been used to go after internet sites that the Federal Government “deems inappropriate”. The sites were not only shut down but their banks accounts and other assets were seized. This implies that a judge pre-approved this action but I absolutely cannot find any sourcing for either the court order, or the law citing the violations. I will keep researching and post an updated article as soon as I can. The fact that ICE is the enforcement agency over copyright infringement is interesting so one would assume the Feds are using some type of customs law but that normally applies to items brought into the US from foreign soil?

    The bottom line is the piracy is bad and costs all of us a lot of money every year. I am not too keen on the Government walking in and shutting down domains and websites. I am not to keen on the Government even having the ability to shut down web sites without a lot of public oversight (us not Congress). Keep an eye on Congress, there are a lot of bills floating around that will give the Fed even more power over managing or taking down all or portions of the internet…

    Here are some reference sites regarding Copyright Piracy (copyright infringement):
    http://www.chillingeffects.org/piracy/faq.cgi#QID285

    See: Digital Millennium Copyright Act: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Millennium_Copyright_Act

    Chapter 5 Definitions: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html

    CNET Article:http://news.cnet.com/8301-31001_3-20009348-261.html

  2. what sort of legal precedence was used when they shut these sites down? I have looked all be it not extensively, looking for what granted ICE the authority to do what they did without warning or a warrant.

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