Update on DHS/ICE Domain Seizures

My post,The Background Dope on DHS Recent Seizure of Domains, that I published last Saturday evening generated a significant traffic spike to my blog. I had a ton of referrers coming from facebook,twitter, tech forums and a quite a few originating from tech publications. A Techdirt.com article,Homeland Security’s Domain Name Seizure May Stretch The Law Past The Breaking Point, used my post as the technical analysis of the mechanics of the “domain seizures” and then referenced this article, Domain Name Seizures and the Limits of Civil Forfeiture, by Larry Downes to examine the legality of these domain name seizures or forfeitures.

Since my original post, we have learned that these seizures were part of the “Operation In Our Sites” initiative. Indeed, this was dubbed by the DOJ as “Operation In Our Sites 2.” It should be recalled, the first phase involved the raiding of and shutting down of 9 “pirate movie sites.” These were site shutdowns, raids, executed search warrants, bank account seizures; the domain registrant information was transferred over to ownership by DHS. In phase two, none of this is going on; nothing is being seized, no one is being raided. No one is being notified of anything or presented with any warrant. You simply have a private company acting as contractual agent of the DHS modifying the .com TLD Zone Files in cooperation with VeriSign, which is the agency that has the ICANN contractual delegated authority to manage the .com TLD.

Larry Downes is discussing the issue of “pre-trial” confiscation. I’m not lawyer but I would posit here, in “Phase II,” the issue is “pre-legal” confiscation. There is no principle of law being followed here. It’s just simple manipulation of the domain name system. Everyone knows that ICANN is subject to the laws of the US. But now, perhaps it might now be dawning on people that this means today that it is more and more becoming subject to the Authority of DHS. And simply re-constituting ICANN outside of US jurisdiction is pointless. If you are paying attention to the latest rounds of disclosures from Wikileaks, it should be obvious that the informal US jurisdictional reach is is pretty ubiquitous.

To those techno-optimists out there who think p2p is the automatic answer to counter this type of thing, I question their understanding of network theory. Any scale-free network is characterized by hubs, those nodes that are highly connected. Any p2p solution that would have a hope of bypassing or supplanting the current DNS would have to evolve a type of synchronized connection hierarchy that would be vulnerable to Statist reprisal. The issue is not a technical one. It is a political one.

2 thoughts on “Update on DHS/ICE Domain Seizures

  1. Beautiful.

    I have always seen that as the Achilles heel of the internet.

    Heh. Is there a “workaround” for this one?

  2. At what point do we as a collective of Citizens, that these publicly funded entities and person work for, decide to stop the madness and take back our liberties? Seemingly, to do nothing is to allow this perpetual ideology of a few sick individuals to not only gain momentum but somehow encourage it. Enough is enough, To do nothing is to end life as we know it. What about our children futures? Do something or parish its up to all of us. What are we afraid of? Join together now and take back our Country or complain about whats happening and watch our Country fall. Keeping the basic numbers in perspective, all of the administration, all of the house, senate and the rest of the ilk that seemingly has control of our very lives cannot equal more that say 50,000 people. Are we really allowing this tiny group in the larger picture to take over and control our destinies? Time to clean house now. Please try to keep in mind that we are Americans, born of revolution. You need only check your heart of hearts to feel the connection we all have to righteous freedom. Most of us have had our family members blood spilled on our nations soil to ensure we could live free. Will you not honor this tradition if need be? Are you not willing to fight for what many have died for? If we act now there will be no need for blood shed. It is simple. Remove the criminals in our nations political positions now. Each and every positions is designed for the lay person to take office and represent the people effectively. Restore our Constitution to its literal meaning, to its word, there is no vagueness anywhere in it, it was never intended to be interpreted and manipulated to serve one private interest or another. The time to act has arrived. What will you do? Only you know the answer to this question. I will not stand by and watch as these few affect so many. There are many of you that are far more educated than I reading this comment this very moment. I implore you as my Countrymen to use this education to bring bring this group to justice and trial in front of us as Citizens, I implore you to act now so freedom that our children shall understand and enjoy the freedoms we have…… Gods speed to you all, honor your families, honor your history……stand up and fight !!!

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