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DHS seizing websites guilty of copyright infringement

By Aaron Jefferson     Nov 27, 2010 in Internet
The past several days have seen the Department of Homeland Security, through its investigative arm seize dozens of domain names linked with copyright infringement.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arm of the Department of Homeland Security is responsible for the seizures that include sites facilitating the illegal music downloads and bootleg goods.
Visitors to,, and will now find a message from the ICE-Homeland Security Investigations saying: "This domain name has been seized by ICE--Homeland Security Investigations, pursuant to a seizure warrant issued by a United States District Court."
The seizures follow in the wake of the recent Swedish court ruling sentencing the founders of The Pirate Bay, the most popular file-sharing website to a period of jail time and a fine totaling in the millions.
The ICE went ahead with the seizures despite never being granted the power to do so. The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) bill currently in the Senate would grant the ICE the ability to seize any website that has no "has no demonstrable, commercially significant purpose or use other than" offering or providing access to unauthorized copies of copyrighted works."
A message from the founder of the TorrentFreak argued, "My domain has been seized without any previous complaint or notice from any court!". Also, within the message was a list of 70 websites seized by the ICE, all of which occurred within the last week.
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