RealNews

Big Brother and your browser

The U.S. Justice Department is experimenting with an Internet crime-fighting technique that raises novel legal, technical and privacy concerns. The tactic: domain name forfeiture. In two separate cases last week, the Justice Department seized domains for Web sites that it claimed were engaging in illegal activity. The first set of domains were allegedly used to sell drug paraphernalia such as bongs and marijuana cigarette holders. Now visitors to PipesForYou.com, 420now.com, OmniLounge.com and ColorChangingGlass.com are greeted by this hair-raising alert: “By application of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, the Web site you are attempting to visit has been restrained by the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.” The second case involved David Rocci’s iSoNews.com, which he handed to the feds as part of a plea bargain in which he admitted to selling illegal “mod” chips for Xbox and PlayStation game consoles. Rocci will be sentenced under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA ) on March 7 before a federal judge in Alexandria, Va. iSoNews.com now says: “The domain and Web site were surrendered to U.S. law enforcement pursuant to a federal prosecution and felony plea agreement for conspiracy to violate criminal copyright laws.” Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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