DHS seizes Internet
Bill S.3804 recently passed Senate Judiciary Committee (19-0) and is awaiting a vote from the Senate. Those responsible for inter alia IP rights infringements, were sleeping (quite) well, at least until the bill will (if ever) be passed... but suddenly domain names started disappearing from the net...
|Current content of one of the sized sites today|
Plenty of choices
The biggest surprise for many is that neither provisions of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) or Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) has been applied (the latter is not yet in power). Department of Homeland Security (DHS) executed "traditional" court-ordered seizure warrants against a number of domain names preceded by undercover purchases from online retailers suspected of selling counterfeit goods.
With existing DMCA, current DHS practice and upcoming COICA are we facing more and more such seizures? The recent DHS actions show that digital-business becomes easier to be targeted by US-based Law Enforcement Agencies and more different practical tools and methods can be used to enforce the law:
- (traditional) physical closure of the business and seizures of the equipment etc.,
- (traditional) blocking (removing) the illegal content located on the servers,
- (new) domain seizures at the Registrar level,
- (new) domain seizures at the Registry level,
- (new) removal of the Name Servers,
- (new) blocking financial transaction provider from completing payment transactions between its customers located within the United States and the Internet site.
Are the criminals going to move to Internet-safe havens (ccTLDs) not being under US jurisdiction? Quite likely, but which (cc)TLDs are going to be the safe havens? Crooks will be soon forced to use not only domain names from outside the jurisdiction of US but also:
- DNS service providers (Name Servers),
- collocation or hosting providers,
- financial transaction providers.