informationliberation
The news you're not supposed to know...




Austrian Economics: Understand Economics, Understand the World
The Century of the Self: The Untold History of Controlling the Masses Through the Manipulation of Unconscious Desires
The Disappearing Male: From Virility to Sterility

The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off
Operation Gladio: The Hidden History of U.S. Sponsored False Flag Terrorism in EuropeThe New American Century: The Untold History of The Project for the New American Century
(more)
Article posted Dec 01 2010, 9:04 PM Category: Big Brother/Orwellian Source: Techdirt Print

Homeland Security Admits That It's The Private Police Force Of The Entertainment Industry

by Mike Masnick

We've been quite concerned about the legality of Homeland Security's domain name seizures -- especially in cases where they took down sites that had a ton of legitimate content, such as various hip hop blogs, with no due process and no adversarial hearings. One other concern was where Homeland Security's direction on this was coming from. As we noted, in an earlier similar domain name seizure situation, Homeland Security announced the seizures from Disney's headquarters -- which should raise lots of eyebrows. As we said at the time, imagine any other government agency announcing a third party action that benefits a particular company from that company's offices. For example, imagine the FTC announcing antitrust actions against Google from Microsoft's offices. Wouldn't people question the legitimacy of that?

Well, apparently, Homeland Security and the folks in its Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) group have no qualms at all about being quite upfront and frank about both the fact that they're acting as Hollywood's private police force and that they have little concern for due process. Entertainment Weekly spoke with Erik Barnett, the "assistant deputy director" for ICE, and he readily admitted that they were taking orders from the industry:
"In general, what we can say is, there are specific complaints from rights holders that these sites were infringing on copyrights."
That alone should give you pause. Rights holders have a long and very detailed history of greatly over-exaggerating when their rights were supposedly being "infringed" upon. Remember Jack Valenti of the MPAA claiming that the VCR was the Boston Strangler to the movie industry? Why didn't Customs "swoop in" and block all VCRs from being sold? Why? Because that would be ridiculous. So why is it effectively doing the exact same thing here?

As for due process, Barnett apparently doesn't care, and pretends that due process is basically ICE says you're guilty, so you are:
"I mean, when we're conducting criminal investigations, we don't notify criminals that you need to abate your criminal conduct or there's going to be an enforcement action against you," says Barnett. He is not particularly sympathetic to bloggers who might feel that the shutdowns have damaged their livelihoods without due process. "I understand that this is a question that gets raised," he says. "But from a law enforcement agency standpoint, there's criminal activity. The process that's set up to address that is a law enforcement agency investigates, which is what Homeland Security Investigations does. The Justice Department determines if the elements of the criminal statute have been met. And then a judge determines if the enforcement action that's proposed -- in this case, a seizure warrant -- is appropriate. So that's the process.
Notice he never mentions an actual trial where the other side gets to put forth its arguments. Of course, for those of us who actually understand due process -- as opposed to just Barnett's cowboy process, we understand that normally you have an adversarial hearing where the other side gets to present its case before summarily being declared guilty. If there's "criminal activity" (and even that's questionable -- as it's difficult to see how what these blogs did goes beyond civil infringement, if it really was infringing at all), then you arrest them and put them on trial. You don't just seize the domains.

Barnett also claims that this is no different than Customs seizing shipments of counterfeit goods as they enter the US, but that's a huge stretch. Customs' job is to guard what crosses the borders. That's it. Seizing entire domain names because there may be some infringing material on the site (which, again, was never established at a trial) has absolutely nothing to do with protecting the borders. And the very fact that Barnett's already admitted to relying on the industry's say so that these things are infringing is downright scary. Why are our tax dollars being used to protect legacy entertainment industry companies that refuse to adapt?





Latest Big Brother/Orwellian
- Florida Legislators Introduce Bill That Would Strip Certain Site Owners Of Their Anonymity
- 'Officer Awareness' Memo: Police Accountability Recording App Could Lead To Dangerous 'Flash Mobs'
- Are Your Devices Hardwired For Betrayal?
- US Court Rules That Kim Dotcom Is A 'Fugitive' And Thus DOJ Can Take His Money
- GCHQ and NSA Collaborate to Steal the Keys to Your Cellphone
- Innocent College Student Subject to Restraining Order for Resembling Alleged Rapist
- Google Joins Civil Liberties Groups To Oppose Expansion of FBI Spy Powers
- State License Plate Reader Bans Pick Up Steam









No Comments Posted Add Comment


Add Comment
Name
Comment

* No HTML


Verification *
Please Enter the Verification Code Seen Below
 


PLEASE NOTE
Please see our About Page, our Disclaimer, and our Comments Policy.


FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which in some cases has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purposes of news reporting, education, research, comment, and criticism, which constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the DMCA and other applicable intellectual property laws. It is our policy to remove material from public view that we believe in good faith to be copyrighted material that has been illegally copied and distributed by any of our members or users.

About Us - Disclaimer - Privacy Policy



Advanced Search
Username:

Password:

Remember Me
Forgot Password?
Register

Peaceful Man Shot In The Face During Botched Drug Raid, No Drugs or Guns Found - 03/05Watch this Police Officer Get Owned After He Pulls Over a Former Cop for Honking at Him - 03/04Cop Executes Perfectly Healthy Pony, Tells Family Animal Was 'Hit By Car' - 03/05Wyoming Governor Vetoes Asset Forfeiture Bill, Because Asset Forfeiture 'Is Right' - 03/04Female Cop Escapes Punishment After Casually Beating & Bloodying Woman Who Called 911 For Help - 03/03Video Exposes Lying Cops After they Break Handcuffed Man's Skull Open & Claim he Did it to Himself - 03/04"I Get Paid to Beat Up F**king N**gers Like You!" Cop Rages During Video Game Session - 03/04Report: Cops Tased Man Repeatedly "Until His Heart Blew Out" - 03/03

Man Follows Speeding Cop, Finds Out He Was Speeding To Buy PeanutsMission Creeps: Homeland Security Agents Confiscate Women's Panties For 'Copyright Infringement'Cop Shoots Couple's Dog, Threatens Jail For Trying To Save Dog's LifeSWAT Team Shoots Teen Girl & Her Dog During Pot Raid On Wrong HomeDurham, NC Cop Testifies Faking 911 Calls To Enter Homes Is "Official Policy"Indiana Sheriff Says US A "War Zone" To Justify New MRAP Military VehicleTampa Cops Surveil Pot Dealer, Catch Him Selling Pot, Raid His Home & Kill Him"You Just Shot An Unarmed Man!": Witness Says Police Shot His Friend With His Hands Up
(more)

 
Top