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Old 12-04-12, 16:48   #1
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Default US DoJ Seized 758 Domains Since June 2010

ICE, DoJ Have Seized 758 Domains Since June 2010

April 10, 2012 By puranjay, DNF Blog

Yesterday, ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) seized $896,000 and the domain names of seven websites accused of selling counterfeit products online. The two agencies also revealed that since June 2010 the two agencies have seized 758 domains in total as part of an oft-criticized ‘Operations in Our Sites’ campaign to curb counterfeiting online.

Operations in Our Sites is part of a broader initiative within the government to fight counterfeiting and piracy online – a move that has been very vocally protested against by free speech advocates as a major target of this initiative has been torrent and file-upload websites (including MegaUpload). The DoJ and ICE have shown certain heavy-handedness in shutting down websites, best evinced in the example of MegaUpload and Bodog.

While the former was shut down rather unceremoniously, Bodog’s domain name was seized despite the lack of any court ruling or order stating so. This ‘all guns blazing’ attitude (of which PIPA and SOPA were certainly parts of) has earned the wrath of free speech advocates across the globe, who claim that the US government has been acting beyond its jurisdiction in seizing websites and domains often hosted and registered in different countries.

This particular shut-down yesterday was targeted at Chinese sellers selling counterfeit name-brand products, including jerseys, sports equipment, etc.

If you know anything about the Chinese internet, you would, of course, know that shutting down a handful of counterfeit goods sellers amounts to little more than siphoning off a bucket of water from the ocean. By any means, this is public posturing at best; when fake Apple stores can operate with impunity in China, and local car manufacturers shamelessly rip-off popular car models, can the shutting down of a few websites really contribute much to controlling online counterfeiting?

DoJ's Announcement Header on their site;


Department of Justice

Office of Public Affairs
Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Department of Justice Seizes More Than $896,000 in Proceeds from the Online Sale of Counterfeit Sports Apparel
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