Jerry Jackson

Posts Tagged ‘United States Department of Justice’

ICE Seizes More Domains Today, Admin Says “We’ll Be Back”

In Activism, Big Business, Hacktivist, Human Rights, Internet Censorship, Military, Police State, Society on May 29, 2011 at 9:34 am

Internet Censorship

Censorship in the U.S.

Yesterday and without warning, US authorities resumed “Operation In Our Sites” seizing several domain names associated with copyright infringement and counterfeiting. Today, yet more domains were added to the growing list. TorrentFreak caught up with one site owner who told us that while they were taken by surprise by a “pointless” seizure, they’ll soon be back.
As indicated in our exclusive report yesterday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have resumed “Operation In Our Sites”, the domain name seizing initiative designed to crack down on copyright infringement.

Following on from the most recent set of seizures in February, yesterday’s action represents the fourth phase of the operation. The following six domains were taken:

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* Re1ease.net
* Watchnewfilms.com
* Dvdcollectionsale.com
* Dvdscollection.com
* Dvdsetsonline.com
* Newstylerolex.com

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Today the list has grown again to include the following:

* mygolfaccessory.com
* overbestmall.com

TorrentFreak managed to catch up with PiraCee, an admin at Re1ease.net, a portal that did not host any copyrighted material itself but linked to movie and TV shows on sites like Megavideo.com.

“We were not informed [that the seizure was imminent] in any way,” he told us. “I was just presented with the ICE image upon doing a page refresh.”

For those unfamiliar with the site, Re1ease.net was founded following PiraCee’s split with Ninjavideo.net in late 2008. NinjaVideo, readers will recall, succumbed to ICE raids in 2010 and never recovered.

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While undoubtedly quite busy with around 10,000 visitors a day, Re1ease.net was not one the largest sites of its type on the Internet. Indeed, others with significantly higher levels of traffic remain intact, untouched by ICE.

“I don’t believe we were doing anything wrong at all. Many higher profile sites remain unaffected,” PiraCee told us.

So why was Re1ease singled out? Despite being operated from outside the United States, did they have a bad attitude to DMCA takedowns perhaps?

“We have only ever had two DMCA takedown requests – for Source Code and Hobo With a Shotgun,” PiraCee told us. “We removed both.”

But despite losing their domain, a body-blow event for any site, Re1ease.net aren’t giving in.

“We will be back,” said PiraCee, as the site mulled over a possible domain change this morning. “Give us about a week.”

That was a few hours ago though, and things move very quickly in this game.

“Scrrls.net will be our new domain and will be up and running soon as we fix our backend,” PiraCee assured us. Indeed, it appears to be fully functioning now.

TorrentFreak continues to monitor developments in phase 4 of Operation in Our Sites and if any additional domains are seized we will update this report.

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DOJ defends WikiLeaks probe of Twitter accounts

In Activism, Hacktivist, Human Rights, Internet Censorship, Police State, Society, Wikileaks on April 10, 2011 at 3:33 am


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The U.S. Justice Department today dismissed as “absurd” any privacy and free speech concerns about its request for access to the Twitter accounts of WikiLeaks volunteers.

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In a 32-page brief filed in federal court in Virginia, prosecutors characterized their request for a court order as a “routine compelled disclosure” that raises no constitutional issues.

These types of records “are widely subpoenaed by grand juries without raising ‘chilling effects,’ or occasioning constitutional litigation and delays,” prosecutors wrote. Any claim that Twitter’s logs “are subject to heightened protections under the First Amendment is baseless,” they say, adding that there is no “legitimate expectation of privacy” in Internet addresses provided to a third party.

Today’s brief follows an appeal that attorneys representing the WikiLeaks volunteers filed March 25. A hearing has been set for later this month in Arlington, Va., before U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady.

The attorneys’ appeal to O’Grady seeks to throw out a magistrate judge’s ruling on March 11 that granted prosecutors access to the accounts, including information about what Internet and e-mail addresses are associated with them. The government sought the court order as part of a grand jury probe that appears to be investigating whether WikiLeaks principals, including editor Julian Assange, violated American criminal laws.

The accounts at issue include Birgitta Jónsdóttir, a member of the Icelandic parliament who helped with WikiLeaks’ release of a classified U.S. military video; Seattle-based WikiLeaks volunteer Jacob Appelbaum; and Dutch hacker and XS4ALL Internet provider co-founder Rop Gonggrijp. The order also sought records relating to Assange and suspected WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning, who did not contest the request.

The Justice Department’s brief filed this afternoon, which asks O’Grady to “direct Twitter to fully and promptly comply,” also raises a series of other arguments including: criminal procedures instead of civil should apply; the order complied with the Stored Communications Act; and that the Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply.

In their own brief last month, attorneys for the Twitter account holders said prosecutors’ request violates federal law, “intrudes upon” their clients’ First Amendment right to freedom of association, and “threatens” their right to privacy. (PDF)

The court order approved by U.S. Magistrate Judge Theresa Buchanan would require Twitter to divulge “all” direct messages, even ones unrelated to WikiLeaks, argue the ACLU, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and a host of private attorneys representing the Twitter account holders. It “has a chilling effect not only on the parties’ speech and association rights,” they say, “but on the rights of Twitter users in general.”

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This case came to light in January, when Twitter notified the subscribers that prosecutors had obtained a court order for their “account information.” That led Jónsdóttir, Appelbaum, and Gonggrijp to retain their own attorneys, who filed motions asking the judge to overturn her earlier decision.

The U.S. government began a criminal investigation of WikiLeaks and Assange last July after the Web site began releasing what would become a deluge of confidential military and State Department files. In November, Attorney General Eric Holder said that the probe was “ongoing,” and a few weeks later an attorney for Assange said he had been told that a grand jury had been empaneled in Alexandria, Va.

Buchanan’s order isn’t a traditional subpoena or search warrant–in fact, if the Justice Department obtained a search warrant, the ACLU and EFF would likely drop the case. Rather, it’s what’s known as a 2703(d) order, which allows police to obtain certain records from a Web site or Internet provider if they are “relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation.” In this case, prosecutors are asking for logs and other information about the account but not “content” such as direct messages.

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Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20052249-281.html#ixzz1J4FOtUab


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World Day against Cyber Censorship March 12th.

In Activism, Hacktivist, Human Rights, Internet Censorship, Society, World News on March 10, 2011 at 12:59 am


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Internet companies such as Yahoo! Inc., Google and Microsoft Corporation have made it possible for people around the world to communicate, interact, exchange ideas and challenge each other’s political, religious and cultural views. But for the millions of people who live in countries where freedom of expression, creativity and peaceful thought are not respected or protected, these concepts remain unknown or unfulfilled.
March 12 is recognized as an international day of action against Internet censorship. Amnesty International USA supports the efforts of Reporters Without Borders to call attention to online freedom of expression on this day and joins them in calling on Yahoo! Inc., Google and Microsoft Corporation to give all Internet users worldwide one day of uncensored Internet search and blogging on March 12.

Internet Censorship

Censorship

WASHINGTON, February 17, 2011 – The Senate Judiciary Committee conducted a hearing Wednesday to address potential criticisms of the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Acts (COICA), which would target websites dedicated to stealing American intellectual property.
The bill empowers the Department of Justice to issue court orders to Internet service providers (ISPs), search engines, payment processors and online advertising networks who do not refrain from providing their services to rogue websites. The DOJ defines these “rogue” websites as those that promote either copyright infringement or the sale of counterfeit goods.

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Internet Censorship

 

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Stop COICA

 

 


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