One of the most worrisome things is happening on the web right now and with increasing frequency. Domains are being seized by the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security under the auspices of ICE. Not only are they being seized but it is happening without any notification but also apparently with the assistance of ICANN.
In a story that doesn’t seem to be getting any press from any of the major tech blogs ICE has gone on a warpath against any an all torrent types sites regardless of the fact that some of these sites don’t even list or store torrent files themselves.
TorrentFreak has the story of the newest domain seizure where Torrent-Finder.com suddenly started displaying the seizure notice from the U.S. Government and this is where it gets really bothersome. You see Torrent-Finder doesn’t provide any tracker services, carries no torrents, and lists no copyright works unless an individual intentionally searches for them. Even then the results are not displayed direct by the site but rather as in an iframe which means Torrent-Finder doesn’t touch any of the results.
The second really scary part of this is that the seizure was down without the participation of GoDaddy, the actual host of Torrent-Finder.
“My domain has been seized without any previous complaint or notice from any court!” the exasperated owner of Torrent-Finder told TorrentFreak this morning.
“I firstly had DNS downtime. While I was contacting GoDaddy I noticed the DNS had changed. Godaddy had no idea what was going on and until now they do not understand the situation and they say it was totally from ICANN,” he explained.
So in other words ICANN totally bypassed GoDaddy and assisted the U.S. Government in the seizure of the site.
Now you still might be wondering about the title of this post but the fact is that Google can produce the same results that Torrent-Finder, or any torrent search engine out there, as you can see by this very simple search (instant as well) for Mad Men torrents on Google:
Or how about Hey Jude by the Beatles:
The fact that Google can perform exactly the same types of searches and probably return even better results why are the sites doing the same thing being seized?
By the reasoning currently being used then Google should have its domain seized.
Why has there been no outrage over this obvious outrageous abuse of the legal system?
Where are the major news sources like TechCrunch, Mashable, New York Times or any of the other powerful media voices?
Where is the Electronic Freedom Foundation and this case obviously deserves to be hauled before the courts.
What has been done here is wrong and is proven to be wrong every time Google is used to perform a search.
If it is this easy for the U.S. Government, and ICANN, to totally bypass due process in this way who is next? Your site, my site, or some site that might piss off a government?
Where is the outrage because that is exactly what this is – an outrage.