US Homeland Security Seizing Domains

The US Department of Homeland Security is in the process of seizing control of a number of domains that infringe on copyrighted media or “enabling selling counterfeits of trademarked goods.” Here’s the screen capture from the BitTorrent Search Engine, post capture:

TorrentFreak has a running list of other seized domains. And here’s a quote from the Torrent-finder owner:

“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.

I have to say, I find these actions to be extremely aggressive; and regardless of whether these sites are in the right or wrong, this is yet another reminder that ICANN is not an international body. The governance of the Internet remains in the US government’s hands, including all the power (and potential for abuse) that entails.


  1. Here is a speech by the U.S. Attorney General to say what is going on.

    Here is a list of the domain names seized, and other press material.

    Is it overreaching? Is a domain name sufficiently a kind of property that it makes sense to ‘seize’ it? There is no doubt that it is helpful to such actions that the domain registrars are in the U.S.

  2. Correction to this piece. Seems that Verisign was responsible, and that they did in fact have a court order.