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US government seizes domain names, claims to have a warrant

Sean Hollister
11.27.10
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We're all for bashing botnets, but the US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may have crossed a line -- in the midst of nabbing counterfeiters this weekend, the government organization seized the domains of a torrent meta-tracker and a trio of music sites. Today, the picture above is the only thing you'll see if you go to Torrent-Finder.com, RapGodFathers.com, Dajaz1.com or OnSmash.com, as the ICANN domain registration for the four are now in the ICE's possession, presumably on suspicion of piracy. If you ask the original domain owners however, they'll vehemently refute such allegations -- the torrent site reportedly didn't even distribute torrents themselves, merely cross-referenced other sites that do, and a RapGodFathers representative told TorrentFreak that it had complied with all DMCA takedown notifications. Apparently the websites and servers themselves are still intact, and it's only the URLs at stake, as two of the four websites are already up and running at domains ending in .info. We have to admit, this particular brand of domain squatting could be an intriguing business model. Expect "seized domains" to be tacked onto the laundry list of "Valuable Items You Too Can Buy at Government Auction!" any day now.

[Thanks, Brian]

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