What if you woke up one morning and your blog’s URL pointed to a Department of Homeland Security page that said, "Website seized for trafficking in child pornography"? That’s what happened to 84,000 innocent site owners this week, and there’s no guarantee it won’t happen again.

Over the past few months, Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division has been seizing the website domain names of alleged copyright and trademark infringers.  [...]

Fast forward to last Tuesday when DHS announced that it had seized 10 domain names allegedly involved in advertising or distributing child pornography. Caught up in that sweep, however, were 84,000 innocent domains, all of which were redirected to the imposing "seized for child porn" banner, which announced that "Advertisement, distribution, transportation, receipt, and possession of child pornography constitute federal crimes that carry penalties for first time offenders of up to 30 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, forfeiture and restitution." Exactly how this happened is unclear, but one likely scenario could have been prevented with better due process. /// Source; techland.time.com/

Domain seized for Child porn

No, Human-Stupidity has not (yet) been confiscated for criticizing the child porn witch hunt.  We were careful to black out photos of 10 year old Brooke Shields, and of the 1977 "Der Spiegel" cover. Legal mainstream press that became child porn!


o far so good, since it’s perfectly legitimate for ICE to target the bad guys. But critics of the seizures point to a seeming lack of due process. The feds determine a site to be infringing and ask a judge to sign a seizure warrant that tells the site’s domain name company to transfer control of the domain name to the government, which then points it to a "seized by DHS" page. The problem is the warrants are issued ex parte, which means that the targeted website owners are not notified and don’t have an opportunity to present their side of the story to the judge.

Human-Stupidity Analysis

Not much to add to this text. Some questions remain, of course

  • what is the effect of a mistaken seizure on the owner of a legit web site. All his customers see the above banner!
  • why is there no time to use due process and notify the owner
  • we have been arguing if 30 year jail terms for first time offenders are a necessary punishment for pictures
  • we have argued that the definition of "child porn" has been watered down to inclu
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3 Comments

  1. Lpy says:

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    Another question is that supposed childporn opens the door of censorship without discernment on the net

  2. rhayat10 says:

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    I’ll bet a lot of those innocent webmasters are, themselves, proponents of government censorship. Well, they got a taste of what they wanted. As for child porn, I’m pretty sure it’s government employees who are the main consumers of this genre.

  3. Karla says:

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    The intention of these agencies trying to curb child pornography is, without question, commendable. However, this does not mean that they will just automatically seize suspected sites without thorough and proper investigation – one by one. It is unfair for these legitimate online businesses and organizations to be implicated in such scandal as being alleged to be involved in child pornography. This would drastically affect the brands they have built carefully through time. I think possible remedies for the affected legitimate sites would be press releases and getting a new domain.

    Karla of Spur Press, a Malaysian SEO Company.

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