Homeland Security nabs "pirate domain names"

In the US, Hollywood has put its government paid spooks to work shutting down websites so that it does not have to get court orders.

Homeland Security, the role of which is to tackle terrorist organisations, has seized several domain names which it says are associated with copyright infringement or counterfeit related crimes.

Two of the sites are hosting copyrighted films, which could have been closed down by a traditional court order.

Under the title “Operation In Our Sites” Homeland Security has been shutting down sites that peddle counterfeit goods, however it has also used it as an umbrella to shut down a dozen file-sharing and streaming sites and many more accused of selling counterfeit goods.

The latest round includes Re1ease.net, Watchnewfilms.com, Dvdcollectionsale.com, Dvdscollection.com, Dvdsetsonline.com and Newstylerolex.com

The first two did not host any copyrighted films themselves but they made the mistake of linking to movie streaming sites such as Veoh.com and Megavideo.com.

ICE director John Morton admitted that his organisation was acting based on a shopping list from movie industry representatives.

As Torrentfreak has pointed out, everyone knows that it is a complete waste of time seizing the domain names as the pirates simply move to other sites.

However Homeland Security considers it part of the “public education about pirating.”  

After all, the public needs to learn that its tax dollar is being spent on keeping Hollywood executives in their swimming pools by making futile gambits.

We can expect more futile education gestures when the government passes its new anti-piracy law the PROTECT IP Act.

That will allow domain seizures, blocking of sites at an ISP level, censorship of  search engines and the public drawing and quartering of pirates, while fat movie executives dance on their entrails. We made the last one up.

Meanwhile, in Germany, coppers acting on the request of Big Content raided a political party headquarters and took computer equipment.

The fact that the “Piracy Party” is a popular movement against Big Content and currently the sixth largest political party in Germany does not enter into it. The other fact that the Pirate Party was participating in the upcoming State election in Bremen this Sunday and might have gotten more people into a position to stop Big Content’s actions was not the reason for the raid either.

Apparently the servers were taken down following a request from the French and had something to do with the activity of a virtual server which went through the Pirate Party HQ.

Word on the street was that the Piratepad service which used the virtual server published an SSH Key which was allegedly used to attack a server of the French energy group EDF.