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by Sharon Rondeau

Message appearing on the home page of DHS-seized websites, including one that is a "Google-like" search engine

(Nov. 28, 2010) — Several reports issued over the last several days have stated that the Department of Homeland Security has shut down 75 or 76 websites with the explanation: “This domain name has been seized by ICE – Homeland Security Investigations, pursuant to a seizure warrant issued by a United States District Court under the authority of 18 U.S.C. §§ 981 and 2323.”

If DHS can “seize” domain names registered to private companies, why can it not keep illegal aliens from crossing our borders and killing our citizens?

What purview does DHS have over the internet, and what type of  risk did these websites pose?  One source stated that ICE authorities “executed court-ordered seizure warrants” against the websites and cited “an ongoing investigation” into the sites’ activities.

All of the sources agreed that one of the sites which was seized and shut down was a search engine which did not display copyrighted information, but rather, provided links to portals which did.  Linking to its url now results in the display of the graphic pictured above.

A report from Natural News states that “As part of a new expansion of government power over information, the Department of Homeland Security has begun seizing and shutting down internet websites (web domains) without due process or a proper trial.”

One source states that the seizure of the domain names and closing of the websites is authorized by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) signed into law by President Clinton in 1998.  Page 6 of a summary of the law explains the responsibilities of “contracting parties” to provide “legal remedies against any person knowingly performing any of the following acts” which include copying and distributing copyrighted material without permission.  Page 7 makes a reference to a “Section 1202” which “is subject to a general exemption for law enforcement, intelligence and other governmental activities.”

The entire bill can be read here.

The Department of Homeland Security’s website has a tab for “Cybersecurity” and, when selected, claims that DHS “plays an important role in countering these threats. We’re building one of the best teams anywhere to keep our federal civilian networks secure, and secure the cyberspace and critical infrastructure on which we all depend. That means working across the federal government, partnering with the private sector, and empowering the general public to create a safe, secure, and resilient cyber environment, and promote cybersecurity knowledge and innovation.”

DHS designated October as “National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.”

A report entitled “The Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative” claims that Obama “has identified cybersecurity as one of the most serious economic and national security challenges we face as a nation, but one that we as a government or as a country are not adequately prepared to counter.”  The second paragraph of the paper concludes with “Finally, the President directed that these activities be conducted in a way that is consistent with ensuring the privacy rights and civil liberties guaranteed in the Constitution and cherished by all Americans.”

Editor’s Note: The Post & Email does not believe that Obama is a legitimate president.

Paragraph 4 of page 2 states that Obama’s “Cybersecurity Coordinator” had approved the release of the  Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI) launched by President George W. Bush in 2008 so as to support Obama’s “declared intent to make transparency a touchstone of his presidency.”

CNCI Initiative #1 states that a project entitled Trusted Internet Connections is led by the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Management and Budget.

Initiative #8 discusses an expanded role of the federal government to include those who are “cyber-savvy” and makes the argument for implementing “an effective pipeline of future employees.”

On page 5, “Initiative #11” makes reference to a “globalized supply chain” as well as  “threats” and “vulnerabilities,” but it does not spell out exactly what those threats might be.

The New York Times reported that the websites were closed due to a “piracy crackdown” and that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is part of the Department of Homeland Security.  The article stated that the websites which had been seized “either hosted unauthorized copies of films and music or allowed users to search for them elsewhere on the Internet.”

A report from last July indicated that at least one of the websites might have known that it was under scrutiny by the federal government for copyright infringement under the program name “Operation in our Sites.”  However, currently a link to the site explaining the program yields an error message.  So did a link to the ICE “IPR Fact Sheet.”

ICE’s top stories of the week ending November 26 were regarding the arrest of sex offenders, illegal aliens and a ship full of marijuana from a ship which had come from the Caribbean to Mississippi.  It also played a role in discovering a human trafficking organization, the investigation of which reportedly involved the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the FBI.

But were the websites which were shut down cybersecurity threats?  Did DHS and ICE have the authority to seize them?  Will the alleged court order authorizing the seizures be made available to the public?

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  1. How Orwellian this all seems, especially with the mention of Obama’s “declared intent to make transparency a touchstone of his presidency.” Incredible.

  2. Breaking News —

    This morning: CERTIORARI DENIED

    Insult to injury: NO justices recused themselves.


    The motion of Western Center for Journalism for leave to file a brief as amicus curiae is granted. The petition for a writ of certiorari is denied.

    1. As expected. The fix is in. The SCOTUS is not going to interject themselves into this debate or at least not until there is a conservative candidate e.g. Jindal or Rubio that the Dems scream their bloody head off about in regard to their eligibility. The SCOTUS obviously fears civil unrest more than the daily erosion of the Constitution. I would have fallen over with shock had they actually ruled in favor of hearing the Kershner case on its merits. It would have at least given me some hope that some in the judiciary still has reverence for the rule of law. No more. They are all corrupt in my opinion. What is even more alarming is I that believe at least some level, four justices personally question O’s eligibility. Thomas was quoted to have said they have been “evading the issue.”

      The seizing of the various torrent sites is the DHS tipping their toe in the water in regard to public perception of their actions. Other than a few conservative sites, this has produced barely a blip in the news cycle. If the DHS can do without due process, then it can shut down any site it sees as threat to national security. Obviously, the DHS views any site that does not spout the current regime’s propaganda as the enemy and will begin to start shutting down sites such as the P&E, WND, birther blogs, etc.

      It is indeed a sad day in America.

      1. One other note: According to Apuzzo, Sotomayor and Kagan did not recuse themselves as requested in the brief because it took at least six justices to deny the case. Had these two recused themselves as they should have, the number of justices needed to move the case forward drops from four to three. Perhaps there were three justices who were leaning in this direction (Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas, I assume. If not Roberts, then Alito.). Doesn’t CJ Roberts have the authority to demand that justices recuse themselves when there is a direct conflict of interest? One would think so. If not, where is the check and balance to keep the judiciary in line?

  3. Good Article and all true. Yes we are living in a Police State with these thugs in D.C.

    This is vintage “Hitler” tactics. Control and silence the masses.

    Problem is the true American Spirit is rising and this country is seeing a waking giant
    on the horizon as Americans have now seen what tyranny, and the overthrow of the American Government is all about.

    DHS, nor any other branch of the Government has the power under the Constitution to do any of this Communist/Marxist thuggery to our freedoms and liberties, which would include the internet.

    I will be on the phone and email with these rogue thug Senators who are all for this tyranny. Some of them do not surprise me at all, but Jeff Sessions from Alabama has always been a die hard conservative and stopped John McCain from sliding through the Amnesty Bill single handed so I do not understand why he would be for this attack on our freedoms, but you can bet I am on the phones, and would encourage everyone else to do the same. Send a loud and clear message. Your silence will be their success as this is another chip away of our freedoms.

  4. Sharon –
    Can you give a brief explanation of copyright restrictions?
    Can we post a link to your articles from other websites?
    It would appear that DHS is not intending to protect website owners but rather fishing for specific websites in violation of copyright laws in order to get them off the “air”.
    Mrs. Rondeau replies: Yes, our copyright policy is here: http://www.thepostemail.com/%C2%A9-20092010/

    We adhere to the “fair use” policy, which is that anyone may post up to 200 words of an article as long as the original author, photo, format and text remain intact with a link back to The Post & Email. Anyone wishing to post an unlimited number of our articles in their entirety may do so by purchasing a Blogger’s License for $10/year (use the general donation button and indicate the purpose so we will know you have purchased the license).

    Of course, anyone may post just a link directly back to any of our articles.

  5. “A Poor Excuse is better than NO Excuse!” Knowledge is Power against the Enemy!!
    “0” is suffering from Communications, Activities and Opinions that are generated by the WWW!! Is there any better way to Crush the Enemy other than to Disallow them Communications?? We have “Brown-Shirted TSA”, Bootstrapped Police, FEMA Camps, the Judicial Corruption in Tennessee, the Police conducting warrantless searches on the East Coast, Corruption in Chicago and ON and ON!!
    Do you remember writer Tom Clancy’s “NET FORCE?”