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ICE chief says no due process necessary for domain seizures

Posted at 02 March 2011 00:00 CET by wconeybeer

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has received a great deal of backlash for their actions of seizing tens of thousands of domains over the past year, and accusing site owners of counterfeiting, piracy, and ,most recently, engaging in child pornography. Even a US Senator has pointed out that these actions may violate the constitutional rights of site owners affected, however ICE Director John Morton continues to defend the domain seizures as a noble effort to protect Americans.

“Often we get the criticism that we’re trying to infringe on free speech, regulate the Internet – nothing can be further from the truth,” Morton told Politico in an interview this week. “We have no interest in regulating the Internet. We have no responsibility in doing that; we’re a law enforcement agency. We investigate crimes and try to deter criminal activity. We’re trying to protect the rights of American consumers, American manufacturers,” Morton claims.

Morton points out that websites are “property” that the government has the right to seize when evidence of a crime is revealed.

“We can seize and forfeit them just like we seize and forfeit bank accounts, houses and vehicles that are used in other crimes,” he said. “Any instrument of a crime is subject to our jurisdiction in terms of seizure and forfeit.”

Morton also states that the domain seizures are not a tool to censor websites, but to simply enforce copyright laws.

“We don’t have any interest in going after bloggers or discussion boards. We’re not about what is being said by anybody. We’re about making sure that the intellectual property laws of the United States, which are clear, are enforced,” He said. “When somebody spends hundreds of millions of dollars to develop the next movie or a billion dollars to develop the next heart medicine, the innovation and the enterprise that went into that effort is protected as the law provides. It’s that simple.”

While Morton may view his agency’s domain seizures simply as a tool to uphold the law, I’m quite certain that the domain owners who have been forced to wait months for information about why their operations were shut down are not convinced of the nobility of the cause. Nor are those who were wrongly accused of harboring child pornography last month. Despite the agency’s best intentions to uphold the safety of Americans, it is also their duty to preserve the rights of Americans. These domain seizure processes need to be reviewed and appropriately overhauled before more mistakes are made and more innocent people are affected.

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There are 18 comments

iamrocket
Dedicated DoMi groupie
Posted on: 02 Mar 11 00:59
    Due process is every American citizens right. Due process means that proobble cause must be established.
    iamrocket
    Dedicated DoMi groupie
    Posted on: 02 Mar 11 01:01
      I typed that on my phone sorry about the spelling lol
      Blu-rayFreak
      MyCE Resident
      Posted on: 02 Mar 11 03:17
        That dude kinda looks like ET.
        iamrocket
        Dedicated DoMi groupie
        Posted on: 02 Mar 11 13:48
          Clearly its a pickle with a purple dildo, anyone can see that,lol.
          Blu-rayFreak
          MyCE Resident
          Posted on: 02 Mar 11 16:18
            @iamrocket I was referring to the ICE chief in the article photo.
            kpoole
            MyCE Rookie
            Posted on: 02 Mar 11 16:43
              HA HA HA HA HA HA HA So do you two work as a team off the strip in Vegas?

              But how could you not trust a guy with a face like that, so honest, so naive, so unaware of how much he's promoting the coming police state in the U.S? No, he can break into anyone's house without a warrant and everyone will just fall back and say, "Isn't he cute? Slap the cuffs on us and take us away, cutey man."

              He's a dumbass. Following due process would have resulted in just ten domains being seized for child porn rather than 84,000 that weren't even involved in the last week or so. That makes the departments look good. How's the class action suit for improper seizure, slander and pain and suffering coming along?
              paulw2
              MyCE Senior Member
              Posted on: 03 Mar 11 07:27
                Do you ever get the feeling that the US is starting to look like a certain European country in the early 1930s??
                cholla
                MyCE Resident
                Posted on: 03 Mar 11 16:18
                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by paulw2
                  Do you ever get the feeling that the US is starting to look like a certain European country in the early 1930s??
                  I see Godwins Law trying to rear it's ugly head again.
                  So my answer is No.
                  The USA isn't trying to take the land & government from any country.
                  Making it the property of the USA. The USA is also not trying genecide on any people. Just those end the comparison.

                  If you are a US citizen in the USA then you have a right to due process .
                  This is a Constitutional right & should never be violated.
                  I hold a different position if you are a foreign citizen in the USA . As far as I'm concerned you are not protected by the Constitution & under whatever laws the US government decides . Right now that is the Constitution but that is protection you have not earned the right to.
                  If any foreign citizen wants those rights they should go through the steps it takes to become a US citizen , leave their old country behind , & swear a loyalty oath to the USA & mean it.
                  trust2112
                  MyCE Member
                  Posted on: 03 Mar 11 21:45
                    The only protection I need is from nutjobs like this wacko in the federal government.
                    trust2112
                    MyCE Member
                    Posted on: 03 Mar 11 21:53
                      "The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has received a great deal of backlash for their actions of seizing tens of thousands of domains over the past year, and accusing site owners of counterfeiting, piracy, and ,most recently, engaging in child pornography."

                      So when is the Federal Government going to show me the 10,000 people they prosecuted for crimes?

                      "While Morton may view his agency’s domain seizures simply as a tool to uphold the law, I’m quite certain that the domain owners who have been forced to wait months for information about why their operations were shut down are not convinced of the nobility of the cause."

                      So much for due process and a right to face your accusers in court.
                      trust2112
                      MyCE Member
                      Posted on: 03 Mar 11 21:54
                        @paulw2 Would that be why Republicans like to call themselves the red states?
                        kpoole
                        MyCE Rookie
                        Posted on: 04 Mar 11 01:35
                          Quote:
                          Originally Posted by cholla
                          If you are a US citizen in the USA then you have a right to due process.
                          This is a Constitutional right & should never be violated.
                          There's that phrase again, "due process". That's what this article is all about, not whether America is taking over other people's lands, not whether you're a foreigner and have rights or not, but whether this fellow has the right to circumvent due process as he applies his view of the law within America and against it's citizens.

                          According to his view, he doesn't need to follow due process. He can seize what he will, when he will, from whoever has it and they are supposed to have no recourse. Look at the actual article and find that he's not just talking about domain names.

                          “We can seize and forfeit them just like we seize and forfeit bank accounts, houses and vehicles that are used in other crimes,” he said. “Any instrument of a crime is subject to our jurisdiction in terms of seizure and forfeit.”

                          In essence, if he decides that you're committing a crime, you no longer have any rights to your own property, intellectual or physical, and he doesn't have to go through the courts to justify the seizure.

                          Google up the term "Constitution Free Zone" and ACLU and you'll see more concern of where America is heading.

                          btw, red or blue, it doesn't matter once you go far enough in either direction. The effects on the citizens are the same. Devastating.
                          cholla
                          MyCE Resident
                          Posted on: 04 Mar 11 01:57
                            I'm already aware of the Constitution Free Zone which is pure BS . The patriots who wrote & enacted the Constitution must be rolling over in their graves over that.
                            He better arrest me & put me in jail if he trys to take my property . I'm old school & would rather die fighting than just give in. There are many around that feel the same . The just haven't been pushed far enough yet. Most of us can't afford to start by ourselves unless cornered . Then the media makes anyone that does look like a nut case.
                            Also we really don't want to bear arms against our country but I think there is coming a time where those that beleive in the Constitution will have no choice.
                            I would like to end with part of the Texas Declaration of Independence .
                            THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE Made by the Delegates of The People of Texas in General Convention, at Washington,
                            ON MARCH 2nd, 1836.
                            Quote:
                            When a government has ceased to protect the lives, liberty and property of the people, from whom its legitimate powers are derived, and for the advancement of whose happiness it was instituted; and so far from being a guarantee for their inestimable and inalienable rights, becomes an instrument in the hands of evil rulers for their suppression. When the federal republican Constitution of their country which they have sworn to support, no longer has a substantial existence, and the whole nature of their government has been forcibly changed, without their consent, from a restricted federative republic, composed of sovereign states, to a consolidated central military
                            despotism, in which every interest is disregarded but that of the army and the priesthood, both the eternal enemies of civil liberty, the ever ready minions of power, and the usual instruments of tyrants. When, long after the spirit of the constitution has departed, moderation is at length so far lost by those in power, that even the semblance of freedom is removed, and the forms themselves of the constitution discontinued, and so far from their petitions and remonstrances being regarded, the agents who bear them are thrown into dungeons, and mercenary armies Sent forth to en-force a new government upon them at the point of the bayonet.

                            When, in consequence of such acts of malfeasance and abduction on the part of the government, anarchy prevails, and civil society is dissolved into its original elements, in such a crisis, the first law of nature, the right of self-preservation, the inherent and inalienable right of the people to appeal to first principles, and take their political affairs into their own hands in extreme cases, enjoins it as a right towards themselves, and a sacred obligation to their posterity, to abolish such government, and create another in its stead, calculated to rescue them from impending dangers, and to secure their welfare and happiness.
                            kpoole
                            MyCE Rookie
                            Posted on: 04 Mar 11 03:19
                              Just to be clear. Are you saying that's it's BS in that it exists and it shouldn't or that it's BS in that it doesn't exist? Otherwise, everything else is clear.
                              cholla
                              MyCE Resident
                              Posted on: 04 Mar 11 16:54
                                @ kpoole , Yesterday I would have said the Constitution Free Zone does exist. I had only read the ACLU sites information on this previously.
                                However the law that this is based on I'm putting a link to below .
                                Even this is a US Supreme Court decision . I've always been against the Judicial branch creating law by their decisions. When it does Congress should review it & create law to overturn unconstitutional decisions.

                                http://www.roadblock.org/federal/caseUSmartinez.htm

                                This decision is possibly a minor intrusion on the Forth Amendment .
                                The problem I saw & see in continuing to allow the courts decision to remain in place is Homeland Security has & is trying to expand the scope of the decision . That shouldn't be allowed & the Supreme Court should step in a tell HS exactly that.
                                I also found no definite distance from the border the checkpoints can be set up . I guess in theory they could be all the way to the middle. If kept within the courts ruling they are very limited . So again HS is using this beyond the actual scope of the law & should be reigned in.
                                The problem is most US citizens trade their freedom for security . A big mistake from my point of view.
                                You might like to read this too:
                                http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-542.ZO.html
                                trust2112
                                MyCE Member
                                Posted on: 04 Mar 11 18:42
                                  Under this interpretation of the law, if I do a search on Bing, Google or Yahoo for torrents and find illegal links, then Microsoft, Yahoo and Google should all be seized. The sad thing that is being done here in the US is that Congress isn't making laws. The Judicial System has decided to do that all themselves which is against the law. If you read the Constitution, ONLY Congress has the power to make Laws. The Judicial Systems job is to determine if they are legal or not, nothing else. Roberts has overstepped his authority and should be forced to resign. (I refuse to call him Chief Justice, because he hasn't earned that right by his actions and/ or inaction's.)
                                  JasonMiller
                                  New Member
                                  Posted on: 05 Mar 11 03:20
                                    Why compare to bank accounts, houses and vehicles? They don’t have such a direct link to free speech. Why not use that standard analogy of the printing press?

                                    I wouldn’t disagree that a printing press can be used to commit a crime. However, the police don’t go running around the country seizing printing presses without thought. They might seize one from a suspected counterfeiter. They’d be less inclined to seize the printing presses of a newspaper without the say-so of a judge. On the Internet, things can be more complicated, much more complicated. It can be unclear whether a website is legal or not. It can be unclear whether disproportionate collateral damage will be caused by taking it down.

                                    The main problem is: the police aren’t seizing Internet printing presses. Where they find a press they don’t like, they go outside and seize the street signs, so both readers and publishers, local and foreign, new and returning, can no longer find it. And, if there are other important resources in the neighborhood, they become unfindable too.
                                    VistaViewer
                                    New Member
                                    Posted on: 05 Mar 11 19:47
                                      Someone should cap that B'tard

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