US seizure of domain names

February 7th, 2011 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Debbie Monahan, the .nz Domain Name commissioner, blogs:

If Kiwis needed any further evidence of the value of a .nz name, hosted in New Zealand, recent stories about US Homeland Security seizing held by non-US organisations should provide it. The most recent of these is a Spanish name which the courts in Spain had declared legal at the end of their legal process but which was seized by Homeland Security anyway.
http://www.expertulpc.com/tech/homeland-security-seizes-spanish-domain-name-that-had-already-been-declared-legal-01028101

This is a worry. The domain name is question was rojadirecta.org and it is registered to a Spanish company, was found to be legal by two Spanish courts, and was hosted on Spanish servers.

However the .org registry is in the United States, and even though it is meant to be a generic global domain (the US has .us), a US government agency has managed to get the domain name yanked.

In addition to the benefit of a .nz domain name identifying New Zealand, .nz Registrants also have a policy framework that protects Registrants rights and ensures that organisations like the US Homeland Security can’t just come in and seize a .nz name.

I never thought of this as a benefit of .nz, but freedom from US Homeland Security can now be added to the list.

(Note I am a director of the .nz Domain Name Commission Ltd)

Tags:

14 Responses to “US seizure of domain names”

  1. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    I’ve always thought it a sign of bad taste that the US owns .gov. It does seem in line with its foreign policy though. If you own any .coms be a little scared.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    (whew..!..)

    http://whoar.co.nz/

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    no offence phil, but if your domain was seized by US homeland security.. id laugh for a month :P

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    not seditious enough..?

    .should i up the ante..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. KH (695 comments) says:

    What was the actual problem that the US had with the name. Can’t see that info at all.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. coventry (321 comments) says:

    The problem with that site was that it legally provided you with the ability to find hosts/sources of streaming media (sports).

    eg. You can watch the SuperBowl right now via clicking a link off the .me site of same name.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. DRHILL (121 comments) says:

    I think also the problem is they are being seized without going to court or judicial process(innocent until proven guilty)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    Immigration enforcement is always a bit dodgy – even here.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Magnanomis (138 comments) says:

    Who needs an internet kill switch when you can seize domain names?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    unilateral action from the US is not confined to the battlefield it seems

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    I think the US action was because Rojadirecta provides content that may be covered by US copyright laws. They still have the Rojadirecta.es domain running though, there’s nothing the US can do about that.
    I guess in time the popularity of US TLD’s will diminish, especially with modern browsers completing a domain name for you as you type it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. V (719 comments) says:

    Not a big surprise given dept HLS is run by Big Sis on a power trip. She has turned the TSA into the T&A squeeze down dept under her watch, all of which provides no additional security benefit.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. peterwn (3,271 comments) says:

    Presumably such seizures could be rendered useless in all but USA if high level name servers outside continue to carry them. Conversely USA Homeland securtiy could get particular .nz names blocked within USA.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Fletch (6,367 comments) says:

    It should also be noted that the US Government relinquished control of the internet (it’s gift to the world) in September 2009.

    Arab states now have five seats on the ten seat ICANN board.

    The ICANN action in September gave the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and other unfriendly nations a prominent internet role — something they never could get during the administration of George W. Bush.

    News analyst Daniel Greenfield explains:

    The OIC has already effectively used the UN to push its censorship agenda. But the UN is virtually toothless when it comes to the United States. However if the Muslim world can dominate ICANN the way it dominates the UN General Assembly, then free speech on the internet is dead.

    In practice, the new arrangement makes it much easier for Muslim countries to dictate what stays on the internet and what doesn’t. The removal of the material about “terrorism” was just muscle-flexing; there is much more of that kind of censorship coming. If this stands, anti-jihad sites like my own site AtlasShrugs.com and the JihadWatch.org site run by my colleague Robert Spencer will likely lose their domain names. It will become harder and harder to find the truth about jihad activity, or any resistance to it, on the internet or anywhere else.

    Why is this necessary at all? Why should the U.S. relinquish control of its own invention? The internet was our extraordinary gift to the world. We kept it free. And now, like some depraved drunk, we are tossing it away and relinquishing control to the vultures and destroyers.

    The new “net neutrality” rules approved last week by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will just make that easier as well.

    Story

    I’m wondering for how long free speech on the internet will stay free.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote