DHS Finally Admits it Erred in Shutting Down Website

And, folks, this is why we have a little thing embedded in the 5th Amendment called, “Due Process.”   Of course, when have Our Dark Overlords ever given a rat’s turd about the U.S. Constitution?:

DHS Shut Down Blog For A Year On False Pretenses
Homeland Security is seizing websites for “copyright infringement” with no evidence

Paul Joseph Watson
Friday, December 9, 2011

In a chilling illustration of how far Internet censorship has advanced, the Department of Homeland Security seized a popular music blog and shut down the website for over a year on charges it now admits were completely false.

The website in question – www.dajaz1.com – was not some obscure, dubious blog – it was a popular platform for DJ’s that was once featured on MTV.

“Around Thanksgiving 2010, the Department of Homeland Security seized more than 70 domains with no trial, accusing them of copyright infringement,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Dajaz1.com was caught in the dragnet after DHS claimed four songs posted on the website were used without permission, when in fact the musicians and publicists concerned had sent the tracks directly to Dajaz1 with express authorization.

That didn’t stop Homeland Security from seizing and shutting down the blog for over a year, violating the law by refusing to tell its owner why the website was taken and subsequently missing the 90 day deadline for explaining why the owner should forfeit the property permanently.

“Or at least that’s what the owner assumed when he heard nothing. Then the court told him that the government got an extension.”

“But the owner couldn’t see the extension because all the filings in the case were sealed, and was not allowed to testify in court to ask for his property back, says TechDirt.”

The saga finally came to a close when the owner was handed back control of the website only yesterday.

The lesson to take from this is that Homeland Security can now just claim your website contains copyrighted material with no evidence whatsoever and seize it without any recourse.

“This whole thing has been a disgrace by the US government, starting with a bogus seizure, improper and illegal censorship, followed by denial of due process and unnecessary secrecy,” reports TechDirt.

The DHS has already seized dozens of websites merely for linking to copyrighted material, despite the fact that such material isn’t even hosted on the website itself, a process the Electronic Frontier Foundation has criticized as, “Blunt instruments that cause unacceptable collateral damage to free speech rights.”

The targeted website, now finally back in the hands of its rightful owner, has become a poster child for the anti-Internet censorship movement. The front page of the site urges readers to oppose the Protect IP Act, legislation that will give the government even more power to block websites by creating an official blacklist.

As we reported back in October, the bill that has attracted bi-partisan support in the House will force Internet Service Providers to create a list of banned websites and prevent their users from accessing the sites, creating a Chinese-style ‘ban list’ that could easily be abused to silence free speech. Lawmakers like Senator Joe Lieberman have teamed up with Department of Homeland Security officials to push draconian legislation in an effort to mimic the Communist Chinese system of policing the Internet.

“A service provider shall take technically feasible and reasonable measures designed to prevent access by its subscribers located within the United States to the foreign infringing site (or portion thereof) that is subject to the order, including measures designed to prevent the domain name of the foreign infringing site (or portion thereof) from resolving to that domain name’s Internet Protocol address,” states the bill.

Given the fact that the U.S. government is now ordering You Tube to remove videos that contain “government criticism,” the potential for this legislation to be abused to silence political free speech is clear. Add to that the fact that Verisign, the global authority over all .com domain names, is demanding the power to terminate websites deemed “abusive” when ordered to by government without a court order or any kind of oversight whatsoever, and the threat to web freedom is clear.

Explore posts in the same categories: Abuse of Power, Computers, Computing, DHS, Obama Sucks, Socialists, Software, Technology

12 Comments on “DHS Finally Admits it Erred in Shutting Down Website”

  1. a12iggymom Says:

    they have gotten what they voted for, supression of civil rights….

    • boudicabpi Says:

      Hi, a12iggymom, they got what they voted for and the rest of us suffer the consequences.
      bob A.

      • Mondo Rama Says:

        When you say “They”, you clearly mean the likes of H.R. 3261 (a.k.a. SOPA) sponsor Lamar Smith (R-TX), right (and co-sponsored by a cadre of bi-partisan corporatist crooks)?

        This, like the example in the article, threatens to cut off due process by empowering rights-holders to trim speech of alleged infringers with immunity. Very much like the Chinese government filters online content in their country.

        Just wanted to make sure your finger was trained on the right spot.

        • Mondo Rama Says:

          Just noticed one of the article links covered the SOPA bits. It only failed to mention the sponsor (strange omission) who received most of his (above board) money (http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00001811) from the media industry.

        • PB-in-AL Says:

          @Mondo – Let’s remember that both sides of the aisle are equally guilty of shilling for the supposed “intellectual property thugs”. Unfortunately, this doesn’t have anything to do with the whole “corporatist” vs. “the little man” staged argument. This goes waaay back to the mafia control of the entertainment industry in the early part of the 20th century.

          This particular crushing of our rights has to do with status quo more than anything. The MPAA and RIAA, among others, have had and used federally sanctioned strong-arm tactics for nearly 100 years. Had they the foresight to see the sea-change in technology and entertainment delivery back in the ’90s, they might have been able to survive legitimately. However, with SOPA, DMCA, etc. congress has just been licking the boots of those with deep pockets in order to maintain their post, and this regardless of party. Just so things can stay the same… [clue bat] they’re not.

          I am a musician and artist. So I understand the desire to monetarily benefit from my work and creativity. However, these organizations no longer represent the artists, and are just tools for the companies behind them, or like any good bureaucracy, for their own continued existance.

          By way of example, an ASCAP rep showed up in town a few years ago. He went to literally every restaurant, coffee shop, bar, etc. that might have live music, particularly, and/or play music or TVs in the background. He demanded, in the case of one restaurant I personally worked with, a large annual fee for “performance rights” so that our band could “legally” play there, never mind we were playing mostly originals that weren’t registered with ASCAP. The owner had us in every 6 weeks or so, and no other bands. He told the rep that he understood the idea, and was willing to pay a reasonable fee, considering we played there just because he liked us. Bottom line: he had to stop all music just to get this guy off his back.

          In another case in a different town, same time period, same scenario, different ASCAP rep. Coffee shop owner was threatened with a lawsuit if he didn’t comply with paying a “performance rights license” from ASCAP. Again, he only had one group, my friend’s bluegrass band play, ever. So in this case, my friend researched a set list of solely public domain (old) songs, that were not administered by any group. Apparently that wasn’t good enough for the rep; the threatening letters continued. And again, the shop owner stopped having music altogether just to get this guy off his back.

          How does that serve the artists or performers? The question was asked, “since we don’t keep and submit set lists, how does the appropriate artist get their royalties?” A legitimate question… with no answer. How does this serve the local community? It doesn’t, it just shuts down the opportunity to enjoy an evening out. How does this serve the music community and industry? Again, it doesn’t; these idiots are cutting off their noses to spite their faces. Where do they think musicians come from?! We don’t just happen, we have to be able to work, learn, create, and hone our skills. Since James Taylor is extraordinarily unlikely to get that four tenths of a penny (or less) from our performance of “Fire and Rain”, what does this benefit? Well, I suppose the rep gets some sort of commission off his “sales”. ASCAP gets a big chunk of money for doing nothing other than threatening folks, and sending some lawyer letters. And all of it sanctioned by our federal government: legal extortion. Unless, of course, nobody pays them.

  2. Gonzo Says:

    # People of Earth, your attention, please. This is Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz of the Galactic Hyperspace Planning Council. As you will no doubt be aware, the plans for development of the outlying regions of the Galaxy require the building of a hyperspatial express route through your star system. And regrettably, your planet is one of those scheduled for demolition. The process will take slightly less than two of your Earth minutes. Thank you.

    # There’s no point in acting surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for 50 of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now. … What do you mean you’ve never been to Alpha Centauri? Oh, for heaven’s sake, mankind, it’s only four light years away, you know. I’m sorry, but if you can’t be bothered to take an interest in local affairs, that’s your own lookout. Energize the demolition beams.

    Ummm, what does the distribution of music have to do with national security anywho?

  3. tgusa Says:

    Live deadbeat disgruntled artists in action. 9 out of 10 dead actors and or musicians are preferred over any of today’s live ones. Dismal liberal artistic expression is responsible for this more than anything else. No one is buying their crappy content toady, ergo, we must be stealing it! Because we all want to watch, listen to or read their fetid offerings, right?

    • Gonzo Says:

      Listening to the music of dead musicians *IS* listening to the music of today. Today’s “artists” basically steal yesterday’s rifs.
      More of that liberal education at play.

      • tgusa Says:

        Better watch out or they’ll make a cruddy movie about you!

        • Gonzo Says:

          Will I be a zombie? 🙂

          Now, I could go for that if I were the star character in a flick called Zepbie. Led Zepplin returns from the dead, as the undead, playing, “The Song Remains the Same” – just like today’s music.

          ‘Stairway to Heaven’ would have an all new video montage.

          • tgusa Says:

            A Zombie? Only if you want to. Speaking of Zombies I heard a lot about a semi new show called The Walking Dead and so I watched the first season. I had to stop right there because the show was causing me intense anxiety as a result of the stupidity of the so called living. Heck, the Zombies were smarter in many cases. I’m thinking eating brains makes you smart.

            Oh yeah, yesterday they had to shoot dead a, zom err observant muslim who was shooting motorists at an intersection while yelling, “alla hu snackbar”, bang bang! I’m sure it will be labeled road rage.

            BTW, when hunting zombies the song to play is No Quarter.

  4. tgusa Says:

    “Due Process.”

    The Constitutionally protected American citizen needs to be put on the endangered species list. Perhaps then we will see some respect.

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