Slashdot has linked to a variety of articles, including ones at OSNews and TorrentFreak, with details of a flurry of seizure warrants issued from Homeland Security. enigmax at TorrentFreak has done some work to contact the relevant entities within the DHS for confirmation and has acquired the fuller list of domains seized.
I see this as confirmation that COICA, the bill that would eliminate the need for the Department of Justice to secure seizure warrants, is not strictly necessary if the desired outcome is to remove sites that are clearly infringing. However, the existing process is obviously flawed, in a way that will no doubt ease passage of COICA. The operator of Torrent-Finder, the initial site that tipped off the larger swath of takedowns, didn’t receive any kind of notice of the seizure. The warrant was served well upstream of the site, fulfilling any requirements of notice but for parties other than the one ultimately affected.
I fear that this action will be used as a rhetorical tool to defend COICA. I can easily envision the same sort of double talk that we heard around the secrecy surrounding ACTA. You know the patter I mean, the bit that sounds like a Marx routine; the push me, pull you over secrecy, negotiators backing out, and the claim that agreement wouldn’t change local law. If we complain about lack of notice, proponents will undoubtedly point out the improved procedures spelled out by COICA. If we highlight the flaws, defenders will side step and emphasize how costly and inefficient the current system is, using the same example.
DHS Seizes 75+ Domain Names, Slashdot