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US Immigration Services Blasted For Domain Seizures

Publication Date: 
December 11, 2011
Source: 
PC World
Author: 
John P. Mello Jr.

Professor Mark Lemley spoke with John P. Mello Jr. of PC World to discuss the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) domain confiscation program and why he believes ICE should be focusing their efforts elsewhere.

A sudden move last week to return a hip-hop site to its owner after it was seized and held by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for a year has renewed criticism of the agency's domain confiscation program called In Our Sites.

Since its launch in June 2010, the initiative, spearheaded by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) directorate, has seized hundreds of websites for alleged intellectual property violations, including a raid on "Cyber Monday" that shut down 150 websites for selling or distributing counterfeit goods.

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Mark Lemley, director of the Stanford Program on Law, Science and Technology and who is representing a Spanish company that has been trying to recover some of its domain names seized by ICE, had harsher words for the feds. "I would have thought that ICE had more important things to deal with than playing rent-a-cop for the entertainment industry," he said Saturday on On The Media.