Congresswoman Lofgren: Domain Seizures Trample on Due Process

March 14, 2011 -

Silicon Valley Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA.) says that seizing web sites and web domains tramples on due process. Speaking at length with Ars Technica, Lofgren takes aim at the administration's efforts to take down web sites that allegedly engage in illegal activity like file-sharing, copyright infringement and counterfeit goods.

Lofgren starts by saying that ICE doesn't have the authority to do what they are doing, that they are trampling on due process because the seizures are almost instant, and that - in some cases - they have violated the first amendment rights of some domain owners. Here is more on that from Lofgren:

"I think I mentioned during the hearing the debacle with the mistaken domain name takedowns in the pornography effort where they basically slandered thousands of people by saying that their sites had been taken down as consequences of child pornography. Can you imagine as a small businessperson what that would do to your business, if you are completely innocent? It's a mess.

Their apparent complete disregard of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act remedies, where Congress laid out a scheme where you get notice and takedown—that's the way you deal with this. They never apparently even inquired about that. Further, I think it's just stunning to think that they would believe that linking sites—they went after Torrent Finder. It's a search engine! What's that got to do with this? I mean, if they're right that they can simply seize that search engine, they can seize Yahoo or Google or Facebook."

In this next comment, Lofgren zeroes in on the whole issue of due process:

"You've got the prosecutors coming in, they have a judge sign something, and the people whose property is being seized are never heard from. It doesn't appear, honestly—though it would not solve the due process problems—that there's much inquiry on the part of the prosecution, either. Is there a fair use right? Is there an authorized use? Is there legitimate business going on? There's no opportunity for that to be raised, and once the damage is done, it's done."

Finally, she talks about whether the COICA will pass this year:

"I don't know. I think if the American people wake up to what this is, we might have a more vigorous debate. I think of some of my new colleagues on the Republican side and the Tea Party who are worried about big government overreach… I mean, check this out!"

Read the rest of the interview on Ars Technica.


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MechaCrashI am reminded of the saying about playing chess with a pigeon.08/01/2015 - 11:13am
Andrew EisenThis is supported by, well, what actually happened, but also the text of the actual leaks. That was Tito's question and what he and a few (four total, I think) were discussing.08/01/2015 - 11:11am
Andrew EisenNo, it's not. What was generally prohibited was not discussion of journalistic ethics or other GamerGate topics, but threads that were, for example, discussing the sex life of an indie developer. THOSE are what were locked and removed.08/01/2015 - 11:10am
Goth_SkunkI don't believe you. Not for a second. Every major site with the exception of the Escapist prohibited discussion of GamerGate in its early stages. That is a fact.08/01/2015 - 11:04am
Andrew EisenNo, that's a fact. Don't believe me, read 'em yourself. No one was trying to censor discussion of GamerGate.08/01/2015 - 11:02am
Goth_Skunk@Andrew: That's your opinion.08/01/2015 - 10:57am
Goth_Skunkfuture? I'd compensate you for your time, of course.08/01/2015 - 10:57am
Goth_Skunk@IronPatriot: Congratulations on a sweeping statement to remove the agency of people supporting GamerGate for their own individual reasons. Since you're so good at painting in such broad strokes, are you free to paint my apartment sometime in the near08/01/2015 - 10:57am
Andrew EisenWhich, as you can tell by actually reading the snippets that were leaked, is a shamefully disingenuous telling of what was actually said.08/01/2015 - 10:56am
Goth_SkunkAdditionally, to quote William Usher, "[s]ome of the members on that list actively used their platform to support and propagate a wide-sweeping media narrative based on lies and factual inaccuracies."08/01/2015 - 10:54am
Goth_Skunkthe forums of The Escapist. Thankfully, they were both unsuccessful.08/01/2015 - 10:53am
Goth_SkunkOf the "Gamers Are Dead" articles specifically, no. But the list was used to try and censor discussion about GamerGate in its early stages. Ben Kuchera and our own James Fudge used it to solicit to Escapist then EiC Greg Tito to prevent discussion on08/01/2015 - 10:53am
IronPatriotCraig, you are right that gamergate is utter hypocrisy. Any story about it which lacks the context of gamergate's harassment origins FAILS ethics in journalism. LOL.08/01/2015 - 10:49am
IronPatriot@Goth_Skunk "citation needed"? Citation provided! Gamergate was created by 4chan harassers and ethics #ISyourShield08/01/2015 - 10:48am
Craig R.IP: Plenty of irony to go around with GG. But really, it's complete hypocrisy.08/01/2015 - 10:48am
Andrew EisenIf that assertion were true, it's nigh unfathomable that that conversation was not one of the ones leaked and published on Breitbart. Plus, as I pointed out earlier, only TWO of the Gamers Are Dead authors were on the Game Journo Pros list anyway.08/01/2015 - 10:48am
Craig R.Looks like he is, Andrew. Tinfoil wonders never cease.08/01/2015 - 10:45am
Non-entityAndrew: that's exactly what GamerGate has been claiming, yes. Private discussion groups apparently equal conspiracy.08/01/2015 - 10:44am
Andrew EisenGoth - Wait, wait, wait. Are you suggesting that the Gamers Are Dead articles are the result of a coordinated effort organized on the Game Journo Pros group?08/01/2015 - 10:38am
IronPatriotGamergate's private "interest" is harassing women. Their public lie is about "ethics"08/01/2015 - 10:36am
 

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