Feds Seize 130 Domains in Pre-Cyber Monday Crackdown

Bob Johnson

WASHINGTON — More than 130 domain names have been seized by the Department of Homeland Security's Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division as part of "Operation in Our Sites," in what’s being called its largest assault on website piracy to date.

TorrentFreak reported that most of the sites included counterfeit goods domains and was initiated just days before the huge Cyber Monday online buying event and one year since ICE’s similar operation that netted 82 takedowns that included Torrent-Finder.

The new assault targets sites that directly charge visitors for services. This move differs from last year’s action that targeted sites that allowed users to access free music and movie downloads.

The bogus addresses included domains like dvdshopdvd.com and reeboksite.com among others.

According to the report, Deaprtment of Justice authorities did not comment on the takedowns but the assumption is that they will use the same justification for the domain seizures as they did last year under 2008's PRO IP Act’s "civil forfeiture" laws.

The laws let the government seize "property" used in the commission of certain crimes without getting a conviction for the crime itself.

It is presumed the seized domains are registered in the U.S.