The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has asked Mozilla to remove a simple Firefox extension that redirects visitors from one domain name to another. Why? Because the MafiaaFire Redirector (no, the name isn't subtle) makes it easy for Web surfers to bypass the government's domain name seizures. Mozilla, the foundation that oversees Firefox development, has resisted the request.Read more »
A DNS provider that suffered backlash last week after it was wrongly identified as supplying and then dropping DNS service to WikiLeaks has decided to support the secret-spilling site, offering DNS service to two domains distributing WikiLeaks content.Read more »
The domain seizures by the United States authorities in recent days and upcoming legislation that could make similar takeovers even easier in the future, have inspired a group of enthusiasts to come up with a new, decentralized and BitTorrent-powered DNS system. This system will exchange DNS information through peer-to-peer transfers and will work with a new .p2p domain extension.Read more »
Legal Analysis by Corynne McSherry
Over the past few days, the U.S. Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security and nine U.S. Attorneys’ Offices seized 82 domain names of websites they claim were engaged in the sale and distribution of counterfeit goods and illegal copyrighted works.
"If rightsholders get their way, overseas pirate websites could soon be inaccessible to US users, lose their ability to process US credit cards, and be banned from Google Adwords. The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act is back this week in the US Senate."
This part is particularly ominous:
"A service provider, as that term is defined in section 512(k)(1) of title 17, United States Code, or other operator of a domain name system server shall take reasonable steps that will prevent a domain name from resolving to that domain name's Internet protocol address."Read more »
In September, digital rights advocates and Internet engineers helped to delay the Combatting Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), a terrible bill that would have allowed the Attorney General to censor the Internet in the name of copyright enforcement. Now that the November elections are over, COICA is back on the Senate Judiciary Committee schedule for markup this Thursday and could pass out of committee during the "lame duck" session of Congress.Read more »
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