If this goes through, I wonder how many other countries will start extraditing Americans for doing things in America that are only illegal in their country? An unmarried woman in Iowa talks to a man without a chaperone? Ship the whore off to Iran for trial and her stoning punishment!

As if we need further proof, we, as a country, have simply gone insane.

British website owners could face extradition to the US on piracy charges even if their operation has no connection to America and does something which is most probably legal in the UK, the official leading US web anti-piracy efforts has told the Guardian.

The US’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) is targeting overseas websites it believes are breaking US copyrights whether or not their servers are based in America or there is another direct US link, said Erik Barnett, the agency’s assistant deputy director.

As long as a website’s address ends in .com or .net, if it is implicated in the spread of pirated US-made films, TV or other media it is a legitimate target to be closed down or targeted for prosecution, Barnett said. While these web addresses are traditionally seen as global, all their connections are routed through Verisign, an internet infrastructure company based in Virginia, which the agency believes is sufficient to seek a US prosecution.




  1. Sagrilarus says:

    Verisign could be out of business in a month.

    S.

  2. ± says:

    Great thing about the internet, it (at least for now) routes around such major problems. .com and .net have no particular value anymore. Or, this is just another path for the US to marginalize itself vs. the rest of the world. Do you see China engaging in this particular sort of silliness (agreed, they have their own brands of insanity).

  3. NobodySpecial says:

    Surely it’s only extradition if somebody is removed form a foreign sovereign country?

    Since the UK is basically just a US overseas sales office and aircraft carrier it’s not really extradition – just an inter-agency transfer.

  4. chuck says:

    Maybe I’m wrong, but isn’t Verisign just the top-level domain name administrator and registrar? OK, they administer .com and .net.

    But the domain names and IP addresses from their DNS’s just get propagated around the world to other DNS’s. So the “connection” is not actually routed through Virginia, is it?

  5. NobodySpecial says:

    #5 – no nothing is routed through verisign. The only argument you could make is that since the contract is ultimately with verisign you are subject to their terms and conditions. That’s why we need DNS to be taken out of the hands of a US corporation.

    Of course there is nothing to stop each country deciding to implement it’s own top level registry, so .com in France could resolve to a completely different address than .com in the US. It would completely break the internet but might be the only way to save it.

  6. JimD says:

    America. the land of the free and home of the brave, is JUST A POLICE STATE !!! The more cops you have, the more laws you need to keep them busy, and the more prison cells to house the “offenders” !!! “Criminal Justice Systen” no different from the Military/Industrial Complex – IT NEEDS VICTIMS !!! Individuals, Cournties, – doesn’t matter !!!

  7. chuck says:

    “Ship the whore off to Iran for trial and her stoning punishment!”

    That’s a bit extreme. But preventing women from driving cars and voting seems fair to me.

    Also, people in same-sex marriages that are legal in one state (such as NY) should be extradited to states where same-sex marriage is not legal so they can be prosecuted. Or maybe people in states that don’t permit same-sex marriage should be forced to move to other states and marry people they aren’t even related to.

    And what happens in Vegas should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law in other states.

  8. NobodySpecial says:

    #8 – sounds silly but it was only a few years ago that this did happen for people in mixed (color) marriages.
    Being married to a white(r) women was classified as rape in some states – you better hope your plane didn’t touch down in Alabama.

  9. Nolimit662 says:

    Hopefully other countries will give the US the big middle finger!!

  10. sargasso_c says:

    Point lost. Audiovisual was never intended to be transferred across the internet when the top level domain control was originally built. Neither was money.

  11. Herr Doktor says:

    No, I actually DON’T “need further proof that we as a country have simply gone insane”. I can just turn on the television and look at the TV guide.

    Modern Marvels: Lawn Ornaments
    Hitler’s Secret UFO Squadron
    Watching Paint Dry XXIII
    World’s Funniest Crotch Injuries
    Poltergeist Hunters

    and, of course, The “News”.

    Diagnosis: rug-chewing, strap-gnawing batshit.

  12. BoffoTheClown says:

    Sounds reasonable to me. We should all be extradited to the moon for committing the offense of air-breathing. Everyone knows it’s against the law to breathe air, as far a moon-people are concerned. It makes about as much sense.

  13. chuck says:

    #13 – it’s not the air-breathing that’s illegal. It’s the exhaling of CO2 that’s illegal, because it is causing global warming and it makes you worse than Hitler.

  14. bobbo, the law is what happens whether you like it or not says:

    In this case a combo plate of IP law and Extradition treaties/laws. USA has to ask “permission” of UK to extradite their citizens and the UK has to agree. I don’t see why this “connection” with a server or domain name is even required. It might be nothing more than a bow tie on the package of infringement it is attached to.

    Much like holding China up as a model for good government?

  15. deowll says:

    Drop com and net. The entertainment industry has bought so more law making bodies than organized crime and at least the last two presidents. Vote the maggots out!

  16. Guyver says:

    Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better: http://tinyurl.com/3cmync8

  17. bobbo, the law is what happens whether you like it or not says:

    Guyver–I’ve been surprised they have taken so long. And they choose to be cops to favor one set of customers over another all in an environment where the customer “base” has no alternative choices.

    when the law is what it is regarding infringement, I find it difficult to find a “rational” argument against the ISP’s being cops.

    Its a complicated mix of issues. Regardless of the equities, social and technological forces, follow the money.

  18. dobgold says:

    I know we think of ourselves as the policemen of the world, but…. our government is running amok.

  19. John E. Quantum says:

    The real problem for everyone is that there are just too many lawyers. They need something to do and they write the laws to insure plenty of work for themselves, whether we like it or not.

  20. chris says:

    #4 You make a good point. This does cut to core of national sovereignty. I don’t see how the Brits could possibly be *allowed* to extradite the guy by their own courts.

    I always thought you were in danger if you break laws, but safe if you follow them. Now we have to follow EVERYBODY’s laws or be in danger?

  21. Guyver says:

    18, Bobbo,

    when the law is what it is regarding infringement, I find it difficult to find a “rational” argument against the ISP’s being cops.

    Abuse is simply being defined by how much they think you should be downloading. Not whether actual abuse is taking place. Gone are the days of “unlimited” Internet.

    In this day and age, the following is abuse:

    Paying for a 8Mbps plan and downloading at 8Mbps nearly 24/7 (even though your ISP offers a 60Mbps plan). Your ISP will argue that you are abusing and bogging their network down (even though they have your modem throttled down to your plan).

    Where EXACTLY is the abuse? That you are “driving” at a slower speed and fully utilizing that speed limit?

    The following isn’t abuse:

    Paying for a 60Mbps plan but limiting yourself to downloading at 8 or 12Mbps nearly 24/7.

    In either case, it’s the same infrastructure. It’s the same sunk cost (for them). Why is my preference for driving the minimum speed limit FREQUENTLY and CONSISTENTLY on their autobahn considered abusive?

    When will the the current metric not be considered “abuse”? Maybe when every household becomes more network-centric in terms of Netflix, VOIP, Video Conferencing, Gaming, Surfing, etc?

    In the meantime, I would argue if you’re on a throttled plan that you fully utilize then you cannot possibly be “abusing” their networks IMHO.

  22. bobbo, pround of what we don't appreciate or don't understand or even what we strongly disagree with says:

    Guyver–I won’t reread the link but I thought it was about ISP’s actually policing WHAT is being downloaded, not how much is being downloaded.

    I have received notices of infringement filed by copyright holders and delivered to my Comcast email account. I assume now or soon or someday Comcast will monitor my traffic and compare it to a list of what is likely copyrighted and suspend me/terminate me themselves. I have been greatly chilled to the point of only downloading from some foreign sites that “I believe” are legal. Who wants to get touched by the legal system?

    As stated==I’m surprised they haven’t done this already and I find it hard to formulate a reason why they shouldn’t.

    Why should private businesses having monopoly control over the choke point in criminal trafficking ever not do what they can? Just because I don’t “like” the law doesn’t mean Comcast shouldn’t either.

    If not now, its coming anyway. The big boys stick together and there is no competition.

  23. bobbo, the law is what happens whether you like it or not says:

    Yep—things progressing right along:

    Six strikes and you are out. I wonder if half a season of Dexter will be worth it? What if “everyone” did it?

    http://washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/post/isps-institute-six-strike-rule/2011/07/07/gIQAl5WJ3H_blog.html?wpisrc=nl_tech

  24. bobbo, the law is what happens whether you like it or not says:

    Even more international progress, this time blowback as Texas gets sued for not following “Consular Law.” Seems fair enough though. Rules is rules.

    http://cnn.com/2011/WORLD/americas/07/08/mexico.execution.un/index.html?eref=rss_topstories&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+rss/cnn_topstories+%28RSS:+Top+Stories%29

  25. bobbo, the law is what happens whether you like it or not says:

    And it is always good to know exactly who these laws are benefitting. The good folks at the RIAA who are nothing but frauds. Effective royalty for established artists can be as low as 2.5% even though the LARGE PRINT in the contract says 10%. “There ought to be a law.” //// Yes, more laws.

    We need more laws. Or less laws? How does that work again?

    http://techdirt.com/articles/20110707/03264014993/riaa-accounting-how-to-sell-1-million-albums-still-owe-500000.shtml

  26. Guyver says:

    23, Bobbo,

    I won’t reread the link but I thought it was about ISP’s actually policing WHAT is being downloaded, not how much is being downloaded.

    Yes, you are correct that the article is talking about WHAT is being downloaded. However it won’t stop there. Companies like Charter are already taking a more “agnostic” approach and base “abuse” on the amount downloaded regardless of where it’s coming from as I understand it. In other words, it doesn’t matter if they know WHAT you’re downloading. All the “know” is if you download too much, then you MUST be up to no good.

    I have received notices of infringement filed by copyright holders and delivered to my Comcast email account. I assume now or soon or someday Comcast will monitor my traffic and compare it to a list of what is likely copyrighted and suspend me/terminate me themselves.

    So what happens if you use an encrypted third party service? I think this is why companies like Charter are taking the agnostic approach.

    As stated==I’m surprised they haven’t done this already and I find it hard to formulate a reason why they shouldn’t.

    I didn’t disagree with you. I was merely illustrating how they are splitting hairs over what is “abuse”.

    If not now, its coming anyway. The big boys stick together and there is no competition.

    I’m afraid so.

    I wonder if half a season of Dexter will be worth it? What if “everyone” did it?

    So DVRs are legal, but using your PC as one via something like this is illegal?: http://tinyurl.com/3ecoqs6

    What a shame. But you know the entertainment industry wants it both ways when they allow retailers to advertise on TV or on fliers about new DVD / Blu-ray movies with slogans such as: “Own it Today”. That would make some people think they’re allowed to make backup copies or rip their movies into a format compatible for their electronic gear.

    If Hollywood and the RIAA REALLY wanted people to understand where they are coming from, they would have done a public campaign a long time ago to tell people that when you buy a movie on a disc that you only pay for the right to view it on that medium only. Ripping or making backup copies of what you buy is considered theft in their eyes.

    Here’s my prediction. If the ISPs are successful in curbing what they consider illegal, then those predisposed to that sort of things will find other ways to pirate their stuff. If necessary, they’ll resort to cruder methods (i.e. Redbox, Netflix, or Blockbuster).

    We need more laws. Or less laws? How does that work again?

    Are you suggesting the DMCA was for the benefit of consumers? We need less laws. Companies like Sony used to be on the side of the consumer until they became an music and movie company. Then their loyalties became divided.

  27. bobbo, the law is what happens whether you like it or not says:

    Guyver–you aren’t even arguing with me and still the parsing? Ha, ha. Well done.

    Its good to go point by point.

    I record directly from my Comcast DVR to my PC via Firewire. I’m happy with that service. I can’t upgrade to a different larger drive because the new units have deactivated the firewire connections all as outlawed by the FCC.

    I read about the analogue hole being blocked in more and more locales. Actually, I’m also quite happy with my VCR collection as well. Viewing content is a very “real time” activity.

    Sony vs Whoever established the right to use vcr for over air transmissions. Bittorrent is not the same thing at all.

    Vested Interests. Good for a fraction of one percent, bad for everyone else. All a shim sham. Are laws better based on what a fraction of a percent benefit from, or should it really be openned up a bit for all?

    Pro’s and con’s to all we do.

  28. Kent says:

    Speaking of which…FREE MARC EMERY!