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Congress

Wyden Criticizes Domain Name Seizures

February 3, 2011

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., is concerned about an effort by the Homeland Security Department's Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and the Justice Department to combat online piracy and counterfeiting by seizing Internet domain names, National Journal Daily reported.

Wyden wrote Attorney General Eric Holder and ICE Director John Morton on Wednesday seeking more information about their "Operation In Our Sites" crackdowns, saying they represent a "major shift" in how the United States combats online infringement.

ICE announced its latest targets on Wednesday when it seized the Internet addresses of 10 websites accused of illegally offering access to sports events and other copyright-protected content.

Wyden noted that until Operation In Our Sites was launched last summer, the government generally tackled online piracy under the "notice and takedown" provision of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which enabled copyright holders to contact websites that contain infringing content and ask them to take that content down. To read more, click here. (Subscription required)

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