[At-Large] NYTimes : U.S. Shuts Down Web Sites in Piracy Crackdown
karl at cavebear.com
Fri Dec 3 01:32:11 UTC 2010
On 12/02/2010 04:13 PM, Bill Silverstein wrote:
> While the seizing1 of a domain name does effect all services with that
> domain name, it is not a risk of collateral damage to innocents. In your
> analogy, it is more like taking all containers which have stickers on the
> outside that states, "Property of Pirate Inc." It is also possible to
> take the domain name, and recreate the DNS records for the non-web
Let's take a simple case: Someone on facebook says they are selling
OK, take down facebook.com
Simple.. Easy.. Fast
But very, very wrong in terms of collateral damage.
How can you know what other things a domain name represents? Remember
domain names can contain information about geographic coordinates
(lawful), text (I've got the Magna Carta in my DNS records, again
lawful), VoIP service records (lawful), email exchange records (lawful),
One might argue, as I think you are arguing, that because so far we have
mainly dealt with people who use domain names for exactly one overt
purpose and that purpose is a website or email origination that is 100%
illicit that every other accused domain name equally ought to be
summarily condemned, tried, and executed.
It is always easier to paint with a wide brush and accept the results
than it is to do finely detailed work in which the results have few flaws.
As humans we've been painting with a broad accusatorial brush for a long
time. The progress of justice often goes hand in hand with the
narrowing of the brush.
Literature and history are filled with examples ranging from Othello's
presumptions about Desdemona, the book "The Oxbow Incident", and the
unrestricted torpedoing of passenger liners during WWI.
> Now if the police come in and seize the server, which could handle
> hundreds of other web sites, that would be a server of another color.
Unfortunately "the police" (they usually aren't the kind of police who
wear blue uniforms) do take entire server machines. Those of us who
sometimes use cloud based hosting have reason to be nervous.
I already left one co-lo facility because of the collateral damage done
to our innocent machines by overzealous blacklists that included our
machines simply on the basis of IP address proximity.
I've spent some time last month discussing with various lawyers and law
professors the idea that we need to create a law in the US (or in
California) that would require those who assert internet reputations for
use by others to conform to various standards of conduct. One of the
mental models is the US Fair Credit Reporting Act that puts some (but
not many) strictures on credit reporting agencies. Similar rules could
be applied to those who operate on the net to assign status (like
"saintly", "good", "bad", "evil", or "condemned" - or something more
like a blacklist) for beyond mere personal consumption.
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