[NA-Discuss] USG seizes another 70 websites

Joly MacFie joly at punkcast.com
Thu Jul 12 19:36:22 UTC 2012

(Extracts from a new ICE release detailing seizure of another 70 sites.)


The 70 websites seized are part of Project Copy Cat, an iteration of
Operation In Our Sites (IOS), and closely mimicked legitimate websites
selling authentic merchandise and duped consumers into unknowingly buying
counterfeit goods. Many of the websites so closely resembled the legitimate
websites that it would be difficult for even the most discerning consumer
to tell the difference.

During this operation, federal law enforcement officers made undercover
purchases of a host of products, including baby carriers, professional
sports jerseys, language and fitness DVD sets, and a variety of clothing,
jewelry and luxury goods from online retailers who were suspected of
selling counterfeit products. In most cases, the goods were shipped
directly into the United States from suppliers in other countries. If the
copyright holders confirmed that the purchased products were counterfeit or
otherwise illegal, seizure orders for the domain names of the websites that
sold the goods were obtained from federal magistrate judges

A new twist in the websites seized in Project Copy Cat involved the
appearance of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates. SSL certificates
provide authentication for financial information, meaning consumers should
be able to trust that they are sending information to the intended server
and not to a criminal's server. Trusted SSL providers should only issue SSL
certificates to verified companies that have gone through several identity
checks. In addition to providing authentication, SSL certificates also
provide encryption, enhancing the security of credit card numbers,
usernames, passwords and other sensitive information. These websites,
however, displayed SSL certificates, further duping the consumer into
thinking they were shopping on a legitimate website, potentially putting
customers' financial information at risk.

These 70 domain name seizures bring the total number of IOS domain names
seized in the last two years to 839. This enforcement action coincides with
the two-year anniversary of the 2010 launch of IOS. Since then, the seizure
banner has received more than 103 million individual views.

Of the 769 previous domain names seized, 229 have now been forfeited to the
U.S. government. The federal forfeiture process affords individuals who
have an interest in seized domain names a period of time after a "Notice of
Seizure" to file a petition with a federal court and additional time after
a "Notice of Forfeiture" to contest the forfeiture. If no petitions or
claims are filed, the domain names become the property of the U.S.

The IPR Center uses the expertise of its 21 member agencies to share
information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions and
conduct investigations related to IP theft. Through this strategic
interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public's health and
safety, the U.S. economy and the war fighters.

Joly MacFie  218 565 9365 Skype:punkcast
WWWhatsup NYC - http://wwwhatsup.com
 http://pinstand.com - http://punkcast.com
 VP (Admin) - ISOC-NY - http://isoc-ny.org

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