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Guilty until proven innocent

A new U.S. law that authorises the seizure of website domains by the U.S. government on grounds of suspected copyright violations. The seizure is conducted under U.S. civil law instead of criminal law, which means the affected parties must prove they are innocent first before getting their sites back. "Guilty until proven innocent" is a contradiction to the U.S. long standing "innocent until proven guilty" right.

Visitors to a seized website will see an official Homeland Security notice with the following text:

This domain name has been seized by ICE - Homeland Security Investigations, pursuant to a seizure warrant issued by a United States District Court under the authority of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922 and 2323.

The latest seizure of domains has hit a number popular sports websites around the world including Rojadirecta.org in Spain which is a popular sports streaming and P2P download site. The site links to broadcasts of many popular soccer matches and other sporting events including NBA, MLB, NFL, NPB, IPL. The site has well over a million visitors a day, and is listed among the 100 most popular sites in Spain. Other seized sites include channelsurfing.net and adhte.net.

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  • Industry/Domain: Law
  • Category: US law
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