Domain Seizures Claim to Be Part of Immigration Security Program

Intellectual property violations are the reasons being cited for Homeland Security’s seizure of “hundreds of websites for alleged… violations”. The domains seized however were not in violation of any intellectual property laws.

The article follows in part below.

US Immigration Services Blasted for Domain Seizures
By John P. Mello Jr., PCWorld

A sudden move last week to return a hip-hop site to its owner after it was seized and held by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for a year has renewed criticism of the agency’s domain confiscation program called In Our Sites.

Since its launch in June 2010, the initiative, spearheaded by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) directorate, has seized hundreds of websites for alleged intellectual property violations, including a raid on "Cyber Monday" that shut down 150 websites for selling or distributing counterfeit goods.

The return of the domain to its owner "Splash" provoked one of In Our Sites most vocal critics, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), to vow to probe the situation. “I expect the administration will be receiving a series of FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] requests from our office and that the senator will have very pointed questions with regard to how the administration chooses to target the sites that it does," Wynden spokesperson Jennifer Hoelzer told Wired Magazine.

She added that the senator was “particularly interested in learning how many secret dockets exist for copyright cases. There doesn’t seem to be an obvious precedent or explanation for that."

Read more HERE


Search Engine Dynamics

When you perform a search using Google, you are not actually searching the entire Internet, only a portion of the Internet called an ‘Index’. The Index is chosen by Google’s software program, using what they call ‘Spiders,’ and keeps an assortment of web pages on file for Google to sift through whenever you type in your search terms. In helping Google comprise their Index, the Spiders initially sift through a selection of pages containing various topics of information, and then search the links associated with those pages as well. Then, you type in your search terms, and Google searches its Index of pages for the terms you have specified.

Google determines which pages to pull to answer your search questions by using several parameters including counting the number of times your keywords appear on the page, where they appear on the page, whether there are related words or phrases on the page or variations, the quality of the website where the page originates, and what the ‘Page Rank’ is of this particular website, among other factors. Page Rank is determined by the amount of outside websites that are linked to the page, and the quality of the links themselves.