Drug Enforcement Takes Control Of Domain Names, Threatens Privacy

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Feb 27, 2003.

  1. As part of a crackdown on U.S. companies that sell drug paraphernalia, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has taken control of six domain names previously used to market the goods.

    The Department of Justice announced on Monday that, in cooperation with the DEA and other agencies, they had shut down 11 paraphernalia-selling websites as part of "Operation Pipe Dreams." At a press conference, Attorney General John Ashcroft told reporters that people attempting to visit the companies' websites would be redirected to a government website informing them of the indictment.

    The 35 indictments together mention an actual total of 13 domain names, which also appear in a press release from the DOJ. 2600 investigated these domains, and discovered that some but not all of the doman registrations have been modified in an unusual manner as part of the crackdown.

    Four domains registered through Register.com, and two which are registered through GoDaddy Software, have had their original DNS name server entries removed and replaced with a single name server: NS.PIPEDREAMS.DEA.GOV. The ownership and contact information of the domains did not appear to have been modified, however.

    This places the action by the DOJ in somewhat uncharted legal territory. The domains were not seized outright, still listing their original owners as the registrants of record. However, these registrants, who have not yet been convicted of any crime, are clearly no longer in control of their domain names. Such control is instead in the hands of the DEA, or whoever controls the NS.PIPEDREAMS.DEA.GOV name server.

    U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft
    By redirecting these domains to a government web site, its operators are able to collect information about visitors coming to the site. This includes not only a user's IP address, but more specific information (cookies) which the original site may have stored on the user's computer during previous visits. Both types of information have the potential to personally identify users who naively attempt to visit the shut down sites.

    "It's one thing to post an asset seizure notice, but it's another thing to actually redirect traffic to the DEA, especially when it is known that DEA captures IP addresses of visitors," said Richard Glen Boyre, legal counsel for the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics. Boyre says he's concerned about what information the DEA might collect, and has contacted the American Civil Liberties Union in regards to the government's actions.

    Yet, at press time, visiting these domains did not reveal any web page, no less the notice which Ashcroft had spoken of. Upon further analysis, the IP address of NS.PIPEDREAMS.DEA.GOV is currently listed by the registrars as, which is a "non-routable" IP address intended only for private networks. Such IP addresses should never appear on the public Internet, where their meaning is inconsistent at best. A technician at Register.com was able to confirm that the address appeared in their database, but did not know why.

    For the moment, the invalidity of the DEA address causes the domains to be essentially non-working. Earlier however, the address of NS.PIPEDREAMS.DEA.GOV was listed as, a working IP address registered to the DEA. The government-hosted Ashcroft notice can still be seen here.

    To make things even stranger, the remaining seven domains, registered through Network Solutions, did not seem to be modified at all. The websites at these domains were all still reachable at press time. This suggests that Register.com and GoDaddy Software, registrars for the six modified domains, may have been coerced into making the modifications without a court order.

    Regardless of the exact process by which the domains were modified, the Department of Justice's actions create an unnecessary potential for violating Internet users' privacy.

    Lisette Zarnowski, a press spokeswoman at Register.com in New York, said today that she was not aware of the situation. The Register.com legal department did not return telephone calls at press time, nor did the press office at the Department of Justice. Representatives of GoDaddy Software and Network Solutions were not reachable for comment.
  2. i was kindda hopeing to hear your opinon on this oneSJ?
  3. I would mean new ground for privacy rights, I can onlt tell you how wrong I think it is. However to ensure you as visitor, our data is not stored on one place and I eon't tell you for obvious reason how me maintain system securitym but we make damn sure no one can peek at our data without we knowing about it.

    We are always working on security and privacy of our members, in fact it's one of my top pririties, furthermore you can be very glad that these machines of us are not located anywhere in the even remote distant of the US.

    But you alwas mke sure that you are secure yourself, have firewall installed, good anti virus, now your cookies :)

    I can help you to prtect your house but you must lock the door yourself :)

    Always be aware that everybody sees, everybody on the net. And last but not least, we have nothing to hide! So shouldn't anyone on this forum. We are here peacefully.


  4. thanks alot SJ,

    like the tread bud head stared said...with out you guys we wouldent have our little home...

    again we all apprecate what you do for us!!!!

    sadly the federal gov here in the us no longer recognizes the fact the this contry was bourn on the ideas of people being free to make there own choices in life.....and they are now trying even harder to make those choices for us....

    wish i knew what we could realy do ....

    how many of us does it take to makke them listen to us?

    we are not the criminals.....(well most of us arnt)

    we are not the muggers or the rapest

    we (most of us)have jobs and familys....

    who are we realy hurting?
  5. Dingusus join NORML. The members there have a strong voice to speek for us. They also have the lawyers and represenatives to help us in any trouble that we may find ourselves in. At this time they are chin deep in all that the governmeent is trying to do to us.

    They are the speaker for legalisation, private use, and all other forms of mj related things!
  6. wow, i've never seen SJ make his own post :)

    right on!!

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