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    USA Goverment Relations DoJ "redirects" websites of accused
    posted by tbyfield on Wednesday February 26 2003, @11:58AM

    The venerable hacking-rights group 2600 notes that "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." Or, as Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration John Brown put it in a Justice Department press release, "With Operations Pipe Dreams and Headhunter these criminals are out of business, and 11 illicit dot.coms are dot.gone."

    According to the report, Attorney General John Ashcroft said that people visiting the companies' sites would be "redirected to a government website informing them of the indictment." However, 2600 notes that the specific technique used to reroute traffic involved replacing the original nameserver entries listed for the domains with NS.PIPEDREAMS.DEA.GOV. "The ownership and contact information of the domains did not appear to have been modified." The reports goes on to state:
    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.

    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.

    At the time of the 2600's article's writing, four domains registered through Register.com and two registered through GoDaddy had been pseudo-redirected; "the remaining seven domains, registered through Network Solutions, did not seem to be modified at all."

    The domains list in the Justice Department's press release are: 101north.net, 420now.com, 420smile.com, aheadcase.com, colorchangingglass.com, ghettoweb.com, gothicdungeon.com, jeromebaker.com, omnilounge.com, pipesforyou.com, puffpipes.com, smokelab.com, testingfree.com, and the themallusa.com.

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  • Also by tbyfield
    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    DoJ "redirects" websites of accused | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 4 comments | Search Discussion
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    Like the post office
    by feenberg on Thursday February 27 2003, @03:18AM (#11256)
    User #3218 Info
    To me, this sounds very much like what the Postal Inspectors do for mail fraud. They return the mail
    destined for the criminal to the sender with a notice. I don't see any argument that this shouldn't be the case - there has to be some way for the government to fight fraud. If the Nigerian government would do this, that would be the end of 419 scams.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    another example (as part of a plea bargain)
    by tbyfield (reversethis-{moc.xinap} {ta} {dleifybt}) on Thursday February 27 2003, @05:02AM (#11257)
    User #44 Info
    as it turns out, the DoJ is doing this kind of thing more and more: the register notes [theregister.co.uk] another case in which a former mod-chip site whose maintainer pled guilty to DMCA violations is "turning it into a repository of anti-piracy propaganda."

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Interesting Definition of Paraphernalia
    by jberryhill on Friday February 28 2003, @12:30PM (#11264)
    User #3013 Info
    The archive of testingfree.com indicates they were selling urine testing kits and various preparations alleged to alter the results of urine and hair tests for drug metabolites. I guess if you sell ten gallon bottles of water for people to dilute their urine, then it qualifies as drug paraphernalia.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]

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