Homeland Security seizes more domains

The US Department of Homeland Security has gone on another round of domain seizures - its first since February this year - taking control of domains used by sites accused of copyright infringement and counterfeiting offences.

According to TorrentFreak, which was the first site to notice the most recent round of seizures, Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement arm has taken down a series of domains, two of which - Re1ease.net and WatchNewFilms.com - are accused of copyright infringement on film releases.

The two sites did not play host to the allegedly infringing content themselves, however: instead, they provided links to the content on third-party sites, including video sharing services Veoh.com and MegaVideo.com. Despite this, the latter two domains are active - but the sites that linked to them are now in the hands of ICE.

The remainder of the sites seized in this latest run - DVDCollectionSale.com, DVDsCollection.com, DVDSetsOnline.com, and NewStyleRolex.com - are more directly involved in the act of counterfeit goods.

This latest domain seizure programme is the fourth in a series of operations dubbed In Our Sites by Homeland Security officials, and while the number of domains seized in each successive iteration is decreasing - contrast the current six confirmed targets with the number seized back in November 2010 - it proves that ICE is committed to the use of domain seizures in its role of preventing piracy.

Sadly, things don't always go according to plan: the last In Our Sites run, in February, led to the accidental closure of 84,000 completely innocent websites after a domain seizure went wrong and a dynamic DNS domain was added to the list. With this latest run being the first since that gaffe, ICE will be keen that it is not seen to be making any mistakes this time around.

Thus far, Homeland Security has not commented on the latest seizures.