Back in December of last year, I asked a simple question: is Homeland Security Now Working for the Recording Industry?. In the article, I explained how the MPAA and RIAA (Movie and Music industry groups) have bribed the U.S. Congress with millions of dollars and now have ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), a division of DHS (Homeland Security) in their pockets.
ICE has seized dozens of website domains over the last few months, supposedly to crack down on piracy and copyright infringement. Several new sites were taken down this week and new targets were likely suggested to ICE by the MPAA or RIAA. In a congressional hearing last month, ICE director John Morton admitted that his organization was acting on tips from industry representatives,and other leads.
Here’s what you’ll see if a site was taken down by ICE.
Recently, Mozilla started offering a new addon. called MAFIAAfire, in the Firefox Addons site. If you are using MAFIAAfire when you try to visit one of the seized domains, you’ll be redirected to the new address for that website, if they have created one.
Note: MAFIAA means Music and Film Industry Association of America
Naturally, Homeland Security didn’t like that and sent Mozilla a take-down notice for the new addon. Mozilla’s written response to the request was a classic Why do we need to?, in the form of 11 piercing questions that will probably never be answered.
Is Mozilla now considered to be a terrorist organization that United States citizens need protection from? Since the Department of Homeland Security was formed in response to terrorism, you could draw that conclusion. However, I’m sure that DHS merely considers Mozilla to be a pain in the rear.
I don’t think that my government should be taking down websites. It sickens me to think that millions in tax dollars are spent on stupid moves like this. I don’t feel any safer as a result, and I’m afraid that we have a bunch of corrupt bureaucratic zombies in the seats of power here.
If you feel like protesting, or one of your favorite websites has been taken down by ICE, you can get the Firefox addon and a new Chrome browser plugin here:
Download MAFIAAfire (for Firefox and Chrome)