Just read with astonishment that the US government is now stamping over the sovereignty of foreign governments – in this case Spain – by seizing domains which it deems to be unlawful, even if the country in question has ruled it lawful.
The case in point concerns Rojadirecta.org, a Spanish site which legally streams sporting events across the web. The site has twice been ruled legal by Spanish courts, but apparently that doesn’t count when you’re the USA. So now it seems that the US can unilaterally decide to shut down any website in the world if it feels like it….what wonderful news for all of us!
“A very long judicial process (more than 3 years) where have worked the Spanish police, the Spanish Attorney General’s Office and the Spanish justice, ALL of them defending or deciding the legality of the site,” reads a message greeting visitors on a redirected Rojadirecta.com.”
This is one step away from unregulated international fascism, and does not bode well for the future of the internet as a democratic and open network. The really important thing to remember about dumb acts like this is the fact that it could one day have all sorts of unintended consequences. Time to start thinking about a different system outside the control of the bully boys?
Now ICE might think it’s doing the right thing by seizing sites it’s convinced are harming copyright holders, but what does it think would happen if foreign countries began seizing the domain names of legal US-based sites? Take, for example, if Tunisia had tried to seize Twitter for “inciting revolution” or Thailand had tried to seize YouTube for hosting videos that insult the King?