Homeland Security falsely accuses 84000 websites of trafficking child pornography

first_imgLate last week, the Department of Justice and Homeland Security’s ICE office announced with great fanfare that they had seized a multitude of domains that were responsible for distributing counterfeit goods and child pornography over the Internet. Seems pretty good, right? Unfortunately, over 84,000 of the sites grabbed by ICE had absolutely no link to child pornography or counterfeit goods at all. Nice one, guys.Here’s what happened. As part of the absurdly titled “Operation Save Our Children,” ICE’s Cyber Crimes Center seized several high-level domain names they allege were distrubuting kiddy porn and illegal goods. Unfortunately, one of those high-level domains was a free DNS provider… and host to over 84,000 websites. Consequently, those 84,000 domains were summarily shut down, their owners accused of child pornography crimes.When afflicted site owners logged into their domains last Friday, this was the message that was waiting for them.“Advertisement, distribution, transportation, receipt, and possession of child pornography constitute federal crimes that carry penalties for first time offenders of up to 30 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, forfeiture and restitution.” The domain in question is called mooo.com, and is actually owned by DNS provider FreeDNS, one of the world’s most popular. FreeDNS quickly reacted with a statement.“Freedns.afraid.org has never allowed this type of abuse of its DNS service. We are working to get the issue sorted as quickly as possible,” they said on their website.How did a mistake like this happen? It appears to be purely clerical, with mooo.com mistakenly placed on the list. The error was mistaken on Sunday, but not before visitors to over 84,000 websites were told that the owner of that site was a child pornographer… a rather slanderous mistake that might open the door for a federal lawsuit or two.Read more at Torrent Freaklast_img read more