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Congress members question Homeland Security over domains seized 'without sufficient due process and transparency'

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Member of the US Congress are questioning Homeland security after the takedown of hip hop website Dajaz1.


Members of United Stated Congress have approached the Department of Homeland Security in regards to domains that have been seized by the agency. In a letter directed to Attorney General Holder and Secretary Napolitano, the members question Homeland Security's procedures and jurisdiction when action is taken to bring down sites that may violate copyright laws.

The letter specifically references one case involving hip hop website Dajaz1, which was taken down by the Department of Homeland Security after being accused of linking to copyrighted songs. Over a year later, the domain was restored, but little to no information regarding the seizure was ever provided by Homeland Security either during or after the case.

Unsurprisingly, Dajaz1's attorneys made various attempts to discuss the matter, but the government had refused to cooperate, according to the EFF. Additionally, it was later found that the Recording Industry Association of America played a role in extending the amount of the time that the site was down, although this information had been kept secret through the course of the year. Overall, the Congress members felt that "the censorship of what appears to be a legitimate website was unnecessarily prolonged while the website owner was unable to get his day in court." To make matters worse, content on the site, specifically many of the links to copyrighted songs, were given to the site's owner by the artists as well as labels.

As a result, the members have expressed that they "are deeply concerned that [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and its sister agencies may be failing to properly investigate and prosecute cases brought under the PRO-IP act." The letter given to the Department of Homeland Security includes seven questions, each of which request clarification of the agency's identification process, what it does to ensure due process, and how many seizures it expects to see in the near future.