Last Thursday agents working for Immigration and Customs Enforcement seized 307 domains. Sixteen were involved with streaming sports events while the rest were implicated with the sale of counterfeit jerseys and other NFL merchandise. This brings the number of domain names seized to nearly 700 and the timing of the latest swoop is having a possibly unintended side-effect - currently all those 307 domains, plus the 370-odd seized in 2010 and 2011, as well as their 'example' domain seizedservers.com are all offline right now as their single server is struggling under the load.
So rather than seeing the Department of Immigration and Custom's serious-looking takedown message, visitors are just getting a timeout, and rather than being 'educated' they'll more likely feel vindicated by the wisdom of the crowd. Also the confiscated domains which had been used to show the department's Youtube anti-piracy video will be similarly paralysed.
It looks like ICE are paying up to $7.8 million to immixGroup for the hosting of these seized domains. Are they getting a good deal? A huge operation combining personnel from Intellectual Property, Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs (operating far from any border, airport or port) manages to bag a theoretical $4.8 million worth of fake shirts in support of a circus worth billions and they trumpet it like they're saving civilization itself! And it's all of questionable legality. All the while the majority of the owners of the seized domains consider themselves innocent and are still jumping through whichever hoops ICE have erected to get their property back. And I doubt Senator Wyden has received a proper reply to any of his questions yet.