Many may have heard about I.C.E. (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and their love of seizing domains without warrants. Recently they have contacted Mozilla with a request that they remove the MafiaaFire add-on from the Firefox addon site. The government is claiming that the add-on has violated the seizure orders it has obtained over the last year against a few hundred domain names accused of copyright and trademark infringement.
Because the government has seized only the domain names and not the actual servers, it’s very simple for the server owners to register a new domain name with a non-US registrar and be back online. The MafiaaFire add-on for Firefox redirects users who type in the old site names to the new site names, making the government’s seizure process ineffective.
Mozilla so far has refused to take down the plugin from their addon site. Harvey Anderson, who works at Mozilla on legal and business affairs posted a very interested article to his blog on the matter and has asked the government some simple but tough questions.
- Have any courts determined that the Mafiaafire add-on is unlawful or illegal in any way? If so, on what basis? (Please provide any relevant rulings)
- Is Mozilla legally obligated to disable the add-on or is this request based on other reasons? If other reasons, can you please specify.
- Can you please provide a copy of the relevant seizure order upon which your request to Mozilla to take down the Mafiaafire add-on is based?
Will be very interesting to see how this all plays out over the next few weeks.
Read Harvey Anderson’s blog post here: http://lockshot.wordpress.com/2011/05/05/homeland-security-request-to-take-down-mafiaafire-add-on/