Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

“There are so many things about this story that are crazy,” according to a detailed and exasperated report at Techdirt.com, “it’s difficult to know where to start.”

What story? The one you’ve probably heard nothing about.

Back in late 2010, the federal government seized Dajaz1.com, a popular Internet blog devoted to hip hop. The Justice Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) shut down the website domain claiming it was infringing on music copyrights. ICE “put up a big scary warning graphic on the site, suggesting its operators were criminals.”

The government then failed to abide by the legal requirements for filing an asset forfeiture case, conducting a secret legal effort, instead. Motions, hearings, and court decisions were filed in secret and placed under “seal,” denying the website owners and their attorney any opportunity for challenge.

Freedom of speech? Due process of law? Obliterated. And yet, earlier this month, the government admitted it had no legitimate case, no probable cause to go after this website in the first place, and, after a year of censorship, finally returned the web domain to its rightful owners.

That a website can be seized by our government, without a charge being publicly made and the crime proven in a fair and open court of law, is absolutely frightening.

What’s even scarier, though, is that legislation currently being considered by Congress — Protect IP and the Stop Online Piracy Act — would give the federal government even more sweeping powers to regulate and control the Internet.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

5 Comments

  1. Drik says:

    What is scariest is that “our” government can run roughshod over our basic constitutional liberties and then have no more consequences than backtracking on their activities. No jail. No personal fines. No firing. No demotion. At worst they may get a letter in their file. If they work for the ATF, they may actually get a promotion and transfer.

    We’ve come a LONG way from where governments are instituted amoung men to secure their God-given rights.

    Edward Abbey said it well when he wrote, ” I love my country. I fear my government.”

    http://delendam.wordpress.com

  2. MoreFreedom says:

    This and the Patriot Act are just examples of our government that don’t want any restrictions on their ability to use force against us.

    Unfortunately, our voters seem to approve, as they elect those who promote our safety at the expense of our liberty and our safety from our own government.

  3. Paul jacob says:

    MoreFreedom — You’re right. But I beg to differ on one point: voters do NOT approve. It has just become difficult for voters to find candidates and then office-holders who will stand up to this. Drik makes a great point that there must be more serious consequences for those in government trampling our right than “Oops, sorry.” And you’re right in that we need to inflict the consequence of “You’re fired!” on elected officials until this sort of tyranny is stopped.

  4. Tj says:

    @ Paul – fired? At least!

    This is inconceivable.

    Why is a “person” who is a government employee exempt from the law?

    I have though for years that “people” in government should be held accountable for their action.

    The word “government” always take the responsibility away from “people/individuals”. Someone is always responsible. There is a person who leads these efforts and they should be accountable for such reckless actions.

    Fines and jail time would seem reasonable along with being fired!

    Paul, as you yourself has experienced – the pressure put on people when falsely accused is unbearable.

    The people who decide to go down these roads in the name of the government of The Unites States of America need to be held accountable to the same laws as we the people are held to.

  5. […] who know the issue. ” Unfortunately, that’s likely why prosecutors went after her, and in another horrible misuse of sealed court proceedings, suppressed her organization and brought her close to […]

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