It looks like there is a whole new wrinkle in the “somebody can come in and take your domain” game that is becoming a prevalent part of domaining. From companies claiming that you are infringing on their trademarks to outright domain theft there has always been a fear that you could lose a very valuable domain overnight. Now there’s another entity that has entered in the “take your domain” game. The US government and ICANN have now teamed up to take back ie seize domains that they think are harming the Internet. Domains that they deem to be a threat to national security and interstate commerce. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security seized nine domain names: Movies-links.TV, nowmovies.com, thepiratecity.org, filespump.com, planetmoviez.com, zml.org, tvshack.net, ninjavideo.net and thisninja.net.
Federal authorities shut the illegal businesses down by seizing assets from 15 bank, PayPal, investment and advertising accounts. They also executed residential search warrants in several states.
The head of ICE, John Morton, says that the number of illegal movie sites is dramatically rising both in the U.S. and abroad, and organized crime is behind some of them. So just as they would go in and storm a drug house, seizing all cash and property, the US government has done the same thing for file sharing sites except instead of taking the Ferrari, they’re taking the domain (of course the domains taken are quite Ferrari quality)
I’m not saying this is wrong or right but it does show that ICANN is an absolutely powerless entity that can be pushed aside by the US government. It also shows that the government knows that the easiest way to shut down a business is to shut down their website. The easiest way to shut down their website? Take their domain.