"Feds have seized at least 70 websites for copyright and trademark violations. The 70+ domain names have been seized by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a department under Homeland Security. The shut downs were initiated through court-ordered warrants.
ICE’s notices includes copyright infringement and trafficking in counterfeit goods.
A spokesman of ICE told Torrent Freak: “ICE office of Homeland Security Investigations executed court-ordered seizure warrants against a number of domain names. As this is an ongoing investigation, there are no additional details available at this time.”
Most of the blocked domains are e-commerce site, or websites selling goods like clothes, bags etc.
The clothes and handbags are apparently suspected of being "knock-offs" (cheap copies of well-known brands) but how such goods are a threat to homeland security is not remotely obvious. It would be funny if it were not so ominous. Clearly they can block any internet content whenever they like.
And note that "copyright infringement" is one of their excuses. Most blogs reproduce at least some news content from elsewhere so Homeland Security could suddenly shut down 99% of conservative blogs on that ground if they chose. You don't even get a warning notice.
Rather sad when the chief danger to free speech is the U.S. government. Obama could shut down all conservative blogs 6 months before the 2012 elections and nobody could do anything about it. You could go to court but getting a result there could take years.