Back in July we wrote about bootleg film site TVShack.net rapidly moving offshore to the Australian-located TVShack.cc address in order to escape ICE’s shutdown of about nine sites. We took bets on when the feds would eventually shut down the new site, and lo and behold five months later the domain is seized in a takedown of about 80 or so other copyright infringing sites.
While assigned to the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, an Australian territory, the .cc top level domain is controlled by the US based Verisign and therefore was always at risk of a takedown. Moving to a new domain may buy the ICE targeted sites some time, but as TVShack.cc seizure proves, it’s not clear what exactly is safe.
There seems to be some confusion surrounding whether a TLD registrar like Verisign or Afilias or ICANN is the ultimate decider in whether to comply with an ICE takedown request. The Pirate Bay founder Peter Sunde has even proposed an ICANN independent DND alternative (.p2p) to circument the non-profit’s legislation.
However, while global DNS coordinator ICANN is US based, it cannot technically force a foreign registrar to do anything. Any international ICE cooperation is going to be done with the blessing of the country the registrar is based in, even though it’s likely most will comply with US Homeland Security.
You can follow up to the minute list domain seizures here.