Judicial Watch • ICE Targets Music Sharing Websites

ICE Targets Music Sharing Websites

ICE Targets Music Sharing Websites

NOVEMBER 29, 2010

 

As it fails miserably to fulfill its primary duty of enforcing immigration laws, the Homeland Security agency charged with protecting the nation’s safety is busy confiscating internet websites that help users download copyrighted music.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has embarked on a new mission that has little to do with its key responsibilities of removing dangerous illegal immigrants from the U.S. and shielding the country from foreign threats. The 20,000-employee agency with an annual budget that exceeds $5.7 billion is targeting web sites that facilitate music sharing and those that sell fake designer goods, according to a blog that covers digital issues and claims the feds are seizing domains seemingly at will.

In the past few days ICE has snatched dozens of file-sharing music internet sites, including a series of highly popular hip-hop domains known as RapGodFathers, OnSmash and DaJaz1. Anyone who clicks on the recently confiscated sites is greeted with a message that says they’ve been seized by ICE-Homeland Security investigations and reminds that copyright infringement is a federal crime that carries penalties of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Halting the unauthorized sharing of hip-hop tunes is apparently crucial work for the federal agency that claims on its web site to have a primary mission of promoting homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration.

In the meantime ICE fails to do its most important job of deporting violent illegal immigrant criminals and punishing companies that knowingly hire large numbers of undocumented workers. In the last few months alone a number of cases have helped document the agency’s negligence in these crucial areas.

In August a drunken illegal alien with a criminal history and a revoked license killed a nun in Virginia because ICE released him on his own recognizance after two previous arrests. A few weeks later another illegal alien who had been released by the agency while he awaited deportation, murdered two people in a working-class Massachusetts city. A number of similar cases have also been reported through the years.

ICE has also been derelict in punishing companies that hire large numbers of illegal immigrants, even after audits determine rampant violations. Internal ICE records obtained by a Houston newspaper earlier this year reveal that the agency has allowed hundreds of companies throughout the U.S. to get away with hiring illegal aliens by closing audits that determine high percentages of workers with “questionable” documents. Maybe if the businesses download pirate music, they’ll get busted.


 

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