Joe Plummer, Contributing Writer
On Friday April 15th, the U.S. government showed again just how easily it can completely “shut down” any website it wants. By seizing a domain name, the Department of “Justice” can cut the public off from access to products, services or information in the blink of an eye. Case in point: Today, the DOJ seized FullTiltPoker.com, PokerStars.com and AbsolutePoker.com.
No doubt, everyone in America can rest more easily now knowing that that the government is “protecting them” from the unspeakable dangers of online gambling. (An “unspeakable danger” that nobody asked to be protected from. In fact, the legislation that made this possible was so unpopular that, after years of failing, Congress rammed it through under a PORT SECURITY bill!)
As a result of the government’s actions, these enormously popular multi-billion dollar companies, and the millions of customers they served, are now met with the DOJ message below when they try to access the former websites. (Note: The FBI / DOJ message has not propagated across all U.S. servers yet. The screencapture below was taken from megaproxy.com where the “shut down” of all sites is visible.)
I was asked earlier today: “What’s the story with the government seizing these gambling sites?” My reply, more or less, went like this:
No story really. It’s just the government doing what it does. (Using its “regulatory power” to destroy businesses and people engaged in non-violent and voluntary activities while ignoring enormous REAL crimes. …Using its power to benefit the “few” at the expense of the many.)
Not to worry. After they’re done destroying all the competition, they’ll launch their own profitable “legal” online gambling sites. (Or, they’ll dole out licenses to the well-connected for a nice fee and a slice of the action.) Either way, once they’re in a position to get their cut, the horrible “dangers of online gambling” will scarcely be heard of again.
Cynical? Yes. But sadly, it’s par for the course.
Now, the bigger problem is this: What happens when, instead of creating unasked-for and unwanted “internet gambling laws,” the government starts passing “unlawful news” or “unlicensed information” laws? Today they’re seizing and shutting down those evil poker players. Tomorrow, it could very well be the evil “alternative media” that’s “giving aid and comfort to the enemy.”
I regularly make backup copies of important documents, audio and video that I find online. Hopefully everyone else is doing this too.
Joe Plummer is the author of Dishonest Money: Financing the Road to Ruin and the webmaster for StopTheLie.com and HowToStopDrinking.org.
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