You’d think that the recent domain seizures by the department of Homeland Security are random attempts to crack down on domains that promote knock-offs and the like.
The truth is that ICE is going after valuable domains with traffic, not just your average pigeonsh*t – the term coined by Rick Schwartz to describe domains of little to no value.
“We are running Google Analytics on all the domains we seize”, said F. who is employed by ICE and spoke to us on the condition of anonymity.
“Once we determine that there is sufficient traffic and conversion rates, we often lease out the domain to a third party and receive a percentage of the revenue.”
This astounding revelation has caused waves in the industry, particularly after GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons promised increased transparency regarding TDNAM and other registrar practices.
ICE acknowledged in that sense that domains without much traffic or conversion are thus safe from any seizures, even if they are blatant copyright violations.
The recent overreaching by ICE is evident in the case of Spanish-owned domains that have been cleared by courts of Spain; it seems that ICE is capitalizing on the location of the .COM and .ORG registries – the US – and treats them as US property.
Meanwhile, those that clearly operate on the edge of the law are moving onto more exotic TLDs, such as .me
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