Last updated: February 2, 2011 - 9:27am
The domains of at least five websites notorious for carrying illegal feeds of live sporting events were seized by the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement just days before the Super Bowl, the biggest TV event of the year in the United States.
Five sites have been targeted and replaced with seizure-warrant notices from ICE: Rojadirecta.org, Channelsurfing.net, Firstrow.net, Atdhe.net and Ilemi.com. Rojadirecta is one of the most popular sites in its home country, Spain. Some of the sites simply continue operating at different URLs. The aforementioned sites are just a few of the dozens that appeared in a perusal of message boards where pirates discuss obtaining illegal sports feeds. The timing of the closures could be coincidental, but ICE has only moved a few times before to shut down sites alleged to either link to or host copyright-infringing material. And they have a knack for making their previous seizures topical, too: An 82-site removal in November aimed at sites trafficking in counterfeit goods came right on the heels of Cyber Monday. Several of those sites specialized in counterfeit NFL apparel.
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