US shuts down 80 websites for selling fake goods

December 21st, 2010 - 1:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 21 (IANS) Over 80 websites have been shut by US officials after it was found they were dealing in counterfeit goods.The Department of Homeland Security has seized over 80 domain names since November, saying the bogus merchandise, including fake purses and prescription drugs, were harming the US economy and endangering American lives, Fox News reported Tuesday.

Attorney General Eric Holder said: “When fake goods find their way into our nation’s marketplaces, the health and safety of our people can be severely compromised.”

Experts from the information technology industry are, however, concerned that the government can get an order from a federal magistrate and shut down a website without ever contacting the owner.

“You start with kind of a ‘presumed guilty’ kind of approach because really there’s nobody, there’s no opportunity to stand up and say, ‘Now wait a minute, my site’s just fine’,” said David Sohn of the Center for Democracy and Technology.

Domain name owners can, however, challenge seizure of their websites in an administrative hearing.

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