More on Web Page Seizures
Earlier, I commented on the Justice Department seizing (pre-trial) a web site that has information on how to pirate X-Box and PlayStation games, and then redirecting visitors to a DOJ site. A ZDNET commentary has a bit more:
It’s possible to imagine a scenario where an innocent Web visitor becomes unfairly targeted by the Feds. It’s legal to browse the Web for information about illegal drugs and even legal to read about bypassing copy-protection technology (though under the DMCA, researchers writing such papers may have cause for concern). But in a newly security-conscious climate, the Justice Department may not be terribly sensitive to Americans’ First Amendment rights and may assume the worst about visitors to its collection of seized domains.
What’s more, the Justice Department is able to review the search terms that people type in before connecting to the seized site from search engines such as Google or AltaVista. That’s because Web protocols pass the search terms to the destination site in the Referer: header.