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Domains Blocked By US Treasury 'Blacklist' 525

Posted by Zonk
from the us-law-is-international-law-now dept.
yuna49 writes "Adam Liptak of the New York Times reports today about the plight of a Spanish tour operator whose domain names have been embargoed by his domain name registrar (eNom). They pulled his domains after they discovered the tour operator's name on a US Treasury blacklist. It turns out he packages tours to Cuba largely for European tourists who can legally travel there, unlike Americans. The article cites 'a press release issued in December 2004, almost three years before eNom acted. It said Mr. Marshall's company had helped Americans evade restrictions on travel to Cuba and was "a generator of resources that the Cuban regime uses to oppress its people." It added that American companies must not only stop doing business with the company but also freeze its assets, meaning that eNom did exactly what it was legally required to do.' The only part of the operator's business in the United States is his domain name registration; all other aspects of his business lie outside the United States."
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Domains Blocked By US Treasury 'Blacklist'

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  • ... are breaking the law if they go there?

    *gets out his eraser and starts removing that "Land Of The Free" line from all the songbooks...*
    • by Chris Burke (6130) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @07:49PM (#22644074) Homepage
      *gets out his eraser and starts removing that "Land Of The Free" line from all the songbooks...*

      Sorry, that's also illegal.

      j/k ;)
      • Damn you, PATRIOT ACT! Got me every way I turn!
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Brian Gordon (987471)
          It's called an embargo, not censorship. And it's what's necessary and just to put pressure on Cuba to stop being a vicious dictatorship and actually respect its citizens' human rights. I'm not being sarcastic.
          • Nope... you're being genuinely, unambiguously uneducated. But not sarcastic.

            Cuba trades with Canada, Europe, Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil... but an AMERICAN embargo will force them to change. Yeah. That's working well, after four decades of communism, tourism, cheap gas, and free technology.
            • by CharlieG (34950) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @09:06PM (#22644814) Homepage
              The whole Cuban embargo thing has totally to do with Florida being a swing state. Been that way since the 1970s.
            • by davidsyes (765062) * on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @11:27PM (#22645770) Homepage Journal
              WHEN is this country going to f*king LEARN!!!???? You DO NOT successfully, peacefully advance rogue countries by ostracising them. Even just recently, Cuba signed on to Human Rights covenants/laws now that Fidel Castro turned power over to his brother.

              There are "Americans" who have suffering relatives IN Cuba, (I believe there are permissions with limits on how much US citizens can send annually to Cuba), and it ought to be criminal to expect people to put on a uniform to potentially go and kill or threaten to kill relatives in OR outside the country.

              I think the US government and some wealthy are just royally pissed that Fidel, like Kim Jong-Il, didn't just 'vanish' or 'die". Castro outlived MULTIPLE US presidents... must be an embarrassment to the USA...
          • by alx5000 (896642) <alx5000@@@alx5000...net> on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @08:36PM (#22644532) Homepage
            Yes, I see how the US is putting pressure on all the African countries with which they trade weapons, diamonds and oil...
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by GooberToo (74388)
              Yes, I see how the US is putting pressure on all the African countries with which they trade weapons, diamonds and oil...

              Cuba is considered different because of its strategic value (closeness to the US). No one wants a communist bastille in our backyard. Many argue, and very reasonably so, supporting Cuba is paying your enemy to subvert your own country. They decided Cuba was the line in the sand and it would be the example held high to ensure no other threats surface. They prop it up as a human rights argu
              • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @03:16AM (#22646854) Journal

                No one wants a communist bastille in our backyard.
                This might have been a valid argument when the USSR was still going (and even then there's ample evidence that Castro has turned to the USSR only because of initial ill-will from US). But it's pointless for the last, what, 15 years?
              • by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @04:22AM (#22647096)
                I'm afraid you're too young to remember. Cuba could have gone either way, to US support (as its nearest and wealthiest neighbor) or Soviet support (as the other world superpower, and only other possible counter). But Castro successfully led a revolution against Batista (a US supported and amaziingly corrupt dictator, as bad as the Shah of Iran or Manuel Noriega, who both also had been close friends to the USA).

                Cuba could have been an ally after that revolution, but Castro nationalized the major factories and plantations. With cause: the Americans running them had been very involved in Batista's corruption, and the many poor in Cuba were starving and under threats from the corrupt government every day. They needed the money, and they needed control over their own economy. And then that amazingly incompetent Bay of Pigs assault was tried, and it was clear to many, not just Castro, that he had no chance of cooperation with the USA. So he cooperated with the Soviets, who helped provide foreign currency and trade as a showpiece of Communism in the Western hemisphere, and as a critical military base.

                So, historically, the US priority is hardly one of "no threat". It's one of "Castro out" and "we want control back" as well.
              • by ultranova (717540) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @05:22AM (#22647264)

                Those that beckon to strengthen the Cuban economy are perceived by the US as ignorant dupes, serving to undermine the security of the United States. And it has been perceived that way for the last 40 years (so people don't think this is a Bush-ism). By in large, those that are in a hurry to open trade with Cuba are usually completely lost as to what it means to national security.

                Does the strenght of Cuban economy actually matter ? There is no way Cuba is going to launch a succesfull invasion on the US on its own, no matter how strong its economy; and if it is used as a stronghold by another power, it again doesn't matter.

                If anything, having ties of trade to the US would make Cuba less likely to allow another country to attack its trading partner through it...

          • by hondo77 (324058) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @08:53PM (#22644708) Homepage
            No, it's called bullying. We bully Cuba because we can (and it appeases people in a state with a lot of electoral votes). We let China get away with human rights abuses because they're too big to bully. Wake up.
          • by webmaster404 (1148909) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @08:54PM (#22644716)
            So which works better? Closing a country off from (what was once) the most free country in the world, or flooding the streets with American tourists who will tell the people about life in a free state. I think the latter would work much better, because it would be like if you grew up in say a prison cell you wouldn't know what life was like on the other side, however if you get thrown in prison its much worse and you want to get out of it. Believe it or not I am sure there are more Cubans who could change the government then government officials to keep it the way it is.
            • by LingNoi (1066278) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @09:02PM (#22644786)
              The US government is afraid Americans who go there would turn communist.. This is all about Communism, that's why you're not allowed to go there, because you might be re-educated.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by webmaster404 (1148909)
                But if people want the government to be communist let them, they still need a majority vote. However I don't see them getting it anytime soon.
              • by mpe (36238) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @03:49AM (#22646964)
                The US government is afraid Americans who go there would turn communist.. This is all about Communism, that's why you're not allowed to go there, because you might be re-educated.

                Most likely the fear isn't that Americans would turn Communist, but that seeing Cuba as it actually is would undo over half a century of US propaganda about Communism. They might even start questioning other things the US Government claims. Which would be very bad news indeed for past and present members of Congress, the White House, the CIA, NSA, etc, etc.
            • by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @04:30AM (#22647112)
              The USA has *never* been the most free country in the world. Never. From our acceptance of slavery at the time of the Declaration of Independence, to our Civil War and unconstititional subjugation of the southern states when they legally attempted to secede, to our legalized segregation of blacks, to our imprisonment of the Japanese-Americans during World War II, to our drug wars on alcohol and marijuana, to our re-activated use of secret prisons and wiretaping without warrants and torture without trial, we have *never* been the most free.

              We do keep trying, and we're a big step up from most of the world. But we're not there yet, and this administration has certainly hurt us.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Simon Brooke (45012)

            And it's what's necessary and just to put pressure on Cuba to stop being a vicious dictatorship and actually respect its citizens' human rights. I'm not being sarcastic.

            Errrmmm... There's one place that human rights are not respected on Cuba. It's called 'Guantanamo Bay [wikipedia.org]'.

    • by Kingrames (858416) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @08:07PM (#22644272)
      If the country really were in that state, it would be illegal to point out the hypocrisy of the administration.

      or even to use all of those words in the same sentencAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaa
    • by dindi (78034) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @08:43PM (#22644598) Homepage
      Enom are the people who took over registerfly's expired domains (expired because you had no means renewing them), and then tried to get a $200 extortion fee for your domain to give it back to you.

      So what do you expect from companies like that? I would personally open an international lawsuit against them, and there is absolutely no way Enom can win that.
  • And yet... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gillbates (106458) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @07:45PM (#22644032) Homepage Journal

    How many here would decry the Chinese and assorted third world countries for censorship of the internet, and yet, here we (in the US) act no differently. It makes me wonder how many things we just don't see, because the DNS entry doesn't even show up.

    Are we truly free? Or is that just an illusion?

  • Get a .eu (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Marcion (876801) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @07:46PM (#22644042) Homepage Journal
    They are mostly free too because no one has bought them. But perhaps useful in this case,
  • by KublaiKhan (522918) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @07:47PM (#22644050) Homepage Journal
    ...to the EU's argument that censorship restricts free trade. This looks to be a fairly clear example where censorship caused direct economic difficulties.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      With all due respect, it's not censorship, it's a freezing of assets to help an embargo. From dictionary.com, a censor is:

      A person authorized to examine books, films, or other material and to remove or suppress what is considered morally, politically, or otherwise objectionable

      Censorship being what a censor does. Notice they didn't do anything to his actual site; they seized the domain that he was using which is purchased and maintained in the US. It's a reasonable assertion to say that a domain name is property (maybe rented property) that can be seized by a government official.

      Anyone doing business with Cuba knows about the embargo; it's possible he did

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ubernostrum (219442)

      To be fair, EU nations are also known to have laws censoring things their governments are uneasy about; see, for example, prosecutions of online auction sites by France and Germany, on grounds that those sites did not comply with laws banning the sale of Nazi memorabilia.

  • Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @07:47PM (#22644052)
    Of course it's bullshit. But what is eNom to do? They are in the same spot as any other American company. What we should be doing electing politicians that have the sanity to ignore the screeching Cuban expats in Miami, and scrap the embargo, which if anything only keeps the Castro Brothers in power.

    But, this travel company has learned another lesson: Don't buy domains from eNom, they suck in so many ways....

    • Re:Bullshit (Score:4, Insightful)

      by couchslug (175151) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @07:54PM (#22644124)
      The "screeching Cuban expats" are American VOTERS. Democracy works this way.

      Want a different policy? Organize like-minded people to VOTE appropriately.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Frosty Piss (770223)

        The "screeching Cuban expats" are American VOTERS. Democracy works this way.
        A very small minority. Vocal, but a minority non-the-less.
    • Re:Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

      by arivanov (12034) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @07:59PM (#22644190) Homepage
      Exactly. The only reason for the Castro brothers to outlive the fall of the iron curtain is the embargo. If the USA lifted the embargo in 1990 Cuba would have been a democracy by now. It would have taken a few million pounds transfers to "opposition" to make that happen like in Eastern Europe, but there would have been a result none the less. The embargo is the main reason why this has never happened and may never happen.

      IMO, we have missed the boat there. With people like Chavez waving suitcases of cash placing a few millions here and there is no longer effective. He can simply outbid the "West" and keep the Castro regime alive for a very long time.
      • Re:Bullshit (Score:5, Interesting)

        by RenderSeven (938535) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @08:33PM (#22644500)

        Exactly. The only reason for the Castro brothers to outlive the fall of the iron curtain is the embargo.
        Maybe. An interesting thing I picked up traveling the Caribbean and talking to a lot of natives is how they want Cuba to stay on the embargo list. The last thing, say, Aruba wants is a huge island paradise thats almost within walking distance of Miami. Especially with airline fuel costing what it does. If Cuba were open again, tourism throughout the rest of the islands, and Mexico and Central America would take a huge hit. And that loss of income is politically destabilizing as well. There's more at work here than sheer stupidity.
  • by The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @07:47PM (#22644056)
    ...uses to oppress its people?

    You mean things like providing a never ending stream of very real examples of how America wants to meddle in internal Cuban affairs, thereby providing an instant excuse to play the nationalist "they want to topple your government from Washington! Ignore the abuses you know about and rally together as a nation to resist them as a people!" card?
  • by spleen_blender (949762) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @07:48PM (#22644066)
    I mean, this has me chilled to the bone. Ignoring the ridiculousness that in a "free" country we have "travel restrictions", the fact that they can legally perform such blocking with little or no recourse alone has me shaking.

    I fear we are too trustworthy in the robustness of the internet and I'm even more afraid of the day if the powers at large decide the bring the hammer down. I don't think net neutrality legislation would be effective against a determined oppressor, it only takes a few dragging anchors for them to tear through a few laws.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Alt: Thank goodness the economy can't survive without the internet anymore or else I would be hiding under my sheets. So at least for economic interests, some manner where worldwide instant communication will always be available. Thank goodness even moreso for encryption and darknets.
      • Not Everyone, Just (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SRA8 (859587)
        I highly doubt we are speaking about mass internet outages. Likely, the blockages will affect vocal civil rights organizations (ACLU-types), hated minorities (Arabs, Muslims, etc.) and others disliked by the current ruling party. Doubt me? My management consulting career essentially ended as 1hr flights started taking upwards of 3hours just to print boarding passes. You cant fly from city to city if you are spend 3hours trying to print your boarding pass (in the worst case, it was 5hours + 12hours waiti
    • Now you understand what we supporters of the second amendment have being saying all along. It is right and indeed patriotic for the citizens to question and even to mistrust the government, our founders certainly did. In an age where elections can be stolen and the constitution is ignored we are falling ever farther away from the principles upon which this nation was founded. Hopefully we will find a way to slow and reverse our descent into tyranny, but I tell you that there are times when the situation app
  • Pay Attention (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Naughty Bob (1004174) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @07:48PM (#22644070)
    All those who happily denounce the (despicable) proposed actions of Iran in censoring the 'net during their elections take note- The world takes its lead from the US, and the US is not currently living up to this responsibility (though many of its citizens kick ass in many ways).

    Please Americans, I love lots of what you stand for, now kill off the right-wing cancer that eats at your nation's heart.
    • Agreed (Score:3, Interesting)

      by WindBourne (631190)
      Hopefully, today, Obama will win the Dem's vote. But to be honest, I do not think that McCain or even Clinton will be that bad. None of them are neo-cons. The odd thing is that all talk about our diminished reputation in the world while also speaking about our deficits. All 3 have experience beyond our shores. I think that all 3 will work to rebuild our relationships while solving some major issues (in particular, china).

      The interesting issue is all 3's money handling. I noted that after Super Tuesday, Mc
  • irony (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wizardforce (1005805) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @07:50PM (#22644084) Journal

    It said Mr. Marshall's company had helped Americans evade restrictions on travel to Cuba and was 'a generator of resources that the Cuban regime uses to oppress its people.'
    I don't think they fully appreciate the irony of that statement. trying to stop funds from tourism being used to oppress cuba by restricting the travel of americans and censoring anyone remotely connected to the USA.
  • easy enough to fix (Score:4, Insightful)

    by petes_PoV (912422) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @07:53PM (#22644106)
    Just go with a non-american ISP/domain name reistrar. It's not as if the US rules the planet, there are plenty of ways to continue working without their say-so or approval. Just move to a free locationa and continue with your legitimate business.
    • by corsec67 (627446) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @08:02PM (#22644228) Homepage Journal

      It's not as if the US rules the planet, there are plenty of ways to continue working without their say-so or approval. Just move to a free locationa and continue with your legitimate business.


      Bush and congress are trying to fix that. Welcome to Amerika; lets us make a copy of the data on your laptop, show us your papers, and watch what you say outside of a free-speech zone.
  • by sjwest (948274) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @07:56PM (#22644148)
    No issues then, any european who trades with an american firm is asking for problems.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by petermgreen (876956)
      can't the american courts just go the the registry directly and cut out the registrar.

      It seems to me if you want a .com/.net/.org domain the US government has the power to take it away.
  • With great power.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RenHoek (101570) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @08:03PM (#22644234) Homepage
    Undoubtably I'll be modded down to flamebait, but as a non-US citizen I get pretty tired of the US trying to be the 'policeman of the world' and at the same time pull these underhanded tricks.

    Another example [guardian.co.uk] I came upon today is how the White House was planning to overthrow the democratically chosen Hamas party, because it didn't stroke with their plans.

    What happened with "With great power comes great responsibility"? The US is just acting as the schoolyard bully.

    Note that I understand that "The US" != "all US citizens", but please, you're the only ones that can do something about this. So please do so.
  • by Cracked Pottery (947450) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @08:03PM (#22644240)
    We can trade out the ass with Red China, and cozy up to Uzbekistan, but Cuba, no es posible. Why? Because Cubans who fled Cuba after the revolution because they wanted their comfort and money more than they wanted to stay and fight, now control a lot more political power in America than they should. We can ask if Cuba really has it that bad. Its major export is educated people. Doctors, mostly. Can we acknowledge that maybe individual greed doesn't steer everything in the right direction all the time? Sure Cuba has poor folks. Do we care about poor folks in Cuba more than we care about the Americans that were left stranded in New Orleans after Katrina for political reasons? Not this year. The US has more people in prison than any other country in the world. Yes, and that is not by percentage. Cut the bullshit, we need to get over our sense of exceptionalism.
  • by toby (759) * on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @08:04PM (#22644242) Homepage Journal
    1. Don't have anything to do with the USA.

    Non-Americans already have to do ridiculous things like obtain visas to just to make a flight connection in the US. Soon we're not even allowed to overfly the US. That's fun if, like me, you live in Canada.

    To hell with them.
  • by Swift Kick (240510) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @08:17PM (#22644360)
    ... do you realize that these restrictions have been in place since 1962 [wikipedia.org] because the Cuban government expropriated the property of U.S. citizens and corporations in Cuba?

    Do you also realize that it was made law in 1992 under the title of Cuban Democracy Act [wikipedia.org] by U.S. Congressman Robert Torricelli (D) [wikipedia.org]?

    Once again, those who seem historically ignorant are quick to condemn the current administration for something that has (arguably) been in place for over 40 years...
  • by MrSteveSD (801820) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @08:24PM (#22644418)
    The article says...

    ...a generator of resources that the Cuban regime uses to oppress its people


    Well what about the billions in military aid given to Saudi Arabia, one of the most oppressive regimes in the world?. Cuba is Disney Land compared to Saudi Arabia. What about all that money going towards oppressing the Saudi people? Imagine some big democracy movement started in Saudi Arabia and tried to overthrow the dictatorship. The Saudi government would no doubt use all the weapons we have been selling them against their own people.

    US policy toward Cuba is not about the dictatorship. The US has supported and created many dictatorships in that part of the world. The US policy towards Cuba is based on anger over losing control of the country. It's like Britain banning citizens from travelling to the US because the US had the cheek to declare independence.

    The fact there is a US base in an 'enemy' country is a little clue as to how Cuba has been treated in the past. Don't expect the mainstream media to talk about it though. The US occupied Cuba after independence from Spain and refused to leave unless the Cubans agreed to a list of items (the Platt Amendment). Among that rather imperialistic list of requirements was a permanent military base at Guantanamo bay.

    Of course if Castro had been a business friendly right-wing dictator, it could have been a smooth transition from Batista's rule. You wouldn't be hearing the US making big noises about the lack of democracy at all.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Saudis are not significant voting block in an important state in Presidential elections, as Cubans are...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jamstar7 (694492)

      Well what about the billions in military aid given to Saudi Arabia, one of the most oppressive regimes in the world?. Cuba is Disney Land compared to Saudi Arabia. What about all that money going towards oppressing the Saudi people? Imagine some big democracy movement started in Saudi Arabia and tried to overthrow the dictatorship. The Saudi government would no doubt use all the weapons we have been selling them against their own people.

      You kidding me? If the Saudis ever had a popular revolution start up

  • by rossz (67331) <ogre@gee k b i k e r.net> on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @08:44PM (#22644610) Homepage Journal
    This problem, like many others, can be fixed by one simple thing. FORCING OUR DAMN GOVERNMENT TO ABIDE BY THE CONSTITUTION.

    Our Constitution is quite possibly the greatest piece of law ever written in the history of mankind. Unfortunately, the politicians (both democrats and republicans) have decided it can be ignored at will. We need to change this. We need to force every aspect of the government to operate under the full strength of our Constitution.

    No more seizing property without due process.
    No more stifling free speech just because it might offend somebody.
    No more wiretaps of citizens and legal residents to fight terrorists without a court order signed by a REAL judge.
    No more government agencies that aren't sanctioned by the Constitution (list to long to put here).

    I am sicked by any politician who doesn't consider the Constitution the most sacred document in existence. Which means I'm sicked by ALL politicians.
    • No it isn't. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by akintayo (17599)
      The ability to own other people.
      The lack of universal suffrage.
      The electoral college and variegated citizenship.
      The concept of equality and fairness.

      It is folly to assume a document written in the 1700's would be a very good fit for the 2000's.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by shermozle (126249)

      Our Constitution is quite possibly the greatest piece of law ever written in the history of mankind.
      Oh FFS get over yourselves America. Your constitution isn't some kind of sacred document. It's a law, and should be changed when it's necessary.

      If it's such a great piece of law, how come so much of it can be interpreted so many different ways? Like that bit about guns.
  • by Sloppy (14984) on Tuesday March 04, 2008 @08:53PM (#22644704) Homepage Journal

    In light of this and the wikileaks thing, I think it's interesting that the best we can do to censor foreign websites, is mess with their DNS registrar. Long term, that is just not going to be a viable tactic. It's like wack-a-mole, except that after the first mole, the remaining moles are out of reach.

  • to all of the americans here trashing their own government:

    if you as a cuban tried this in cuba, it is in the law of the land to arrest and jail you

    if you doubt that, i'm not going to be your google monkey: go to the massively neocon sources of amnesty international and human rights watch and tell me what they say about the law in cuba about saying bad things about the government

    so please, by all means, bash the us government: it's your right, you are respected as an american to bash your own government. just try to understand exactly what the real enemy is here. some people have a colossal lack of scale and perspective
  • by merc (115854) <slashdot@upt.org> on Wednesday March 05, 2008 @12:46AM (#22646222) Homepage
    This may be somewhat OT, but eNom are known well in the anti-spam community for being one of the largest registar choices of spammers. They are almost 100% likely to do nothing to discourage spammers from using them as a spammer-safe haven for registrations.

    This is further supported by taking a glance at data from the URIBL "Realtime URI" feed for Abused/Abusive Registrars. A glance at their website [uribl.com] shows they rank second out of 250 registrars for hosting blacklisted domains.

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