As Homeland Security continues to defend the actions of ICE seizing domains names without real due process or concern for prior restraint, it’s not surprising that technologists are quickly designing systems to route around such hamfisted attempts to censor websites without a trial or conviction. Apparently, a group of technologists who were fed up with such overbearing government maneuvers have created a rather straightforward Firefox add-on (Chrome support coming soon) called MAFIAAfire. What it does is pretty straightforward. If a site seized by ICE sets itself up on an alternative domain (as most of the copyright-related sites have — contrary to claims by ICE and the MPAA), this addon will automatically redirect visitors. It even goes so far as to allow sites to pre-register alternative domains, in case ICE decides to seize their domain.
The developers have more info on their website — including a timeline. The key point, in my mind, is the timeline:
Yeah, you read that right. The guy had the idea on a Sunday and had no idea how to make a Firefox plugin, but by Thursday he had a working version. This is what ICE and supporters of such domain seizures are up against. When someone who doesn’t even know how to program this kind of thing can build a tool that lets everyone route around your censorship in a few days… you’re fighting a losing battle. Just imagine what happens when people who actually do have the skills jump in.