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Lawful Websites Seized in U.S. Operation Against Child Porn

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Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) -- A U.S. government operation targeting 10 child-pornography websites led to the inadvertent seizure of a number of lawful sites, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement said today in a statement.

The operation, carried out by the Homeland Security and Justice departments, was announced in a Feb. 15 news release.

“During the course of a joint DHS and DOJ law enforcement operation targeting 10 websites providing explicit child pornographic content, a higher level domain name and linked sites were inadvertently seized for a period of time,” Cori Bassett, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman said in an e-mailed statement. “Those sites were restored as soon as possible to normal functionality.”

The statement did not indicate the number of lawful websites that were affected.

"I think that given that they’ve admitted they’ve made this mistake, they need to do a lot more to set the record straight," said Corynne McSherry, intellectual property director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy rights group based in San Francisco.

To contact the reporter on this story:

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Shepard at mshepard7@bloomberg.net

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