back to article Dozens of Iranian media websites devoured by the Great Satan, apparently

Nearly three dozen Iranian media websites have been taken down apparently by the US government. pressTV Short-term take down: What one of the confiscated websites looks like ... Source: PressTV website. Click to enlarge On Tuesday morning, in an coordinated move, the dot-com and dot-net websites of Iran's Press TV, Al- …

  1. HildyJ Silver badge
    Holmes

    Pravda?

    It's not like Iran was the only one, or even a major player like Russia. Or Facebook.

    I think this sets a bad precedent as far as censoring political opinions because one country's misinformation is another country's truth and vice versa.

    I fail to see what effect this is going to have outside of Democrat versus Republican chest beating.

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Pravda?

      Not even Democrat versus Republican chest beating. They can both beat their chests together and claim that despite everything they're proud and patriotic 'merkans.

      My concern as a gen-u-ine American Taxpayer is that we're paying armies of bureaucrats to find and seize others' domain names using a pretty flimsy pretext ("didn't register / failed to use Form 27B/6 (or was it Form 37/B6?"). Considering that many of our cities are suffering from excessive gun violence at the moment (that's excessive even by our standards) you have to wonder whether we've either got our priorities seriously warped or we're just plain incompetent and can only manage the low hanging fruit.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Pravda? @martinusher [a gen-u-ine American Taxpayer]

        My concern as a gen-u-ine American Taxpayer is that we're paying armies of bureaucrats to find and seize others' domain names using a pretty flimsy pretext ("didn't register / failed to use Form 27B/6 (or was it Form 37/B6?"). Considering that many of our cities are suffering from excessive gun violence at the moment (that's excessive even by our standards) you have to wonder whether we've either got our priorities seriously warped or we're just plain incompetent and can only manage the low hanging fruit. ...... martinusher

        Some would lament and advise that it is a lot worse than you suggest or imagine, martinusher, with the honest plain text truth being at least ...... we've got our priorities seriously warped and we're just plain incompetent and can only manage the low hanging fruit

        And that leaves one wide open to being seriously disadvantaged in all manner and flavour of attack and assault/exploit and engagement.

        However, all is not irredeemably lost, for one immediately available option to address the intelligence deficit and proprietary intellectual property debt in-house, is to buy it in from A.N.Others abroad in order to remotely provide that which is virtually required and practically missing. IT aint explosive rocket science, pure common sense, although it certainly can be both earth-shattering and mind-blowing. And aint that the gospel?

      2. NoneSuch Silver badge
        Devil

        Freedom of Speech

        You can say anything the US government approves of.

        1. Barry Rueger

          Re: Freedom of Speech

          This is, after all, the country which on one hand claims to have a rabid protection for Freedom of Speech©, yet will fine you massively for saying "Fuck" on the radio. And where self-censorship is absolutely staggering.

          This move though is really not surprising, and seems to have come and gone with little or no media discussion. And of course the irony of the US doing the kind of on-line hacking that the Russians have been accused of is totally lost to most Americans.

          What's frightening though is that this is likely just the beginning, and this kind of state-sponsored on-line warfare will escalate quickly.

    2. Lon24 Silver badge

      Re: Pravda?

      "I fail to see what effect this is going to have outside of Democrat versus Republican chest beating."

      It is a reminder of the ambiguous situation of these 'global' TLDs controlled by the USA for historical reasons. If they do that benignly - no problem. But should it be used as an aspect of US foreign policy? What if a super-Trump took a bad view of FT.com?

      Domains do need to be seized when they are doing illegal stuff. But it should ideally be on the judicial orders of the relevant country. The US can ban US entities and Iran can ban Iranian entities. But the idea of Iran being able to ban foxnews.com for truth economy is not on. And so the reverse.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Domains do need to be seized when they are doing illegal stuff

        ah, but I'll turn to ad hitlerum: Jews were doing ILLEGAL STUFF. The very fact of their existence was made illegal. This was corrected, post-1945, but do you see a similar uber-empire getting ready to take a dim view of the Empire?

        to continue the ad hitlerum (well, by proxy), another quote: ""I decide who is a Jew in the airforce!".

      2. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

        Re: Pravda?

        Why is it that people like you only believe it is Trumpists or those on the right that will infringe on the rights of the people. This current administration is engaging in outright racist policies, using the power of the state (The IRS, The DOJ/FBI, etc) to target their political enemies and yet goes completely un-criticized by anyone except those who are the targets of said polices? Justice in the US is not blind nor fair anymore. Rioter and looters have been let free without charge yet those who walked into the capital building are being held in solitary confinement without bail and some without charge. People are investigated not because a crime has been committed but because leftist prosecutors are trying to "find" a crime committed by those they politically oppose.

        The left in the US is trying to federalize elections to ensure 1 party rule forever while at the same time indoctrinate our children with Marxist ideology!

        Yet it is Trump and the right that are the danger!

        1. Swarthy
          WTF?

          Re: Pravda?

          Given the state of USAian politics, I feel the need to ask for sources; but at the same time, I dread trying to read those sources.

          Do you have any sources that are not OAN, Fox, or Qanon? - And the My Pillow Guy doesn't count.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Pravda?

            Cliff is just whinging the party line. Many states run by the GQP have passed laws this year to make voting much harder, especially in ways that impact persons of color. Politicians are trying to pick their voters, rather than the other way around. Democrats in Congress are trying to pass voting rights laws to limit states' abilities to impair the ability to vote. This violates "states' rights", so sayeth the GQP. The Supreme Court basically gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013, which had opened up voting to Black Americans ca. 1964, and Democrats are trying to update it.

            1. Ghostman

              Re: Pravda?

              Examples please. People spread lies about the new laws in Georgia. I offer them a copy of the new law, with each line of the document numbered, and ask for them to show where "voter suppression" is in the new law.

              "They voted out the ballot drop boxes!" Ballot drop boxes were never voted in as law, it was a resolution due to the pandemic. They DID vote in that at least one ballot drop box has to be available, in a monitored location, in each county.

              "They want you to have to show an ID before you can vote. My grandma can't get to the DMV and get a

              state issued ID." I guess you missed out on reading the lines of what is an approved ID.

              Does your granny get a Social security check, use Medicare/Medicaid? Does she have a Social Security Card then? Guess what, she already has one of the acceptable IDs.

              "They set up the precincts so the lines are too long, you get thirsty, and hungry, and wait too long."

              Water can be given out by poll workers if the line is long, food vendors (not representatives of candidates) can sell food and drinks, if the line is too long (more than an hour wait) in metro areas a bus set up for the election and extra poll workers will arrive and handle the overflow. (Yes, all that is in the new law.)

              so, just keep listening to Sister Stacy, who is under investigation of attempting to register people from out of state, ineligible to vote (prisoners, illegal aliens) and dead people for the 2020 races.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Pravda?

          I hate you and your Trump-master, but I'm afraid you have a point. All those good-doers would love to shut up anyone who disagrees with their views (how can you disagree?! it's RIGHT! you're WRONG! - therefore you're cancelled).

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Pravda?

          "The left in the US is trying to federalize elections to ensure 1 party rule forever while at the same time indoctrinate our children with Marxist ideology!"

          You have no idea how far right the US so-called "left" is in terms of the rest of the world. Marxism isn't even on the radar of the US "left", it's too far away to see,

        4. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: Pravda?

          You and the other similarly unpatriotic Americans are all that's wrong with America today.

          Michael Fanone, who was stun-gunned several times and beaten with a flagpole during the attack, told CNN's Don Lemon on "CNN Tonight" that "some of the terminology that was used, like 'hugs and kisses,' and 'very fine people,' is like very different from what I experienced and what my co-workers experienced on the 6th."

          Fanone suffered a heart attack and a concussion during the insurrection and is now dealing with a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

          "I experienced the most brutal, savage hand-to-hand combat of my entire life," he said Tuesday. "Let alone my policing career, which spans almost two decades. It was nothing that I had ever thought would be a part of my law enforcement career, nor was I prepared to experience."

        5. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        6. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Pravda?

          "Unlike most federal defendants, who typically remain in detention before trial, the vast majority of people charged in the Capitol riots have already been released, a Guardian analysis found. The stark contrast in pre-trial detention rates has prompted questions about whether the predominantly white Capitol defendants were getting different treatment from prosecutors and judges than most federal defendants, who are Black and Latino."

  2. jonfr

    Faking the takeover

    This looks fake. As this is how the standard takeover message (see announcement from 2020 for actual takeover of domains used by Iran) of a domain looks like from the United States government. They don't write text in Arabic. It just doesn't happen.

    https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/united-states-seizes-domain-names-used-iran-s-islamic-revolutionary-guard-corps

    Edit: Update, the takeover has been confirmed. But they are doing it differently now it seems.

  3. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Bloody Fascists.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “Truth, justice and the American way”

    Or else!

    1. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: “Truth, justice and the American way”

      "Trump Rioter Demands To Be Let Out Of Jail Because There Haven’t Been Any additional MAGA Violence Since Biden Took Office"

    2. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: “Truth, justice and the American way”

      America... Fuck Yeah!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    With any luck...

    Iran will respond in kind and take down Facebook for the same reason(s)

    1. First Light Silver badge

      Re: With any luck...

      Lets hope.

      Maybe they can take it down everywhere and not just in Iran?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: With any luck...

      I like!!!!

  6. W.S.Gosset Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Surreal

    On the one hand, granting a free pass for breaching Obama's nuclear treaty from Day 1 (weapons inspectors reporting from the very first visit that they were kept away from every site they wanted to inspect), seeking to reinstate full no-sanction status and thereby creating even more flexibility and cash to sponsor terrorist groups than it has been doing. (Hezbollah now has over 100,000 missiles, for example, apparently nearly all targetting Israel.)

    On the other, giving this utterly farcical slap in the face which had precisely no real-world impact but made the yanks look like petulant idiots and the Iranians look like their political system is being assaulted by America: exactly what the intra-Iran loonies have been ranting about already, but now with unarguable proof/cause célèbre.

    Utterly mad.

    Biden is shaping up just as jumbled, incompetent, and superficial as his history suggested he would be.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surreal

      Sorry, wut?

      They were not "weapon inspectors", they were from the IAEA, which has repeatedly said Iran was compliant with the treaty.

      Iran stopped respecting their obligations, as the treaty authorized them, only after the US unilaterally left it and pressured other participants to not comply with their obligations, ie, allowing some economic activity to resume with Iran.

      So Iran's not a pure & innocent - but in that case, they appeared to be trying hard. Now their hardliners must be thanking Trump, as his decision cleared the path for their victory.

      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        Re: Surreal

        I described their effective role in context of Iran spinning up well past nuclear-power-station concentrations, not their job titles.

        It was reported at the time, in either the Times or Sunday Times IIRC, that the actual on-the-ground inspectors were not happy about being taken on clearly Potemkin-style tours of ex-centrifuges, some of which had been out of use for so long that they'd rusted solid, and --critically-- that every request to see the particular sites which they had come to inspect of actual interest/risk/suspicion was refused.

        And that their higher-ups overruled them, required that their reports only address the sites they'd been shown, and issued agency-level sign-offs. Because certainly, the sites they'd been shown were most definitely compliant with the treaty.

        I've had to issue a deliberate-misrepresentation report at manager direction myself, using the essentially identical tactic -- I know how it works, and you'd apparently be surprised how often it happens.

    2. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Surreal

      Downvoted because I can't find any source -- much less a credible source -- for the claim that "weapons inspectors reporting from the very first visit that they were kept away from every site they wanted to inspect" and I very much doubt that you can.

      As far as I can tell, Iran allowed inspections from 2015 until 2018 when Donald J Trump unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal on the basis of no public evidence whatsoever. Iran did block inspections of two sites used for nuclear work around the turn of the century for most of 2020, but did finally agree to the inspections. See https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/26/world/middleeast/trump-iran-nuclear-iaea.html

      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        Re: Surreal

        See reply above. Times or Sunday Times, hard copy. And no, I don't keep permanent archives of everything I read, let alone of hard copy. I evaluate credibility of sources very harshly, but don't have time, energy, or space to accumulate an instant-access library on the off-chance someone might demand a specific detail reference umptyump years down the track.

    3. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: Surreal

      "On the one hand, granting a free pass for breaching Obama's nuclear treaty from Day 1" Not according to reality, only in Trumpstan.

      "Former President Trump reportedly asked the Justice Department to investigate “Saturday Night Live” and late-night comedy shows that trolled him while he was in office."

  7. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Now we're sucking diesel ..... do you know what next to expect?

    And the answer to that is? ...... Not even GOD knows although some will imagine she does and everything is under Universal Command and COSMIC* Control.

    These aren't just digital troublemakers, they are a highly organised group of cyber soldiers aiming to wield frightening power on a global scale ...... The Lazarus Heist ... a BBC production.

    Is that Uncle Sam taking its lead from the Lazarus Group and North Korea and going all renegade rogue and pirate handsome? Methinks that opens up flood gates to storms of biblical proportions which are going to drown out and destroy systems and systems administration one never ever before even thought to imagine possible.

    The only problem with any such ploy and play like aiming to wield frightening power on a global scale is that whenever you miss the bullseye gold sweet G Spot, the arrow/ordnance has a default tendency to boomerang/bounce back to score a direct hit right through one's own head and decimate one's own headquarters.

    It's a classic Fool's Mate move ....... and gravely to be regarded, and best always avoided like the plague.

    * .... Control Of Secret Materiel in an Internetional Command

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Now we're sucking diesel ..... do you know what next to expect?

      We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship here in the United States...... Ex US President Barack Obama

      Please note though that is not the same as .... We cannot have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship from here in the United States ..... which is where we is apparently now admittedly at, for that is what y'all certainly have.

  8. Potemkine! Silver badge

    It was said that the sites were commandeered for spreading misinformation and propaganda.

    So what about Freedom of speech? I thought it was one of the most cherished things in the US?

    The move is idiotic. It gives the US a bad press and make lran looking like a poor victim.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "So what about Freedom of speech? I thought it was one of the most cherished things in the US?"

      There is freedom of speech and then there is State sponsored propaganda aimed at undermining an enemy.

      I may be wrong, but I don't think Iran has Freedom of the Press and its press is controlled by the government. I wouldn't be surprised if the content of the web sites was very inflammatory and targeted at generating/maintaining separatist views of their readers in the US.

      1. R Soul

        I wouldn't be surprised if the content of the web sites was very inflammatory and targeted at generating/maintaining separatist views of their readers in the US.

        So, just like Fox News, Qanon, OAN....?

      2. gandalfcn Silver badge

        Former President Trump reportedly asked the Justice Department to investigate “Saturday Night Live” and late-night comedy shows that trolled him while he was in office.

        A hate-filled Texas pastor celebrated the death of a gay person who was accidentally hit by a truck at a Pride parade in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and told his congregation he hoped all LGBTQ people were killed.

      3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        There is freedom of speech and then there is State sponsored propaganda aimed at undermining an enemy.

        This is not a valid argument under the First Amendment protection of freedom of the press. Which doesn't mean it hasn't been used successfully, of course; but the SCOTUS reversal (in Brandenburg) of its support (in Abrams for the "Sedition Act" (not actually a separate act but a set of amendments to the Espionage Act) has meant that since 1969 stare decicis weighs heavily against it.

        Under Brandenburg it's legal in the US to publish "propaganda aimed at undermining" whomever you dislike. And another state can sponsor that. That's protected political expression. There are certainly many well-established media outlets that many would accuse of doing just that.

    2. vtcodger Silver badge

      (Almost) for sure

      One thing is (almost) for sure. This seizure will be cited for years by India, China, North Korea etc when the US whinges about internet censorship. Unless there is some well hidden justification beyond "the Iranians are liars" this will probably turn out to have been a dumb idea.

      1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

        Re: (Almost) for sure

        And will increase international pressure to take domain names out of (effective) US control. Even taking the US complaints at face value, why does the US get to have sites aimed at destabilizing their regime removed from DNS but other countries do not get sites aimed at destabilizing their regimes removed and are reduced to blocking them?

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: (Almost) for sure

        This isn't censorship. It's small-time harassment. It's stupid, but it's nothing even vaguely like what India, for example, is trying to do to the social-media firms.

        The equivalent would be India seizing twitter.in in a fit of pique.

        But, yes, it's dumb that they were able to do this in the first place. Control of the classic gTLDs needs better protection, if only to save us from annoyance. (The US Federal government is welcome to seize anything in the new gTLDs, as far as I'm concerned. If those have any legitimate use I've missed it.)

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      So what about Freedom of speech?

      There's no prior restraint on freedom of speech here.

      It could certainly be argued – and I'd be sympathetic to such an argument – that this is a minor incursion on freedom of the press. But 1) the protections guaranteed (in theory) by the Bill of Rights don't necessarily apply to those who are neither US citizens nor residents; and 2) the mechanism used here, of seizing domain names, has extremely limited effect. It's trivial to bypass, as the article notes.

      This was a petty and largely pointless move, but even if someone with standing brought it before the courts, I don't think the outcome is at all certain under established Federal law.

  9. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    You just can't get quality staff nowadays so be prepared for second best helpings

    He was elected with more than 60 per cent of the vote after his serious rivals, who were moderate candidates, were banned from standing, leaving him to defeat Hassan Rouhani, the incumbent president. Overall voter turnout was just under 50 per cent.

    A rigged 30% population vote against no viable opposition or competition is not that impressive. Indeed, it is surely very depressing and quite indicative of a serious loss of commanding control which is bound to be future problematical.

    How can that be of great help to any Supreme Leader?

    1. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: You just can't get quality staff nowadays so be prepared for second best helpings

      "How can that be of great help to any Supreme Leader?"

      Iran's Supreme Leader seems to be the Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei His role seems to be more or less "President for life". It's not an elected office. There is also an Iranian President who is elected every four years from a slate of right thinking candidates but it's not all that powerful a job apparently.

      It's confusing. But perhaps no more so than monarchies where the "monarch" has little or no power.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: You just can't get quality staff nowadays so be prepared for second best helpings

        I'm sure the House of Windsor and all those folk in White Houses would love to exercise influence with the power of Iran's Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah, vtcodger.

        IT's a Great Game to Play Well for the Reward of Excellence Results and vice versa, Resultant Excellent Rewards.

        1. vtcodger Silver badge

          Re: You just can't get quality staff nowadays so be prepared for second best helpings

          You misread -- or perhaps I expressed myself poorly. It's the Iranian president who has less authority than people assume. Much/most of the power one assumes presidents should have is actually in the domain of the Supreme Leader. The president does have some power. The president can veto legislation for example. But he can't do anything much the Supreme Leader doesn't agree with whereas the Supreme Leader appoints many key officials, is the commander in chief of the military, appoints half the Guardian Council, and can even unilaterally declare war.

          1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

            Re: You just can't get quality staff nowadays so be prepared for second best helpings

            > It's confusing. But perhaps no more so than monarchies where the "monarch" has little or no power.

            Likewise in China: the Premier is nominally top of the tree. But bows & scrapes to the CCP's General Secretary. Likewise, back in the day, both kowtowed to "retired" people who were actually in charge, eg Deng Xiaoping.

            Likewise in federal nations, the President/Prime Minister has FAR less power than people nowadays assume/scream. eg America, Australia.

            ----

            OT Musing: Seems to be trained into the kids now that the PM/President is some sort of ultra superman in terms of powers/capability/etc, a one-stop-shop for responsibility and magic solutions, you can identify and throw ANY problem at them and they can and MUST magically fix it up (mummy) or else they're EVIL, whereas in fact they're almost powerless inside the country.

            Certainly in Australia, the teachers @ schools+unis are training the kids to believe this -- I've quite startled some teens and 20yo's by pointing out basic Constitutional separation of powers when they're ranting at the PM re for example the most recent bushfires (the States' responsibility; PM has no power): it flatly contradicted what they've been trained to believe, how they've been trained to think. Been going on for a while too (I was out of the country for 20yrs): 40+ yearolds have the same beliefs/attitudes. Quite disturbing. They've been trained to live in toytown, but their toytown's not real.

            1. DiViDeD Silver badge

              Re: You just can't get quality staff nowadays so be prepared for second best helpings

              Australians have a disturbingly presidential attitude towards their prime ministers, from claiming that, in their local constituency, they voted for Scomo/Albanesi rather than the muddle headed yes man they actually cast their vote for, to calling the PM's wife 'First Lady'

              I've even heard Aussies complain that party members who criticise the PM should be sacked or even arrested because the PM has 'ultimate power'.

          2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

            Re: You just can't get quality staff nowadays so be prepared for second best helpings

            Can we both agree that the Iranian president authority is more media gifted than actually realised which would put it on a par with that of the current UKGBNI Parliamentary court jester and Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, Boris Johnson.

            Such would then more than suggest that there was no misreading and you didn't express yourself poorly in the post ..... Re: You just can't get quality staff nowadays so be prepared for second best helpings @vtcodger

  10. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    WTF?

    Under what basis was this performed?

    I know Iran is under US and other sanctions but under what authority were these websites taken down - apart from Might makes Right of course.? Were they US hosted? Or is the US abusing its control/influence over TLD's, and applying their own censorship rules?

    To be clear I could care less about the Iranians - more about whether this is a potentially illegal act by the USA.

  11. Displacement Activity

    Get a grip, Reg

    Your readers are fairly technical. So:

    • How did the websites get taken down?
    • How did a .tv site get taken down?
    • Are domain registrars based in the US subject to some US laws we should know about?
    • Does the US think it has control over .com and .net domains?
    • It appears that Verisign agreed to transfer ownership of .com and .net domains without the authority of the current owners. Should we all bail out of .com and .net?

    And so on.

    And, while you're at it, maybe an opinion on the meaning of 'truth' and who polices it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Get a grip, Reg

      How did a .tv site get taken down?

      Most of them are hosted in California, Tuvalu doesn't really have the infrastructure, so it could be easier than you think.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Get a grip, Reg

        "How did a .tv site get taken down?

        Most of them are hosted in California, Tuvalu doesn't really have the infrastructure, so it could be easier than you think."

        And easier than you think. A US company, Verisign, runs the .tv registry.

        Just serve them with a court order (or whatever) and the job's done: ayatollah.tv goes away or points wherever Uncle Sam wants it to point. There's no need to bother with whoever hosts the original web site or its DNS servers.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      How did they do it?

      Yes, I was also wondering how they did it?

      I'm going to assume that they probably didn't manage to acquire access credentials or exploit vulnerabilities in the actual sites in question and replace the content with the warning page (although, you never know, and rather worrying (or competent intelligence work) if they did)?

      So I guess they must have redirected the DNS for the hostnames to point to servers under their control which host the warning pages (an AWS equivalent of that Indiana Jones government warehouse?)? But the DNS for these sites is presumably managed by the ISPs hosting the sites in question? If those ISPs are in Iran or somewhere else not-the-USA, I would have thought/hoped that would be rather tricky to demand the DNS be changed?

      If those media sites were using ISPs in the USA, more fool them, I guess, as I would assume that someone wearing dark glasses would be able to virtually knock at their door with an appropriate legal bit of paper?

      Or, even worse, as .com and .net (and .org (and some other?)?) domains are sort of under the purview of US law, does that mean that the USA can just go in and have strong words with the domain registries directly?

      (A somewhat worrying precedent for companies, organisations and people in any country that the US might happen to fall out with, such as, say, a now third-rate country upsetting an Irish-American president by using the island of Ireland as an unwilling playing piece in its tiny pathetic political games... I hope you still have that theregister.co.uk domain ready to power up again, just in case! "Nice .com domain you have there, it'd be a shame if something were to happen to it, to be sure...")

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the sites were commandeered for spreading misinformation and propaganda

    this is Great Satan's commandeered misinformation and propaganda!

  13. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

    For one, I have no love for the nut cases in Iran, but, the determiner of "disinformation and propaganda" should be left in the hands of the viewer/reader. It should not be in the hands of any government that touts itself as a free and open society. Especially this US administration who in their short tenure have shown that they will utilize the power of the state to suppress their political enemies by any means necessary.

  14. batfink Silver badge

    "The sites were commandeered for spreading misinformation and propaganda"

    If that was the true reason, then the US authorities have a big job in front of them...

  15. Aussie Doc Bronze badge
    Megaphone

    Wow

    "The sites were commandeered for spreading misinformation and propaganda"

    I take it that means some local (US) sites might also get 'looked at' or is it only the International fibbers they want to close down.

    Should some of the various local 'denier' sites or certain 'News' sites be taken down?

    You know the sort - "Vax causes better 5G" (doesn't but my wifi seems faster), "Voter fraud is everywhere" (except everywhere the courts had a squizz), "something something QAnon" etc etc etc.

    You get the point.

    Still, not my circus, not my clowns.

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