DHS, ICE protect citizens from… pirated Star Wars?

At a time when terrorists are blowing up bombs all over the planet, and the US is being invaded by millions of illegal immigrants, the Department of Homeland Security and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement is on the job protecting us from… pirated copies of Star Wars workprints. Yes, when our borders are more porous than cheesecloth, when terrorists are trying to hijack planes and kill thousands of Americans at a time, DHS and ICE are there keeping a few kids from seeing bad copies of Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. What’s that? You think I must be joking? I’m afraid not. This is the original DHS press release in PDF format. This apparently an ongoing policy at ICE. Rather than protecting our borders and enforcing immigration law, they’re busy being the movie police. Osama Bin Laden was the best thing to ever happen to George Bush. Bin Laden has given Bush a blank check from the idiotic American public to destroy the country. If a magic genie popped up and gave me the choice between preventing 9/11 or preventing Bush’s election in 2001, right now I’d go back and undo Bush’s election. He’s FAR more dangerous to the US than any terrorist.

Update: It seems there’s ambiguity in my post there. Let me amend it. “But you think Bush actually cares about Star Wars workprints?” No, I think Bush cares about protecting big busness more than the people. He wants to replace the Constitution with an End User License Agreement. You will purchase your rights from USGov Corp for a limited period of time, subject to approval by DHS and your local Identification Verification Center. If you are found in violation of your license, you’ll be sent to a Repatriation Center for whatever training is deemed necessary by the Board of Patriotism Regulation.

6 Comments

  1. Tristor had this to say,

    June 12, 2005 @ 10:49 am

    Short. Sweet. To the point, and 100% on the money. I think seeing the DHS/ICE go after ‘piracy’ is completely ridiculous. I can see the FBI being involved, but the DHS/ICE have no business involving themselves. I suppose it is just like everything else these days. The DHS has to stick its nose in it, and since ICE deals with customs (it is on the Internet so it goes outside the country) they got the job of being the portion of the DHS to jump in. They treat ‘piracy’ like it leads to terrorism (actually, I think some jackass made a direct correlation at one point) and ‘piracy’ sites like dens of crackers ready to commit horrible cybercrimes.

    Note: I think ‘piracy’ is a stupid term for the act of copying a file. I realize it is generally accepted and has even cropped up in some dictionaries, nonetheless, it is absolutely silly.

  2. Pete Lynch had this to say,

    July 25, 2005 @ 2:56 pm

    U.S. Customs has always enforced copyright law and investigated same. ICE is simply continuing to do what the Legacy Customs Service always did. If piracy goes unchecked no movies will be produced because there will be no profit in the business. ICE is the expert in dealing with such violations due to it’s 200 plus years of experience (Customs was formed in 1789) and expertise in international investigations. If you want anything done properly don’t leave it to the Famous But Incompetent, the state and local police carry their water anyway.

  3. Ben Dover, ICE Special Agent (Customs) had this to say,

    August 5, 2005 @ 9:29 pm

    Well said Lynch. I’d like to add a thought or two for Tristor and the blog owner. Our infallible congressional leaders seem to have been as confused and under informed as you two are regarding ICE’s mission and why ICE does what it does, or doesn’t do. ICE is a Frankenstein agency created from the shambles of the former INS and the once near prestigious US Customs Service. You ‘member INS don’t cha? They are the ones that admitted the 19+ terrorists into the country and then, post 9/11, the INS mailed the dead terrorists their approved visas. As a result, Congress, in the 2001 Homeland Security Act, saw fit to abolish the INS & create the DHS. But as with any half-baked, vote grabbing, knee-jerk government reaction, they decided to merge all the dead weight of INS with the US Customs Service. Mix one glass of dirty water with one clean one and all you get is more dirty water. It’s worth noting that Customs operated in the black every year as far back as I can remember; Customs, from the collection of duties on commercial importations and enforcement of domestic tariffs, supported itself without direct taxpayer dollars. US Customs for all it’s 200+ years of history, created by the 1st Act of Congress to raise money for the new and independent American nation thru collection of import taxes, went about it’s work quietly and professionally. While Customs inspectors (the uniformed officers) examined merchandise, identified and seized contraband and assessed duties on imported goods, US Customs agents (the detectives) held hold their own in conducting quality, long tern, complex investigations, often better than or equal to any conducted by the F’nBI. Speaking of the FBI, they with the "congressional juice", have actually stripped the DHS/ICE of any ability to conduct ‘Terrorist’ related investigations…they felt they would be better than anyone else in conducting this type of investigation and talked congress into backing them up. A "memorandum of understanding" was created between the FBI and the DHS stating that all ‘terrorist’ related investigations will be given over to and conducted by the FBI- DHS could still tag along, but the FBI is the lead agency. All of those talented US Customs Special Agents, now ICE agents, are tasked with chasing and "processing" illegal aliens…data processing. ICE quietly shifted the priorities of the organization to immigration enforcement only…however, DHS/ICE only offered 2 weeks of cross-training to all the newly minted INS…errr ICE agents (former Customs agents). IPR and anti-piracy investigations, as well as narcotics and regulation of the exportation of sensitive technology, have taken a back seat to rounding up bus-boys and lawn care workers. I like a ripped CD or DVD as much as anyone else, but Lynch has it right, American industry really does take a hit from pirated, counterfeited and fake (sub-standard) rip-offs of their genuine products. American (and even foreign) industry by the way, is that thing that employs most of us…from small mom & pop domestic companies to large multi-national evil conservative corporations (of which I am a fan of). So get off your "FBI should be involved" bandwagon…the FBI are the ones who failed the American public pre-9/11. Anti-terrorism has always been a well-funded part of the FBI and they with the CIA, dropped the ball. US Customs was good at doing it’s job within it’s narrowly defined mission: protect the revenue of the USA and regulate and facilitate legitimate international trade. INS, on the other hand sucked at itís mission and itís budget was ignored by Congress for decadesÖ.a politically unpopular agency or something setup to not do itís job too well lest the USA appear to be unwelcoming to foreign immigrants. Some genius up in DC thought that Customs did the same job as the INS so, in an effort to fill up the empty office space at the newly created DHS, the Beltway Brain Trust merged INS with Customs and renamed it DHS/ICE. Congress has done very little to actually change the way immigration enforcement is conducted. ICE is now the new INS, with twice the personnel, a 3rd of the needed budget and all of the old problems (plus many new ones) of the old INS. The creation of DHS/ICE has created only mass confusion and low morale within the ranks of the agents sucked up into this big DHS sham. Agents are resigning or retiring in droves and the country is less secure because of it. Anyway, that’s my one or two thoughts…for what it’s worth.

  4. The ghost of 1789 had this to say,

    September 22, 2005 @ 7:47 pm

    Ben Dover…excellent post! I wish all the "ICE should only do terror/immigration case" screamers would actually bother to do some research and learn something before they pontificate about stuff they know nothing about. It’s like getting pissed at a neurosergeon for not being a good psychologist, or vice versa, because some moron thinks they both are doctors that have something to do with brains.

  5. Grey had this to say,

    September 22, 2005 @ 7:54 pm

    Actually Ghost, you have it backwards. I’m saying the neurosurgeon shouldn’t even TRY to handle psychiatry. It’s not his job, and not where we need him right now. I’ll worry about pirated movies when I’m not so worried about millions of illegal immigrants pouring over the border like water over Niagra Falls.

  6. FLYGUY had this to say,

    October 4, 2005 @ 12:39 pm

    Amen Ben, DHS may be a good idea as a coordinating trust, but the legacy Customs should go back to doing what it did best, INS should be revamped to something resembling serious, and and ICE should become a bad memory. Each stand alone agency would report to DHS it’s activity (stats) and be a clearing house for intel going up and down or laterally through the law enforcement community. Should one agency require the assistance of another, direct coordination should be the norm without having to deal with the Bovine Scatology of the B’crats.