DHS seizes Spanish sports website; owner pledges to fight back

Seoane pledged to challenge the move. "The sports streaming and P2P link site is currently looking for legal advice, both in Spain and the U.S., and its owners are determined to fight the seizure with all means they have," the article reports.

TorrentFreak, which has been generally skeptical of the crackdown, saw the incident as "unusual" compared to the dozens of other instances in which the government has seized domain names recently. "The site is owned by a Spanish company that pays its taxes and has been declared to operate legally in Spain. In addition, the site is not hosted in the U.S.," the article notes.  

What's more, the site has been declared legitimate by Spanish authorities on two occasions, according to TorrentFreak. One of the victories came at the culmination of a three-year legal battle. "But a single seizure warrant from U.S. authorities has made this victory pointless," the report says.

DHS has strongly defended its effort to police domain names, noting that it only goes after sites for which it has seizure warrants.

John Morton, director of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division, characterized the operation as a "top priority" for DHS, which is working with the Justice Department and attorneys general on the effort. 

“We are dedicated to protecting the jobs, the income and the tax revenue that disappear when counterfeit goods are trafficked," he said after unveiling the campaign last year.