You may recall a few months ago, that we broke the story about how the US government seized and censored the hiphop blog Dajaz1.com for over a year, before suddenly giving it back with no explanation or apology. Among the many problems with the government’s actions, the really crazy part was the fact that despite a legal requirement to either give the “seized property” back by May 15th or file a case for forfeiture against the site, the government appeared to do absolutely nothing. When Dajaz1′s lawyer, Andrew P. Bridges, asked the government about this, he was told that the government had filed for and received an extension, though no one had bothered to inform Dajaz1 or Bridges, or even allowed them to see the filing, the order or to speak to the judge. This “secret” extension process supposedly happened two more times, and all of it was “under seal,” so even when the domain was given back, all we had to go on was claims from Dajaz1 that it had really happened.
The good folks over at Wired, the EFF and the California First Amendment Coalition sprang into action and filed with the court to have those documents unsealed. And while the court agreed to unseal the documents back in March (and then ordered them unsealed “immediately” on April 5th), the documents finally were unsealed yesterday.