The European Parliament has expressed its opposition to the US policy of seizing foreign domain names suspected of supporting illegal activity.

Elected members of the 27-nation European Union have adopted a resolution criticising domain name seizures under the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act.

The resolution said the new measures need to be countered as they jeapordise the integrity of the global internet and freedom of communication.

US authorities began seizing domain names suspected of facilitating copyright infringement in 2010, and the bill would give rights holders additional powers.

The act would allow the US attorney general to seek a court order against offshore websites, which could then be served on internet providers.

Websites could be blacklisted without a court hearing – something which concerns the open rights lobby.

Earlier this year, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement department said it planned to continue seizing domain names used for copyright infringement as a deterrent to internet criminals.

EU opposes US foreign domain name seizures

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