The federal government has seized the Web addresses of 10 websites that allegedly live stream sporting and pay-per-view events online, shutting them down just days before one of the biggest televised sporting events of the year: the Super Bowl.

The U. S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York, working in conjunction with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, seized the Web addresses Tuesday.

So that’s how they do it; they disable the addresses. Never mind the headline; they don’t even need to know where your server is.

Today’s action by the Fed may have a certain justification. It would appear it does. But it gives one a bit of a jolt to discover how easy it is for the government to shut down selected internet traffic. There has been no trial, there was no forewarning. According to what information is available this is a pre-emptive move. The website operators are expected to do something that could be deemed illegal if their anticipated acts were challenged in court and if they lost the challenge.

Scary, isn’t it.

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