Two weeks ago, after the federal government shut down 11 Web sites that trafficked in drug paraphernalia such as bongs, roach clips and cocaine spoons, the Internet addresses didn't simply disappear from cyberspace. Instead, visitors to sites like PipesForYou.com and aheadcase.com are likely to be routed to a message hosted by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
"The Web site you are attempting to visit has been restrained," the message reads in part. The words are superimposed on an American flag.
The wares peddled by these Web sites -- as well as by neighborhood head shops -- are illegal. But it wasn't until the advent of the Internet, the government says, that drug paraphernalia became a billion-dollar industry -- one that Attorney General John Ashcroft and the DEA say they will no longer ignore.
"People selling drug paraphernalia are in essence no different than drug dealers," said John B. Brown, the acting DEA administrator.
UPDATE: I just like Brian too much to email him the link to this post. It would really burst his bubble.