alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.

Department of Homeland Security Executes Panty Raid in Kansas City

Birdies is a self-described "intimate apparel apothecary and swimwear boutique" located in Downtown Kansas City. They are well-known in the Kansas City arts district, co-hosting an annual fashion show that takes place on the street corner outside the boutique.


Owner Peregrine Honig got quite the surprise this week when two agents from the Department of Homeland Security showed up in her shop:

“They came in and there were two guys” Honig said. “I asked one of them what size he needed and he showed me a badge and took me outside. They told me they were from Homeland Security and we were violating copyright laws.”

What? The Department of Homeland Security enforces copyright law violations? Indeed:

The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (NIPRCC) is a U.S. government center overseen by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The NIPRCC coordinates the U.S. government’s enforcement of intellectual property laws.

Strange as it might seem, the same agency responsible for protecting citizens from real threats of terrorism is also responsible for confiscating a dozen pairs of custom-made panties.

They placed the underwear in an official Homeland Security bag and had Honig sign a statement saying she wouldn’t use the logo.

“We just thought it was something funny we could do,” Honig says of the panties. “But it was so scary.”

Lesson learned. Do NOT design your custom panties too closely to a trademarked logo or you too could be in line for a visit from DHS.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close