How Do You Enforce Laws On The Borderless Web?

from the very-carefully dept

As ridiculous as the US case against Elcomsoft is (where the US is claiming that a Russian company has broken American laws), at the very same time the US is telling France that their laws don't apply to the US in the Yahoo-Nazi memorabilia case. This begins to highlight the difficulties countries are having enforcing their laws online. If someone posts something in the US that breaks a law somewhere else, who's responsible? It's certainly brought up some tough legal questions that many countries are trying to deal with. Of course, if we stopped trying to legislate everything, it might make life a bit easier. However, I would think that the location of the server would set the legal jurisdiction. Otherwise, you're just asking for trouble.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 May 2002 @ 7:42pm

    How do you determine the location?

    The location of the server may itself be hard to determine. A company like Yahoo will most probably have redundant servers in various locations. Like Akamai. If some of those locations happen to be across the border, you've got a problem. Less of an issue here in the geographically giant US, but a large company operating in several European nations would have such issues.
     
    Using the corporate headquarters would be just as problematic, because of the way large companies are structured.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Duffman, 29 May 2002 @ 10:18pm

      Re: How do you determine the location?

      Exactly. What if the US/France Nazi memorabilia problem's server is located in Canada? Or somewhere in Germany? Whose law do you follow then? It certainly will be interesting to see how this works itself out, if ever.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Mike (profile), 30 May 2002 @ 2:06am

        Re: How do you determine the location?

        Good points... and so I should probably admit my bias. I figure that if it's based on where the server is located, servers will naturally migrate to a place that has very few laws restricting them - which I believe is healthier for the internet in the long run.

        But, that said, the questions you raise are certainly valid.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 May 2002 @ 9:25am

    Countries can lean on companies

    Servers and their locations are plumbing issues. What's more likely is for a country to simply lean on whoever is responsible. France, for example, simply said that Yahoo can't make Nazi material available in France. How Yahoo does it is Yahoo's problem.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.