Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Controlling Cyberspace

from the nothing-to-it dept

One of the common themes we've discussed around here multiple times is how the internet can muddy jurisdictional questions for lawsuits -- specifically in libel claims. The problem is that the internet can be viewed just about anywhere these days -- so where do you try the case? Is it where someone read something, even if the story was written, hosted and intended for an audience in a totally different country? People make arguments across the board, but we haven't seen any answer that really makes much sense. However, it seems that two legal scholars think such questions are totally overblown and can easily be settled by existing international law -- which is an argument that might have some more support if new lawsuits didn't keep showing up over this issue. Anyway, Tim Wu and Jack Goldsmith apparently discuss this view, and other questions concerning the international implications of internet law in their new book, Who Controls the Internet?. It also discusses China's ability to control the internet, along with a discussion of how eBay's user feedback system is given way too much credit for keeping down fraud, when it's really the company's close relationship with US law enforcement. Sounds like an interesting read.

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