Vint Cerf at ICANN by Veni (CC BY 2.0)

Vint Cerf at ICANN by Veni (CC BY 2.0)

Internet Governance

All Your Internets Belong to US, Continued: The Case

Imagine a scenario in which a country enacts a law that bans the sale of asbestos and includes the power to seize the assets of any company selling the product anywhere in the world. The country tests the law by obtaining a court order to seize key assets of a Canadian company, whose operations with hundreds of employees takes a major hit. The Canadian government is outraged, promising to support the company in its efforts to restore its operations.

That is the opening of my technology law column this week (Toronto Star version, homepage version) which continues by noting this scenario became reality last week, though the product was not asbestos and the Canadian government has yet to respond. The case involves, a Canadian-owned online sports gaming site and the country doing the seizing was the United States. Supporting online gaming operations will undoubtedly make governments somewhat squeamish, but the broader implications of last week’s seizure touch on millions of websites and Internet companies who now find themselves subject to U.S. jurisdiction.

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March 6, 2012 30 comments Columns

All Your Internets Belong To US, Continued

Appeared on March 4, 2012 in the Toronto Star as case sends warning to all Canadian websites Imagine a scenario in which a country enacts a law that bans the sale of asbestos and includes the power to seize the assets of any company selling the product anywhere in […]

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March 5, 2012 1 comment Columns Archive

CIRA Proposes Changes to IDN Plan

CIRA has launched a new round of consultations on its amended plans to introduce Internationalized Domain Names.  The new process will signficantly restrict the number of new domains as the dot-ca administrative agency is now proposing that the holder of a particular domain name would have the exclusive right to […]

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January 24, 2012 2 comments News

SOPA: All Your Internets Belong to US

The U.S. Congress is currently embroiled in a heated debated over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), proposed legislation that supporters argue is needed combat online infringement, but critics fear would create the “great firewall of the United States.” SOPA’s potential impact on the Internet and development of online services is enormous as it cuts across the lifeblood of the Internet and e-commerce in the effort to target websites that are characterized as being “dedicated to the theft of U.S. property.” This represents a new standard that many experts believe could capture hundreds of legitimate websites and services.

For those caught by the definition, the law envisions requiring Internet providers to block access to the sites, search engines to remove links from search results, payment intermediaries such as credit card companies and Paypal to cut off financial support, and Internet advertising companies to cease placing advertisements. While these measures have unsurprisingly raised concern among Internet companies and civil society groups (letters of concern from Internet companies, members of the US Congress, international civil liberties groups, and law professors), my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) argues the jurisdictional implications demand far more attention. The U.S. approach is breathtakingly broad, effectively treating millions of websites and IP addresses as “domestic” for U.S. law purposes.

The long-arm of U.S. law manifests itself in at least five ways in the proposed legislation.  

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November 16, 2011 58 comments Columns

CIRA Election: Time To Vote

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority, which manages the dot-ca domain, is holding its annual board election until September 28th. This year there are four spots up for grabs – three from candidates nominated by the nominating committee and one from the membership nominated field.  There are some great candidates including […]

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September 26, 2011 Comments are Disabled News