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New York City meets Munich

The naughty web site hurt my eyes!

February 11th, 2002 · No Comments · Uncategorized

When a web site which exists and is owned by a company in one country is found guilty of breaking a law in another country, there are judges involved who are smoking crack.

If France, or any other country, doesn’t want it’s citizens to receive certain types of content, by all means, make a law. But don’t think for one moment that the law covers any thing outside the borders of the country that makes the law. You can go after your citizens, your local companies, your local ISPs even, or set up a filtering firewall around the entire country, just like China and Saudi Arabia, but keep it within your own borders, please.

The burden of censorship should fall entirely on the country that wants to filter. Shifting it to the source that is in no violation of the local laws of the country where it resides is ridiculous. It would imply that any type of broadcast or transmission which might cross a national boundary must honor all laws of any countries where that message might be received. If a person traveling to China brings in a New York Times, is the New York Times company at risk of prosecution if they happened to run an article about Chinese dissidents that day?

If a restrictive country hooks up to the Internet, and they don’t like what they see, too bad. Regulate your own ISPs. A stream of bits flowing in and out of a country doesn’t give that government the right to pass laws on the entire world.

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