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cyberlaw:code [2019/02/13 12:16]
witta
cyberlaw:code [2019/09/05 13:57] (current)
nic
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 There are a number of challenges to enforcing law on the internet. The first is the decentralised nature of the internet, in stark contrast to the traditional,​ centralised conception of government, enables users to communicate across jurisdictional boundaries.((Note that this does not necessarily mean that the internet is borderless: See Orin S. Kerr '​Enforcing Law Online, Reviewed Work(s): Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless ​ World by Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu (2007) https://​www.jstor.org/​stable/​pdf/​4495619.pdf)) It is possible for users to redirect their online activities through any number of jurisdictions that might be remote, require inter-governmental cooperation,​ or lengthily and/or costly legal proceedings. The ability of users to communicate largely anonymously via the internet is another challenge for law enforcement. Anonymity makes it difficult for law enforcement agencies to do a number of things, including obtain personal information and identify a person'​s physical location, especially when a user might be using a VPN or other de-identifying software. The sheer quantity of content that users transmit over the web also creates practical challenges. It is immensely difficult for law enforcement agencies, and other societal actors like online platforms that are increasingly undertaking policy work at the behest of regulators,​((Electronic Frontier Foundation, 'Who Has Your Back? Censorship Edition 2018 https://​www.eff.org/​who-has-your-back-2018)) to effectively review and make determinations about every piece of content. These factors, among others, can raise complex legal questions about choice of law/​applicable law, choice of forum, and the recognition of foreign judgments, which we will consider in my more detail in the following Chapter. Lessig'​s modalities of regulation provide a useful framework for us to attempt to identify and evaluate different solutions to regulatory problems, like law enforcement,​ in the digital age.  ​ There are a number of challenges to enforcing law on the internet. The first is the decentralised nature of the internet, in stark contrast to the traditional,​ centralised conception of government, enables users to communicate across jurisdictional boundaries.((Note that this does not necessarily mean that the internet is borderless: See Orin S. Kerr '​Enforcing Law Online, Reviewed Work(s): Who Controls the Internet?: Illusions of a Borderless ​ World by Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu (2007) https://​www.jstor.org/​stable/​pdf/​4495619.pdf)) It is possible for users to redirect their online activities through any number of jurisdictions that might be remote, require inter-governmental cooperation,​ or lengthily and/or costly legal proceedings. The ability of users to communicate largely anonymously via the internet is another challenge for law enforcement. Anonymity makes it difficult for law enforcement agencies to do a number of things, including obtain personal information and identify a person'​s physical location, especially when a user might be using a VPN or other de-identifying software. The sheer quantity of content that users transmit over the web also creates practical challenges. It is immensely difficult for law enforcement agencies, and other societal actors like online platforms that are increasingly undertaking policy work at the behest of regulators,​((Electronic Frontier Foundation, 'Who Has Your Back? Censorship Edition 2018 https://​www.eff.org/​who-has-your-back-2018)) to effectively review and make determinations about every piece of content. These factors, among others, can raise complex legal questions about choice of law/​applicable law, choice of forum, and the recognition of foreign judgments, which we will consider in my more detail in the following Chapter. Lessig'​s modalities of regulation provide a useful framework for us to attempt to identify and evaluate different solutions to regulatory problems, like law enforcement,​ in the digital age.  ​
  
 +### Example: Cloudflare'​s decision to drop hosting for the Daily Stormer neo-Nazi site
 +
 +**Overview video by Hazza: [The Downfall of the Daily Stormer](https://​www.youtube.com/​watch?​v=vf-INXgNpwM)**
 +
 +The neo-Nazi website, Daily Stormer, is a good example of how online content can be regulated by Internet intermediaries. Cloudflare, a content delivery network, provides many advantages to websites on their servers. One of Cloudflare'​s main selling points is its security capabilities against online attacks, especially against a Distributed Denial of Service attack. It is for this very reason that so many websites seek protection from the company, including the Daily Stormer, one of the largest neo-Nazi websites. After the administrators of the Daily Stormer made hateful comments regarding a woman'​s murder in the Charlottesville rally in 2017, Cloudflare terminated protection of the website after significant criticism from the public. It was a decision that Matthew Prince, Cloudflare’s CEO, struggled to make, being a firm believer in freedom of speech on the Internet. The tipping point for the decision was the team behind the website claiming that Cloudflare were secretly supporters of the site's hateful ideology, which was something the company could not stand for. The Daily Stormer has suffered dramatic losses in traffic and membership, and shows how Internet intermediaries can regulate online content, even if that regulation is only imperfect.
  
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