Issue: Whether, under the court’s First Amendment precedents, a law that makes it a felony for any person on the state's registry of former sex offenders to “access” a wide array of websites – including Facebook, YouTube, and nytimes.com – that enable communication, expression, and the exchange of information among their users, if the site is “know[n]” to allow minors to have accounts, is permissible, both on its face and as applied to petitioner, who was convicted based on a Facebook post in which he celebrated dismissal of a traffic ticket, declaring “God is Good!”
In oral argument on 27 February 2017, Justice Kennedy drew an analogy between social media and the public square. Justice Ginsburg said restricting access to social media would mean being cut off from a very large part of the marketplace of ideas. The First Amendment includes not only the right to speak, but the right to receive information.
Chinese internet company Sina launched a real name verification function to its user registration form as of January 1, 2012. The new function compares user-submitted data, such as name and national ID card number, and if a user's information does not match comparison records the user can only browse existing posts. In order to be able to post content, users must resubmit correct information. To date, 3 mlllion new users have submitted real name information, and single day registration volume continues to grow. For existing users, Sina will offer additional functionality and privileges to users that submit real name credentials, implement a user trust ratings system, and this week will launch a verified real name ID badge. Sohu previously launched a promotional campaign, offering 20 mln Sohu Video monthly subscription cards and RMB 1 mln worth of mobile phone recharge cards to users who submit real name data early. Online real estate site Soufun offered prizes, including free vacation housing in 13 popular tourist destination cities. Users who do not register by March 16 will lose their posting and reposting privileges.
Regarding user data security, a Sina spokesperson said that users will be notified by mobile phone or other channels if someone logs into their account from a different location. If any anomalies occur, users can lock their account from their mobile phone even if someone else is logged in. A spokesperson for Sohu said that Sohu does not store any user data after authenticating the user's identity.
From the NYTimes:
SAN FRANCISCO — What began as seamy gossip about an affair between a famous British soccer player and a reality TV star has quickly become another test over how far the rights to privacy and free speech extend online, where social media operate in countries with vastly different laws.
The soccer player has been granted a so-called super-injunction, a stringent and controversial British legal measure that prevents media outlets from identifying him, reporting on the story or even from revealing the existence of the court order itself.
But tens of thousands of Internet users have flouted the injunction by revealing his name on Twitter, Facebook and online soccer forums, sites that blur the definition of the press and are virtually impossible to police.
Last week, amid growing outrage in Britain over the use of super-injunctions, the athlete obtained a court order in British High Court demanding that Twitter reveal the identities of the anonymous users who had posted the messages. A Twitter spokesman, Matt Graves, said the company could not comment on the court order or how it planned to respond.
Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University, said, “It’s really going to the core of Twitter’s service and trying to balance the speech of its users and the fact that countries have different laws and norms about speech.”
Internet Typology: The Mobile Difference: Wireless Connectivity Has Drawn Many Users More Deeply into Digital Life
Pew Internet & American Life Project, March 25, 2009
Freedom on the Net: A Global Assessment of Internet and Digital Media
Freedom House, April 1, 2009
This publication includes country reports on Brazil, China, Cuba, Egypt, Estonia, Georgia, India, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Russia, South Africa, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
Internet Crime Report 2008
Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), March 2009
There is an FBI news release, March 30, 2009, at
Sinking the Copyright Pirates: Global Protection of Intellectual Property
Hearing before the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, April 6, 2009
For transcripts, please go to
http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/schedule.asp and scroll down.
The Office of U.S. Trade Representative Releases Summary of Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) Negotiations
News release, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), April 6, 2009
The summary is at
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The United Nations intellectual property agency (WIPO) is the latest front in the US-China trade war. http://www.theage.com.au/world/sad-am...
Carly Long, an expert in domain name litigation, will teach the first half of the class this Tuesday evening. You may wish to have a look a...
This website has some useful links and references: http://www.epiphanysolutions.co.uk/article-index/rights-and-laws-of-the-internet/