A French judge has made a far-reaching ruling that will speed up and support the reintroduction of borders to the Internet
Now the judge Jean-Jacques Gomez has confirmed his judgment of 22 May. May, paving the way for the redrawing of the borders of the Web: Yahoo must take all available measures to make it impossible for French Internet users to access auction sites on Yahoo.com auction sites where Nazi items are traded. The same applies to other sites and services that try to excuse Nazism or deny Nazi crimes.
The text of the judgment has not yet been published. However, the problem is that the judge ames that if a French citizen intentionally or accidentally accesses a site that contains content that is prohibited under French law, the resulting damage occurred on French territory, which is why the French judiciary is responsible for it: "Since Yahoo has made possible in France the visualization of these objects and finally the participation of the French surfers in such a display or in such a sale, the company has consequently committed a violation of the law on French territory, whose non-volitional character is evident, but which is nevertheless the cause of damage to LICRA (Ligue contre le racisme et l’antisemitisme) and UEJF (Union des etudiants juifs de France), both of which have the right to sue in France for all forms of trivialization of the Nazis, regardless of the fact that the offending activity is minor in relation to the entire auction offer on the Yahoo website."
Since it is possible to identify users by their IP addresses, they should not be allowed to see what is forbidden in their country. the ruling is problematic not only because of the introduction of geographical borders into the Internet, which could lead not only to a clash of legal systems but also to a clash of cultures, and in general severely affect the Internet as a global information and communication medium, but also because it does more than is possible in the real territory. There it is a crime to have, exhibit or trade in such items, but there is usually no way to prevent a citizen from seeing them if he sees them somewhere. Basically, this means that while a shopkeeper, for example, may well display prohibited items because his store is not on French territory, he is obliged to identify and deny access to any French citizen.
The UEJF on Monday expressed satisfaction with the ruling. The decision that Yahoo will be obliged to filter access to Nazi sites marks a new era for the company," he said "the end of cybercrime against humanity". The Internet will thus "to a contemporary medium with obligations and a competent jurisdiction".
Philippe Guillanton, director of Yahoo.fr, on the other hand, sees in the verdict that the judge "A method of censorship is preferred to a pedagogical method" where the user himself would be responsible for the filters. "We regret that the decrees, the dubiousness of which was underlined by the experts, have been confirmed." He was satisfied only that the judge Yahoo.fr in accordance with the judgment of 22 May. May, as a warning is given when sites with content forbidden in France are visited. The judgment therefore concerns only Yahoo.com. The company will consider further legal action, he said.h. whether it will appeal the ruling, carry out the inspections or contest the validity of the ruling of a French court for an American company. However, Guillanton also stressed that Yahoo.com is aware that ignoring the French ruling is not in the interest of the company’s subsidiaries. "In any case, the French decision is a dangerous and worrying precedent for the development of the Internet."
Moreover, geography is not the same as nationality. An American in Paris, who is with a French Internet provider, could not actually be locked out of the sites under French law – or does the legal area apply here?? And for reasons of data protection, is it permissible for content providers to automatically determine the geographical origin of website visitors??
For Jean-Christophe Le Toquin of the AFA, the association of French Internet providers, the judge’s ruling has created a two-speed Internet "two speeds" . If you are technically poor, you can no longer access certain Yahoo pages, but if you have more technical knowledge, you can easily overcome the filters. Le Toquin also points out that the opinion of the judge does not coincide with that of the government. For example, at the G8 meeting in May, the French Minister of the Interior stated that he was opposed to the U.S. Department of Justice’s desire to allow police in one country to pursue a criminal case in another country. But if you reject that, then it is also difficult to demand that Americans directly follow the decisions of the French jurisdiction.
But not all days are over yet. Yahoo has three months to comply with the requirements before it has to pay a daily penalty of 15,000 euros if it fails to do so. On the other hand, a concession might not only threaten freedom on the Internet, but also e-commerce or any content provider. After all, every state in the world could demand that appropriate filters be set up for certain content. However, Germany has already taken the first steps in this direction, for example, by requiring Amazon.com and BarnesandNobles.com to stop the delivery of Hitler’s "Mein Kampf" to Germany (An American Nazi and racist on the bestseller list). eBay-com also bans any trading of objects calling for hate groups on its auction pages, and removes such listings when the company is made aware of them. However, objects are allowed that are at least 50 years old and have a "legitimate collector value" possess.
However, the identification of the geographic location of Internet users or geotracking using IP addresses could also be commercially interesting and introduced for this reason, after all, it still depends on where you offer what goods and how to sell them better. There are also already a number of companies offering such programs or services, for example Quova, Digital Island and Digital Envoy, while online advertising agencies such as DoubleClick or 24. So depending on which side you are on, it looks different.