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Laws that Govern the Internet

Internet Law
Internet Law

Most individuals spend multiple hours every day on the Internet. Some use it primarily for entertainment or socialization, while others use the World Wide Web for work purposes; and still others are eagerly pursuing an education or seeking valuable and reliable information. For the most part there is not always a lot of thought given to the fact that there are many different types of laws which are in place to govern the Internet and its use.

What is Internet Law?

Internet law or cyber law are terms that refer to the various legal aspects that are related to using the Internet. This can be a complex topic since the Internet and laws governing it have to represent the entirety of an international community which uses it.  Jurisdiction of Internet law is a very tricky area as different laws from separate jurisdictions may apply to the same internet activity, and sometimes these can conflict. One Internet transaction can be involved with laws from three jurisdictions including the state or nation where the user resides, the state or nation where the host server is located, and the state or nation which has jurisdiction over the business or individual where a transaction takes place. Each Internet transaction, business or otherwise, can also involve a totally separate legal field altogether. Domestic Internet law will also be influenced by the region’s privacy regulations as well as freedom of speech which are two completely separate issues.

When Might I Need an Internet Attorney?

An individual who is facing any sort of internet related legal issue would be wise to contact an attorney who specializes in practicing Internet law. Legal issues could be dealing with software technology, trademark infringement or defamation that has occurred on the Internet. An Internet attorney will know how to obtain the back-end data in order to deal with issues that are common online. They will have the expertise to deal with issues such as using trademarks in keyword advertising. There are already many precedents which have been set through the court systems as the courts have had to determine how to handle various legal matters such as trademark or copyright infringement, internet defamation or personal jurisdiction and many other types of issues. The courts have had to interpret the law and make it adaptable to when these types of actions have occurred on the Internet. Internet law is case law and specialized statutes where judges must address some of the traditional legal matters that have occurred through the use of the Internet.

Is free speech protected online?

Free speech is a part of Internet law that has all sorts of obstacles. Some nations just completely block some kinds of content, and others filter it through various domains. Internet law as it applies to free speech is governed by each separate state, nation or region which has jurisdiction over the parties concerned. It can get rather complicated very quickly. For instance, what happens if an individual publishes an article in one country which contains information about another individual who resides in a different country which has a totally different viewpoint on free speech? There is not a current way to adjudicate this type of concern.

Is privacy protected?

Privacy is a growing concern as it pertains to Internet law. There have already been many different cases where courts have had to deal with situations where information was obtained from networking sites which are considered to be “semi-private.” As an example, if a case involving a possible murder is being investigated, can a party to the investigation obtain pictures of a suspect form a semi-private networking site? Can they obtain information through a shared friend or should they have to obtain a warrant? Many different states have had to deal with these types of legal situations however; the Supreme Court has yet to rule on the constitutionality of these types of actions.

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