Online Auctions And The Law / Censorship

726 words - 3 pages

Does any country have the right to attempt to censor other countries Internet information? Does the any government have the right to dictate what companies in other countries put on line? If a United States company violates an international law in one country, can that government impose sanctions on that company until the US company complies with their laws? Though the questions can be complicated, the answers are simple, no! The only countries that can enforce international Internet laws are the country whose is in violation of the law.Many people believe that restrictions placed on United States companies by foreign governments is a violation of the first Amendment of the United States Constitution. The first amendment guarantees the freedoms of speech, religion, press, assembly and the right to petition the government for the redress of grievances, ratified with the Bill of Rights in 1791. Freedom of the Press is described as "The right to publish and distribute one's thoughts ...view middle of the document...

Though there are several online auction sites, the most popular sites are eBay, Yahoo!Auctions and Amazon's auctions.Yahoo has joint venture contracts with several different countries worldwide, such as the United Kingdom, France and Germany. Each of these agreements states that the laws of California and the United States of America, govern over Yahoo and the country, when the contract says "This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of California applicable to agreements made and to be performed therein" (Findlaw). When Yahoo violated French law by allowing users to post Nazi memorabilia and other racist and anti-Semitist material for sale on their web site, the French government, through a court order, imposed a $13,000.00 daily fine on Yahoo until the questionable material is free from French viewers access. In a United States Federal Court, a judge ruled that the sanctions were unenforceable. (71).Costly litigations and lengthy court battles can be avoided if international governments and companies work together to find common ground. Internet users can access different sites that give descriptions of the type of online auctions are available prior to actually accessing the online auction site, such as provided by Internet Auction List, Excite Review, Net Guide Live, and Jump City. Utilizing sites such as Internet Auction List can dramatically help both government officials and users alike to screen certain sites they find objectionable and in bad taste. As we all know, if a user wants to access a site that has been blocked, there are ways to unblock sites and gain access, so no site will ever be completely unavailable.Works Cited:Goldberg, Teri. Auction Sites Around the Web. MSNBC Online Article. March 1997. for law related issues. Accessed October 5, 2006. Auction List.Source of Auction Information Worldwide. Accessed October 5, 2006. http://www.internetauctionlist.comSpinello, Richard A. CyberEthics: Morality and Law in Cyberspace. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Inc. 2003.

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