posted Aug 14, 2000

How to Halt Nazi Sales in France? Country Watch: France8/14/2000; 8:36:59 AM 'A Paris judge ordered independent experts to investigate how to bar French Web surfers from tapping into online sales of Nazi memorabilia on websites accessed using the giant Internet portal Yahoo.'I find myself wishing I could get at the original court documents... and read them well enough to understand the intentions of the judge. There's a couple of interesting things in the article, though:'The judge rejected one of Yahoo's main contentions, which was that the English-language site was outside the competence of the French court.'Keep in mind there is a French Yahoo, which, in compliance with French law, does not sell Nazi stuff of any kind. That link performs a search on for "Nazi"... as of this writing, the only thing there is a DVD movie that happens to have "Nazi" in the description of the movie.This is an explicit case of a French judge imposing French law on an American company.'Independent Internet security experts also say it is next to impossible to screen web users on the basis of nationality in a failsafe way because PC dialing numbers used to identify the surfer can be disguised or even misread.'The judge is trying to constrain his order to only affect those in France, but he is finding that it takes more then passing a law and ordering enforcement to bring things about. The problem here is really one of percentages... Yahoo could easily block most people from France from seeing Nazi auctions. However, what's the acceptable percentage, as this deals with a group of people who are perfectly willing to do what it takes to actively circumvent the restrictions? 100% blocking may not be possible... will Yahoo be held responsible for this 'failure' of the Internet?BTW, Yahoo, take a look at the Olympics streaming solution... if you partner with French ISPs to identify their users, then you may be able to offload the responsibility onto the French ISPs....


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