The Internet spans many countries and legal jurisdictions. Gaining consensus on specific regulation in such an environment is frought with perils, highlighting the challenges of maintaining the wellspring of innovation which diversity affords, while not allowing cyber space to turn into a lawless free-for-all.
Excerpt from APNIC commentary on some of the challenges and considerations in governing cyberspace…
More than ever before Internet users are now interacting with people living/working in other economies. And as a result of these interactions, there are an increasing number of ‘legal contracts’ (intentional or not).
Internet policy researchers and academics debate about the changing landscape and the boundaries of the international and domestic laws, without conclusive agreements.
Earlier this year, I participated in a panel session at APRICOT 2018, with a number of other policy researchers and lawyers from the region, to discuss cross-border data transfer and legal issues arising from these, focusing on Asia Pacific economies.
We talked about the current landscape of online data transfer and transaction laws around the world including the current regimes of data transfer governance and treaties among different economies.
I specifically focused on the principles of law that have become problematic and ineffective to efficiently handle the emerging lawsuits due to the increasing number of cross-border data and content transfers; a growing and complex problem in the Asia Pacific.
One of the cases I highlighted was that of a Nepalese national, currently residing in New South Wales, Australia, who posted several nude pictures of a woman living in Nepal.
Although the Nepalese Police were able to successfully work with ISPs to remove the pictures from the host websites, the man kept posting similar content. The Nepalese police officers contacted the police in Australia to help take action on the suspect but were informed that they were not able to assist in the investigation because the plaintiff (the woman being harmed) was not residing in Australia.