A French Court ordered Twitter in California to identify anonymous individuals whose Tweets were anti-Semitic and racist in violation of French law, even though Twitter claims that its Terms of Service (ToS) are controlled by California law. The New York Times reported:

The case revolves around the broad question of which country’s laws have jurisdiction over content on the Internet. This question has become increasingly complicated as vast piles of information are stored in sprawling data centers, known as the cloud, that are accessible over the Internet anywhere, anytime.

In 2000 a French court enjoined Yahoo!’s US website from selling Nazi memorabilia because it is illegal in France is still in place. But rather than fight in France, Yahoo! claimed a First Amendment right to sell Nazi materials on its website in US, and the District Court in California agreed and granted summary judgment against the French plaintiffs. However on appeal, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the US courts do not have jurisdiction over the French plaintiffs and their lawsuit in France.

It will be interesting to see how Twitter fares enforcing its ToS in France and the US.

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