Disparate national laws trample privacy expectations
Israel recently forced Google to hand over the identity of a blogger. Declan McCullagh wrote a good post covering the facts of the case. This case illustrates one of the problems caused by the international nature of the Internet. A message, article, or blog post you write (completely legally) in your country, may subject you to prosecution and punishment in another. I am not thinking here of obvious and major crimes such as fraud, child pornography, etc. (and even these are not universally criminal), but rather of more subtle speech and thought crimes.In the United States, the “truth” is an absolute defense in liable cases, while in the UK it is not (lawyers in the audience, please correct me if I am in error here). Denial of the holocaust is protected first amendment speech in the US but not in much of Europe. Personal sharing of copyrighted materials is legal in many countries, but not the US. Think cartoons of Mohammed, the Satanic Verses, the secret teachings of the Scientologists, pictures of Burmese protests, publishing of Cryptography software. Each of these is legal in some countries and not in others.How can anyone know if their words or actions might be illegal in some country somewhere in the world.