Jurisdiction In Cyberspace:
A Theory of International Spaces
by Darrel Menthe[*]

April 23, 1998
Cite As: Darrel Menthe, Jurisdiction In Cyberspace: A Theory of International Spaces
available at <http://www.mttlr.org/volfour/menthe.html>.
Comments about this article should be sent to mttlr@umich.edu.


{1} Where is cyberspace?[1] The answers to this question seem to approach the metaphysical: it is everywhere and nowhere;
it exists in the smallest bursts of matter and energy and is called forth only by the presence of man through the intercession of
an Internet provider. If the answers are useless, it only shows that we are asking the wrong question. We should first ask:
what is cyberspace? To this question at least a functional answer is possible. Functionally, cyberspace is a place. It is a
place where messages and webpages are posted for everyone in the world to see, if they can find them.[2] The United States
Supreme Court's first opinion about the Internet contains language that makes one hopeful that U.S. courts will accept the
legal metaphor of cyberspace as a place outside national boundaries: "Taken together, these tools constitute a unique medium
-- known to its users as 'cyberspace'-- located in no particular geographical location but available to anyone, anywhere in the
world, with access to the internet."[3]

{2} Unfortunately, when the law confronts cyberspace the usual mode of analysis is analogy, asking not "What is
cyberspace?" but "What is cyberspace like?" The answers are varied: a glorified telephone, a bookstore, a bulletin board. I
propose that we look at cyberspace not in these prosaic terms, but rather through the lens of international law in order to give
cyberspace meaning in our jurisprudence.[4]

{3}The thesis of this paper is that there exists in international law a type of territory which I call "international space."
Currently there are three such international spaces: Antarctica, outer space, and the high seas. For jurisdictional analysis,
cyberspace should be treated as a fourth international space.

{4}In cyberspace, jurisdiction is the overriding conceptual problem for domestic and foreign courts alike. Unless it is
conceived of as an international space, cyberspace takes all of the traditional principles of conflicts-of-law and reduces them
to absurdity. Unlike traditional jurisdictional problems that might involve two, three, or more conflicting jurisdictions, the set
of laws which could apply to a simple homespun webpage is all of them. Jurisdiction in cyberspace requires clear principles
rooted in international law. Only through these principles can courts in all nations be persuaded to adopt uniform solutions to
questions of Internet jurisdiction.

V. The Theory of International Spaces

A. Overview

The theory of international spaces begins with one proposition: nationality, not territoriality, is the basis for the
jurisdiction to prescribe in outer space, Antarctica, and the high seas. This general proposition must be assembled through
observations. In outer space, the nationality of the registry of the vessel, manned or unmanned, is the relevant category. In
Antarctica, the nationality of the base governs.[41] Other informal arrangements (for instance, the United States providing all
air traffic control in Antarctica)[42] weigh heavily in decisions about jurisdiction.

{37}On the high seas, the nationality of the vessel -- the "law of the flag" -- is the primary rule A competing view is
emerging positing that jurisdiction at sea is really "floating island" jurisdiction, a subspecies of territorial jurisdiction.[43]
This theory posits that vessels at sea are really "floating islands," and that the jurisdiction predicated upon them is territorial
in nature.[44] The Supreme Court has weighed in against this interpretation, pointing out that stepping onto a U.S.-flagged
vessel is not legally the same as entering the United States.[45] The "floating island" theory appears to derive from the
obsolete notion that vessels must somehow possess territoriality because "the right of protection and jurisdiction . . . can be
exercised only upon the territory."[46]

{38}One approach is to treat these three areas as sui generis treaty regimes. Some scholars see international law as no more
than the sum of various international agreements -- a purely positivist approach.[47] This has the veneer of theoretical
consistency, but only if we fail to recognize an evolving organic international legal system.

{39}The sui generis conception of international law is out of touch with the treatment of the respective international regimes
in American courts. It is usual for American courts to treat these regimes as analogs to one another. Smith v. United States is
typical in this regard:

    . . . Antarctica is just one of three vast sovereignless places where the negligence of federal agents may cause death
    or physical injury. The negligence that is alleged in this case will surely have its parallels in outer space. . . .
    Moreover, our jurisprudence relating to negligence of federal agents on the sovereignless high seas points
    unerringly to the correct disposition in this case."[48]

{40}In Hughes Aircraft,[49] the U.S. Court of Federal Claims held that U.S. patent law did not apply to foreign spacecraft in
outer space and relied on the decision in Smith v. United States that barred the application of the Federal Tort Claims Act to
claims arising in Antarctica.[50] The governing treaties are also similar in their conception and design.[51]

{41}The next theoretical and conceptual hurdle is physicality. These three physical spaces are nothing at all like cyberspace
which is a nonphysical space. The physical/nonphysical distinction, however, is only one of so many distinctions which
could be made between these spaces. After all, one could hardly posit three more dissimilar physicalities -- the ocean, a
continent, and the sky. What makes them analogous is not any physical similarity, but their international, sovereignless
quality. These three, like cyberspace, are international spaces. As a fourth international space, cyberspace should be
governed by default rules that resemble the rules governing the other three international spaces, even in the absence of a
regime-specific organizing treaty, which the other three international spaces have.
C. The Case for International Spaces

1. History

{46}The history of international spaces begins at sea. Modern admiralty law and the law of the High Seas began in large part
with Grotius[58] in the 17th Century.[59] The Law of the Sea remains the dominating voice in the discussion of international
spaces, and the oceans have long been the most important of the international spaces. Antarctica was not discovered until
about 1820, and it did not become the subject of serious international attention until the 1950s, especially during the
International Geophysical Year (1957-58). Although visible since time immemorial, outer space remained similarly
unexplored until 1957, when Sputnik introduced man to a new international space. Cyberspace emerged during the 1970s and
1980s as the apparatus of the Internet took root, but it was not until the early 1990s that an explosion in users and uses,
including commercial uses, introduced a worldwide virtual community to another international space.[60]

{47}In each international space, the specter of international conflict has been a prime factor in forming treaty regimes.
Concerns over the Antarctic "pie" during the Cold War led to a treaty regime that, in effect, froze the national claims to polar
wedges.[61] These competing national claims will be discussed in greater detail below. Some scholars regard the 1982
Falklands War as a war over Antarctic resources.[62] Humanity's entrance into outer space was also attended at its outset by
international conflict, primarily surrounding the Cold War, though also encompassing the ambitions of tertiary powers such
as France.

{48}Similar pressures will soon come to bear in cyberspace. Computer viruses and the "munitions" status of
cryptography[63] ensure that international confrontation will enter cyberspace even if human beings cannot. Cyberspace is as
much a space for traditional public international law as for private international law.


4. Jurisdiction in Cyberspace: The Vessel of Nationality.

{59}Making nationality work as a principle in cyberspace requires an analysis appropriate to cyberspace. It is too easy to
fall into the trap of analogy by asking how nationality would play out on the open sea, in outer space, or in Antarctica, and
then trying to make direct applications to cyberspace. As we have seen, the nationality principle is firmly entrenched in these
areas, but its implications are different for each.

{60}For example, if we are applying the "law of the flag" from maritime law, we can get bogged down in the analysis of
how the nationality of a ship is determined. There is, of course, an international regime in place which determines the registry
of a ship, and there are such things as "flags of convenience," under which U.S. nationals may fly a Panamanian flag and then
be subject to Panamanian law at sea. The obvious question might be, "What is the nationality of a vessel in cyberspace?" But
we are at a loss to find a ship or plane in cyberspace. Thus, we must ask first, what is the vessel of nationality in cyberspace,
i.e. what carries nationality into cyberspace?

{61}Registry will not suffice as it does not currently exist. International treaties may at a later date specify that all files and
messages be "registered" with a nationality. Until such time, however, we must discover the default rules. Before there was
registry at sea, there was still nationality. Justice Stevens recently referred to the principle as the personal sovereignty of the
nation over its citizens.[92] In cyberspace, persons bring nationality into the international space of cyberspace through their
actions. An uploader marks a file or a webpage with his nationality. We may not know "where" a webpage is, but we know
who is responsible for it. The nationality of items in cyberspace could be determined by the nationality of the person or entity
who put them there, or perhaps by the one who controls them.

{62}This analysis is relatively easy to undertake with regard to webpages.[93] Generally, determining the nationality of a
webpage is not a problem. The creator of a webpage is usually listed on the webpage, and is typically an individual or an
organization. However, webpages are now also created by individuals and companies for others. This makes us ask who
"owns" the page for jurisdictional purposes -- the creator or the person on whose behalf it is maintained? International law is
not displeased with either answer. If a nation wishes, it can ascribe nationality to all webpages maintained "on behalf of" its
citizens, as well as any webpages actually created (i.e. uploaded) by its citizens. Either solution essentially solves the
conflict of laws problem by reducing the conflict to two states at the most. Courts will have to make their own judgments
about what level of connection between a cyberspace item and an individual is reasonable for the nationality of that person to
dictate the jurisdiction to prescribe law. The theory of international spaces turns cyberspace from a place of infinitely
competing jurisdictions into a place where normal jurisdictional analysis can continue.

{63}Similarly, links to pages in cyberspace will follow the same jurisdictional analysis. The person who creates the link is
subject to his or her own national laws governing what links he or she may create. Also, a person is subject to the territorial
jurisdiction from which he or she uploads data (data that may include a link), and that jurisdiction's law may be used to
dictate which links are permissible and which are not.[94] A person who follows a link is simply a downloader, and is
subject to the territorial jurisdiction of the keyboard at which he or she sits, as well as the laws governing persons of his or
her nationality in cyberspace. What the theory of international spaces avoids is the downloader having to be aware of
following links that were illegal for the uploader to make based on the uploader's territorial presence or nationality. There is
no basis under this theory for the uploader's state to prescribe laws governing the foreign downloader's actions.

{64}The following scenario is an example of how the proposed system might work: a webpage, commissioned by a U.S.
citizen, is uploaded from Moldova by a Moldovan citizen. If the webpage contains advertising considered fraudulent under
U.S. law, that U.S. citizen could be subject to prosecution by U.S. authorities.[95] Additionally, the Moldovan could be
subject to the laws of Moldova that regulate uploading. Moreover, a U.S. citizen in Moldova is not immune from U.S. law
simply because he uploads from Moldova (into cyberspace) rather than from the United States.[96] What the United States
cannot do is prescribe a law for a webpage created and uploaded by a Moldovan who lacks any reasonable connection to an
American national (i.e. a connection cognizable at international law as a basis for the jurisdiction to prescribe), merely
because the webpage is "downloadable" in the United States.

{65}Some of the other complexities of cyberspace deserve a little attention here. One of these complexities is a "mirror" site
-- a website set up to contain identical information to another site in order to alleviate overburdening of the servers or allow
faster downloading to websurfers in different geographic locations. Mirror sites are intentionally placed at internet addresses
that are in different parts of the network, often on servers in different countries. While the location of the server should be of
no importance, it often means that a mirror site involves an international alliance. For example, suppose a software company
in Japan maintains a mirror site for a German software company, and allows the German company access to its ftp (file
transfer protocol) site. In this situation, the content is controlled by the German company, but the Japanese company is
involved in the production of the page. The question then becomes a highly factual inquiry, requiring the court to determine
the extent to which the person maintaining the foreign mirror site is involved in the uploading and downloading of material.
Two general results are possible. First, if the Japanese national takes an active role in creating and maintaining the site, then
the Japanese government will have jurisdiction to prescribe law governing material on that site. If, however, the Japanese
national takes an entirely passive role, simply providing available space for the German national to store data, then the extent
to which Japan has the jurisdiction to prescribe law regulating the content of that site is directly related to the "law of the
sysop" analysis discussed above.[97]

{66}However, a site maintainer is also different from the sysop. Unlike the hapless sysop, a site maintainer may often (a)
play a role in determining the content of the site, (b) easily be able to control that content, and (c) have a specific intent to
control the content of the site. When this is true, a nexus exists between the actions of the foreign national (the Japanese
national in the above example) and the contents of the "mirror" site, a nexus that does not exist between an ordinary
downloader and a website maintained by an unrelated individual in another jurisdiction. Under these circumstances, it may
then be altogether "reasonable" for the foreign state to assert jurisdiction over the site. This, too, will be a highly subjective
and factual inquiry for a court in addressing each mirror site, and local law alone will determine the amount of control over a
mirror site that is sufficient to make the person wielding that control liable for the site's content. Nonetheless, it is my sincere
hope that the principle of nationality will be established firmly enough that states will not attempt to regulate this corner of
cyberspace based on subjective territoriality.

{67}Of course, cyberspace is more than the world wide web. There are bulletin boards, USENET groups, and electronic
mail (email), portions of cyberspace that contain messages sent by individuals. These individual message senders may be
anonymous, but since anonymity is as much a practical problem for any municipal law as for international law, the problems
presented by the anonymity issue are not addressed in this article. Once a person is identified, his nationality will provide the
basis for the jurisdiction to prescribe rules for his actions in cyberspace. For example, the United States government may
make it illegal to post to alt.sex.bestiality (a USENET group), but this cannot provide the basis for holding a Korean citizen
in Korea (without connection to a United States national) criminally liable for posting to alt.sex.bestiality.

{68}A problem also arises when the line between cyberspace and normal telecommunications is blurred. Despite its
transnational routes, email is probably not properly considered to be in the international space of cyberspace. Cyberspace is
a virtual community, and international law applies because it is readable by the world. When private email is sent from one
individual to another across jurisdictional lines, the jurisdictional analysis is different. An email from an Arizonan to an
Italian is always subject to Arizona law, but could also be subject to Italian law -- just as a telephone call would be. In the
case of private email communication, the Arizonan "purposely availed himself" (to use the resounding formulation of
World-Wide Volkswagen v. Woodson[98]) to the benefits of the Italian jurisdiction. This private, one-time email does not share the essential characteristics of an item in international cyberspace; rather, it is a mere international communication.

{69}Naturally, we need a clearer definition of when we enter cyberspace. Is a message sent "cc:otherfolks" to several
jurisdictions subject to the laws of all of those jurisdictions? Can a message intended to defame a Mexican citizen, as in the
1887 Cutting Case,[99] and actually emailed to that citizen, be saved from liability by also being sent to a hundred other
individuals? When is an electronic communication international enough to be cyberspace? Ultimately, this conundrum will
resolve itself through a focus on the intent of the sender to cause an effect in a given country. The relevant question under
international law is whether it is reasonable for the state in question to exercise jurisdiction based on objective territoriality.
Given the properties of cyberspace discussed in this article, the burden will clearly be on the prosecuting state to prove that
an item in cyberspace was targeted to that state, giving that state a special interest above others. We cannot forget the
importance of the test of reasonableness of the jurisdiction to prescribe, a question that will be litigated in the courts of the
prosecuting state. Because of the nature of cyberspace, and the great potential for conflicts of law, a fairly strong connection
between the emailer and the target state will be necessary for the target state to assert the jurisdiction to prescribe based on
the principle of objective territoriality.

VII. Conclusion

{82}The survey of international law and the treatment of the jurisdiction to prescribe in vast sovereignless regions provided
in this article supports the theory of international spaces. Antarctica, outer space, the high seas, and cyberspace are four
international spaces that share the unusual characteristic, for jurisdictional purposes, of the lack of any territorial jurisdiction.
In these four places, nationality is, and should be, the primary principle for the establishment of jurisdiction. Such a rule will
provide predictability and international uniformity. It strikes a balance between anarchy and universal liability, and it works.
Recognition of cyberspace as an international space is more than overdue. It is becoming imperative.

{83}I will conclude with a final hypothetical situation, which may serve as a warning to national courts not yet aware of the
international character of cyberspace. A Danish citizen posts lurid photographs on his personal web page that is "located" on
a server in Denmark. However, the government in Copenhagen has not taken any action to forbid the uploading of such
material. Indeed, Danish courts or the European Court of Justice may already have deemed such a law unconstitutional or
violative of basic human rights. The unsuspecting Dane meanwhile goes to visit a cousin in the United States over
Thanksgiving weekend. Learning of his arrival, the FBI telephones local law enforcement. Local law enforcement, intent on
enforcing state obscentity laws, perhaps based on some local cause celebre regarding this website and some teenagers,
immediately contacts a magistrate, giving her the URL,[114] and requests a warrant for his arrest. The magistrate soon
downloads the offensive material, finds that it is clearly obscene under Miller v. California[115] in the community where the
magistrate sits, and after reading Maritz v. Cybergold,[116] and the local long-arm statute, issues the warrant without a further
thought to jurisdiction to prescribe. Local law enforcement makes the arrest Wednesday night.

{84}On Monday morning, the court-appointed lawyer for the somewhat melancholy Dane files a petition seeking a writ of
habeas corpus. "My client is Danish national," argues the lawyer, "and furthermore he uploaded the obscene material while
in Denmark." Neither the United States nor any of them has jurisdiction to prescribe a law for this action under either the
nationality principle or the territoriality principle. Exercise of jurisdiction would violate international law. The state's
obscenity law and jurisdictional statutes should be construed to conform to international law, in the absence of Congressional
permission for states to violate international law.[117]

{85}The case requires immediate attention; the judge must decide whether to continue to hold the man who has been in jail
for three days already. No doubt an international incident is already brewing.[118] This article provides the Dane's lawyer
with an argument, and the judge with an answer.

[*]Darrel C. Menthe, J.D. Stanford '96, is a litigation associate in the Los Angeles office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. This article
would not have been completed without the help of many people, a few of whom deserve special recognition and acknowledgement here. My
heartfelt gratitude goes to Margaret J. Radin, without whose support and guidance this article would never have been completed, to David
Lange, Patrick Eagleman and the MTTLR staff, for an incisive but merciful edit, and to Ward Breeze, whose loyal encouragement was in no
small measure responsible for the submission of this piece.

[1]The term "cyberspace" is sometimes treated as a synonym for the Internet, but is really a broader concept. For example, we know exactly how the Internet began, but not at what point the connections between a few domestic computers metamorphosed into a global virtual community that we now call cyberspace. The term "cyberspace" emphasizes that it can be treated as a place. William Gibson is credited with coining the term in his novel Neuromancer. Gibson's concept included a direct brain-computer link that gave the user the illusion of vision, moving about in the data "matrix" to obtain information. See William S. Byassee, Jurisdiction of Cyberspace: Applying Real World Precedent to the Virtual Community, 30 WAKE FOREST L. REV. 197, 198 n.5 (1995).

[2]In his book Wyrms, science fiction author Orson Scott Card describes a most remarkable place called Heffiji's house, which could have been a metaphor for cyberspace. Heffiji had a sign on her house reading "Answers" that lured many curious people. She asked questions of all her visitors and wrote the answers down on scraps of paper. These scraps of paper were scattered all around her enormous house. Unfortunately she had no brain, so she could not learn anything. She did, however, know where she had put the pieces of paper, and you could learn anything from her if you asked the right question. ORSON SCOTT CARD, WYRMS 165-188 (1987).

[3]Reno v. ACLU, 117 S.Ct. 2329, 2334-35 (1997).

[4]It is hornbook custom to cite The Paquete Habana for the proposition that, "international law is part of our law." The Paquete Habana, 175 U.S. 677 (1900).


[41]There is a special provision in the Antarctic Treaty for exchanges of scientists and observers. These individuals are subject only to their own national law. Antarctic Treaty, Dec. 1, 1959, art. VIII § 1, 12 U.S.T. 794, 402 U.N.T.S. 71 [hereinafter Antarctic Treaty].

[42]See, e.g., Beattie v. United States, 756 F.2d. 91 (1984). The court permitted a lawsuit claiming negligence of U.S. Air Traffic controllers at McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

[43] Christopher Blakesley, Criminal Law: United States Jurisdiction Over Extraterritorial Crime, 73 J. CRIM. L. 1109, 1110, n6 (1982).

[44]There actually was a floating island. Fletcher Ice Island (T-3) is 99% ice, 7 miles wide, 4 miles across, and 100 feet thick. No mere iceberg, it was sighted by an American in 1947, and has been occupied by the US since 1952. Fletcher Ice Island meanders around the Arctic Ocean. In 1961, for example, it was grounded on the Alaskan coastline near Point Barrrow. In 1970, it was in the Baffin Sea, 305 miles from Greenland (Denmark) and 200 miles from Ellesmere Island (Canada). That year, Mario Jaime Escamilla was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in a U.S. Federal court for the shooting death of Bennie Lightsey while both were on Fletcher Ice Island. Bizarrely, the court of appeals reversed and remanded the case on procedural grounds, after first noting that it was "unable to decide" the jurisdictional issue. See United States v. Escamilla, 467 F.2d 341, 344 (4th Cir. 1972). That is to say that in the only recorded case of a floating island, the court was unable to endorse the
"floating island" theory as a basis for jurisdiction.

[45]United States ex rel. Claussen v. Day, 279 U.S. 398, 401 (1929).


[47]See, e.g., Benjamin R. Barber, Global Democracy or Global Law: Which comes first?, 1 IND. J. GLOBAL LEGAL STUDIES 119 (1993).

[48]Smith v. United States 507 U.S. 197, 122 L.Ed. 2d 548, 556-57 (1993) (Stevens J., dissenting). Justice Stevens went on to claim that a theory of "personal sovereignty" held in Antarctica. "As was well settled at English common law before our Republic was founded, a nation's personal sovereignty over its own citizens may support the exercise of civil jurisdiction in transitory actions arising in places not subject to any sovereign." Id. Stevens cited Mostyn v. Fabrigas, 98 Eng.Rep. 1021, 1032 (K. B. 1774). The reader will soon note that it is the physicality of these "sovereignless regions," above any relevant legal characteristic, which makes the assertion of a similar regime for cyberspace somewhat intrepid. It is precisely this Pennoyer v. Neff view of sovereignty, presence, and power which we must learn to move beyond.

[49]Hughes Aircraft v. United States, 29 Fed. Cl. 197, 231 (1993).

[50]Smith v. United States, 507 U.S. 197, 122 L.Ed. 2d. 548 (1993).

[51]The Outer Space Treaty was based directly on the Antarctic Treaty. See section C, infra.


[58]This famous work by Grotius is perhaps the seminal work in modern international law: HUGO GROTIUS, DE IURE BELLI AC PACIS [On the Law of War and Peace] (1631).

[59]The Roman mare nostrum "our sea" for the Mediterranean was the result of two centuries of no real conflicts of law, the Pax Romana. The idea of international law being a law between equal powers simply has no grounding in Roman history. Modern international law really begins with the Peace of Westphalia (1648) which endorsed a theory (a de facto result of the Thirty Years' War) that the equal sovereign states are the building blocks of the political world. Today, the notion of sovereignty and ultimately nationality is so ingrained that we imagine that every individual has a nationality just as he or she has a gender. BENEDICT ANDERSON, IMAGINED COMMUNITIES: REFLECTIONS ON THE ORIGIN AND SPREAD OF NATIONALISM 14 (1983).

[60]Future generations may yet view the experience of "absolute" national sovereignty running from about 1650 through 2000 as a brief aberration in the political history of the earth. This kind of perspective is often lacking in discussions of the future of international law.

[61]Antarctic Treaty, art. IV, 12 U.S.T. 794, 402 U.N.T.S. 71, 75.

[62]For a history of the conflict over the Falkland Islands, see MAX HASTINGS AND SIMON JENKINS, THE BATTLE FOR THE FALKLANDS (1983).

[63]See Stephen Levy, Cypherpunks, WIRED 1.2 May-June 1993. The area of encryption technology is still in flux. See Bernstein v. United States Dept. of State, 945 F. Supp. 1279 (N.D. Cal. 1997) (striking down encryption controls on First Amendment grounds).


[92]See Smith v. United States, 507 US 197, 205-206 (1993) (Stevens, J., dissenting).

[93]The webpage is my paradigm because the world wide web surely prefigures the future of cyberspace: a place where complex, sophisticated "sites" are maintained by individuals and organizations, rather than only commercial and governmental interests.

[94]The reader should keep in mind that none of these observations about the outer limits of jurisdiction touch on the subject of what a state may be constrained from regulating by its own constitution and laws.

[95]Whether American due process is satisfied is another inquiry altogether.

[96]The reader should note that existence of the jurisdiction to prescribe based on nationality does not guarantee that legislatures will exercise that right. It could well be that the United States does not choose to control uploaders based on their nationality, but only on their physical presence within the United States. This voluntary abstention from jurisdiction offends no principle of international law, but since exercise of jurisdiction also offends no principle of international law, the presumption of extraterritoriality should not compel U.S. courts to assume that only territorial, and not nationality-based, jurisdiction was intended by U.S. law.

[97]See infra, section IV.

[98]World-Wide Volkswagen v. Woodson, 444 U.S. 286 (1980).

[99]See Letter, supra note 17.


[114]URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. This is a set of words (usually preceded by http://) that serve as a designation for the numerical Internet address (such as

[115]Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973). It is my opinion that William Byassee is right, and that downloading obscene material from cyberspace is protected under the First Amendment by Stanley v. Georgia, 394 U.S. 557 (1969). See William S. Byassee, Jurisdiction of Cyberspace: Applying Real World Precedent to the Virtual Community, 30 WAKE FOREST L. REV. 197 (1995).

[116]Maritz v. Cybergold, 947 F. Supp. 1328 (1997).

[117]The Supreme Court appears willing to allow violations of international law where Congress appears to have authorized violations of international law. See, e.g., United States v. Alvarez-Machain, 504 U.S. 655 (1992) (exercising jurisdiction over a Mexican national forcibly abducted and brought to the United States for trial -- in violation of customary international law -- because the extradition treaty with Mexico did not explicitly forbid kidnapping of Mexican nationals).

[118]The Massachusetts murder trial of Louise Woodward in October, 1997, is an example of international furor; imagine the outrage if the crime with which she was charged was not even a crime in the United Kingdom. See Commmonwealth v. Woodward, 1997 WL 694119