Kentucky Seizure Case Delayed Until October 7th

Philip CorwinBlog

Compared to Kentucky, even China seems respectful of other governments’ jurisdiction. China isn’t trying to seize domain names of businesses or organizations that operate outside of China in order to block content that is illegal there. At least I haven’t heard of China trying to seize or, a Kentucky Buddhist church’s domain name.

What happens if every local government in the world decides to control internet content for the rest of the world? I bet that Governor Steve Beshear would not appreciate it if the Governor of Virginia seized, which hosts an online gambling website operated in Kentucky.

Kentucky certainly has the right to regulate businesses that operate in Kentucky and enforce Kentucky law within Kentucky, but none of the domain names in the seizure order were registered or operated in Kentucky. Furthermore, I do not care if Kentucky wants to block Kentucky’s residents’ access to these websites. If the elected officials of Kentucky want to require that the ISPs that service residences and businesses of their state to block all 141 domains, then they only have to answer to the citizens of Kentucky. While they are at it, they can also block (sarcasm intended). However, if they decide that they can control internet content for the rest of the world, then someone needs to wake them up.

Kentucky “hired” a Chicago firm that specializes in “class action lawsuits and personal injury” on a contingency basis. According to The Courier-Journal, “Kentucky Justice Cabinet Secretary, J. Michael Brown said the states intention is to enter into settlement talks with the online casino operators, asking them to block Kentucky-users from their sites and pay damages in return for the state returning control of the sites to them. If they refuse Kentucky could block access to the sites from users across the world.” It seems that Kentucky and its counsel are more interested in cashing in on worldwide popularity of online gambling by holding these domains hostage than in less disruptive means of blocking access to these sites from Kentucky.

The hearing for 141 domain names that Kentucky Governor Beshear ordered seized is scheduled for October 7. ICA is working along with other organizations including, Poker Players Alliance, Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association, Bluegrass Institute, Americans for Tax Reform, Electronic Frontier Foundation to respond to this unprecedented attack.

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