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Online directories forced to remove dodgy advertisers

1st December 2011
Categories: legal

As the BBC reports, a judge in Nevada, USA, has ordered various online directories including Google, Bing, Yahoo and Facebook to remove links to sites offering counterfeit goods for sale.

As legislators try to get to grips with controlling the internet, what does it mean, and is it good or bad?

Earlier this year the European Union ruled that websites within its jurisdiction should gain explicit consent from users before storing 'tracking' cookies on users' browsers.

Google is today hitting back with print advertising explaining just what a cookie is and why it's so useful - there's an ad above my head on the train as I blog, saying "Hello David, What's your name again" as an illustration of the fact that without cookies, websites can have very short memories.

I have not met anyone yet who agrees with the EU cookie legislation. So in my view it's very misguided. But does that make internet legislation bad?

In all walks of life there may be good and bad legislation, and if legislation exists to prevent street traders from selling fake Rolexes on Oxford's cornmarket, why can't the law rule on internet trading?

Opposers of this kind of legislation cite the fact that in order to make it work, you have to legislate in all jurisdictions - but does that matter? Surely that is not the point of the law. However nice it would be if it was applied globally, laws must be passed if there is a strong case.

What do you think?

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