Internet extends long arm of the law

Tuesday, 23 July 2002, 11:45 AM EST

The police shut them down anyway in early July, simply by sitting down at the alleged offender's Rome computer.

Talk about the long arm of the law.

Under pressure from their citizens, governments around the world are increasingly abandoning the hands-off attitude they initially had toward the Internet. They are now applying their laws far beyond their borders -- thanks to the borderless medium.

Put another way, foreign citizens and businesses are now being subjected to copyright, speech, consumer protection and other laws enacted by governments in countries where they've had no voice.

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