nations will be more and more motivated to extend jurisdiction to the very source of what they perceive as offensive or illegal content. Moreover, it won't just be naughty gifs, but insider trading, espionage, libel, anti-trust, blasphemy, sedition, breach of contract, money laundering, and violation of patent, trademark, copyright and trade secrets law -- a grab bag of offenses with wildly varying treatment on the international scene."[/i]
It has already started. The European Community now has in place new rules whereby funds held by memebers of the EEC in offshore accounts are now under attack. The offshore banks have two options which they must offer their customers: a. accept that the bank make a withholding charge payable, without identity included, to the government of the country within which the account holder resides; b. send details of the account to that government for, presumably, direct taxation.
Without going into the rights or wrongs about even further taxation on money earned elsewhere, taxed at source, deposited offshore only to be taxed again by the government of a country which played no part in the creation of that wealth, one has to wonder about the ever-stronger strangulatory force being exerted by brothers, both big and small.
And thereby lies the problem: when does government (worse, collective governments) have the right to impose particular laws in a general way? I think the thing is a minefield, not because a common morality, as in the case of sex crime, cannot be found and accepted, but because the need to screw money to finance political agendas designed to win votes at home is an ever-present danger. On top of the local national issue, we now have the added burden of the EEC with its virtually unregulated, unelected bosses, ever mindful of their gravy train and the building of fresh empires to rival Rome or Constantinople. And the people, as ever, pay for it all.
So, in the case of internet porn/abuses, I would have thought resolution would have been simple - cut the money supply. The banks behind the credit cards would probably think twice if their account holders were shown publicly to be in that trade. I canīt believe, either, that it is too difficult to trace back the route of credit card transactions: it seems possible in the case of some crimes... After all, unless the guy who buys this stuff also changes cards every download, then one only has to link the transactions between seller and buyer, and at least one side of the mess will be caught, even if only the consumer.
But like everything else, itīs all a matter of having the will to do it. Why bother, when you can fritter away billions on sporting ego-trips, meaningless displays of national pride and so on and so on? Who cares how many cancer patients die in the meantime because their local health department has no money to finance specific forms of chemotherapy, itīs only a few thousand people... I guess the Romans knew what they were doing when they created the Colosseum. Funny that that, scene of so much pain, became art too.