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Belgium Tries to Fine Yahoo for Protecting US User Privacy

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the don't-gimme-any-of-that-juris-my-diction-crap dept.

Yahoo! 267

Techdirt is reporting that Belgium is trying to extract fines from Yahoo for not producing user data that was recently demanded of the US company. Instead of following normal diplomatic channels Belgian officials apparently made the data demands directly to Yahoo's US headquarters and then took the company to criminal court, where a judge issued the fine. "The implications of this ruling are profound and far-reaching. Following the court's logic would subject user data associated with any service generally available online to the jurisdiction of all countries. It would also subject all companies that offer services generally available on the global Internet to the laws of all jurisdictions, potentially exposing individual employees to a variety of criminal sanctions."

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267 comments

Let's Put Belgium To Sleep (3, Funny)

dysmey (1165035) | more than 4 years ago | (#28732711)

If it reaches the point where Belgium, which is notorious for its disruptive behavior on the Internet, tries to extract money out of Yahoo! on the grounds of tortuous logic, as its press wing has tried to extort money out of Google, then maybe it is now time to dissolve the Belgian State and distribute its three regions between the Netherlands (Flanders), France (Wallonia) and Germany (Eupen). These groups do not get along, anyway; and the only reason there is still a Belgium is that nobody knows what to do with the capital, Brussels, when the country does break up.

Re:Let's Put Belgium To Sleep (5, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#28732757)

What about the beer?
Won't anyone think of the beer?

Re:Let's Put Belgium To Sleep (1, Offtopic)

sargon666777 (555498) | more than 4 years ago | (#28732895)

We need to be careful not to offend Belgium as we could in fact lose the beer. After all look at that little tiff that lost us our Cuban cigars! Please save my Belgium Beer!

Re:Let's Put Belgium To Sleep (3, Funny)

arnodf (1310501) | more than 4 years ago | (#28732907)

Luckily we have something called mobile beer where the brewers come to your house and brew the beer for you with some kind of 'breweryized' caravan. So: country or not, there will always be beer!

Re:Let's Put Belgium To Sleep (2, Funny)

McNihil (612243) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733035)

don't forget the Belgian chocolates for the women too. Though I am 99.9999% sure that any woman reading slashdot would be a beer aficionado.

Re:Let's Put Belgium To Sleep (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28733327)

There is a wider variety of higher quality beer brewed in the United States than any other country. You just have to buy beer somewhere other than Big-Box-Mart. Buy from a micro-brewery. I wish people would stop this lie that the best beer comes from Europe, when it no longer does. Our microbreweries are as wonderful as our macrobreweries suck -- a whole lot. DFH ftw.

Re:Let's Put Belgium To Sleep (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733481)

That's definitely a huge concern. For my money Belgium makes the best beer in the world. Not to say that there's no bad beer there, or that there aren't excellent beers from other places, but as taken as a whole, Belgian beer is better than than any competition.

Re:Let's Put Belgium To Sleep (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733501)

There is a great Belgian style brewery in Colorado so we don't even need Belgium for that anymore!

Re:Let's Put Belgium To Sleep (3, Insightful)

beakburke (550627) | more than 4 years ago | (#28732791)

Since Brussels is the headquarters of the EU, maybe you could DC it. An independent city under the jurisdiction of the EU.

Re:Let's Put Belgium To Sleep (2, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733257)

Moreover, it's not as if Europe doesn't have several independent city-states (Monaco, Vatican City, Liechtenstein, etc.) already anyway!

Re:Let's Put Belgium To Sleep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28733093)

I can't speak for the other countries, but I don't see why we in the Netherlands would want to annex Flanders. The Flemish broke off from the Netherlands for a reason.

Re:Let's Put Belgium To Sleep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28733291)

I don't see why we in the Netherlands would want to annex Flanders.

There's gotta be a Simpson's joke there, but I got nothing.

Re:Let's Put Belgium To Sleep (0, Flamebait)

Councilor Hart (673770) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733377)

Correction, Belgium broke off.
The french ruling class of 1831 created Belgium, as an intermediate step to joining France. However, once Belgium was created they liked it so much that they gave up that idea. For the longest of time, the Flemish (majority) has been second class citizens. Their culture and language suppressed. As the Flemish are taking back their culture and rights, the balance of power is shifting towards them. The Walloons have at the same time become the best protected minority in the world. Belgium is experiencing since two years a political crisis, because the Flemish want more regional power. The Walloons want to keep it federal. They are afraid of losing power, influence and especially the yearly money transfers of billons of euros from Flanders to Wallonia. Flanders is one of the richest regions in the world, yet Walloon is a very poor region. In return for the social support, the Walloons spit on our culture and language. They continously threaten the Flemish territorial integrity and refuse to learn Dutch when they settle in Flanders. They are a bunch of arrogant, selfish bastards that threaten the welfare and future of, not only the Flemish people, but the entire Belgium population.

Re:Let's Put Belgium To Sleep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28733147)

I wholly agree, I call upon the United Nations to put an end to the experiment that was Belgium

Re:Let's Put Belgium To Sleep (1)

Councilor Hart (673770) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733259)

Nearly half of the Flemish population does the same. Belgium will most likely disintegrate sometime this century.

Re:Let's Put Belgium To Sleep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28733383)

didnt know many of the flemish stayed around there, many of the families did as mine and gave there new lords the finger and found homes elsewhere

Re:Let's Put the USA to sleep (4, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733233)

Let's not forget the USA's actions against foreign based gambling operations. The USA started this type of action!

Re:Let's Put Belgium To Sleep (2, Interesting)

Councilor Hart (673770) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733241)

For all I care Belgium can disintegrate. If wallonia wants to join France, so be it. If Eupen want to join Germany, so be it. If both want to stay independent, so be it. I don't care. But Flanders will become an independent republic. It would never join the Netherlands. You would have to pry Brussel from our cold dead hands, before we would let it join Wallonia. Or it could go to the EU as the DC capital of europe, which is also fine. Fighting over Brussel costs too much money, and we are a peaceful people anyway. But sending billions of euros to wallonia, while they spit on our culture and threaten our territorial integrity, has to stop. Bonus point if you guess which side I am from.

Re:Let's Put Belgium To Sleep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28733255)

Belgium happens to feel very strongly over the Data Protection Act, and I've seeing the consequences first hand. Just because a nation is prepared to protect privacy and ensure companies stop taking liberties, doesn't mean we're dealing with extremists. If the US company doesn't want to follow European law and can't bribe the officials to turn a blind eye, they can fuck off out the country and conduct their business elsewhere.

Good bye, you won't be missed.

Re:Let's Put Belgium To Sleep (1)

Quothz (683368) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733513)

If the US company doesn't want to follow European law and can't bribe the officials to turn a blind eye, they can fuck off out the country and conduct their business elsewhere.

Good bye, you won't be missed.

They won't be missed, you're right: They were never there. Yahoo has no Belgian operations, which is what makes this story interesting.

Re:Let's Put Belgium To Sleep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28733317)

Belgium is doomed, it's not for nothing I left the country 7 years ago, I even dropped my citizenship, except for a couple of good products they happend to produce there, I'm ashamed to be born Belgian. I do not certainly brag about it.

Belgian official are a couple of old retarded that could retire any time soon, they never understood what the internet was and they'll never be.

Re:Let's Put Belgium To Sleep (1)

Councilor Hart (673770) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733479)

Why are you ashamed of Belgium, and which part of it did you leave? Belgium is an annoying entity that should stop existing, yes. But I am most certainly not ashamed from the region I came from. An independent Flanders would be a marvelous place to live in. Of course, if Belgium is doomed and you happen to live in Wallonia, then bad times could be ahead of you. Or you could get a job, instead of living of the welfare provided by the Flemish.

Re:Let's Put Belgium To Sleep (1)

A Pancake (1147663) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733345)

Alright, I'll buy into this plan if we do the same with the US on the grounds of it's disruptive behavior on the planet.

Sure, this might look like a troll but the above got +5 insightful.

If Bush were still President (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28732721)

If Bush were still President, the bombs would already be falling on Belgium.

Re:If Bush were still President (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28732767)

Barack Obama will fly there next week to apologize.

Re:If Bush were still President (5, Funny)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#28732831)

twice. Once in English, once in tortured "Belgish".

This will, naturally, piss of the Gremans, who will then be forced to bomb Pearl Harbor.

Re:If Bush were still President (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#28732943)

Gremans, who will then be forced to bomb Pearl Harbor.

Again. [youtube.com]

BTW, misspelling "Germans" won't help you avoid Godwinization.

Oh great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28733503)

BTW, misspelling "Germans" won't help you avoid Godwinization.

Great, a spelling nazi...

Re:If Bush were still President (1)

Councilor Hart (673770) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733397)

Wat is Belgish? 6 million speak Dutch, 4 million French and 60.000 German. There is nog Belgsch. Belgium is an artificial state.

Re:If Bush were still President (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28733461)

With apparently no sense of humor.

Re:If Bush were still President (2, Funny)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 4 years ago | (#28732771)

Damn you, and thank you, Anonymous Coward, you inglorious basterd... you just made me realize that I'm actually missing the days of King George W.

Re:If Bush were still President (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28733509)

"Just so you don't hear any wild rumors, I'm being indicted for fraud in Australia" - Bart Simpson.

This seems like a challenge. I wonder how many countries I can get indicted in using the internet. Is there a Guinness record for this yet???

Everyday that France is not trying to prosecute me, is a day of my life wasted.

Who gives a shit about Belgium? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28732727)

I mean seriously?

Re:Who gives a shit about Belgium? (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 4 years ago | (#28732903)

Waffle lovers.

Re:Who gives a shit about Belgium? (2, Funny)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 4 years ago | (#28732947)

FAL fanatics as well... mmm... nice crisp waffle, with a nice Browning G series FAL... I can do the waffle, can't afford the FAL. :(

seriously, youre an idiot (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28732951)

I love the fact that someone actually modded the post insightful.

Its in europe, dipstick.
That's why its important. It could potentially
affect Yahoo in ALL of europe.

Of course you could just say "whogives a shit about europe" but we already know youre a moron.

Anonymous cowards are like pond scum.

Re:seriously, youre an idiot (1)

Razalhague (1497249) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733043)

Its in europe, dipstick. That's why its important. It could potentially affect Yahoo in ALL of europe.

I don't think you understand how Europe works.

Anonymous cowards are like pond scum.

Too true.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28732733)

Isn't this another a case of no-one caring what Belgium thinks?

Catch 22 (4, Interesting)

SirFozzie (442268) | more than 4 years ago | (#28732739)

If this was true, then talk about your dammed if you do, dammed if you don't moment. Some countries require this data to only be kept for a small amount of time, others require it for a long amount of time. They demand data.. do you face trouble for not turning over the data that the foreign folks require, or fufill the data request and take it in the shorts from your home nation?

Re:Catch 22 (2, Insightful)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 4 years ago | (#28732803)

Some countries require this data to only be kept for a small amount of time, others require it for a long amount of time. They demand data.. do you face trouble for not turning over the data that the foreign folks require, or fufill the data request and take it in the shorts from your home nation?

And other countries demand that users' personal information be kept private. (see the earlier thread of Facebook and the Canadian privacy commissioner)

Re:Catch 22 (0, Troll)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733087)

One World Government (and consistent laws and ethics maybe?) FTW!

Re:Catch 22 (4, Interesting)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733151)

Until we (people) get our act together, I'd rather have the option to move to a place where things are run differently. That way, I'm stuck if and when system in my home country goes completely crazy.

One bloated and mismanaged government is not better than lots of smaller bloated and mismanaged governments. They might all suck, but at least they suck in different ways, giving us choices. Hey, it's kind of like Linux.

Okay, so I'll get modded down for that last sentence, but the rest needs to be said. It's worth the karma hit.

Re:Catch 22 (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733253)

I'd argue it'd suck worse with one bloated and mismanaged government.. just because of the sheer size (and that fact that as one person in the entire world, your opinion matters not).

Re:Catch 22 (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733517)

Ummm, tongue in cheek? I took systems analysis course in college, too, ya know, and one of the things discussed was how networks - human ones - scale. In other words: they don't scale well at all. I got the same problem in all my favorite 4X games, dammit, poor scalability! I always laugh at the silly self-proclaimed Libertarians who claim that "business" is always more efficient than "government", as if they are completely dissimilar hierarchies or something! What they fail to grasp is the illogic of their claim: show me a corporation that functions on the same SCALE as, say, the U.S. government with 400+ million "customers", and I'll show you a corporation that is every bit as inefficient. It's not "government" that is the problem, stupid, it's the scale!

Still, this balancing act we play between anarchy and hierarchy is one that deserves continued discussion and investigation, yes?

Hmmmm... it seems that maybe the Borg solved the issue of scalability? Maybe we could copy them!

Re:Catch 22 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28733199)

Or we keep the established policy that websites available globally abide by the laws of the country they are hosted in. If the governments of the world find that website unsuitable, then they can block access because that website does not comply with their laws and they are in effect shutting it down in their country..

I mean, how did we get by with mail orders all these years? This problem is old and not a reason for one world government. Its just a reason for current governments to think rationally.

Re:Catch 22 (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733141)

Its not a catch 22 its a "fuck-em-all". If you don't want to play by our rules, we'll ban IPs from your country.

At least thats what they should do...

Iran Elections + Twitter (2, Insightful)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#28732755)

potentially exposing individual employees to a variety of criminal sanctions

Meaning if you were a Twitter employee, you could be sued or sentenced to a prison term by Iranian officials? I doubt the US would honor an extradition request from a country it's cut off political ties with, but Pakistan or North Korea might.

Re:Iran Elections + Twitter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28732835)

I don't know how you even enforce something like that. Somebody in the discussion about the NPG copyright issue mentioned that if everything on the internet were suddenly subject to the most stringent standard available, we (and by "we" I mean all individual countries) all might as well wall ourselves off to protect our own citizens against the laws of other countries. If that's the way things go, then they're right.

Following logic... (3, Insightful)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 4 years ago | (#28732817)

The implications of this ruling are profound and far-reaching. Following the court's logic would subject user data associated with any service generally available online to the jurisdiction of all countries.

Historically, this has always been the case. This is not alarming to me in any way. The courts pick and choose when to enforce foreign and domestic policies. Ever been subjected to a pissed off Israel? All your logs are belong to them vis a vis the FBI. What's more, who thinks that stare decisis matters when dealing with such a major change? Sensationalism on /. I'm seeing the trend now. Get back to me when this is at the court of appeals thx.

How do they enforce the ruling? (4, Informative)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 4 years ago | (#28732821)

This is about as laughable as a Brazilian judge ordering YouTube shut down because a incriminating video of two Brazilian celebrities kept getting posted on that site. Needless to say, YouTube is still up and running.

This isn't the first strange internet ruling coming out of Belgium. There was the row between Copiepresse and Google over Google linking to Copiepresse's newspapers. Google was fined and promptly stopped linking to the newspaper's sites.

Re:How do they enforce the ruling? (2, Interesting)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 4 years ago | (#28732987)

There was the row between Copiepresse and Google over Google linking to Copiepresse's newspapers. Google was fined and promptly stopped linking to the newspaper's sites.

At which point, IIRC, Copiepresse sued Google to force them to link to Copiepresse, and have Google pay for said "privilege".

Re:How do they enforce the ruling? (2, Interesting)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733059)

At which point, IIRC, Copiepresse sued Google to force them to link to Copiepresse, and have Google pay for said "privilege".

I searched for this, but I wasn't able to find any references to the story. Not that I don't believe you, but do you have a link?

Re:How do they enforce the ruling? (1)

NastyNate (398542) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733201)

The only sensible course of action in this instance is similar to what google did. Respond to all requests coming in from Belgian IP addresses with a message stating why they can no longer access yahoo services. Allow the Belgian govt, to cut of thier own nose to spite their face.

sovereignty (2, Interesting)

bigpat (158134) | more than 4 years ago | (#28732859)

This is appears to be a threat to our sovereignty. Time to bring in the State Department.

Can't have foreign governments pushing their laws on US companies operating on our own soil. If this were data collected in their country by a company operating in their country then that is a different story. Otherwise this would be like a foreign government demanding the contents of my underwear drawer just because someone they were interested in had called me on the phone.

Practically speaking, if Google has any finances or offices in that country then they have to make a value judgement because the local government has the ability to impose their penalties, but pulling out of this country rather than complying should also be their option. And if a US company is forced to pull out of the EU, then the US should retaliate in kind.

Re:sovereignty (1)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733455)

You might not want to call in the State Department. It is headed by this lady known as Hillary Clinton who gave a speech [state.gov] to the CFR yesterday saying we should give up our sovereignty.

After admitting that NGO's like the CFR actually run the government (who elected them?), she says we nee to give up all of our sovereignty.

Thank you very much, Richard, and I am delighted to be here in these new headquarters. I have been often to, I guess, the mother ship in New York City, but itâ(TM)s good to have an outpost of the Council right here down the street from the State Department. We get a lot of advice from the Council, so this will mean I wonâ(TM)t have as far to go to be told what we should be doing and how we should think about the future.

But they are not reason to despair about the future. The same forces that compound our problems â" economic interdependence, open borders, and the speedy movement of information, capital, goods, services and people â" are also part of the solution. And with more states facing common challenges, we have the chance, and a profound responsibility, to exercise American leadership to solve problems in concert with others. That is the heart of Americaâ(TM)s mission in the world today.

If you don't believe that she gets her orders from the CFR then you should check out the link about Smart Power to the right. The CFR gloats that they came up with that term over 4 years ago and that Hillary is now using it.

She came up with a 5 point plan, the third being "Development." Guess who she plans on developing (Hint: not the United States).

Our third policy approach, and a personal priority for me as Secretary, is to elevate and integrate development as a core pillar of American power. We advance our security, our prosperity, and our values by improving the material conditions of peopleâ(TM)s lives around the world.

So don't be too sure that we won't start cooperating with governments, NGO's or some type of supra-government and enforce their laws on our companies. That is what her entire speech was about.

logic? (0, Troll)

arnodf (1310501) | more than 4 years ago | (#28732869)

logic? In Belgium? Dude...there has never been logic in this shithole some dare to call a country (and I know because I'm one of those illogical beings)

Where have I heard this type of stuff before? (0, Flamebait)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 4 years ago | (#28732887)

So it appears that every one is just following the example of the United States by imposing their laws on the international community. All Yahoo has to do is not have any of its workers step outside the US.

Re:Where have I heard this type of stuff before? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28733023)

Can't help notice your lack of example of the US doing something similar to this.

Re:Where have I heard this type of stuff before? (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733153)

Cuba and Internet Gambling come to mind.

Re:Where have I heard this type of stuff before? (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733203)

>Cuba and Internet Gambling come to mind.

Both of those are as fully eliminated as Belgian prostitution.

Re:Where have I heard this type of stuff before? (1)

internic (453511) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733357)

I think the Sklyarov case would be the canonical Slashdot example. IIRC, in that case the guy was basically doing something that was a foreign citizen working in a foreign country (Russia) doing something that was legal in his country. Then he came to a conference in the US and was picked up by US authorities because his activities would be illegal under US law.

if the usa never existed (5, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733231)

all of the horrible crimes you ascribe to the usa would still go on

please stop ascribing to american behavior that which is basically human behavior. its better to have an ideology that is based on some sort of principles, rather than mindless kneejerk anti-americanism

then you can still find america guilty of plenty of crimes, and rightfully so. but then you can extend that to find other countries guilty of many of those same crimes, without sounding like an idiot because you want to put forth the idea that the usa is somehow magically the originator of a crime someone else committed

example: the usa meddled in central america... therefore the usa is guilty of absolutely every crime committed there by every player ever since. the usa meddled in the middle east... therefore the usa is responsible for absolutely every crime committed there by every player ever since. etc., ad nauseum, and other such retarded thinking

dude: belgium is not "following the example of the United States". belgium is being retarded all by itself, all on its own. really

i now await the typical and retarded response: i'm a neocon imperialist dick cheney cocksucker, i'm from the lunatic right wing fringe. all because i ask for some logical coherence. can you tell the difference between a moderate opinion and a far right opinion?

please, go right on criticizing the usa. you may hate the usa all you want. go on with your bad self, be my guest, keep the venom flowing and the high holy moral outrage and indignation fresh. i fully support all the anti-american tirades you can muster. zzz

just try to notice at some point all of the other crimes committed by all the other countries in the world

k thx

Yahoo should tell Belgium to get bent (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28732891)

It's full of tits that'll tattoo their face with stars or something equally stupid.

Re:Yahoo should tell Belgium to get bent (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28733507)

by that reasoning no American should have time to do anything but answer to requests to get bent.

That's what the copyright chasers do (3, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 4 years ago | (#28732911)

would subject user data associated with any service generally available online to the jurisdiction of all countries

You have organisations in one country trying to impose their rules on people in other countries. The basic problem is that the internet does not follow country boundaries and until there is some internationally agreed (as opposed to single-ended imposition) treaties to say exactly who has jusidiction, over what and where, these things will continue to cause trouble. The U.S. already assumes that any data which touches servers in their country makes the sender / receiver subject to their laws (ref: the Natwest three - look it up), so it's only fair that other countries should uphold the same standards.

Hey! There you go! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28733227)

We can let the UN have jurisdiction over this stuff!

Re:That's what the copyright chasers do (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28733329)

I'm confused. Why do you think the internet doesn't follow country boundaries? Last time I checked ISPs operate in countries and provide the internet access. Look at what the Chinese have done with their internet access. That is actually the way it should be done. China doesn't sue the United States for whatever breach of their laws, they just block it.

The government allows cables to be run in to their countries and can sever them if they really have a problem. I just don't understand why you think the internet is an uncontrollable beast of a being that just can't be tamed. The problem is, people don't want the problem solved, they want the problem to continue so they can sue and make money on it.

Response (3, Informative)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 4 years ago | (#28732953)

Step 1) Ignore the fine
Step 2) Don't go to Belgium

Re:Response (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28732985)

Step 3) Cut belgium off from the services you offer.

Re:Response (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733393)

Exactly. Retract service to Belguim: it can't be that big of a revenue loss. ... but that doesn't solve the larger question of how to handle things the next time it occurs.

Re:Response (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28733067)

Step 1) Ignore the fine
Step 2) Don't go to Belgium

step 3) Profit!

Dear Belgium: +1, Incendiary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28732975)

You have just been added to be my list of BANNED
countries for tourism.

Up Your Nose With A (Metric) Ton of Hops!!!

Yours In Oligarchy,
Kilgore Trout [youtube.com]

My presidential demand (0)

sargon666777 (555498) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733021)

/begin sarcasm
public void the theInternet inherits BelgiumLaw,AmericanLaw,EuropeanLaw,AnyOtherStupidLaw
{
return(null);
}
/end sarcasm

Oh, wonderful internet, horrible internet (4, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733045)

Why is it that only our generation understands the truly public and universal nature of the internet? Nobody owns the internet, and nobody ever will. You can claim to own the wires, the equipment, the computers, the software, and every other component, but you still won't own the internet. The internet has given birth to an idea -- that we're all interconnected and nobody owns the spaces in between. This idea recurs generation after generation, only to die because society can't find a place for it.

Oh, but they'll try. They will cast their books down on our heads, scream a million epitaths of criminal, deviant, terrorists, and invent new terms to express their disgust. They'll arrest us, punish us, and wage massive campaigns of fear. But they'll never get the idea out of our heads that maybe, just maybe, we don't have to pay their tax to touch the life of another person.

Hi! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28733111)

Weren't you the dude who was so confused he believed that federal law allows game developers to (somehow) prevent resale of their products?

Re:Oh, wonderful internet, horrible internet (3, Insightful)

DM9290 (797337) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733195)

Why is it that only our generation understands the truly public and universal nature of the internet? Nobody owns the internet, and nobody ever will. You can claim to own the wires, the equipment, the computers, the software, and every other component, but you still won't own the internet. The internet has given birth to an idea -- that we're all interconnected and nobody owns the spaces in between. This idea recurs generation after generation, only to die because society can't find a place for it.

Oh, but they'll try. They will cast their books down on our heads, scream a million epitaths of criminal, deviant, terrorists, and invent new terms to express their disgust. They'll arrest us, punish us, and wage massive campaigns of fear. But they'll never get the idea out of our heads that maybe, just maybe, we don't have to pay their tax to touch the life of another person.

they disagree with you, and they are the ones with the guns, jails and judges to enforce what they believe.

Re:Oh, wonderful internet, horrible internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28733367)

I think it really says something when the villain of almost every movie, book, or piece of art, has almost everything they are, in common with the way governments work, almost entirely the world over.

Whether the characters of our fiction are oppressive tyrants, conspiring traitors, murderous thieves, racists, bigots, slavers, child molesters, rapists - They all have a parallel with the people and corporations that control the US and many other countries.

Re:Oh, wonderful internet, horrible internet (3, Insightful)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733237)

...And it is precisely this realization and attitude that makes me hopeful of the future. Societies may rise and fall, governments may dictate and mandate, all hell can break loose politically, but frankly, humans, and the younger generations in general, have tasted the freedom of the internet and the ideas it embraces. Laws can be passed and a whole world can be turned into criminals, but as long as the attitude of the parent post prevails there will always be some group of hackers, some tech junkies, some basement geniuses that will find new ways to connect humanity and laugh flippantly at the established powers.

The power of humanity comes from its ideas, not its technology or biology or whatever, but fundamentally from its ideas. As long as we fan the flames of ideas like those discussed above, even if we do so in a very limited scope by talking only to one person our entire lives, the future will always be a bit brighter.

Thank you for iterating these thoughts so well and concisely girlintraining.

I, for one, welcome our own ideologies and intelligence as overlords.

Re:Oh, wonderful internet, horrible internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28733277)

Nobody owns the internet, and nobody ever will.

I always thought Google owned the internet...

Re:Oh, wonderful internet, horrible internet (1)

bradley13 (1118935) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733499)

"only our generation understands the truly public and universal nature of the internet"

Um, which generation would that be? Depending on how you count it, there are serious numbers of Slashdot users across two or possibly three generations.

Coming on the heels of the British NPG story... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28733077)

I'm curious to compare and contrast the reaction to this story with the reaction to the National Public Gallery's legal threats over in the recent http://news.slashdot.org/story/09/07/17/085244/New-Developments-In-NPGWikipedia-Lawsuit-Threat [slashdot.org] story. I've frankly already been surprised at how many Slashdotters have supported the NPG's approach to copyright law. This one's addressing privacy, let's see how it goes.

It's unenforceable (1)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733131)

1. Belgium fines yahoo.
2. Yahoo doesn't pay.
3. Belgium scratches their head wondering what to do next.

If the US fines Yahoo and Yahoo doesn't pay the US freezes Yahoo's assets. Belgium doesn't have that option.

Just drop a bomb on em... (0, Flamebait)

b laurienti (1056338) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733261)

They'll shut up

j/k... Just for the record, I don't endorse bombing third world countries just for the hell of it, especially ones that produce beer

And all the other small countries were like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28733269)

"Holy shit, we can do that?!"

The real problem here (2, Insightful)

lamadude (1270542) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733321)

is not that Belgium wants this information, it would help in the fraud investigation that is ongoing. The fraud was commited in Belgium by people using yahoo email adresses, how are they supposed to find these people? The problem is: 1. That Belgium takes Yahoo to court instead of relying on the mutual legal assistance treaty which already exists between the US and Belgium 2. That the court actually followed Belgium's reasoning, which creates a dangerous precedent.

Individuals affected already (4, Informative)

sugarmotor (621907) | more than 4 years ago | (#28733363)

I am getting the suspicion that this story pretends this to be a bigger issue because it affects an American company.

However, this kind of "which laws are affecting what I do" has already got individuals. See for example the case of Hew Raymond Griffiths,

  * http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hew_Raymond_Griffiths [wikipedia.org]
  * http://www.ibls.com/internet_law_news_portal_view.aspx?id=1778&s=latestnews [ibls.com]

Griffiths was extradited from Australia to the U.S., a country he had never visited, for some "Intellectual Property" crimes.

For a company it is a mere money issue, but when individuals are extradited it becomes extremely problematic.

Stephan

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