The Yahoo! case presents the question of whether the Internet should be governed by myriad local censorship laws from around the world. U.S. courts have held uniformly that the Internet should receive the highest degree of First Amendment protection. They have been influenced profoundly by the medium’s global reach and have invalidated most restrictions so as not to interrupt the “never‐ending worldwide conversation” that the Internet makes possible. A contrary result in the Yahoo! case would embrace a very different philosophy—that Internet speakers must “show their papers” at each nation’s borders to ensure that their speech is acceptable to local authorities.
Other nations may treat their citizens as fragile children if they wish, or worse, as enemies of the state. But U.S. courts should not permit the seeds of foreign censorship to be planted on U.S. soil by finding that such restrictions are enforceable here.