Geolocation and Federalism on the Internet: Cutting Internet Gambling’s Gordian Knot
Kevin F. King
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
July 14, 2009
Columbia Science and Technology Law Review, Vol. XI, 2010
Conventional wisdom dictates that the Internet is a medium in which federalism is destined to fail. By virtue of its decentralized design, the Internet naturally resists regulation by a diverse set of government actors. Indeed, courts have reasoned that federalism on the Internet is either technologically impossible or constitutionally prohibited. The emergence of geolocation technologies, which make it possible to quickly, cheaply, and accurately identify an Internet user’s location, challenges this dominant understanding and opens the door to new approaches that could radically alter the way electronic commerce is governed. To illustrate this point, this Essay explores the ways that such technologies could be used to make Internet gambling regulation more responsive to longstanding federalism principles. As demonstrated below, geolocation technologies have the potential to make Internet gambling law both more effective and more efficient by enabling each state to enforce its own substantive regulations.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 35
Keywords: Internet Gambling, Federalism, Geolocation, Jurisdiction, UIGEA, Yahoo, Congress, Treasury, Domain
JEL Classification: D78, D72, D73, K00, K23, K30, K42, K49, K40, L50Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 14, 2009 ; Last revised: June 22, 2010
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