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Thread: Twitter's Legal&Local Responsibilities

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    Boy's Guard Senior Member LeftEyeNine's Avatar
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    Default Twitter's Legal&Local Responsibilities

    Can anybody enlighten me about if and what country-based enforcements Twitter has to oblige?

    I mean, does Twitter, Inc. have to reply/comply with a Turkish/Indian/Malaysian/French/American court's orders, e.g. banning/revealing the owners of an account sentenced ? Is it compulsory or complimentary of Twitter to open local offices ?

    Thank you.

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    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twitter's Legal&Local Responsibilities

    It depends a lot on the local laws. Some countries may require companies like Twitter to open offices in the local country before they can provide service. In theory, Twitter can be involved in a lawsuit in the local court but it doesn't have to comply with the verdict, in which case the local offices are forcibly closed if they exist and the service blocked, local bank accounts blocked and so on...

    After the verdict of the local court, one side may ask for international arbitration, which is sketchy, because not all countries recognize it and often both sides need to agree they will accept the verdict of international arbitration before the court takes up the case.

    If the government of Turkey sues Twitter and demands reparations, for example, and the Turkish courts rule in favour of the government and Twitter doesn't comply, everything Twitter owns in Turkey may be taken by the government, possibly even in other countries Turkey has special legal agreements with. If it's not enough, Turkey may sue Twitter to international court, where it would get sketchy. USA doesn't recognize any international court so under US legal system, they wouldn't be required to pay anything. That would mean that Turkey would have either to sue Twitter in US, or get Twitter to agree to international arbitration in which case the decision is obliging to both sides, and because Twitter willingly agreed to that, Turkish government may demand that US legal system makes sure Twitter pays, and US courts are obliged to do that.

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    Boy's Guard Senior Member LeftEyeNine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twitter's Legal&Local Responsibilities

    So Turkish authorities are not awfully wrong if and when Twitter neglects the court orders whereas Twitter is not guilty in being allowed a service where no prequisites were set prior to the commencing of local operation -whole story depends on whether sides want to compromise or not. Too sketchy.

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    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twitter's Legal&Local Responsibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by LeftEyeNine View Post
    So Turkish authorities are not awfully wrong if and when Twitter neglects the court orders whereas Twitter is not guilty in being allowed a service where no prequisites were set prior to the commencing of local operation -whole story depends on whether sides want to compromise or not. Too sketchy.
    Exactly. Twitter is required to obey Turkish courts and their decisions if it wants to do business in Turkey.

    If I open a soft drinks and liquor store in Serbia I can open another branch in Turkey, in accordance with local laws. If I decide to open another one in Saudi Arabia, I'd only be allowed to sell soft drinks and no liquor. It doesn't matter that my business sells both soft drinks and liquor in Serbia and Turkey, local laws of Saudi Arabia won't allow me to do that there. If I disregard that, Saudi Arabia can close my business and fine me.

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    Boy's Guard Senior Member LeftEyeNine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twitter's Legal&Local Responsibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    Exactly. Twitter is required to obey Turkish courts and their decisions if it wants to do business in Turkey.

    If I open a soft drinks and liquor store in Serbia I can open another branch in Turkey, in accordance with local laws. If I decide to open another one in Saudi Arabia, I'd only be allowed to sell soft drinks and no liquor. It doesn't matter that my business sells both soft drinks and liquor in Serbia and Turkey, local laws of Saudi Arabia won't allow me to do that there. If I disregard that, Saudi Arabia can close my business and fine me.
    Well the thing is you as a vendor did not face any obstructions with your product gamut, may it be soft drinks or liquor, until somebody drinking liquors started yelling about the corruption allegations, the right and will to organize demonstrations etc. -the regulator suddenly shoves a written ban of alcohol drinks in your face. That's where the two-headed unfairness actually starts.
    Last edited by LeftEyeNine; 03-26-2014 at 16:06.

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    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twitter's Legal&Local Responsibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by LeftEyeNine View Post
    Well the thing is you as a vendor did not face any obstructions with your product gamut, may it be soft drinks or liquor, until somebody drinking liquors started yelling about the corruption allegations, the right and will to organize demonstrations etc. -the regulator suddenly shoves a written ban of alcohol drinks in your face. That's where the two-headed unfairness actually starts.
    That's a whole other thing. Laws may be just or unjust, politicians and courts can be corrupt.

    I was talking about legality. Twitter ban in Turkey may be legal, but that doesn't automatically make it just or right. Hanging two gay boys in Iran was perfectly legal under their laws, that doesn't make it ok.

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    Boy's Guard Senior Member LeftEyeNine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twitter's Legal&Local Responsibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    That's a whole other thing. Laws may be just or unjust, politicians and courts can be corrupt.

    I was talking about legality. Twitter ban in Turkey may be legal, but that doesn't automatically make it just or right. Hanging two gay boys in Iran was perfectly legal under their laws, that doesn't make it ok.
    Or call it "illegal" not "unfair". It works both ways. Twitter could very well claim that they could not be held subject to sanctions they were not notified/were non-existent before.

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    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twitter's Legal&Local Responsibilities

    To disrupt the analogy, Twitter isn't selling products in Turkey and doesn't need a local presence (although they might have one).
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    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twitter's Legal&Local Responsibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by LeftEyeNine View Post
    Or call it "illegal" not "unfair". It works both ways. Twitter could very well claim that they could not be held subject to sanctions they were not notified/were non-existent before.
    Any entity, be it a person or an organization, is required to obey the law. If the law gets changed, they are still required to obey it. Courts don't consider "the law was different when I started my business" as a valid excuse.

    Don't confuse legality and justice/fairness. In a free society, law aspires to be just and fair (although it never quite reaches that point). If the parliament of a country passes a law that states any person who walks the street after 9 PM will be shot, and tomorrow a police officer shoots a man for doing it, courts will find nothing illegal happened.

    In that case, your beef is with the legislative, not with the judiciary. Courts only care about how a law is enforced, not what it says.

    Long story short - remove Erdogan. The fault lies with him, not with courts.

    Quote Originally Posted by drone View Post
    To disrupt the analogy, Twitter isn't selling products in Turkey and doesn't need a local presence (although they might have one).
    That is true, but Turkey may decide to block access to Twitter if it isn't in accordance with local laws, completely legally.

    To use a different, just example. If someone used Twitter to spread hatred of the Jews and pictures of Nazi symbols, current German government, under their laws, may ask Twitter to remove it. If Twitter doesn't comply, they may block it in Germany, again perfectly legally.
    Last edited by Sarmatian; 03-26-2014 at 16:38.

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    Boy's Guard Senior Member LeftEyeNine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twitter's Legal&Local Responsibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    Any entity, be it a person or an organization, is required to obey the law. If the law gets changed, they are still required to obey it. Courts don't consider "the law was different when I started my business" as a valid excuse.

    Don't confuse legality and justice/fairness. In a free society, law aspires to be just and fair (although it never quite reaches that point). If the parliament of a country passes a law that states any person who walks the street after 9 PM will be shot, and tomorrow a police officer shoots a man for doing it, courts will find nothing illegal happened.

    In that case, your beef is with the legislative, not with the judiciary. Courts only care about how a law is enforced, not what it says.

    Long story short - remove Erdogan. The fault lies with him, not with courts.
    Nope, new laws don't work backwards.

    Discerning legality and fairness is not news. We must already be discussing under the assumption that "power" and "right" are not necessarily mutually inclusive.

    About your preference of treatment - ...*daydreams*
    Last edited by LeftEyeNine; 03-26-2014 at 16:42.

  11. #11
    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twitter's Legal&Local Responsibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by LeftEyeNine View Post
    Nope, new laws don't work backwards.
    In special cases they can, but that is rare and unusual.

    They don't work backwards in a sense that you can't be held accountable if performed an action while it was legal. If the law gets changed and make that action illegal, you won't go to jail, but it means that after the law is changed, if you repeat that action you will be guilty of breaking the law.

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    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twitter's Legal&Local Responsibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    That is true, but Turkey may decide to block access to Twitter if it isn't in accordance with local laws, completely legally.
    Which they already have done. Twitter will be affected, advertisers lose the market, and advertisers with a presence in Turkey might face sanctions if they continue, but Twitter and it's employees should be fine (as long as they don't decide to visit).

    And the legal phrase for retroactive laws is ex post facto. According to wiki, ex post facto punishment is prohibited by Article 38 of the Constitution.
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    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twitter's Legal&Local Responsibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by drone View Post
    Which they already have done. Twitter will be affected, advertisers lose the market, and advertisers with a presence in Turkey might face sanctions if they continue, but Twitter and it's employees should be fine (as long as they don't decide to visit).
    Prety much, yeah.

    And the legal phrase for retroactive laws is ex post facto. According to wiki, ex post facto punishment is prohibited by Article 38 of the Constitution.
    There is more than one constitution in the world and constitutions can change. There have been examples of laws applies retroactively in modern history, but, as I've said, it's rare and unusual.

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    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twitter's Legal&Local Responsibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarmatian View Post
    There is more than one constitution in the world and constitutions can change. There have been examples of laws applies retroactively in modern history, but, as I've said, it's rare and unusual.
    That's article 38 of Turkey's Constitution. It's in Article 1 here, since it was fresh on our minds at the time.
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    Member Member Greyblades's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twitter's Legal&Local Responsibilities

    That is true, but Turkey may decide to block access to Twitter if it isn't in accordance with local laws, completely legally.
    Hrm, thus far we have yet to see any nation provide a 100% effective filter on the internet, without creating thier own internal internet like north korea. I assume it's turkey's filter is just as ineffective?
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    Horse Archer Senior Member Sarmatian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twitter's Legal&Local Responsibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Greyblades View Post
    Hrm, thus far we have yet to see any nation provide a 100% effective filter on the internet, without creating thier own internal internet like north korea. I assume it's turkey's filter is just as ineffective?
    Well, that would move us from a territory I know little about (law) to a territory I know absolutely nothing about (IT).

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    Boy's Guard Senior Member LeftEyeNine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Twitter's Legal&Local Responsibilities

    Quote Originally Posted by Greyblades View Post
    Hrm, thus far we have yet to see any nation provide a 100% effective filter on the internet, without creating thier own internal internet like north korea. I assume it's turkey's filter is just as ineffective?
    Well, the first day the ban was in effect, tweets from Turkey doubled in numbers. People got to learn Google DNS (which is also banned as of now) and VPNs to circumvent the measures. We love Twitter because we don't like to think much and 140 characters is more than enough to express our tiny minds, therefore our fun can not be prevented no matter what.

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