Global Medium, Local Laws: Regulating Cross-Border Cyberhate

Global Medium, Local Laws: Regulating Cross-Border Cyberhate
Bastiaan Vanacker
February 2009

ISBN-13:  978-1-59332-331-8 / Hardcover
Dimensions:  5.5 x 8.5 / viii, 264 pages

Price   $70.00

"A significant book not only because of its subject, but also because it illuminates the larger problem of international regulation of the internet....Bastiaan Vanacker has made a significant contribution by his clear, penetrating analysis of a particularly knotty example of the kinds of issues we will be confronting in the future." -- The Law and Politics Book Review


Vanacker assesses how the legal paradigms regarding hate speech in the United States and Europe have been affected by the Internet. He finds that the Internet has not altered the way the United States and Europe address hate speech. A particular concern is how European countries can uphold strict hate speech laws against sites hosted in the United States where hate speech is protected under the First Amendment. Solutions to this "problem" are evaluated against a normative framework based on three principles: regulation should be effective, should respect the layered maturity of the Internet, and should be grounded in a representative concept of sovereignty. Vanacker concludes that European countries should focus on targeted hate speech, seek voluntary compliance from American ISPs, and enforce their laws on local ISPs and search engines.

About the Author

Bastiaan Vanacker is Assistant Professor at the School of Communication at Loyola University in Chicago where he teaches courses in media ethics and journalism history. He holds an MA in Philosophy from the Universiteit Gent, Belgium. He received his PhD from the University of Minnesota. His research focuses on Free Speech issues and communication ethics.