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Abstract

Empirical studies have shown that government Internet filtering is increasing worldwide. Internet Service Providers have progressively begun to take on filtering responsibility in a quasi-governmental capacity. As filtering has increased, some have begun to question whether Internet filtering might violate WTO commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (“GATS Agreement”). This paper will provide technical background on how Internet filtering is accomplished in practice, and explain the GATS Agreement that was held to govern Internet filtering in the U.S.-Gambling Services decision. This paper will further survey the current range of U.S. filtering actions and detail why tort remedies are a better legal remedy than WTO law for companies affected by U.S. Internet filtering actions.

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