[At-Large] US v John Doe 1 & Others [Defendants]

James S. Tyre jstyre at jstyre.com
Sun Nov 27 01:00:09 UTC 2011

> > I have, but you miss two points.
> >
> > First, regardless of what RIPE says, the U.S. court order is clear on
> > its face that it attempts to be binding on all RIRs (as well as
> > others).  I quoted the relevant portions of the U.S. order, your statement about
> what the U.S. court is attempting to do is wrong.
> Actually, it says the RIRs on which the order was served.  Was this order served
> directly on RIPE?  If so, how?  There are treaties about this kind of stuff, it's not
> as straightforward as you might think.

The Dutch Police served it on RIPE.  Whether that's proper service is a more nuanced
question, but once RIPE had actual knowledge of it, it couldn't just ignore it.  There
was, after all, an order of the Dutch police ordering RIPE to comply with the US court
order.  Whether a reasonable person (including a reasonable organization for this purpose)
would just comply with the police order is a different question, but most reasonable
persons don't just ignore local law enforcement orders.

Don't assume that the treaties regarding international service are the only methods of
proper service (it varies by country and other factors).  I've been a practicing lawyer
since 1978, I've handled a number of international litigation matters.  As in most things
law related, there's a difference between what the basic law says and the practice.
> > Second, the Dutch police did not suddenly decide to act in a vacuum.
> > The Dutch police received the Order from the U.S. court, then ordered RIPE-NCC to
> comply with the U.S.
> > court's order.
> Yes, I know some of the people involved.  Is it your opinion that there is something
> unusual or improper about governments cooperating in a criminal investigation?

Of course not, but that isn't the issue, is it?  Can the Dutch government, through the
police, order a non-governmental organization to comply with an order of a US court?  Can
a US court order a non-governmental organization located in a different sovereign to obey
its directive?  (And note that the US court order is not an investigative subpoena.)

Don't misunderstand, I have no sympathy for the targets of the US criminal proceeding.
But how these issues get resolved will (or likely may) have far broader implications than
just the case (or type of case) at hand.  I do care about those things.

James S. Tyre
Law Offices of James S. Tyre
10736 Jefferson Blvd., #512
Culver City, CA 90230-4969
jstyre at jstyre.com
Policy Fellow, Electronic Frontier Foundation

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