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Court: ITC Does Not Have Authority Over the Internet

The agency's authority applies only to physical, not digital, products, the appeals court ruled.

Toytoy / Wikipedia

The Internet has one less regulator, thanks to a ruling passed down this morning from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. According to the decision, the United States International Trade Commission does not have the authority to regulate information on the Internet, blocking what many advocates saw as a major threat to the open Web.

Thanks to its broad powers, the ITC has become an increasingly popular venue for patent and copyright disputes, but its jurisdiction traditionally only extends to physical goods as they pass over borders. This latest case looked to change that, with potentially profound implications for data as it crosses international borders.

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