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Let's say a hypothetical country Z makes a law that says:
"If anyone operates a website accesible within the borders of or accessible to the residents or citizens of country Z will have to pay $1 Billion"
May this law be refused to be enforced?I mean can another country A refuse this legislation on it's citizens or pass a law defending citizens against this without war or breaking treaties.

  • If country Z fines all website operators accross the world with $1 Billion can other countries prevent it? – appdev Nov 16 '20 at 19:37
  • Are you trying to ask if country Z would be able to enforce this upon citizens of A, within A? – Studoku Nov 16 '20 at 21:54
  • Do you mean to say "anyone who ... will have to pay"? The sentence as written is nonsensical; that's my best guess as to the intended meaning, but others are possible. – phoog Nov 17 '20 at 1:55
  • I am answering quite late but yes I meant wether country Z is able to enforce within country A – appdev Nov 17 '20 at 5:50
  • Country Z should get a lawyer who can write this down more clearly. – gnasher729 Nov 18 '20 at 15:37
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This is an interesting hypothetical. In this scenario, Country Z does not have jurisdiction to enforce such a law on foreign nationals, unless Country Z has an extradition treaty with Country A. Generally, however, these types of laws would never be enforced as they are egregious abuses of government, and could possibly be elevated to the International Court of Justice if Country Z actually charges any individuals with such a crime.

In these instances, however, war is a very unlikely scenario, since this would often be expensive and any escalation would most likely be small skirmishes that would lead to an eventual ceasefire, with the encouragement of the international community, without the involvement of UN Peacekeeping troops.

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Countries are sovereign states which means that, ultimately, they do not have to abide any "international law". Where they do, what they abide are agreements between countries — treaties. They do it merely for practial/political reasons, not because the world could somehow jail them. The measures against a defiant country that other countries could impose are basically asset seizures (where assets of that country can be found outside it) and other sanctions. In extreme situations the country may be invaded/fought against.

Now, if country Z makes a law like in your question, other countries will likely laugh and just ignore. All that country Z could do to enforce that law is basically attempt to block the website using its national firewall, seize any assets of the website owners in Z and arrest them should they travel via Z or its allies. Provided that the website owners do not care of any of that, they have nothing to worry about.

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There are already countries with similar laws. Badmouthing the leader / country / religion could end you in jail, if not worse. Naturally, only if/when caught.

On a different country, the same thing could be perfectly legal. If the offender is in country Z, he may have a hard time (country A embassy may help, but it your hypothetical country it would still be tough). If he is in country A, country Z would have to request to country A an extradition of the individual. If what he did was legal on A, it would be refused. Even if countries A and Z have an extradition treaty, it would be probably be possible to appeal that, blocking the extradition until the courts on country A decide on the matter.

He who commits such offense should not visit country Z, as they can expect to be arrested. Similarly, for countries friendly to Z. If that person left country A (from which Z is not able to extradite him) and has even just a layover at country Y -which sees eye-to-eye with Z-, they could be arrested there and extradited to Z. It requires effort from Z to coordinate the operation, but it happens, has been done in the recent past and you can find it on the news. If this was a cinema script, however, you will probably find a special commando kidnapping that person for his crime of publishing a website and taki9ng that to country Z.

Finally, if the ruler of country Z was really insane, he could indeed threat to drop a nuclear bomb on country A if they didn't provide that webmaster which didn't pay them (or pay the money themselves). I should note however, that he may not be the only crazy ruler with bombs...

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I presume this ties into your question about selling Apps on a worldwide platform and your worries about liabilities, refunds, etc.

If the country Z is the United States, and they really want to come after you, you have a problem. They could order companies not to deal with you, and those companies must comply if they still want to do business in the US. The US could also request your arrest and extradition and many countries would comply, because the US has leverage and also because of the US is seen as having a reasonable legal system.

If the country Z is in the European Union, or if it is China, you have less of a problem but still a problem. Their reach isn't as far as the US.

If the country Z is Zimbabwe, there is less reason to worry unless you live in Zimbabwe. They don't have all that much leverage.

  • Ok.So you mean American laws must be obeyed by any country doing international bussinessd. – appdev Nov 17 '20 at 16:49
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    @appdev, it depends on just how seriously the United States takes a situation. The US is trying to stop other countries from trading with North Korea and Iran and it is pretty successful. They care less about minor copyright violations. – o.m. Nov 17 '20 at 18:20
  • @appdev: It's literally "He who has the gold makes the rules" or so to say, the U.S. Dollar is such a major economic force, countries will comply because it can be ruinious to not be able to use American Currency (there are many nations where the USD is the defacto currency of the nation). Most currencies are pegged to the dollar, and the major ones that do not often still want to have exchange with the dollar. If the U.S. refuses to accept your currency in exchange for theirs, neither will any pegged to USD or wanting a part in the US economic engine.+ – hszmv Nov 17 '20 at 18:22
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    @hszmv, very few currencies are pegged to the dollar. Many companies like to be able to trade with US banks. Different reason, same effect. – o.m. Nov 17 '20 at 18:24
  • @appdev: It's kind of like owning a car. You don't have to own one to get through a commute to work site 50 miles from your home... but walking to work instead of driving is very difficult. – hszmv Nov 17 '20 at 18:24

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