Territorial limits? What territorial limits?

The world was shocked when the US government arrested a prominent UK businessman for violating US law, even though he runs a perfectly legal UK licensed gaming company….
Who the heck do US officials think they are? What jurisdiction do they think they have?
No emperor, or commissar, pope or prince in all of history has claimed the kind of jurisdiction the United States government unabashedly asserts for itself:

  1. every US citizen OR RESIDENT ALIEN is subject to US law wherever he is in the world, and in the case of the citizen, he is subject to that law (and its concomitant taxes) for the rest of his life, even if he never sets foot in the US or has ever set foot in the US.
  2. any transaction in which a single US dollar is used, anywhere in the world by anyone and for anything, is subject to US law. If you buy a grilled piece of Yak tail in Nepal and pay for it with a US dollar, the US government claims jurisdiction!

This is not a joke! Remember a country called Panamá and a general called Noriega? Under US law, the US was legally allowed to invade a sovereign nation and arrest and kidnap its head of state, AND sovereign immunity be damned, to try that head of state and throw him in a US prison.
This, of course, is the same US government that has exempted itself from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.
That having been said, why is anyone really surprised at the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act? This law is so broad that if one were to use a credit or debit card to fly out of the US in order to purchase a prepaid credit card for gambling purposes, everyone involved, the onshore bank, the travel agent, the non-US prepaid credit card vendor, and maybe the taxi drivers at both airports, could all be charged with “conspiracy” or “aiding and abetting”, especially if they had any inkling of the purpose of the trip.
The trend is not good, and is only going to get worse. This water is filled with shoals, sunken ships, killer reefs, riptides, and whirlpools…


Comments are closed.