Does the US have juristriction over the whole world?

Mary Hawking maryhawking at
Sun Nov 27 10:20:05 GMT 2011

Reading the original submission by MS to the Australian government, they
fail to mention the nub of the matter: the protection (or lack of it) for
personal data when it is held/used/misused/misappropriated/lost by the
hasting organisation and/or its sub-contractors.

I get the impression that, leaving aside governments and government
agencies, there is little or no protection in law for non US nationals for,
for example, financial details obtained from having to register these at the
time of purchasing a ticket to fly into or over or anywhere near the USA.

Suppose Microsoft convinces the Australian government that the health
records of Australian citizens would be safe wherever they chose to host
them, what protection would the individual (or government if Data
Controller) have against misuse or loss of their data, where would cases
have to be pursued and under what country's (or countries') laws?

Mary Hawking
"thinking - independent thinking - is to humans as swimming is to cats: we
can do it if we really have to."  Mark Earles on Radio 4.  

-----Original Message-----
From: Ian Mason [mailto:ukcrypto at] 
Sent: 26 November 2011 21:09
To: UK Cryptography Policy Discussion Group
Subject: Re: Does the US have juristriction over the whole world?

On 26 Nov 2011, at 19:40, Peter Fairbrother wrote:

> Peter Fairbrother wrote:
>> It is not unusual for US law and US Courts to claim jurisdiction  
>> anywhere in the world, eg they do this over the taxpaying  
>> requirements of US citizens.
> BTW, UK law does this too - the Outer Space Act applies to UK  
> citizens activities anywhere in the world.

The difference between UK and US approaches is that UK law only  
applies extraterritorially to UK subjects or to persons "owing a duty  
to the crown". The latter has been used in cases where a foreign  
national is employed by the UK (e.g. a foreign spy employed overseas  
by the UK can commit treason against the crown). The US approach  
frequently claims extraterritorial jurisdiction over persons who are  
not US citizens and have no relationship to the US (e.g.  
"extraordinary rendition" under bounty-hunting laws or, as we would  
call it, criminal kidnapping).


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