Kentucky Appeals Court Overturns Domain Seizure Order

Ruling on narrow state law grounds, the Kentucky Court of Appeals overturned a lower court order seizing more than 100 "domain names" used by foreign gambling websites. As CDT had argued in a "friend of the court" brief filed with the appeals court, the seizure order violated the First Amendment and the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and it posed a threat to free speech worldwide by encouraging repressive governments to censor websites not located in their countries. Although the Kentucky appeals court ruling didn’t answer the constitutional issues raised by the case, its decision is an important development in the protection of free speech online.