The New York Times published an article Monday giving information about the men suspected of plotting terror attacks in the U.K. earlier this month. But British readers looking for that article on the paper's Web site would have been out of luck.
Bowing to legal concerns, the paper denied access to readers with a British IP address. British laws governing what can and cannot be published about a pending criminal case are much stricter than U.S. laws, and the paper did not want to get itself in trouble, its lawyers explained in a separate article discussing the missing piece.
The technology used to target readers was developed for advertising. But in a world where Web borders ignore political ones, where will it all end?
Blog community response:
"By calling attention to it, it seems pretty likely that plenty of folks in the UK will be able to read the same (or similar) content from plenty of other sources. This isn't to call out the Times for the practice, but to question whether such laws are actually still possible in a world with a global internet."
"Essentially the NYTimes Online is continuing the conversion of its online outlet into something distinctly different from the newspaper. The real question is whether the online readership will understand that the Web version of the NYTimes is no longer the 'paper of record' (although TimesSelect should have already put the end to that notion)."
"I suppose this story is old news to people in China and in other nations where internet access is strictly controlled. I guess I just didn't expect to see it happening here."