BY Jon Cooper

Surfing the 'Net is like surfing the Pacific, if you are not careful, you can easily to fall prey to sharks. Indeed, the sharks of the Internet [1] are constantly circling in cyberspace [2] , patiently waiting to pitch their fraudulent scams to unsuspecting consumers. Simply by browsing through a search engine [3] and clicking the mouse at the sight of an intriguing headline, consumers can unwittingly invite the cleverest con artists the world has to offer into their very homes. Literally at the touch of a button, irresistable opportunities and products which exist only in the devious minds of their distant creators, can be pitched on the computer screen of the user. [4]

While the resulting injury normally produces a desire for revenge, the injured party may not be able to bring suit in her home state because of the unique nature in which the tort was committed. As of this writing, it is not clear whether jurisdiction over distant on-line tort defendants exists, and if it does, to what extent. Indeed, numerous perplexing jurisdictional questions are posed by false and deceptive advertisements transmitted over state and national boundaries via the Internet. For example, the question of whether a court has the power to adjudicate a claim arising solely out of the transmission of a web-site containing false advertising has yet to be answered. Furthermore, there is currently much uncertainty as to the possibility of bringing suit against on-line service providers [5] , who facilitate the transmission. Should these service providers be amenable to suit, the question remains whether they can be subject to the jurisdiction of any state into which their network reaches.

This paper will address the necessity for the extension of jurisdiction over fraudulent advertisements placed on the Internet, suggesting that cybertortfeasors should be subject to suit in any state in which their harmful material is retreived. Part I will briefly describe the tort of false advertising and Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act [6] , the federal statutory body under which such claims are brought. Part II will address a hypothetical through which it will be shown that false advertising on the Internet can, by itself, be sufficient to satisfy the rigors of traditional personal jurisdiction analysis. Part III will discuss the emerging trend of Multistate Task Forces as a means by which state attorneys general can fight against the worst offenders. Part IV will address anonymity and the need for service provider liability.


The Lanham Act was designed to protect consumers and competitors from misrepresentations of products and services in commerce. [7] Indeed, the purpose of Section 43(a) was to create a new statutory civil wrong of "false representation of goods in commerce" in order to prevent deceitful practices in the market place. [8] Advertisers are thus required to have a reasonable basis for all objective product claims before the claims are made, especially in the area of substantiation. [9] Public policy demands that the public has a right to information that will allow it to assess the quality of a product and to accurately price the product in accordance with their priorities and desires. False advertising deprives the consumer of this information and deceives them into thinking that they are buying a less expensive equivalent, a bargain on a quality product. [10] The public also has an interest in commercial competition and the resulting technological innovation and customer service. [11]

To state a claim for false advertising under Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, it is necessary to establish that: (a) such advertising tends to falsely describe or represent the defendant's product; (b) such false representations take place in interstate commerce; and (c) plaintiff has been actually damaged or is likely to be damaged from such false representations. [12]

Unfortunately, consumers lack standing to file suit for false advertising. [13] The only recourse a consumer has is to complain to a federal agency [14] such as the Federal Trade Commission or to the attorney general of their home state. These government bodies have a cause of action for false and deceptive advertising pursuant to Sec. 43(a) of the Lanham Act and are well within their authority to bring false advertising claims. [15] With a lot of luck, one of these bureacratic machines might endeavor to vindicate the rights of the injured consumer, although most complaints are not litigated. The most common types of products or services typically advertised by direct response in a fraudulent manner include ads for exercise equipment, diet products, business opportunities, medical devices, drugs, and cosmetics. [16]

An alternative cause of action can be lodged by competiting business ventures who have had their advertising materials misappropriated. Such misappropriation claims likewise constitute unfair trade practices under Section 43(a). For example, it is well established that the use of a photograph of a competitor's product is false advertising and a violation of section 43(a). [17] Unlike consumers, however, injured competitors may assert a cause of action on their own behalf. [18]


The greatest stumbling block in the battle against false advertising on the Internet is establishing personal jurisdiction over non-resident origionators of tortious material. Without jurisdiction, no court has the power to adjudate claims brought before it. Thus the question of whether the mere transmission of false advertisements from a non-resident origionator's homepage to the user's computer screen can serve is sufficient to warrant

personal jurisdiction must be answered in the affirmative if the con men of cyberspace are to be kept in check.

Traditional Personal Jurisdiction analysis was not designed in anticipation of the use of medium such as the Internet. Accordingly, many of the traditional notions relevant to determining the appropriate jurisdiction are necessarily strained, as is reflected by the makeshift analysis currently being applied by the courts. Consequently, the consuming public, and the federal and state bodies which represent them, are left in a state of confusion and panic. The possibility that foreign purveyors of fraud can conduct their schemes with impunity shocks the consience, and public policy. With experts projecting that over one billion people will be using the Internet by 2003, [19] false and deceptive advertising can only be expected to increase. Thus, the question of jurisdiction lies at the heart of the battle against fraud on the Internet.

Consider then, the following hypothetical. A New York yacht manufacturer creates a web-site on which he places the advertising material of a competitor, who is located in Florida. The web-site further represents that the products he is advertising are of a certain quality and of his own design. The Florida competitor, who did a word search under "yachts", accessed this fraudulent ad. Consequently, he files suit in Florida alleging that the misappropriation of his advertising material is a violation of Sec. 43 of the Lanham Act, as the yachts are to be constructed in violation of his property rights. He contends that he has been injured by his competitor's potential and actual sales of boats, built by the unauthorized use of his design specifications, yet costing less. He is therefore seeking compensation for lost sales and damage to his reputation.

Numerous complaints regarding the misleading nature of this advertisement are also forwarded to the offices of the attorney general of Florida by internet users who have accessed the offensive web-site in Florida. The National Advertising Division of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also receives complaints from all over the country. Suits are subsequently filed in the Southern District of Florida by the attorney general of Florida and the FTC to redress this fraud on the Internet users of Florida, and of the United States as a whole. For purposes of the discussion on jurisdiction, the validity of the claims is not in dispute. The only question is whether the Court has personal jurisdiction over the non-resident defendant based on the transmission of fraudulent advertising on the Internet.


Traditionally, personal jurisdiction over non-resident defendants requires a two-part analysis. The exercise of jurisdiction must first satisfy the applicable state long-arm statute. If the long-arm statute is satisfied, the court must then determine whether sufficient minimum contacts exist to satisfy the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment so that "maintenance of the suit does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice". If both prongs are satisfied, a federal or state court may properly exercise personal jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant. [20]

Florida's Long-Arm Statute [21] provides in pertinent part:

Any person, whether or not a citizen or resident

of this state, who personally or through an agent

does any; of the acts enumerated enthuse subsection

thereby submits himself and, if he is a natural person,

his personal representative to the jurisdiction of the

courts of this state for any cause of action arising

from the doing of any of the following acts:

Committing a tortious act within this state.

The most recent opinion construing this provision of Florida's long-arm statute, Robinson v. Giarmarco & Bill, extended the reach of the court's power to situations where foreign tortious acts cause injury in Florida. [22] In Robinson, the court was not overly concerned with the fact that the negligent conduct occured entirely outside of the state and that the defendants may have never set foot in Florida. Rather the focus was on the situs of the injury suffered as a result of the defendant's tortious conduct. Satisfaction of Florida's long-arm statute thus depends more on whether injury occurs in Florida, than on that fact that the tortious act occurred in a foreign jurisdiction. Because Florida's long-arm statute [23] is designed to exploit the limits of jurisdictional due process as articulated in International Shoe, many other state long-arm statutes would be satisfied under these circumstances as well. Because the consequences of the Defendant's acts occured within Florida by virtue of the transmission of the material over the Internet, the courts need not decide the precise locality of the tortious acts giving rise to the injurious consequences which occur. [24]

Once the long-arm statute is satisfied, thereby authorizing the assertion of personal jurisdiction, the court must then determine whether the exercise of jurisdiction is consistent with due process of law by considering whether the Defendant established minimum contacts with Florida, and whether the exercise of personal jurisdiction would offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.

Due process requires that defendants have "fair warning" that a particular activity may subject them to the jurisdiction of a foreign court. [25] Fair warning is satisfied if the defendant has "purposely directed" her activities to the forum, [26] and the litigation results from alleged injuries that "arise out of or relate to" those activities. [27] Moreover, the defendant's conduct and connection with the forum must be of a character that she should reasonably anticipate being haled into court there. [28] The key inquiry here is whether the defendant has "purposely availed itself of the privileges of conducting activities within the forum state, thus invoking the benefits and protections of its laws". [29]

The unilateral activity of those who claim some relationship with a nonresident defendant cannot satisfy the requirement of contact with the forum state, however. [30] Jurisdiction is proper only where the defendant's contacts with the forum proximately result form actions by the defendant himself that create a "substantial connection" with the forum state. [31] Because the unilateral activity of another party or third person is not a sufficient basis for establishing minimum contacts, [32] defendants will undboutedly argue that in accessing a web site, the users activity is entirely unilateral. [33] This arguement contends that Internet users who access a web-page, "go" to the advertisement which is placed on the origionators web-site, which is based in another state or country. Such a viewpoint would find web-page advertisements analogous to advertisements in the yellow pages of a distant state which are located in a local public library.

The question of whether an advertiser has "purposely availed" himself of the laws of any given jurisdiction soley by virtue of the web site's existence is further complicated by the fact that the information is only transmitted upon request. Until the web site is discovered by a search engine or is selected or specifically called up by its URL, the material which resides there simply rests passively on a particular computer. Alternatively, if the site is popular enough, the material may also be stored within the database operated by online service providers such as America Online. The web site thus has two "physical" addresses, with the cached material located in the database of America Online comparable to a branch office, and the origional web site comparable to the principle place of business.

Furthermore, even if the web-site's computer could accomplish the virtually impossible task of ascertaining the geographical location of a prospective user's Internet site, the location of the human reader is not necessarily revealed. A resident of Florida or France, for example, could easily access an Internet host in New York and browse a web site through the New York computer without disclosing his Florida (or foreign) location. It is thus impossible for the origionator of the web site to prevent access to users in any given jurisdiction. [34] This is especially significant in advertising services such as gambling, or products such a liquor or level tobacco that can legally be advertised in the sender's forum but may not be in the users forum. [35]

Personal jurisdiction is further complicated by the Internet because of the nature of the contact. The message arrives in Florida via a transmission. The process can be described as follows. A user can access the subject website either by specifically retreiving it by calling up the cite by its URL, or by executing a word search through a web browser. Once the user calls up the website, the computer on which it is stored returns a signal containing images and information, in this case photos of the yachts and text describing the materials of construction. Thus, like a telephone transmission, accessing a web site involves a mutuality of transmission, whereby electrons are sent and received in both directions between the website and the individual. [36]

Advertisements might also be construed as products placed into the stream of commerce. In World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson, [37] the Supreme Court held that a defendant who places a product into the stream of commerce with the expectation that the product would be used in the forum state has sufficient "minimum contacts" to satisfy due process requirements.

Later, in Asahi v. Superior Court, [38] the Court split over the question of what knowledge is required to establish an expectation of use in the forum state. In dissent, Justice Brennan found that mere foreseeability or awareness that a product would make its way through the stream of commerce to the forum state is enough to satisfy the "minimum contacts" requirement.

While the plurality, headed up by Justice O'Connor found that a more stringent test requiring the necessity of showing "additional" conduct or some "action of the defendant purposefully directed toward the forum state", she cited advertising or otherwise soliciting business in the forum as an example of additional conduct. Her opinion thus indicates that advertising in the forum state alone is sufficient as long as it is purposely directed at the forum state. [39]

It should be noted that because there was no majority opinion, Asahi, offers lower courts little guidance when faced with close questions. Consequently many courts adhere to the World-Wide Volkswagen "mere foreseeablity or awareness" test. [40]

The defendant in our hypo clearly intended to, and did create a web-site composed of misappropriated advertising material, which was furthmore false and deceptive. The defendant willfully scanned photographs of his competitors yachts onto his web-site for the purpose of making the photographs available to the world. Additionally, he misrepresented the material to be used to construct the yachts and by so doing he caused a false advertisement to be sent into Florida, further supporting the premise that due process requirements are satisfied through minimum contacts. [41] Accordingly, the creation web-sites which contain false advertisements is certainly the type of affirmative conduct to promote the transaction of business sufficient to satisfy the "purposeful availment" prong discussed above.

Once minimum contacts have been established, those contacts must be considered in light of other factors to decide whether the assertion of personal jurisdiction comports with "fair play and substantial justice". [42] Namely, the burden on the defendant in defending the lawsuit, the forum state's interest in adjudicating the dispute, the plaintiff's interest in obtaining convenient and effective relief, the interstate judicial system's interest in obtaining the most efficient resolution of controversies, and the shared interest of the states in furthering fundamental substantive social policies. [43] These factors may serve to establish the reasonableness of jurisdiction upon a lesser showing of minimum contacts than would otherwise be required. [44]

The state of Florida has a significant interest in adjudicating disputes involving false and deceptive advertising provided by out-of-state businesses to its residents, and concerning assets located within Florida's borders. [45] Further, the Attorney General of Florida has no choice but to litigate in Florida. While the defendant might be inconvenienced by litigating outside of their home state, modern methods of transportation and communication reduce this burden significantly. [46]

It therefore logically follows that injuries occurring in the forum state due to the "virtual presence" of an actor in a foreign jurisdiction, utilizing the Internet, may by itself be sufficient to confer personal jurisdiction in certain circumstances. [47]

It is apparant that the intangible nature of the Internet does not necessarily invalidate traditional concepts of jurisdiction as the nebulous nature of such a medium is not entirely new. In this age of advertising, negotiating and contracting by telex, teleconferencing, fax and express mail as well as payment by wire transfer, it is common for businesses to engage in commerce electronically. Indeed, it appears well settled that a tortious conduct emanating out of business transacted solely by mail and wire communication across state lines obviates the need for physical presence within the state in which business is conducted. [48] Accordingly, as physical presence within a geographically defined boundary is not required to establish personal jurisdiction under current constitutional analysis, [49] the transmission of a web-site via the Internet should be sufficient to bring distant tortfeasors within the jurisdiction of courts where injury occurs.


The attorney general of Florida might consider joining forces with other state attorney generals in a concerted effort to enforce their respective consumer protection laws which seek to accomplish the same goals. Furthermore, the state attorneys general can build on the prior or contemporaneous investigations into the same activities made by federal agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission. By formalizing and coordinating multi-state action in the form of a Multi-State Task Forces, the attorneys general will have a great deal more leverage over the defendant. [50] The prospect of exacting sizeable settlements from those who place false and deceptive advertisements on the Internet provides ample incentive for attorneys general to band together. Unfortunately, such a strategy could easily degenerate into abuse.

Faced with the prospects of litigation costs and negative press in multiple forums, most advertisers caught in the web of such a Multi-State Task Force will undoubtedly choose to settle regardless of the cases presented by each individual state. If personal jurisdiction is warranted based on advertisements transmitted through the Internet, multi-state enforcement actions can be expected to increase. The pressure of being subjected to multiple lawsuits will prompt advertisers to cough up cash, as state sponsored extortion goes into high gear. The prime motivation of the states is, after all, money, as all other remedies available to them are duplicative of the remedies available to the federal agencies.

In the past five years there have been approximately 35 multi-state actions against companies for violations of state consumer protection and food and drug laws, about half of which have also been the subject of federal regulation. . [51] This number will undoubtedly increase if personal jurisdiction can be exercised as a result of Internet transmissions.


Anonymity . [52] provides a strong policy basis for allowing a cause of action against on-line service providers who facilitate the transmission of false and deceptive advertising in that it prevents victims from identifying the originator of harmful material. Because a foreign remailer is, for all practical purposes, judgment-proof, intermediaries such as America Online must be held responsible. Accordingly, remedies for torts committed over the Internet should not be limited to content originators.

Notwithstanding the fact that it is virtually impossible for on-line service providers to monitor the trillions of bits of data transmitted daily over the Internet, servers should nevertheless be held responsible for monitoring their networks for violations of the Lanham Act. . [53] Immunity from liability for these intermediaries would result in faultless victims bearing the loss. As service providers profit from the volume of usage of the Internet, and are in the best position to prevent tortious conduct, they should bear the responsibility for the gap in the law created by anonymity. . [54]

The problem of anonymity aside, other jurisdictional questions arise when an internet service provider and a foreign party are thrown into the soup that is our hypo. For example, if false advertising originates in one jurisdiction (N.Y./U.S.A.), and injures a user in Germany by means of an Internet server located in yet another jurisdiction (Ohio/Canada), which state/country will have jurisdiction to adjudicate claims of injury? Under transmission jurisdiction, the German need not travel to New York/U.S.A. (or Ohio/Canada) to find a legal institution with power over one of the two potential sources of compensation. Jurisdiction would properly exist in Germany, the most convenient forum for the victim. How a favorable decision by a German court ordering the New York/American originator or Ohio/Canadian intermediary is to be enforced is less clear, however. . [55]

Reliance on the jurisdictional analysis and mechanisms currently in place is the most practical approach to the numerous questions arising in the Internet context. As relatively few cases have arisen testing the adequacy of traditional legal theories and procedure, it is better to wait for the common law in this context to develop before trying to legislate or write treaties. However, if intermediaries are to be free from sanctions for activities they cannot prevent, new approaches of allocating responsibility for tortious conduct are required. If the potential of the Internet is to be realized, private and public institutions must evolve so that rules allocating responsibility can be enforced effectively even against harmful transactions that cannot be localized to any particular state. . [56]

While transmission jurisdiction might assist in the fight against cybertorts, the benefits must be weighed against the chilling effect on the Internet which will result from subjecting on-line subscribers to the jurisdiction of any location through which their network connection travels. For example, the possibility of jurisdiction over false advertising and fraudulent misrepresentation being exerted by foreign countries with much stricter advertising laws would have a detrimental effect on commerce. Rather than going after the origionators of the offensive material, pressure will more likely be placed on the on-line service providers to comply with the legal and ethical standards of foreign jurisdictions. Compuserve, for example, recently buckled to charges made by the federal prosecutor in Munich, Germany, that material distributed by Compuserve violated Germany pornography laws. In response to these charges, Compuserve denied access to over 200 Usenet . [57] groups to its subscribers. [58] If a German Internet user had accessed the fraudulent ad in our hypo, the New York manufacturer would undoubtedly be subject to suit there. [59] Ultimately, however, liability may turn on whether on-line service providers are characterized as publishers [60] or distributors. [61] Indeed, cases involving personal jurisdiction over print publications are analogous to the relevant inquiries which should be made in cases involving jurisdictional questions relating to the World Wide Web and other electronic publishing activities. [62] Caselaw in this area indicates that an electronic publisher will be subject to personal jurisdiction in any place to which he intentionally sends his publications. If an electronic publisher publishes a statement intended to injure someone, he should be subject to personal jurisdiction in the place where the injured party is located. The rationale is that the actor intended to communicate with not just someone, but the specific victim. Such an action constitutes purposeful legal contact with the place where the victim is. Likewise, placing fraudulent material on the Internet, with the intent to injure any reader of that material, constitutes purposeful contact with all the jurisdictions in which the offensive material can be retreived.

While the pervasive nature of the Internet subjects participants to jurisdiction even in countries that do not require a showing of due process before allowing a court to exercise jurisdiction over a nonresident, enforcement of rulings emanating from such a countries would most likely be nullified. Further protection from suit can be had by making disclaimers which can be helpful in avoiding the jurisdictional reach of hostile courts. [63] Because the very nature of the Internet contemplates transmission to every corner of the globe, regardless of the route it takes, it is foreseeable that a transmission might be retrieved anywhere. Accordingly, origionators of content and users who commit tortious acts, as well as Internet services providers who facilitate such torts foreseeably should anticipate subjecting themselves to suit thousands of miles away.


Because the states are split on how the Internet should be patrolled [64] personal jurisdiction over Internet transmissions has become a cutting edge issue. The obvious question of who has jurisdiction over transmissions spanning state and national boundaries will take on new dimensions as the caselaw develops. This paper has suggested that jurisdiction over non-resident cybertortfeasors is established by virtue of the existence of a web-site containing false or deceptive advertisements in violation of section 43 of the Lanham Act, which has been subsequently accessed in the forum state. Jurisdiction based on the transmission of fraudulent materials over the Internet is necessary if the Internet is to become a safe medium for commerce upon which consumers can rely.


1 The Internet, which is part of the Global Information Infrastructure (GII), (popularly known as "Cyberspace"), is a borderless "virtual" reality, brought to life by the connection of computers located throughout the world. The medium is accessed through various on-line services and catalogued via a plethora of search engines. The Internet enables people to interact, conduct business and entertain themselves.

2. While "Cyberspace" encompasses both private and public communications, it is public communications which we are most concerned with here, as they are those which the sender intends the world to see. The databases, bulletin boards and research tools of the commercial services such as America Online and Compuserve are examples of public communications. The Internet, which is accessible worldwide, offers the greatest opportunity for exploitation, however, as it is an open network of computer systems, wholly indifferent to geographic boundaries. Private communications, on the other hand, contemplate transmission only to designated recipients, and is exemplified by Electronic Mail (E-Mail). Private communications should not be confused with confidential communication, which is possible only through highly developed encryption technology.

3. A search engine is an online cataloguing system which allows users to seek out material in which they are interested.

4. Of the many services and resources available on the Internet, it is the World Wide Web which is most amenable to advertising. The World Wide Web is comprised of a vast, decentralized collection of documents popularly known as "home pages" or "web sites". These web sites contain personal, educational, governmental and commercial information in text, graphical and audio form. Because web sites are meant to be easily visited from anywhere in the world, they have tremedous potential as fuel for commerce. The World Wide Web thus poses the greatest problems for regulation at the local level.

5. On-line service providers provide access to the Internet and act as intermediaries in retreiving material for users.

6. 15 U.S.C.A. 1125(a).

7. Johanna Farms, Inc. v. Citrus Bowl, Inc., 468 F.Supp. 866,873 (E.D.N.Y. 1978).

8. L'Aiglon Apparel v. Lana Lobell, Inc., 214 F.2d 649 (3rd Cir. 1954).

9. The National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently entered a decision regarding false advertising on the Internet in Infinity Distribution, Inc., v. Proteabolic, NAD Case Reports, #3248 ML (Nov. 10, 1995). After monitoring an informational page on the Internet which set forth exaggerated claims of a nutritional supplement, the NAD ordered that certain comparative claims be discontinued until substantiation for such claims was obtained. Although this case involved an advertisement on the Internet, it was treated no differently than any case involving an advertisement placed in traditional media. Interestingly, the on-line provider, Compuserve, was not brought into the suit.

Because the context in which the claims were made was not discussed, it remains to be seen whether the NAD might seek to monitor web pages and other parts of the Internet not considered advertising, for truth and accuracy.

10. L'Aiglon Apparel at 650.

11. It has been frequently been held that misappropriation of advertising material, such as that described in the hypo, constitutes a tort of unfair competition in violation of the Lanham Act. See, Alum-A-Fold Shutter Corp. v. Folding Shutter Corp., 441 F.2d 556 (5th Cir. 1971); American Precast Corp. v. Maurice Concrete Products, 360 F.Supp. 859 (D.Mass. 1973), aff'd, 502 F.2d 1159 (1st Cir. 1974).

12. Skil Corp. v. Rockwell International Corp., 375 F.Supp. 77 (N.D. Ill. 1974).

13. See, Wojciechowski, Tawnya, Letting Consumers Stand on their Own: an Argument for Congressional Action Regarding Consumer Standing for False Advertising Under Lanham Act Section 43(a), 24 Sw. U.L. Rev. 213 (1994).

14. The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has succeeded in attacking deceptive advertising on the Internet. It fined the British Company Virgin Atlantic Airways $14,000 for failing to clearly disclose that a tax nearly forty dollars applied to fares advertised overt the Internet as $499. Although, Virgin did advise consumers check with reservations for any taxes, charges or restrictions, in a separate section, this cautionary information was tucked away in a separate section of its Web Site.

The U.S. government was thus successful in asserting jurisdiction over advertising that could be downloaded to a personal computer in the United States, regardless of the legality of the advertising in Great Britain, where it originated, or where Virgin's Internet server was located. General jurisdiction is clear, however, as Virgin has continuous and systematic contacts with the United States through its regularly scheduled flights.

15. W.L. Gore & Assocs. v. Totes, Inc., 738 F. Supp. 800, 813 (D. Del. 1992).

16. An example of the FTC's success in halting deceptive advertising on the Internet is the action it brought against Brian Corzine, doing business as Chase Consulting, for making false claims in the course of promoting a credit-repair program on America On-line. FTC v. Brian Corzine, No CIV-S-94-1446 (E.D. Cal. filed Sept. 12, 1994). The advertisement represents that the steps to repair credit are "100% legal", when in fact such steps are illegal. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in Sacramento ordered a temporary halt to the deceptive program and froze Corzine's assets to preserve funds for restitution. Corzine subsequently settled the FTC charges, agreeing to refund the $99 purchase price to all purchasers of his program. Corzine is further prohibited from engaging in similar misrepresentations in the future, and is required to disclose certain aspects of any future credit repair programs he may offer, specifically the legality of the steps proposed to repair credit. He is also required under the settlement to cooperate with the FTC in investigating the entities who sold the credit repair program materials to him.

17. Matsushita Electric Corp. of America v. Solar Sound Sys., Inc. 381 F.Supp.64, 67 (S.D.N.Y. 1974); Bangor Punta Operations v. Universal Marine, Co., 543 F2d 1107 (5th Cir. 1976).

18. See, Bangor Punta at 1109

19. See, Robbins, Nicholas, Baby Needs a New Pair of Cybershoes: The Legality of Casino Gambling on the Internet, 2 B.U. J. Sci. & Tech. L 7 (1996).

20. International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316, 66 S.Ct. 154, 158, 90 L.Ed. 95 (1945).

21. Fla. Stat. Sec. 48.193(1)(b)

22. 74 F.3rd 253 (11th Cir. 1996). See also, Sun Bank, N.A. v. E.F. Hutton & Co., 926 F.2d 1030 (11th Cir. 1991) and Rebozo v. Washington Post Company, 515 F.2d 1208 (5th Cir. 1975). For an opinion suggesting that negligent acts occurring outside of Florida are insufficient to confer personal jurisdiction over nonresident defendants see, Doe v. Thompson, 620 So. 2d 1004 (Fla. 1993).

23. See, Rebozo at 1212. See, also, Minn. Stat. Sec. 543.19 (1)(d) (1994), Rostad v. On-Deck, Inc., 372 N.W.2d 717, 719 (Minn.), cert. denied, 474 U.S. 1006 (1985).

24. Bangor Punta Operations, Inc., v. Universal Marine Company, Ltd., 543 F.2d 1107 (5th Cir. 1976).

25. Burger King v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 472 105 S.Ct. 2174, 2182 85 L.Ed 2d 528 (1985)

26. Keeton v. Hustler Magazine, Inc., 465 U.S. 770, 774, 104 S.Ct. 1473, 79 L.Ed. 2d 790 (1984), (false statements of fact injures the reader of that statement).

27. Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia, S.A. v. Hall, 466 U.S. 408, 414, 104 S.Ct. 1868, 1872, 80 L.Ed. 2d 404 (1984).

28. Burger King at 471 U.S. 474, 105 S.Ct. at 2182.

29. Id at 475.

30. Hanson v. Denckla, 357 U.S. 235, 253, 78 S.Ct. 1228, 1239, 2 L.Ed 2d 1283.

31. Burger King at 471 U.S. 475, 105 S.Ct. 2183.

32. Id.

33. See, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction at State v. Granite Gate Resorts, Inc. (Minn. Dist. Ct. 1995) (Case No. C6-95-0072227) (filed Sept. 25, 1995).

34. See, Eckenwiler, Mark, States Get Entangled in the Web, Legal Times, January 22, 1996, pg. S35.

35. See, Silverman, A. Jared, Cyberspace Offerings Raise Complex Compliance Issues, New Jersey Law Journal, December 25, 1995, pg. 10.

36. Perritt, Henry H., Jr., Computer Crimes and Torts in the Global Information Infrastructure: Intermediaries and Jurisdiction, University of Oslo, Oct. 12, 1995.

37. 444 U.S. 286, 100 S.Ct. 559, 62 L.Ed. 2nd 490(1980).

38. 480 U.S. 102 , 107 S.Ct. 1026, 94 L.Ed 2d 92 (1987).

39. Id at 112. n2.

40. See, Irving v. Owens-Corning Fiberglass Corp., 864 F.2d 386 (5th Cir.) cert. denied, 493 U.S. 823 (1989), Rustan Gas Turbines, Inc. v. Donaldson Co., Inc., 9 F.3d 415, 419 (5th Cir. 1993).

41. See, Murphy v. Erwin-Wasey, Inc., 460 F.2d 661 (1st Cir.1972) which held that an out of state sender of a fraudulent misrepresentation has thereby "purposely availed itself of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum State, thus invoking the benefits andprotections of its laws."

42. International Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316, 66 S.Ct. 154, 158, 90 L.Ed. 95 (1945).

43. Burger King. at 477 U.S. 475, 105 S.Ct. 2184.

44. Id.

45. See, Bangor Punta Operations, Inc., v. Universal Marine Company, Ltd., 543 F.2d 1107 (5th Cir. 1976).

46. Id.

47. See, Scherman v. Kansas City Aviation Ctr., Inc., 1993 WL 191369, at 5 (D.Kan. 1993) In Scherman, the court found that an out of state third party defendant which listed an aircraft for sale in a data retrieval service that was directed into Kansas was subject to jurisdiction in Kansas. See, also, Williams v. Institute for Computational Studies at Colorado State Univ., 355 S.E. 2nd 177, 179 (N.C. Ct. App. 1987).

48. Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 114 S.Ct. 173, 62 U.S.L.W. 3248 (1993).

49. In Burger King v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 105 S.Ct. 2174, 85 L.Ed 2d 528 (1985) the Supreme Court noted that in today's commercial world, business is often transacted solely by mail and wire communications across state lines and jurisdiction therefore may exists in some circumstances even if a defendant "did not physically enter the forum state".

50. In 1993, the Keds Corporation settled charges with the FTC for alleged antitrust violations. At the same time, Keds reached a settlement of identical charges with all 50 states. Unlike the FTC settlement, the multi-state settlement agreements required Keds to pay $7.2 million to the states.

51. See, Rosden, George E., The Law of Advertising, 15.02 (1993).

52. Anonymity is easily achieved through remailing. The most reknowned remailer operates out of Finland. See, Robbins, Nicholas, Baby Needs a New Pair of Cybershoes: The Legality of Casino Gambling on the Internet, 2 B.U. J. Sci. & Tech. L 7 (1996).

53. Perritt, Henry H., Jr., Computer Crimes and Torts in the Global Information Infrastructure: Intermediaries and Jurisdiction, University of Oslo, Oct. 12, 1995.

54. Id.

55. Id.

56. Id.

57. Usenet is a collection of discussion groups of virtually every area of interest. These groups are in effect bulletin boards open to the world. A writer posting material to Usenet knows, or should know, that copies of the message may be distributed to internet sites in every U.S. jurisdiction, and foreign ones as well. While passwords may be required to access certain bulletin boards, jurisdictional restrictions can easily be circumvented (lying about address, utilizing telnet). Thus, for all practical purposes, it is difficult, if not virtually impossible, to exlude specific jurisdictions from the distribution of such postings. See, Silverman, A. Jared, Cyberspace Offerings Raise Complex Compliance Issues, New Jersey Law Journal, December 25, 1995, pg. 10.

58. Freidman, Jessica, A Lawyer's Ramble Down the Information Superhighway: Defamation, 64 Fordham L. Rev. 794 (1995).

59. Germany has some of most restrictive advertising laws in the world. See, Rosden, George E., The Law of Advertising (1993).

60. In Stratton Oakmont, Inc. v. Prodigy Services Co., 1995 WL 323710 (N.Y. S. Ct. 1995), the court found that material edited by Prodigy, the service provider, rendered it a publisher rather than a distributor.

61. In Cubby Inc. v. Compuserve Inc., 776 F.Supp. 135 (S.D.N.Y. 1991), Summary Judgment was granted on behalf of the services provider, as the court found that Compuserve had no control over the content of statements transmitted over its system. It thus was classed as a distributor and found not liable for defamation unless it knew or should have known statements were defamatory.

62. Freidman, Jessica, A Lawyer's Ramble Down the Information Superhighway: Defamation, 64 Fordham L. Rev. 794 (1995).

63. Anonymity is easily achieved through remailing. The most reknowned remailer operates out of Finland. See, Robbins, Nicholas, Baby Needs a New Pair of Cybershoes: The Legality of Casino Gambling on the Internet, 2 B.U. J. Sci. & Tech. L 7 (1996).

64. For example, the Minnesota Attorney General is actively seeking to regulate false advertising on the Internet by filing numerous lawsuits against non-resident parties who have allegedly attempted to mislead Minnesotans through material placed on their web-sites. The Attorney General of Florida, on the other hand, feels that the rapid changes in technology are outstripping law enforcement's ability to effectively regulate the false advertising on the Internet. In Formal Opinion 95-70, Attorney General Robert Butterworth concluded that "any effort to regulate the use of the Internet is better suited to federal regulation than to patchwork attention by the individual states."