With the proliferation of online activities in recent years, legal thinkers and the criminal justice system have faced new questions concerning the conflict of state criminal laws. These new questions have old answers; the doctrine of constructive presence has established a state's authority to prescribe an out-of-state activity that has in-state effects. Beyond the mechanical application of jurisdictional rules, however, there lie deeper policy questions concerning the fairness of subjecting computer users to multiple, inconsistent bodies of law. Cyberspace exists in all jurisdictions, and in no particular jurisdiction, at once. There is an apparent tension between the free flow of cyberspace and the sovereignty of those territories which it touches.
Sean M. Thornton,
State Criminal Laws in Cyberspace: Reconciling Freedom for Users with Effective Law Enforcement,
Rich. J.L. & Tech
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/jolt/vol4/iss2/6