As the Internet continues to evolve into a truly global marketplace, there arises the inevitable problem of how to adequately protect one who suffers an online breach at the hands of an often anonymous party. In the United States, the law of personal jurisdiction may offer adequate recourse against those parties that can be readily identified; however, the traditional personal jurisdiction analysis offers little protection against anonymous parties, allowing them to breach online contracts with impunity. The attachment of property upon which in rem or quasi in rem jurisdiction can be asserted, or legal devices similar in effect, have for centuries provided protection against anonymous parties, especially in the context of maritime law. This same procedure should be available to provide protection against anonymous online parties. Moreover, because of the identifiable, permanent, unique, and alienable nature of a Web site's domain name, it is that piece of intangible property that should be a proper target for attachment for the purposes of asserting quasi in rem jurisdiction.
David F. Fanning,
Quasi In Rem on the Cyberseas,
Chi.-Kent L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/cklawreview/vol76/iss3/19