One might be thinking that they are immune to the laws of another country online but that is not always the case. If you break the law in another country online, like Gary McKinnon, who hacked numerous US Government systems to look for evidence of UFO cover-ups, you might have to deal with extradition.

In Gary’s case, the US attempts to get him extradited failed. Julian Assange is also dealing with a similar set of circumstances for leaking government documents.

But what if its not criminal? There are civil cases all the time against corporations who are based in the United States. Apple was forced by the European Union to adopt USB-C for its iPhones because the lightning cable was seen as anti competitive. The EU won the charger war.

Back in 2010, the EU forced Microsoft to offer something called a Browser Ballot because of Microsoft’s monopoly power on the browser market.

These are both American Corporations who wanted to continue sell products to the European market. They could have easily refused these changes but they would have had to stop selling products in Europe.

Now we come back to Ontario, Canada and the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (“HRTO”). The Human Rights Code, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19 prohibits discrimination in Services, Employment, Accommodation, Contracts and Vocational associations.

This law doesn’t just apply to Ontario or Canada. It applies to anyone operating these protected areas of discrimination and then makes them available to people in Ontario.

Example: If you have an employer with a head office located in the United States of America, that doesn’t mean they don’t have to follow the Human Rights Code. They most certainly do in fact have to follow the Code even though the Form 1 Application forces you to put Canadian provinces and postal codes.

You can put in incorrect data as a placeholder to satisfy Adobe and the add the correct information either in the Schedule A or somewhere else on the form. It is just a way to work around the smart form. I guess you could also print the form, write it in and scan it. That is another method.

A news website, a social media site, a dating site, an IRC chat server, etc are just Services. This is covered by the Human Rights Code.

S(1) Every person has a right to equal treatment with respect to services, goods and facilities, without discrimination because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.19, s. 1; 1999, c. 6, s. 28 (1); 2001, c. 32, s. 27 (1); 2005, c. 5, s. 32 (1); 2012, c. 7, s. 1.

In theory, if Facebook or X fail to remove transphobic content, they could be required to answer to the HRTO if someone files against them. It just hasn’t happened yet, unless they secretly settled outside of court.

In a typical case for defamation or some other civil tort, you would normally be required to file such a lawsuit in the jurisdiction of the Respondent or Defendant. This is not the case with the HRTO, where you file it based on where the Applicant lives.

That is why it is completely valid for me to file an HRTO case against the UK based Techrights and Tux Machines. If they don’t want to comply with the Code, they can simply block Canada at the network level.