In early August, the D.C. Circuit refused to allow victims of terror attacks to take control of the Internet domain names of Iran, North Korea, and Syria as a means of satisfying previous money judgments awarded to the victims. In refusing this Internet domain seizure, the D.C. Circuit expressed concern about a “doomsday scenario” that could fundamentally disrupt the stability and accessibility of the Internet to the detriment of the general public. With this ruling, the D.C. Circuit acted with a degree of caution, mindful not to create waves amidst the global nature of Internet regulation.
A long-running dispute between Chevron and Ecuador appears to have reached its end after the Supreme Court declined to take up Ecuador’s question of whether United States courts had jurisdiction to confirm a $96 million arbitration award in favor of Chevron.
The case arose out of a decades-long contractual dispute between Ecuador and Texaco Petroleum. In the 1970s, the oil giant and the South American country entered into a contract for Texaco to develop Ecuadorian oil fields in exchange for selling oil to the Ecuadorian government at below-market rates. Texaco brought several lawsuits in the 1990s in Ecuador’s courts, alleging that Ecuador violated the terms of the agreement. Chevron acquired Texaco in 2000. Meanwhile, in 1993, Ecuador and the United States had entered into a Bilateral Investment Treaty (“BIT”) under which Ecuador offered to arbitrate disputes with American investors involving investments that existed on or after the treaty’s effective date.