It’s been almost 20 years since John Perry Barlow, the essayist, Grateful Dead lyricist and Electronic Frontier Foundation founder, declared that governments have no sovereignty in cyberspace. “Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement and context do not apply to us,” he wrote in his “Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace,” which went viral when published in 1996. “They are all based on matter, and there is no matter here.”

The courts in the Canadian province of British Columbia beg to differ.

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