Few deny that the Internet has truly made this a global economy. But attorneys with chiefly U.S. practices may look at news reports about foreign laws related to the Internet with, at best, mild curiosity. And yet, it is because the Internet has united the communications of the world that it is important for attorneys to be aware of these laws and the events that create them.

Look at Russia. A Moscow press report dated Jan.13 stated that under a piece of legislation quietly approved by acting President Vladimir Putin, seven law enforcement and security bodies are, in conjunction with the Federal Security Service, the main successor to the KGB, being hard-wired to Russia’s Internet service providers so they can have instant real-time access to e-mail and other electronic traffic.