In an interview with ABC News, the attorney general of the United States, Preet Bharara, said that the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the Netherlands would be included in a list of the countries that could sue for defamation.
The new list would add a new section to the U.S. defamation statute, known as Section 1366, which allows individuals to bring claims for libel based on a person’s actions or speech.
The United States already has an “unfair labor practice” section that lets people sue for unfair labor practices, but it does not specifically include defamation.
Bharara said the new section will allow a lawsuit to be brought against anyone who published an opinion about a country, city, or state in which the United State is not a member.
He added that he expects to see other countries added to this list.
The Attorney General’s Office has previously indicated that it may be possible to bring a defamation suit against a country such as China, India, Pakistan, or South Africa.
The U.K. and France have been named in several high-profile cases where people have claimed defamation for allegedly saying that a British newspaper published a photo of a woman in a bikini, for example.