Custom Search

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Gov't Gag Order For The Internet (Video)

By Susan Duclos

The video below explains how a group of 47 state attorneys general have written a letter to Congress asking they amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1998.

Before explaining how these government officials want to amend Section 230, let's look at what 230 does to protect website owners from what third party users do and say.

Via Wiki- Section 230- added protection for online service providers and users from actions against them based on the content of third parties, stating in part that "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider". Effectively, this section immunizes both ISPs and Internet users from liability for torts committed by others using their website or online forum, even if the provider fails to take action after receiving actual notice of the harmful or offensive content.

Now, on to how these attorneys general want to amend Section 230:  They are requesting that the criminal and civil immunity in Section 230 be removed. The ACLU wrote of the proposal, "If Section 230 is stripped of its protections, it wouldn't take long for the vibrant culture of free speech to disappear from the web."

The excuse these attorneys general use are children and the sexual exploitation of children claiming that "enforcement alone has proven insufficient to stem the growth of internet facilitated child sex trafficking," therefore it should be the responsibility of providers or website owners to censor third party users, lest they be considered complicit.

This is a very slippery slop these attorneys general are sliding down. On one hand, everyone wants to help stop child trafficking, yet on the other hand, where does the responsibility begin and end if Section 230 is amended in this manner?

For example, how soon before someone complains they were offended by a third party comment, that offense led to emotional trauma, therefore the website owner and even the provider should be held accountable and can be sued for damages? It was exactly those types of frivolous lawsuits which was the impetus for Section 230 to begin with.

The entire purpose for Section 230 is to leave enforcement to those with the authority to enforce and prevent website owners and providers from being held accountable for something they did not do.

Cross posted from Before It's News