Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) generally grants broad immunity to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) with respect to third-party content posted on the ISP sites. The legislative history behind CDA Section 230 makes plain that Congress intended for the Internet to flourish for businesses and the US economy, and that intent would be thwarted if ISPs had the onerous duty to police and somehow regulate information and communications posted on their sites by others the ISPs do not control.
Nevertheless, there have been efforts in legal cases to chip away at the broad immunity afforded to ISPs by CDA Section 230. One such effort is the recent legal case Jane Doe No. 1 v. Backpage.com, LLC. Continue reading Supreme Court Will Not Consider Backpage.com CDA Section 230 Case
Revenge porn is unacceptable and should not be tolerated. Some federal lawmakers agree, and they now seek to push legislation aimed at criminalizing revenge porn.
So, what exactly is revenge porn? It often goes something like this:
A man and woman are in a committed, consensual relationship. As part of that relationship, they engage in sexual activity, and they agree, for their own enjoyment purposes, to take photos and videos of their activities. Later, the relationship, whether husband and wife, fiancees, or boyfriend and girlfriend, ends. But the sexually explicit photos and videos still exist. The man (it usually is the man) then posts the photos and videos on the internet to get back at the woman, to humiliate the woman, or to make demands on her. And there are websites that seek such photos and videos — the women who are the victims often must pay a fee to the sites to have the photos and videos taken down. Continue reading Potential Federal Criminalization of Revenge Porn
Sadly, we lost David Bowie last week. Most of us remember his songs — so many, and so varied across the decades. And, of course, there is no way to forget Bowie’s ever-changing image over the years. But not to be lost in the shuffle is the fact that Bowie was such an innovator, he also anticipated the full impact of the Internet.
Bowie’s prescience when it came to the Internet was explained in a recent article in The Verge. Let’s delve in a bit.
Continue reading David Bowie: Internet Predictor and Precursor
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) generally affords immunity for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) with respect to content posted by users on their websites. There have been various efforts by plaintiffs in lawsuits to chip away at this immunity, most of which have failed. Now along comes Doe v. Internet Brands, in which the plaintiff sought to convince the Ninth Circuit to circumvent CDA Section 230 immunity under a “duty to warn” theory.
The anonymous plaintiff, Jane Doe, alleged that she was a model who was enticed to travel to Florida by two men. The men drugged her, raped her, and then displayed this horrid event in a pornographic video.
Doe alleged that the two men initially found her by way of the website Model Mayhem, which she’d joined as a member. She asserted that Model Mayhem is a site that profiles hundreds of thousands of models, and that the owner of the site, Internet Brands, allegedly knew of the illegal scheme by the two men but nevertheless neglected to warn her of the potential harm. Continue reading 9th Circuit Resisting Efforts to Dilute CDA Section 230 ISP Immunity?
Google has posted a “Transparency Report” that provides a range of how many National Security Letters (NSLs) it has received and a range of how many users/accounts were specified in these NSLs each year since 2009. Of course, your first question may be: What is an NSL?
An NSL is a special search vehicle by which the FBI has the authority to demand the disclosure of customer records maintained by banks, Internet Service Providers, telephone companies and other entities. When this happens, these entities are prohibited from revealing to others their receipt of an NSL. There have been reports that the issuance of NSLs has expanded significantly since the Patriot Act increased the FBI’s power to issue them.
Continue reading Google Transparency Reveals FBI’s Use Of National Security Letters