September 16, 2010hkUncategorizedNo Comments

Craigslist is the one the firing line in an upcoming hearing in the US Congress with doubts that this debate might stem from rational causes but rather straight political calculus. Craigslist already closed down his adult section in an already complying state and after an compromise being made with the attorney´s general Richard Blumenthal two years ago. And all this without having broken any law, but under the allegation that prostitution and child-sex–trafficking gets supported. An all too often used preventive premise.

The freedom of web publication might be in peril and no one of the big players seems of help. Blumenthal and other conservative politicians seem to have a different “freedom” in mind than the one dating from 1996 when the relevant section CDA 230 became law and the pillar on which e.g. facebook, google, yahoo and all services allowing commentaries from users are built upon:

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.

This is what the Center for Democracy and Technology, the most mainstream and well-respected digital rights group in US, has to say about this Congress hearing:

“Congress took strong action to insulate online intermediaries from liability for user-generated content in the Telecommunications Act of 1996. It is precisely these protections — known as Section 230 — that led to the dramatic growth of social networking and made the United States the engine of internet innovation and free expression it is today,” the organization’s president Leslie Harris wrote. “We urge this subcommittee to exercise great caution before it considers any action that would narrow this important legal framework.”

We might face a different social net, if these “cleanings” are successful.

Read More

Leave a reply