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Old 10 April 2017, 10:26 PM
Coughdrops Coughdrops is offline
Join Date: 15 June 2015
Location: Columbia, MO
Posts: 786
Jaded Proposed Tweak to Internet Law Could Spur Seismic Shifts in Web as We Know It

A draft bill in the House of Representatives would add sex trafficking to the list of crimes excluded from the protection of the Communication Decency Act (CDA), a Geocities-era law with an important provision on internet publishing. That provision—Section 230—would prove crucial to the development of the "World Wide Web" as we know it, allowing for a world in which social networks and participatory media could thrive. The new House proposal is portrayed as a mere tweak to Section 230, one which would make it easier to catch bad guys while having little effect on online communication. Don't believe it.

Simply put, Section 230 protects web publishers and platforms—from Facebook and Reddit to The New York Times to—from being legally culpable for things that third parties post or upload, at least when it comes to state crimes and civil lawsuits. (Federal criminal offenses are not afforded Section 230 protection.) If you're found to be criminally harassing someone via Twitter, the company can't be prosecuted for it. If a magazine commenter makes libelous statements, the publication can't be sued for libel. If a 16-year-old meets a 19-year-old on Facebook and they begin a sexual relationship, Facebook can't be charged for statuatory rape. And so on.
Essentially, this bill is yet another attack on free speech with a fig leaf of "protecting children". It wouldn't even do what it claims to do. Child porn dark web hitman-for-hire-type sites are already illegal anyway.
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