I don't have much time or energy at all to write about this — fighting a bad chest cold — but it looks as if Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-ouchebag Censor) — is seeking to strike a another serious blow against free speech on the internet.
At issue is Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which says that hosts — everyone from Google to Facebook to humble little Popehat — is only liable for the content they create, not for the content that others (for instance, thread and forum commenters) put on the internet. It's not an exaggeration to say that this protection is the legal backbone of the modern internet — without it, no site could afford to allow anonymous users or commenters, topics of discussion would be strictly limited by liability-adverse legal teams, and the internet would be a less robust, interesting, and free place.
I wish I could be surprised, but I'm not. Liberman has been making ominous noises about sites hosting material he doesn't like. He's backed not only by people who are foes of free speech on ideological grounds, but those who are foes on economic grounds. And, as we frequently document here, the idea "all you sites have to clean up and police your guests, or get sued" fits perfectly into the insipid nanny-state think-of-the-children "anti-bullying" nonsense so popular now.
Too sick right now to write further. It might be time for another SOPA/PIPA protest. This one is huge.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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