Andrew Cuomo Grandstanding Again: Threatens To Sue Social Networking Site Over Actions Of Its Users

from the fighting-for-the-public(ity) dept

Now that NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has officially announced his long-expected campaign to be governor of New York (following in his father's footsteps), it looks like he's back to grandstanding by making very public, if very misleading, threats against tech companies. You may recall that this is Andrew Cuomo's basic blueprint for censoring the internet. It starts with him releasing an "open letter" to various online services, claiming that they have child porn on their service, and if they don't clean it up, he's going to sue. Of course, he's never actually sued, because he probably wouldn't win. Child porn is very much illegal and a very, very bad thing, but the responsible parties are those who are actually creating, uploading and sharing the content -- not the larger service providers. A Section 230 defense almost certainly protects most of these sites. But... of course, when you have a high profile politician threatening to sue you for child porn, you cave. It's simply not worth the legal battle. Cuomo would gleefully take a legal battle where he gets headlines about how he's "fighting to protect people from child porn" by taking on big evil tech companies -- even if he would lose eventually. He just needs the headlines to get elected.

And so, here he goes again, threatening the social networking site Tagged.com with a lawsuit for not cleaning up child porn on the site. Apparently, Cuomo's office had people set up accounts and go searching for stuff, which they reported to Tagged, but which the company failed to take down in a timely manner. So he threatens Tagged. But what isn't explained is why he's not doing anything to go after those actually responsible. Rather than blame Tagged, why not work with them to help find out who's responsible for the content and bring them to justice?

Reading between the lines, it looks like Cuomo's way of trying to get around Section 230 with a pretty sneaky tactic. He wants to charge Tagged with false and deceptive advertising. How's that work? Well, Tagged has said that it has safety measures in place to deal with inappropriate content. So Cuomo's office is claiming that because those measures don't work very well, that the company is falsely advertising its safety measures. As a way to get around Section 230 safe harbors, it's pretty sneaky.

The really disturbing part of all of this is that, in his blatant move to grab headlines for "fighting child porn," he's actually making the problem a lot worse. When this stuff is happening on mainstream sites, it's easier to track down and capture those actually responsible. Driving it further underground doesn't stop the activity -- it just makes it that much more difficult for law enforcement to do its actual job. But Cuomo doesn't really care about that. He just wants to get elected. If it makes the child porn problem worse, no big deal, apparently.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    BearGriz72 (profile), Jun 10th, 2010 @ 2:54pm

    I Wonder

    Did NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo Rape And Murder A Young Girl In 1990?

     

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    Anonymous Poster, Jun 10th, 2010 @ 3:27pm

    NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is an idiot.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2010 @ 4:53pm

      Re:

      How is he an idiot? He knows exactly what he is doing and he is getting the publicity he wants, and has been successful politically. He is a lot of negative things, but he is surely not an idiot.

       

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    bradmoreso (profile), Jun 10th, 2010 @ 4:16pm

    Well, "child porn" _is_ the #1 trigger phrase

    Death of Internet predicted again. I think we're lucky that Andrew Cuomo is no Eliot Spitzer: despite his libertine predilections, he could really get it done. Then again, he chose his fights more carefully, too.

     

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    I am so glad..., Jun 10th, 2010 @ 4:26pm

    Thank you Dumbass

    It's because of jackasses like Cuomo I left NY for better pastures.

     

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    bob, Jun 10th, 2010 @ 4:58pm

    Grandstanding or Protection?

    Much like Sheldon Silver who prevents the introduction of Megans Law to the NY House, Andy seems to only want to protect children when it is good for votes, and not do anything to really protect children.
    This is the bullshit that really pisses me off about NY.
    This is also why I am fully behind Palladino for Governor of NY.

     

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    identicon
    The Westchester News, Jun 10th, 2010 @ 4:58pm

    Re: Andrew Cuomo and his wall street stripper pimp

    Andrew Cuomo accepted $90,000 in Cash funds from a wall street stripper pimp named Ken Star.

    New York Politicians Fix Election 2010
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhU6_qnzEJU

    The Westchester News.Com
    http://thewestchesternews.com

    An explosive video about New York State Political Parties, Democrats,
    Republicans, Conservatives and Independents, they're all one huge organization.

    They've been making back room deals, selling political seats at the highest bid.

    Pandora's Box is open in Westchester County and throughout New York State.

    New York cannot afford another 4 years with these corrupt politicians in office.

    American New Yorkers, deserve better than a fixed Election between Cuomo and Lazio, this has got to stop, the board of elections and political parties are all involved in the biggest scam ever, they make the people think their vote counts, but it doesn't.

    Every election is fixed, nobody comes out to vote anymore, they add numbers to the machines and affidavits, they use senior citizens for 16 hours on Election Day, BTW, they don't have a clue what they're doing, let alone can read or remember tiny little numbers.

    New York is extremely corrupt, and Andrew Cuomo is part of that corruption, Bill and Hillary Clinton too, they're all involved.

    All these investigations are smoke and mirrors, we know the FBI, do not indict unless they have enough evidence to convict.

    We're taking a closer look at the business man Carl Palidino For Governor, he has no special interests, he may be the right person for New York, he's not a politician, he's real.

    The Westchester News.Com

     

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      Jeremy7600 (profile), Jun 10th, 2010 @ 5:11pm

      Re: Re: Andrew Cuomo and his wall street stripper pimp

      What does the Westchester news have on Roberty Duffy? (The former Chief of Police and unopposed mayor of Rochester, and Cuomo's running mate)

       

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    identicon
    The Westchester News, Jun 10th, 2010 @ 5:58pm

    Andrew Cuomo and his wall street stripper pimp

    Robert Duffy, hum, he is Andrew Cuomo's running mate. Did you know that he is really a Republican? Robert Duffy is a Republican.

    The Westchester News.Com

     

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    Paul`, Jun 10th, 2010 @ 5:59pm

    He COULD go after the producers but that would take more then google.

     

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    NAMELESS ONE, Jun 10th, 2010 @ 7:51pm

    so cuomo how much a cut do i get

    if piece a pie no large enough YOU go away ..kk

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2010 @ 9:27pm

    i suspect there is no 230 defense for child porn, especially if it is prevelant and the owners are made aware and fail to take action. it isnt any different from allowing someone to sell child porn from the lobby of a building you own. there is a point where you are no long innocent nor ignorant.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 11:44am

      Re:

      i suspect there is no 230 defense for child porn, especially if it is prevelant and the owners are made aware and fail to take action. it isnt any different from allowing someone to sell child porn from the lobby of a building you own. there is a point where you are no long innocent nor ignorant.

      Please point me to the language in 230 that makes that exception. There is none. The only exception is for intellectual property.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 12th, 2010 @ 2:07pm

      Re:

      TAM, there is some child porn being distributed from your house. Please stop it immediately or report to jail. You are no longer innocent nor ignorant of the child porn!

       

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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Jun 11th, 2010 @ 5:55am

    Andrew Cuomo will probably be the next Eliot Spitzer

    Look for him in similar headlines somewhere down the line, whether he's elected or not. All of these hypocritical politicians have one common theme - do as I say, not as I do, because if you do as I do, I can have you arrested. Just another "it's for the children" cover to mask their real intent, which is total control of what you can see and hear on the internet. Anyone who believes otherwise is a hopelessly deluded sheep, and will doubtless suffer the same fate that all the sheep led by douches such as Andy will meet, and deservedly so. More Orwellian shite from another pandering turdball politician, eagerly applauded by mindless masses of droning dolts. Glad I don't live in that hellhole of a state, which could give Louisiana some lessons in how to promote corruption. I'm sure all of his programs and projects will require the universal solution - increased taxes!

     

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    derek, Jun 13th, 2010 @ 10:19am

    Let's solve this once and for all

    Whenever these grandstanders want to sue or prosecute a community or network for members' activities, let's sue or prosecute the politician for the activities of their voters. Maybe contributors too.

     

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    Sad Veritas, Nov 5th, 2010 @ 5:04pm

    Cuomo's child porn fetish a cover for spouse abuse record

    Andrew Cuomo's faddish interest in child porn is a smoke screen cover for his horrid spousal abuse record. The article is right in describing how Cuomo's actions are calculated for maximum positive exposure by the lap dog press, while in reality Cuomo fails to prosecute the wrongdoers and arguably makes the child porn problem worse. Cuomo has a dirty little secret about spouse abuse. It seems Cuomo, no stranger to payoffs such as with Farkas, is more interested in having a corrupt federal judge in power in the Lehman case than he is in stopping wife beaters. Thus, Cuomo allowed charges to be dropped against the admitted wife beater Judge Peck. Peck was free to look the other way as billions were looted from Lehman by the foreign bank Barclays and their U.S. based hire lawyers. Quid Pro Quo is the modern business method of corrupt politicians and judges.

     

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