States Attorneys General Want Special Exception To Blame Sites For Actions Of Users

from the that-would-be-a-very-bad-idea dept

One of the most important laws that has enabled innovation on the internet to thrive is Section 230 of the CDA. We've written about it many times. What it says is fairly basic: a website cannot be held liable for actions by its users. There are a few exceptions and caveats, but that's the basic premise. And it makes perfect common sense -- so much so that it's almost amazing that you need a law to say it. But, we do, because when grandstanding and moral panics come around, politicians and people with pitchforks love to blame third parties and intermediaries as if they're the problem. And, having intermediaries be liable for how users are using their services creates all sorts of problems. It makes it that much more difficult for companies to innovate, because they're taking on tremendous potential liability if anyone misuses their service. So, they then either don't develop an open service, or they have to invest heavily in services to filter/monitor/block any potential misdeeds (which also will lead to blocking legitimate uses as well).

Of course, the grandstanding politicians who jump on moral panics absolutely hate Section 230. They always have. As we've discussed in detail over the years, the type of politician that focuses on grandstanding on moral panics the most is always a state attorney general. They make grand public pronouncements against companies they don't like, often with absolutely no legal basis, and then browbeat them into a "settlement" just so the companies can stop having to deal with the AGs lying about them in public all the time. Chris Tolles, the CEO of Topix, gave a great detailed explanation of how various AGs ganged up on him, basically issuing a press release accusing him of doing horrible things, totally misrepresenting what the company did, but without naming a single law they violated (because they hadn't). In response, Tolles did what most people would think you should do in that case: explain to the AGs what Topix actually did, and why it was perfectly reasonable. In response, the AGs (more of them this time) issued another press release, taking direct statements that Tolles had told them further out of context, and making the company sound even worse. Eventually he "settled" because fighting them was costly.

We've seen this over and over and over again. AGs have attacked Twitter and Craigslist and Facebook and Comcast and Google and over and over again.

Of course, the lack of a legal basis often stymies these attempts, and a big thing that gets in the way: Section 230. So it should come as little surprise, as noted by Eric Goldman today, that the states Attorneys General are planning to ask Congress for an exemption to Section 230 when (you guessed it) states AGs bring a case. He heard it today while on a panel at the annual meeting of the National Association of Attorneys General, where he was on a panel about Section 230. During the discussion, Goldman says that an unnamed Attorney General (he didn't catch which one) made a comment about the plan.

Section 230 has been under attack for some time, but going to Congress to try to make that kind of exception would be a huge disaster. It would allow these AGs to continue with bogus grandstanding campaigns, but actually with the ability to create massive problems for companies actually trying to offer usable, open platforms for users. Nearly every company would need to proactively filter any kind of user generated content, and would be at risk of tremendous legal liability if "bad stuff" got through. This would be a huge attack on internet innovation, all so some ambitious politicians can try to make more headlines by attacking tech companies. The state Attorney General position is considered the classic "stepping stone" position, which many politicians use to run for Governor or Senator in their state, and one way to help with the campaign is to get lots of headlines around "protecting the children" and whatnot. So, basically, these politicians would be breaking one of the key elements that has allowed internet innovation to thrive, to help them get a few more headlines in their quest for higher office.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 4:01pm

    Jesus, AJ has completely broken down this past week. I think he must have failed his latest class, and now blames Mike for his failure.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 4:05pm

    What do certain people not want you to see?

    This! http://v.gd/3K4FAn

    So scared of the truth! It's totally awesome!

     

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  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 4:07pm

    Re:

    Hi Mike!

    Work those sockpuppets while trying to save face, but whatever you do, don't address the merits of anything I say.

    Attack the person! It's the only thing you know!

    Good on ya!

    LOL!

     

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  4.  
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    Nigel (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 4:08pm

    Re:

    Seriously bro, go sit in the corner and let the adults talk. You are a complete idiot.

    Nigel

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 4:20pm

    Re:

    Less-than-Average-Joe, Still not going to show proof that you do not cheat on your exams?

    Guess this proves that you cheat on all of your exams.

    Go on, run away to another post and hide.

    LOSER

     

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  6.  
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    Rapnel (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 4:24pm

    Copyright. I am so very, very disappointed.

    We need to redefine the lengths and eliminate the distortions of "for limited Times".

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 4:25pm

    I want an exception too, I want an exception to sue every member of congress, I also would like to sue the president of the US, his staff and everyone involved in the NSA fiasco.

    I also would like an exception to go after every company that aided and abetted those people.

    This is why we can't have nice things, all the rules are upside down.

     

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  8.  
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    sehlat (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 4:26pm

    An Idea Obviously NOT Thought Through

    Because if they get that, it would only make sense to hold them responsible for every crime that happens in their jurisdiction, whether they even knew of it or not. After all, it's *their* jurisdiction...

     

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  9.  
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    Karl (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 4:31pm

    Typo in headline

    How does one "Want To Special Exception"?

     

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    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 4:32pm

    Mike and Tolles against AG investigating Google for antitrust.

    From the Google link: "Texas' AG was "investigating" Google for antitrust violations" -- NOTHING CAME OF IT, evidently (or Mike would run it endlessly), but these two pro-Googlers are against the very investigation, and pooh-pooh any basis for it because Google's targets were too small.

    Tolles dropped something he calls the "priority review program", which sounds like paid shilling. But he doesn't admit anything could be wrong with it. And Mike as usual claims it didn't gain much money. -- That's one of Mike's standard defenses: unless you're really raking it in (much more than millionaire Kim Dotcom, manifestly), then obviously all is perfectly legal.

    Anyhoo, when more than one AG comes after you, it's just possible that you're engaged in fairly obvious fiddling. So I don't at all believe Mike and his pal Tolles there.

    Nor here. Mike has the view that statute is a shield, that it legalizes what's against common law, where I see statute as ALWAYS suspect, an instrument made by criminals for criminals, and usually against the public good. Mike doesn't do common law or morality: he's railing here against "moral panics", one of his standard phrases.

    And Mike is always looking for ways that obvious criminality can be shielded or excused. Thus, his position that "safe harbor" protects file hosts with obvious infringed content on their site, and from which they gain money.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 4:32pm

    Re:

    Jesus, AJ has completely broken down this past week.

    No, bud.   If you want to talk about complete breakdowns…

    This is nowhere near a complete breakdown. I doubt AJ's got the s|<i1z to go HipCrime on us all, but push him hard enough and he might get close to “Terri Tickle”.

    Wikipedia: Usenet celebrity:   Eccentric personalities
    • David D'Amato – former assistant high school principal, he actively spammed and trolled a variety of newsgroups (particularly "alt.gothic" and "rec.music.phish") from roughly 1996 to 1999, initiated e-mail bombings against those he considered "opponents," and solicited for video recordings of young adult males being bound and tickled, all while using the pseudonym/alter ego Terri DiSisto, who was supposedly a female college student. D'Amato was found guilty of e-mail bombings which caused service outages at a number of colleges and universities, was fined $5,000 (USD), and spent a year in prison after being convicted in 2001.

    There are some real strange people out there. Wait 'til AJ gets his own FAQ before you start talkin' breakdown.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 4:50pm

    Find the AG's blogs, post defamation against other AGs, then watch them sue each other. At least one of them probably will fall for it.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 5:00pm

    Sounds like those who want to hold gun manufacturers responsible for the actions of crazed loonies.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 5:05pm

    Oooh, SCARY TITLE and AGENDA!

    From the PDF:

    Who Are We Keeping Safe With The Communications Decency Act's Safe Harbor?

    Reputation-harming websites like Mugshots.com, Is Anybody Down, and others allow users to upload damaging images of and speech about consumers. This panel will discuss the need to change who is protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) and under what circumstances.


    AND a WHOLE hour scheduled! WITH this Goldman a panelist to presumably oppose their evil agenda! Man, this is a scandal!

    Now, that Mike gives it play means that he's worried that anything resembling common decency will hamper him or his pals. He might be forced to step in when his fanboys act up. But all Mike has is some made-up vague hyperbole: "a huge attack on internet innovation".

    Surely we can all agree that comments at times go too far and that some are edging past decency. It's just time to re-consider whether the sweeping provisions of Section 230 go too far the other way and allow harm. That's all these AGs are doing, but Mike is strangely alarmed.

     

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  15.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 5:06pm

    Perhaps it is time to remind the AG's what their jobs actually are.
    You can not tell me there is a long list of things they should be taking care of in their states, but instead pursue headlines well outside of the scope of their office.

    I mean if the public is paying for you to do your job and your wasting dollars making up problems while ignoring real issues... aren't you unfit for the job?

    Oooh maybe we can get the DoJ to investigate the AG's for violating the law instead of trying to strip away more rights from citizens for a fucking soundbite.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 5:06pm

    The nimrods worried about their money should be doing the advertising on the content that they claim is costing them so much money. Look at that, for a fraction of the costs of their supposed losses they've just recaptured their very own new market.

    And that for a 3 second thought. Of course when you're paid for rooting out piracy and securing eternity it takes a little longer to gain insight through retrospect, I guess. Must be.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 5:09pm

    Companies could simply operate from outside the United States, where states AG cannot touch them. California law, for example, does not apply to a company, in, say, Canada.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 5:28pm

    Re: Lets play a game.

    Knock! Knock!

    ArmoredGuineaPIg: Who is there?
    AJ: It's me!
    ArmoredGuineaPIg: Me who?
    AJ: Me AJ.
    ArmoredGuineaPIg: Oh hi AJ, how are you?
    AJ: Fine.
    ArmoredGuineaPIg: How is the wife?
    AJ: AJ starts crying.
    ArmoredGuineaPIg: She left you? why? what happened?
    AJ: MM happened.
    ArmoredGuineaPIg: Who is MM?
    AJ: Mike Masnick.
    ArmoredGuineaPIg: Did this MM run away with your wife?
    AJ: No, she is to good for him, she would never socialize with the likes of him.
    ArmoredGuineaPIg: Then what does he has to do with your wife living you?
    AJ: She left me because I spend to much time trying to expose MM.
    ArmoredGuineaPIg: What did he do?
    AJ: Nothing he just won't talk to me and I want answers from him, I want the world to know that he is a fraud and I am right.
    ArmoredGuineaPIg: AJ, calm down, do you want some milk?

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 5:30pm

    Re: Re:

    AJ will star on the FAQ porn series?

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 5:31pm

    Re:

    How incorrect you are. According to US and CA law if you can see it here it is subject to the laws here where ever here is.

    Realize that makes any web site subject to all country and state laws anywhere in the world and you will begin to understand the idiocy of US law.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 5:44pm

    Re: Re:

    However, if states start making ISPs block websites, that could easily be circumvented using a VPN.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 5:51pm

    Why doesn't O' and the rest just issue executive orders that say anything we don't like is a felony and let the Tyranny roll.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 5:56pm

    And it makes perfect common sense -- so much so that it's almost amazing that you need a law to say it. But, we do, because when grandstanding and moral panics come around, politicians and people with pitchforks love to blame third parties and intermediaries as if they're the problem.

    If the above is such common sense then why does it not apply to the manufacturers and retailers of firearms?

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 5:58pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm not sure why he was addressing that comment to Jesus in the first place.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 5:59pm

    Goldman says that an unnamed Attorney General (he didn't catch which one) made a comment about the plan.

    That would be the asshat ag from NY, every NY ag is an asshat.

     

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  26.  
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    nickki, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 6:05pm

    bout time

    Given all the suicides, bashings, bullying ,and yes, even murders _directly attributed_ to facebook, I think its high time those gutless cowardly bastards were held accountable for their part.

    death to facebook!

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 6:26pm

    Re: bout time

    death to facebook!

    Hope you're not posting from Methuen—or anywhere in Massachusetts.


    ( Look out kid   /   Don't matter what you did )

     

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  28.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 6:27pm

    Re:

    "What do certain people not want you to see?"

    Has it angered doctors? Is it a facelift secret?

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 6:31pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    or using OpenNIC.

    http://www.opennicproject.org/

    Here is the EFF guide to the free universe.

    http://prism-break.org/

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 6:37pm

    So that's average_joe's masterplan. He wants Techdirt to be blamed for his actions of acting like a complete idiot and cocksucker.

    He's hoping it's working, too.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 6:38pm

    So technically someone could go to the attorneys generals via TOR post illegal content and the attorney general would have to answer for it.

    These morons need to think before they speak... If the site owners were held responsible for what the users did there would be mass trolling. Don't like someone? Go to their site post some illegal content like movies, music, warez, or even worse.
    It's pretty much impossible to police the web.. These dinosaurs that are not in touch with the age of technology should have no right to "fix" what they don't understand. They're just gonna end up making shit worse for everybody including themselves.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 6:49pm

    I'd respond, but Mike is so scared of me that he's blocking my IP. Yea, that's working. LOL @ you, Mike. Could you be any more of censorial douche? Nope. And you know it. Enjoy this post!

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 6:52pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    However, if states start making ISPs block websites, that could easily be circumvented using a VPN.

    How many people will bother with VPN?

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 6:57pm

    I know, as long as we are going this route to blame a site for something the site owners can not possibly know the answers to as to what is or is not copyright; or is or is not fair use, why don't we also make responsible these politicians with all these great ideas that they should have to police the internet full time as courtesy police to identify what is actually infringement.

     

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  35.  
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    Disgusted, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 7:05pm

    They're All Crooks!

    It can be shown, by facts and figures, that the only true criminal class in this country is politicians, of any stripe. They have no morals, they have no ethics, they only have an overriding lust for money and power.

    - with apologies to Mark Twain -

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 7:21pm

    See the post that mike is so scared of that he's blocking IP addresses, keywords, and links...

    http://tr.im/44w44

    Why is mike such a hardcore censor? I thought he hated censors??

    Hmm..

     

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  37.  
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    RD, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 7:22pm

    Re: Re:

    Posting in EVERY article "milk it! milk it! coward! pirate! bawk!" is considered having a *conversation* now? Lets be clear: you arent interested in having any kind of meaningful discussion. At all. You prove it with every post. You dont get to then turn around and try to take Mike and the site to task for something you yourself are unwilling to do.

    I am going to keep posting this every time you roll out your bullshit lies.

    Also, you have proven you deserve to be censored. If Mike found a way to block you off the entire site, many here would not shed a tear OR feel that is was in any way wrong for him to do so, simply because you only come here to be a disruption and are an attention whore.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 7:25pm

    Episode 2 is in the works.

    You can bet that Mike will be working extra hard to censor it.

    why is he so scared of criticism? why is he working so hard to censor me??

    You decide.

    stay tuned!!

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 7:42pm

    Re:

    I am going to go with the fact that you are a complete fucking idiot or the fact that no matter what answer you are given, you will move the goal posts and then pretend that you have not been answered.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 7:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    http://prism-break.org/

    Pick your poison mate.

    There are several options to circumvent even governments.

     

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  41.  
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    Telco Guy, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 8:05pm

    Re: Re:

    Hi, can someone give me this guy's IP address? I am in a position where I can match it to a subscriber. I think if we dox this creep maybe he will shut up or at least join the debate on an adult level.

     

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  42.  
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    davnel, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 8:19pm

    I would suggest you re-read the first amendment. This guy has the right to his own opinion, whether you like it or not. The First Amendment basically gives him the right to express opinions you absolutely loath, freely, and without restraint. Your brand of censorship IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!
    .

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 8:27pm

    Re:

    Hey Mike, I know that completely blocking comments isn't your thing, but this is actually legitimate spam now. I don't think anyone would mind if you actually censored this guy advertising his whatever.

     

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  44.  
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    Viln (profile), Jun 18th, 2013 @ 10:38pm

    Re:

    Congratulations... you've now reached the point of spamming and trolling where no one cares or even remembers what you're complaining about. You could expose Mike in an egregious lie on one of your pastebin rants, and it would still go straight to /dev/null. You've completely invalidated yourself, and there's literally nothing you can do to get back from that.

    Unless you're Mike's alt meant to drum up activity, in which case... joke's old man.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 10:49pm

    Re: bout time

    You don't know what words mean.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 10:50pm

    Re:

    No, actually, it does no such thing.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 11:23pm

    Re:

    Without restraint would be in public or on your own property. Not other people's property as they have the right to remove it.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2013 @ 11:53pm

    First amendment

    Davnel, the US Constitution only applies to government actions. The 1st prohibits government restrictions on speech, but does not broadly apply to possible private restrictions. A privately-owned mall, for example, can prohibit non-approved speech, including political speech. Similarly, the 1st has no meaningful legal bearing on most moderation of on-line comments.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymouse, Jun 19th, 2013 @ 12:13am

    two can play the same game...

    Websites are visited and gain more traffic not on the word of political activists which most attorney generals are but becasue their site is a cool place to visit and provides an environment to do what the visitor wants to do.

    It would hurt the attorney general more if a full page add was taken out claiming that the attorney general was corrupted into attacking a site than any advertisement against a business, especially if a few sites owners had to get together and attack them.

    Who is going to believe the AG when it is shown over and over again that they accept legal bribes and monies for themselves to use on whatever they want, where they receive paid holidays all the time to do attacks on others or to help pass laws. Seriously i don't think websites have any problem as long as they attack the AG where it hurts, in the press , with attacking their moral conduct in public , just as the AG has done and made acceptable.

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2013 @ 12:19am

    Free Speech

    Politicians hate people discussing politics in a public forum, it open them up to criticism. This is the sort of site they would like to shut down, by forcing site owners to not accept comments, or moderate every comment.
    Carried to is extreme, it would result in hosting providers moderating everything posted to sites that use their services.

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymouse, Jun 19th, 2013 @ 12:19am

    Re: Re:

    They may have created their own laws but other countries can ignore them, as most do apart from the few like the damn UK whihc will extradite people on an accusation with no proof of a crime being committed and where a crime is not against the law in the UK.

    I think it is seriously getting close to the need for a violent uprising by the people, lets do like France did and chop of their heads for their corrupt ways.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2013 @ 12:54am

    Re:

    Yes... Aiding and abetting... Both of which require the act to be done with knowledge and intent, neither of which can you actually prove in this case. That is rather the point, I'd think. Completely outside the problems of illegally seized evidence and jurisdiction issues.

    The fact that you just out and out dismiss any counter arguments does not make you 'right.'

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2013 @ 2:59am

    Neighbor kills stranger in my front yard. Police can't find neighbor, arrest me instead.
    AGs want this legal.

     

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  54.  
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    Niall (profile), Jun 19th, 2013 @ 3:07am

    Re:

    And four-year-olds and adults and anyone who kills someone with a gun in a non-self defence situation.

    Oh wait, that would be a scary proportion of your population.

    Although now I think about it, 'crazed loonies' is a good description of your gun lobby. 'Wayne "Crazed Loony" LaPierre' has a nice ring to it. Or 'Charlton "Prise my gun out of my crazed loony dead hands" Heston'.

     

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  55.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Jun 19th, 2013 @ 3:10am

    Re: bout time

    So Facebook goes around making people kill themselves, bashing people, bullying people or even directly killing people? No? Just a few psychotic users? Ah.

    "Given all the suicides, bashings, bullying ,and yes, even murders _directly attributed_ to telephones, I think its high time those gutless cowardly bastards were held accountable for their part.

    death to AT&T/Verizon!"

    Now makes as much sense - but there would be more people agreeing with you ;)

     

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  56.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Jun 19th, 2013 @ 3:12am

    Re:

    Mike is 'censoring' you so you can't respond, but you somehow can post your persecution drivel here? And I thought you had a smidgin of logic left. Oh wait, no I didn't...

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2013 @ 3:25am

    Not one well known figure skating site. They have a section for political discussions, as well are normal figure skating fare. However, since, they, and their servers, operate out of Germany, they are not subject to any American laws. Since they, and their servers, are in Germany, they are only subject to the laws of Germany.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2013 @ 3:27am

    Re:

    They all the site owner would have to do is delete the content and then use a program like KillDisk or Evidence Eliminator securely wipe it, so that police forensic tools cannot recover it.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2013 @ 3:37am

    this is the trouble when those that have more power than brains get into positions of having and wanting to use that power. without the brains to back up the thoughts, all thoughts, ideas etc become stupid! they dont have the part that brains give to balance out the bad things by bringing in the good, so the bad takes over. then, everything goes to rat shit and it takes an inordinate amount of time to correct. if these people were to learn to keep their mouths shut good and tight until their brains allowed them to open, perhaps these incidents would become less frequent? i am surprised they haven't just tried to shut down the whole internet and have done with it? perhaps when Ford or Chrysler gets sued for a driver running a child down, these fucking morons will see the error of their ways?

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Jun 19th, 2013 @ 3:43am

    Re: Re:

    I think he's allowed to post here to demonstrate the lack of strength the pro-maximalists have for their arguments.

    I'd be very surprised if one popped up one day with a well-reasoned argument for his or her position. Hell, I might even pay attention to them.

     

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  61.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Jun 19th, 2013 @ 3:44am

    Re: Re:

    "...don't address the merits of anything I say."

    Very little you have to say at the moment has any merit. You have quite literally lowered yourself to the level of spam.

     

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  62.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Jun 19th, 2013 @ 3:52am

    Re: Mike and Tolles against AG investigating Google for antitrust.

    "Anyhoo, when more than one AG comes after you, it's just possible that you're engaged in fairly obvious fiddling."

    Nice appeal to authority there. Obviously there's no reason to believe that if one AG seeks to improve their chances of career advancement by grandstanding on a stupid issue like this, that others would jump on the bandwagon for the same ulterior motives. No, AG's clearly have moral superiority when in numbers...

     

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  63.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Jun 19th, 2013 @ 3:54am

    Re:

    Sorry, who got censored where in this story?

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    Michael, Jun 19th, 2013 @ 4:43am

    Re:

    Perhaps it is time to remind the AG's what their jobs actually are.

    A stepping stone to a congressional seat?

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2013 @ 4:44am

    Re: First amendment

    Davnel, the US Constitution only applies to government actions. The 1st prohibits government restrictions on speech, but does not broadly apply to possible private restrictions. A privately-owned mall, for example, can prohibit non-approved speech, including political speech. Similarly, the 1st has no meaningful legal bearing on most moderation of on-line comments.

    Funny. That argument didn't seem very compelling during the SOPA debate.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2013 @ 5:05am

    Re: Re: First amendment

    That argument didn't seem very compelling during the SOPA debate.

    And SOPA was a bill concerning “moderation of online comments”.

     

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  67.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jun 19th, 2013 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: First amendment

    Because SOPA was government action.

     

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  68.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Jun 19th, 2013 @ 9:59am

    Re:

    You are a terrorist. Why would Mike want to have NSA surveillance pick up and retain any contact with you?

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Dave, Jun 19th, 2013 @ 10:55am

    Re:

    I suppose someone has to say it. He's not working hard to censor. He's working hard to try and keep the most pathetic, bleating weepy creature I have ever heard on the net (OOTB, in case anyone is not clear about this) from throwing out even more totally misleading (understatement) information and "comments" (I use the word VERY loosely) that either have no bearing on the subject in hand or are just plain vindictive or venomous. It seems this nasty bit of work cannot comprehend the fact that everybody is openly laughing at his puerile efforts to get noticed and his resorting to infantile insults is the lowest of the low. Here's hoping OOTB suffers a nervous breakdown - and very soon.

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2013 @ 10:45pm

    Re: Oooh, SCARY TITLE and AGENDA!

    Cathy, you would not know common decency if it walked up and slapped you with a fish.

    Surely we can all agree that comments at times go too far and that some are edging past decency

    I think that most will agree that your comments go way past decency. Your comments are always filled with lies, more lies and ad-hominems

    You are the most immoral person who comments on this site.

    You are only happy when your corporate pay masters are stealing rights away from the public.

    You seem to believbe that anything that your masters do is moral and we are immoral for discussing the antics that they pull

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2013 @ 11:14pm

    Re: Re:

    So all of the owners of porn sites should be sent to Iran to be stoned to death?

    All magazine publishers that allow depictions of scantilly clad women should be sent to Indonesia for sentencing?

    All of the Hollywood producers/screenwriters that disrespect the Thai Monarchy should be sent to Thailand for violation of Thailand's lese majeste law?

    Now can you see how stupid your comment was..

    Was about to post this when my sarcasm meter started working again. I just had to bash my head against the desk enough times.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    John Smith, Jun 20th, 2013 @ 4:59am

    Too many people have been harmed by things like "revenge porn." You can thank women like Holly Jacobs for putting a hotter, more human face on what's wrong with Section 230. Women voters are outraged that websites use 230 to protect themselves against revenge-porn charges.

    Section 230 should never have been passed, and anyone who dismisses the pain of those whose reputations have been ruined by it can thank thejmselves for the inevitable overreaction that is about to come from Washington.

    SOPA isn't far behind. The intern et is finally growing up.

     

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  73.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Jun 20th, 2013 @ 5:25am

    Re:

    "...and anyone who dismisses the pain of those whose reputations have been ruined by it can thank thejmselves..."

    Why? Were we the ones who acted irresponsibly? Were we foolish enough to do something in front of witness' that we didn't want anyone to see? It isn't my fault people were brought up to believe they can do anything and have no consequences.

    And no I don't agree with those sites, but I don't need techdirt shutdown because less than average joe posts a link to a movie or a torrent site. So, "John Smith," go fuck yourself and if you wish to keep it private, then keep it private.

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    Luis Mier, Jun 21st, 2013 @ 6:03am

    Comments

    An exemption to Sectio 230 when an attorney general brings in a case would worsen the stand of all the interactive computer services because the websites would then be held responsible for any derogatory content published by the users. However, as per the section the sites do get a leeway as they do not have a controlon what the user of their websites publish. But this is what the attorney generals take an advantage and try to attract attention, favor and applause. Why should the companies be penalized for something which is not under their control (leaving a few exceptions) and why should they be butchered if the attorney generals do not like some companies? In the whole process the innovativeness of such companies goes for a tossas the website companies are liable for misuse of their services.

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Alcohol, Jul 14th, 2013 @ 7:53am

    Re:

    I totally agree. Do people not realize that a poster can say you are a rapist or a murderer and the SITE OWNER does not have to remove the post because of Section 230. This law is dangerous.

     

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  76.  
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    Persephone (profile), Sep 19th, 2013 @ 10:46pm

    B.S.

    This article is so bogus, Chris Tolles has been responsible for the severe destruction of so many lives and businesses, I am so fed up with Tech covering up for his atrocities.

     

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  77.  
    icon
    Persephone (profile), Sep 19th, 2013 @ 11:07pm

    People's lives matter

    You bet the site should be blamed in the worst cases, its enabled, supported, facilitated and encouraged Harm to people, to their lives. Anyone who cares about their fellow human beings and their safety, their rights, would want them protected. The AGs and Tech itself need to stand up for essential human rights, there has been this moral blip and the results have been disastrous. Tech(dirt etc.) has a responsibility to clean up this mess, to show its Heart.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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