There's a principle in law, though: if I'm entitled to do something, I'm generally entitled to have someone else do it for me. You do this every day when you use a credit or debit card or write a check: you aren't paying the merchant, you're authorizing the bank or credit-card company to pay the merchant for you. Anyone who has a secretary sorting their mail is doing the same thing, authorizing the secretary to open and read the mail instead of them doing it themselves. So, assuming that I'm entitled to record the shows and play them back later (and I am, thanks to the time-shifting ruling), why would I not be entitled to have someone else run my DVR for me?
I'd note that this same principle is why people are so upset over the government's position about access to e-mail on servers: we think of it in terms of us having the provider run our mailbox for us, and the government wouldn't be entitled to come in and riffle through our mailbox without a warrant if it were us operating it directly.
Here's the catch, though, as the courts ruled in the Roommates.com case: just because a site is a provider of a service hosting content provided by a content provider [i]does not[/i] make it impossible for them to be a content provider themselves. Where the site actively selects which information to post, which this site does through it's solicitation of particular kinds of content for specific purposes, then it is a publisher itself and not merely a provider.
Long and short, you don't get to solicit blackmail material, use it to pry money out of people and then hide behind "Someone else gave me the stuff, I'm not responsible for having used it.".
I think it heavily depends on what you're soliciting. For instance, Facebook is soliciting content in general and their marketing is asking for content the posters in fact have a right to post and that isn't illegal. If despite that a user posts something illegal or something they have no right to post, Facebook didn't solicit that and doesn't have any control over it.
Contrast that to a site that actively markets itself as a place to post ads and solicitations for stolen car parts. The site has to know that the posts it's soliciting are illegal. When the users post exactly what the site asked for, the site can't hide behind "We don't control what they post." because it could have controlled it (eg. by not asking for posts offering stolen parts).
In the case of SpamHaus, it is your actions that result in you being blacklisted. To my knowledge SpamHaus does not charge for removal of listings, however it may be difficult to get your listing removed if it was caused by eg. mail that's not an account-signup confirmation request arriving at a SpamHaus spamtrap address that's never ever been used to request e-mail from anyone.
By contrast, it would not have been your action that got your images posted to this revenge-porn site, the site knows the person who did post it doesn't have the right to and actively solicits such postings and it isn't the person who made the posting who's being charged to remove it.
The problem for this site is that the posters don't have the right to post the images (for one thing I doubt they have model releases for anyone in the images), and the site operator knows this. In fact he markets the site specifically for the purpose of posting that kind of image. That takes him quite a ways away from what Section 230's intended to protect. I'd refer to the FHA case against Roommates.com which rejected Section 230 immunity where the site selected questions whose answers the FHA prohibited from being used for housing decisions and required users to answer them as part of the process. And that the site then tries to charge non-users a rather high fee to remove images other people had posted of that non-user, images the site had solicited because they could be used to extort that fee, is not going to help their case that they should be allowed to hide behind Section 230.
Thought: bring back the old principle of "No person acting as an agent of the government can act in any way that violates the law. For, to the degree that they are violating the law, they are not acting as an agent of the government and may not claim the protections and immunities thereof.".
My thought is that one clarification is needed: to distinguish between the server(s) that hold the end-user's mailbox itself vs. the intermediate servers that handle getting mail from the sender to the end-user's mailbox. POP3 may have downloaded mail from the final server to the user's own machine, but very few people use POP3 anymore. Most use IMAP or webmail, which don't download to the user's machine. I don't think the ECPA as written intended to treat the user's own mailbox the same as an intermediate SMTP server. Simply add clarifying language: that "server" in the ECPA excludes any system or systems which are the final destination of the user's e-mail.
Wouldn't matter. That e-mail address is entered by the attorney themselves as the address they want notices sent to. It's their responsibility to insure mail sent to that address is handled properly once it's presented to their mail server. It's similar to physical mail: if you give the court the address of your mail-screening service as the address you want notices sent to, it's not the court's problem if they're throwing notices away without giving them to you. You, not the court, were the one who elected to have them handle the mail. You, not the court, are responsible for what happens after the carrier delivers the mail to the service. If the service isn't reliable, you, not the court, have the power to fix the problem by having notices sent to a more reliable address.
The thing is, most of the problem sites can easily be shown to not have Section 230 immunity. They don't just host the content, they actively solicit for exactly the kind of content they should know isn't legal. It's exactly the same as a site that actively solicits pirated material, as opposed to a site that only actively solicits for legal material and might be used for infringing stuff (eg. "Host your warez and pirate rips here." vs. "Host your own personal files here."). You should be able to use the site's own advertisements and promotional material against it.
And no, as far as I know non-consensual disclosure of sexually-explicit material for the purposes of harming the subject isn't legal. It's not a crime, but it's a civil violation that the victim has a right to sue over. Actively soliciting for people to do it is in the same category as actively soliciting people to violate their non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements and provide you with confidential/secret information from their employers.
"data" vs. "information". The problem with these results is that people are being given data (without any meaningful interpretation or analysis done on it) but it's being marketed as information (data that's been analyzed, spurious bits filtered out and the results interpreted so they have some meaning). And this is a case where obscuring the distinction can get people injured, disabled or dead as a result.
You mean "more rationing than private insurers already do", don't you? It's not as if the group plan I have through my employer doesn't already decide whether they're going to cover treatments or not based on whether they think they're going to be cost-effective.
I'm probably old-fashioned, but I don't even begin to worry about an outage until the service has been down for hours and I won't start to alter plans until it's been down for a day or two. Outages and failures happen, that's a fact of life, so I'm prepared to go do other things until they've fixed the problem and brought things back up.
Sure, there's things like my e-mail that I can't afford to do that with. In those cases I run my own services so if things fail I can fix them, or I get the service from someone I can have a contract with that specifies how quickly they'll fix it and how they'll handle problems. And I have backup plans so if something truly goes south irreparably I don't have to panic, I can just fall back to plan B and keep on going. The trick, of course, is to make sure you don't run out of plan Bs before you run out of problems.
Being in a position where you're critically dependent on a service that someone else controls and you have no contractual guarantees of performance/service for? Bad place to be. If you decide to stay there, accept that you're guaranteeing you'll find yourself in a bind on a regular basis. Once you've accepted that it's inevitable, it's much less stressful when it happens.
Generally the plaintiff (or the plaintiff's attorney, as here) can ask to have the case dismissed and pretty much get it automatically up until the point where the defendant files a response of any sort. This is one of those cases where the judge really should exercise their discretion and refuse to dismiss the case until the question of exactly who Hansmeier is representing before the court is settled. But it's up to the judge whether he does or not.
Wally, most often the phrase "get the dirt" on someone refers to digging up details that are not defamatory because they're things that are true and that the subject desperately doesn't want anyone else to know about. Those things may reflect poorly on the subject, they may cause people to conclude the subject isn't the squeaky-clean person he makes himself out to be, but that's not defamation. That's just people finding out who you really are and not liking it.
If you have physical documents, best bet is to store them off-site in a safe-deposit box or with a lawyer you trust. That puts an extra layer between the officials and the documents that'll slow them down and force them to create a paper trail. They'll still get them if they really want them, but they won't be able to do so on the QT.
Better idea is to convert all the documents to digital and invest in some hot-swap drive bays. Set the drives up with full-drive encryption where the passphrase has to be manually entered every time the drive's attached, and pull the drives out of the computer when not in use. They can still get the drives, but cracking the encryption's a technical challenge that you can control by what software and key strength you use and you can force the creation of a paper trail if they want to force you to divulge the passphrase. Again it won't stop them if they're determined, but it'll stop them from doing so surreptitiously.
And as noted above, prepare a cover. To quote from the advice for the Evil Overlord's accountant, have 3 sets of books: one squeaky-clean set to show to the auditors when they come calling, a second set (appropriately untidy, as if you'd been unprepared to have it found) that has some stuff that appears questionable at first glance but upon investigation is perfectly legal even if a bit sleazy to show the auditors in the event they find that the first set isn't true, and a third set showing the actual accounts that you can show the Overlord at need (said set being stored in a locked, armored filing cabinet packed with thermite wired to a self-destruct button should there be a pressing need to be really sure the auditors don't find them).
Not really. If I live in one state but work in another I have to declare all my income in my home state, whether I earned it there or not. My home state'll usually give me a tax credit for any taxes paid to other states, but if my home state's tax rates are higher than where I worked I'll still owe the difference. The tax rates in the other state may not be advantageous either. For instance if I earned $25K in each of 4 states then each of them will tax me at a low rate based on a $25K/year income, but my home state will be taxing me at the rate for a $100K/year income which'll be a lot higher.
Internet sales tax collection is being pushed by the brick-and-mortar merchants. If you want to kill it, turn it around and demand that all merchants collect sales tax under these rules. That is, if Target has stores in Illinois then when someone walks into a Target in California the store has to determine where that person lives and if they live in Illinois must collect the Illinois sales tax at the rate for that person's home address and remit it to Illinois. Force that and hoo boy will you hear the screaming from the people most in favor of this over how much it'll cost them to be able to figure out the correct tax rates.
That or add a requirement that if a state wants retailers to collect sales tax for it, it must provide a method for retailers to submit an address in that state and be told the correct sales tax rate. It must be provided at no direct cost to the retailer (the retailer may have to pay for a phone line or network connection, but any special hardware or such has to be provided by the state). The justification here would be that since it's the state demanding the retailers do this then the state's obligated to give them what's required to comply with the state's demands. And the service must be authoritative. If a retailer gets a rate from the service then the state can't claim the rate's incorrect. If some subdivision of the state claims sales tax they were owed wasn't collected, the retailer's immune to the claim and they'll have to take it up with the state. The justification here would be that if the state that's demanding the tax be collected doesn't know their own sales tax rate, nobody else can be expected to.
On appeal I suspect it will be pointed out that, unlike cases where the ECPA applies, in this case Google isn't a third party intercepting the e-mail but is acting at the request of, and under a contract with, the recipient to handle their e-mail. The parallel would be a secretary reading and sorting your mail, possibly handling some of it herself, collecting some of it and summarizing related items so you don't have to read all of them individually, and handing you the stuff you really need to handle with notes attached to help you. The secretary, like Google, isn't a third party, she's your agent, and the ECPA doesn't say you can't have an agent handle your e-mail for you.
Because she's a news anchor. Part of her job is supposed to be recognizing how her audience is likely to react to a story and it's presentation and making that presentation as attractive to viewers as possible. And she went with this, something that even a few moments' thought should've told her would upset a lot of people. She not only biffed it, she biffed a basic part of her job.