UK ISPs Get Tiny Safe Harbor For Hate Speech... Why Not Full Safe Harbors?

from the step-it-up dept

We've spent plenty of time discussing the importance of Section 230 in properly applying liability, and avoiding situations where angry individuals or organizations sue a third party service provider because they have deeper pockets and are easier to sue. However, most countries don't have similar safe harbors (or, if they do, they tend to be much more limited). This is really unfortunate and can lead to significant chilling effects. Over in the UK, it looks like they've just updated e-commerce regulations to carve out a safe harbor for ISPs... but only related to hate speech. But it makes me wonder why carve out a special exemption for hate speech, and why not set up full safe harbors that say a service provider should not be blamed for the actions of a user?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    im a sue you, Jan 18th, 2010 @ 8:32pm

    look out road builders

    you aid and abet all kinds a crime

    drunk driving
    drug smuggling
    child porn and kidnappings


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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 18th, 2010 @ 8:38pm

    Re: look out road builders

    Aha, but copyright infringement is terrorism, don't forget!

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

  3. identicon
    im a sue you, Jan 18th, 2010 @ 8:43pm

    look out road builders (part 2)

    oh we cna gt them easy neough cause without roads they cant go get hard drives or technology at all

    HAHA yes sue road builders now they support terrorism

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

  4. icon
    ethorad (profile), Jan 19th, 2010 @ 4:41am

    Re: Re: look out road builders

    "Aha, but copyright theft is terrorism, don't forget!"

    Fixed that for you :)

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

  5. identicon
    Dave, Jan 19th, 2010 @ 6:29am

    They most probably haven't gone all the way with this because our government currently wants ISPs to punish users (or at least send them a letter) for piracy etc. If ISPs cannot be held accountable under law for users actions then they have no obligation to do anything.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2010 @ 11:57am

    So it's fine to have your users spew racial slurs, but if they mention factual government corruption, the ISP is still liable for libel?

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

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