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 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.
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Filed Under: andrew cuomo, false advertising, grandstanding, section 230

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  1. identicon
    The Westchester News, 10 Jun 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

    The Westchester News.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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