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Another Side of Section 230

Yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an excellent decision in a focused-but-important appeal dealing with “Section 230,” which provides vital protections to service providers who facilitate online speech and users’ ability to control their Internet experiences. The case involved a less familiar aspect of Section 230, which is commonly applied in free speech rulings that…

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Court Decision Protects Free Speech Online

At the urging of CDT, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an "amended" decision in the Barnes v. Yahoo! Case, correcting two serious errors that had been included in the court’s initial decision. In May, CDT and others had filed a "friend of the court" brief urging the court to delete language that limited service…

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Gotta Know When to Fold ‘Em

In a win for free speech and openness online, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety has come to its senses and dropped its campaign to force ISPs in the state to block access to overseas gambling sites. The letter rescinding the earlier demand cited a lawsuit challenging the demand’s legality, filed by the Interactive…

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S.G. to Supreme Court: Don’t Revisit “Remote Storage DVR” Case

The Solicitor General filed a brief with the Supreme Court on Friday that is good news for anyone who likes the idea of being able to record digital television without having to acquire and install a digital video recorder (DVR) box in the home. More importantly, the brief significantly reduces the chances of a decision that could…

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Library Filtering Rears its Head… And it’s Ugly Again

CDT and the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a "friend of the court" brief late last week in a case in Washington State challenging a refusal by a local library system to "unblock" or remove content filtering software that blocks library users' access to lawful Internet websites. We argued that the refusal to unblock violates the First Amendment, as…

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Odds are Stacked Against Minnesota’s Bet on Web Blocking

Recently, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety sent a seven-page list of off-shore gambling websites to 11 ISPs demanding that all access to those sites by state residents be blocked. This misguided action by the MDPS to scrub the Internet of websites it objects to is purportedly based on Federal law. The law cited in the letters,…

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Pushed Into a Corner, Craigslist Bites Back

South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster learned an important lesson today: You don’t push Craigslist into a corner and then poke it with a sharp stick because Craigslist will bite back. Tired of being harassed, browbeat and legally threatened, Craigslist today sued McMaster asking a federal court seeking declaratory relief and a restraining order with…

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Judge Weighing Dismissal in Cyberbullying Case

Perhaps federal prosecutors in Los Angeles are starting to get the message that not every bad act should be a federal crime. At what was meant to be a sentencing hearing, a federal judge indicated yesterday that he needs more time to weigh dismissing the indictment against Lori Drew, the St. Louis woman convicted under…

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The DMCA and Carterphone’s B-Side

The Copyright Office recently held its triennial hearings on exemptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s prohibition on circumventing technical protection measures for copyrighted works. The Office is charged under the DMCA with issuing exemptions for specific classes of works where non-infringing uses will be adversely affected by the prohibition. For most of the classes…

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Craigslist Fights Back!

So, South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster, who had threatened to bring criminal charges against Craigslist by last Friday if the company failed to comply with his request to eliminate content he deemed objectionable to the fair citizens of his state, has apparently blinked. Meanwhile, Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster has fired back…

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