Essay Explaining Why 47 USC 230 Should Immunize State Crimes

By Eric Goldman

You’ve probably already heard that at the Summer 2013 NAAG meeting in Boston, some State Attorneys General indicated they will ask Congress to exclude state criminal prosecutions from the 47 USC 230 immunity. Although many folks believe that Congress won’t implement the AGs’ request, I still view this as one of the most serious threats to Section 230’s integrity that we’ve ever faced. I’ve written two Forbes Tertium Quid posts explaining the issue:

* The State Attorneys General Want To Eviscerate A Key Internet Immunity

* Why The State Attorneys General’s Assault On Internet Immunity Is A Terrible Idea

Normally I would repost the Tertium Quid posts here, but it would make for quite a long post. Instead, I’ve stitched the two posts into a single combined essay and added extra citations as footnotes. That PDF is available at SSRN as “Excluding State Crimes from the 47 U.S.C. §230 Immunity Would Be a Disaster.” I think reading the PDF is easiest; but if you prefer reading them in a web browser, check out the posts at Forbes.

If you work for a company that would be affected by the proposed amendment and you have a friendly line of communication with your state AG, I encourage you to let them know where you stand on this proposed amendment.