October 31, 2004

CDA Internet obscenity trial, expert declaration on-line

My expert declaration in the Nitke v. Ashcroft case is now on-line. This addresses how the Internet and issues of community standards conflict with anonymity and privacy, as well as other problems with determining the location of users who are reading material from websites.


It's a condensed version of my Nitke v. Ashcroft expert report.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in legal | on October 31, 2004 11:59 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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Nicely done. Have a happy halloween

Posted by: - at November 1, 2004 02:32 PM

A couple of questions re. this entire case/CDA.

1. It's clearly easy to force browser makers to support a v-chip like property in their browsers by some future date (say, 2007) and it's as easy to require web site creators to "rate" their pages using approprtiate tags. A community that seeks to impose a standard of "decency" can require ISPs to filter pages tagged "porn". Why would that not be an appropriate solution to the problem?

2. I am not familiar enough with the US justice system, but wouldn't it make more sense for someone who was actually indicted under CDA to pursue this, rather than an artist who the feds can reasonably claim they wouldn't dream of touching?

Posted by: Prenom Nom at November 5, 2004 11:02 AM

1. a) Search for "ICRA". b) What's "porn"? - really.

2. That's a different kind of case. It's often better to challnge the law before someone is charged, so as to avoid conflicts between duty to the person's interest, and what might make a good Constitutional case.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at November 8, 2004 09:16 AM

a) I know ICRA (and RSAC before it), but ICRA isn't law.

b) Under this scheme, it no longer matters what porn is, if someone wants to avoid legal issues, they just tag their pages, otherwise they can fight it out in court. I can also imagine very few communities where filtering will be imposed, so this becomes a purely personal matter, as it should be.

2. That makes sense.

Posted by: Prenom Nom at November 11, 2004 07:38 PM