Petition Closed
Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives

The United States Congress: Change section 230(C) of the Communications Decency Act

268
Supporters

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is effectively US Government State-Sponsored Cyber Terrorism.

§ 230C of the Communications Decency Act is a copybook example of how the government can really mess things up. There have been countless cases where victims' reputations are destroyed by malicious and fallacious postings through websites such as RipOffReport.com without any verification of the allegations raised therein. The immunity given to the likes of RipOffReport.com, thedirty.com and Google allows the administrators to ignore the anguish of innocent people struggling with battered reputations via internet libel and harassment, the immunity conveyed by the law allows them to ignore the social responsibility implied by the wording of the law under the heading "Protection for 'Good Samaritan' blocking and screening of offensive material".

The law needs to be changed in a way that ISPs' immunity is conditional upon their adherence to the spirit of the "Good Samaritan" intention of the original lawmakers. This is a slippery slope, but we need to find a balance that avoids chilling legitimate free speech while protecting collateral damage from malicious abuse through bullying and defamation.

The following video explains in more detail: 

Video: "Section 230 Communications Decency Act. Why it needs to be changed"

You can obtain the address and contact details on your representative on the following webpage . Keep in mind that after  January 3rd, 2013, many of these will change as newly elected officials take office:

http://www.house.gov/representatives/

Letter to
U.S. House of Representatives
Contact details: http://www.house.gov/representatives/

Re: Modification of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is effectively US Government State-Sponsored Cyber Terrorism for a new subculture of victims of cyber harassment and defamation who are being socially, vocationally and financially paralyzed without any access to relief from their attackers.

There have been countless cases where victims' reputations are destroyed by malicious and fallacious postings through websites such as RipOffReport.com without any verification of the allegations raised therein due to the immunity given by the law to Information Service Providers ("ISPs").

The immunity given to this and thousands of other websites allows the administrators to ignore the anguish of innocent people struggling with battered reputations via internet libel and harassment, all the while ignoring the social responsibility that the lawmakers assumed they would honor when drafting the law under the heading "Protection for 'Good Samaritan' blocking and screening of offensive material"

This problem is evidenced succinctly by a recent finding by Third District Court of Appeal, State of Florida, in an Opinion filed December 28, 2011. [Giordano et al vs. Xcentric Ventures, LLC et al No. 3D11-707 Lower Tribunal No. 09-68539]. Therein the frustrated Judge describes the website as "appalling" and yet concedes that the court is powerless to grant relief to the victims citing § 230(C) of the CDA:

“The business practices of Xcentric [RipOffReport.com Owner], as presented by the evidence before this Court, are appalling. Xcentric appears to pride itself on having created a forum for defamation. No checks are in place to ensure that only reliable information is publicized. Xcentric retains no general counsel to determine whether its users are availing themselves of its services for the purpose of tortious or illegal conduct. Even when, as here, a user regrets what she has posted and takes every effort to retract it, Xcentric refuses to allow it. Moreover, Xcentric insists in its brief that its policy is never to remove a post. It will not entertain any scenario in which, despite the clear damage that a defamatory or illegal post would continue to cause so long as it remains on the website, Xcentric would remove an offending post.

However much as this Court may disapprove of business practices like those embraced by Xcentric, the law on this issue is clear. Xcentric enjoys complete immunity from any action brought against it as a result of the postings of third party users of its website."

The following video explains in more detail:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hjdopsyXOY

The law needs to be changed in a way that ISPs' immunity is conditional upon their adherence to the spirit of the "Good Samaritan" intention of the original lawmakers. This is a slippery slope, but we need to find a balance that avoids chilling legitimate free speech while protecting collateral damage from malicious abuse through bullying and defamation.

I demand that you confer with your colleagues and initiate immediate reform of this flawed law. "Justice delayed is justice denied".