North American Network Operators Group

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Re: On Internet and social responsibility

  • From: David Schwartz
  • Date: Mon Sep 17 17:06:03 2001

On Mon, 17 Sep 2001 15:20:23 -0400, David Charlap wrote:

>David Schwartz wrote:

>> Because if American companies want to spread the speech of foreign
>>terrorists, that's their right. The government of the United States  should
>>not be prosecuting them for the content of their speech.

>Without stating an opinon on whether or not it is right to shutdown these
>sites, let me point out two things that you seem to be forgetting:

>1: The courts have repeatedly held that incite to riot is not a form  of
>protected speech.  A logical inference here is that incite to war is not
>protected either.

	If the speech creates an immediate threat of inciting lawless action, the 
originator of the speech can be held responsible. Under current U.S. law as I 
understand it, the provider is immunized against liability for this. (There 
is currently a defect in U.S. law here.)

>2: The US Constitution does not guarantee the rights of non-citizens
>residing in foreign nations.  Even if they buy a web page from a    US
>hosting service.

	This argument doesn't wash. The originator of the content is irrelevant. 
What is relevant is that  United States company wishes to 'publish' the 
speech. This argument, if accepted, would mean that a United States publisher 
wouldn't be guaranteed the right to publish a book if the author was a 
foreigner. Heck, the bible wouldn't be protected speech by this argument!