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Re: Common Carrier Question
On Thu, 13 Apr 2006, Patrick W. Gilmore wrote: > One lost and one won. The reason was that Prodigy monitored its > content for things like foul language, Compuserve did not. As a > result, most ISPs after that would very, very intentionally not look > at what their customers were doing so they could not be accused of > monitoring or filtering or whatever. As always you should consult competent advisors licensed to give legal advice in your jurisdicition. Someone writing a research paper on the topic should review the Cybertelecom web site. Robert Cannon has done a very nice job explaining the difference types of common carriage and common carriers, with citations and references. http://www.cybertelecom.org/notes/common_carrier.htm In the USA, Congress essentially pre-empted Stratton Oakmont v. Prodigy when it passed the good samaritan provisions in the Communications Decency Act (47 USC 230). http://www.cybertelecom.org/cda/samaritan.htm Not only did ISPs receive broad immunity for carrying third party content, they also received broad immunity for actions voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict objectionable, etc content. This may include not just things such as ISP supplied parental control software, but may also include when an ISP takes a good faith action to stop a DDOS attack and drops some "good traffic" too. "Good faith" is not carte blanche to do anything. Nor will it stop someone filing a lawsuit, which can get very expensive even if you ultimately win.