Sunday, September 23, 2007

YLJ "Pocket Part" Symposium on Internet Harassment

Anonymous threats of sexual violence and defamatory statements about female law students on the web site known as "Autoadmit"--about which we have written before--prompted a short symposium in the Yale Law Journal Pocket Part on legal responses to Internet harassment.  Bradley Areheart, an attorney with Jenner & Block, makes the most sensible proposal:

Given its immediacy, anonymity, and accessibility, the Internet offers an unprecedented forum for defamation and harassment. The salient problem with such “cyberbullying” is that victims are typically left without adequate recourse. The government should provide recourse by curtailing the near absolute immunity Internet Service Providers (ISPs) currently enjoy under the Communications Decency Act (CDA) and implementing a notice and take-down scheme—similar to that for copyright infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)—for certain torts.

Meanwhile, an amended complaint in the lawsuit against Anthony Ciolli and other Autoadmit posters is due in a few weeks, at which point we may start learning the identities of some of the infantile morons and misogynistic freaks responsible for the defamation and harassment of the plaintiffs.

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