Feeds

US ISP pleads guilty to hosting child porn

Precedent-setting case

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The idea that Internet Service Providers are not responsible for the content they host has taken a further, and perhaps, fatal knock after a US case which sets an important legal precedent.

In a hearing before the New York State Supreme Court, BuffNet pleaded guilty to knowingly providing access to child pornography, a misdemeanour charge which carries a potential fine of $5,000.

An inquiry found that BuffNet had failed to do anything after being informed that one of the newsgroups it hosted, called "Pedo University", contained child porn.

Earlier in the case, BuffNet had argued that it was a communications service provider - no more responsible for offensive content it carries than a telco is for an abusive phone call.

Similar arguments were advanced by Demon Internet before it settled a libel case brought by Laurence Godfrey, about a number of postings to newsgroups that it hosted. In that case, Demon also failed to remove postings on a newsgroup, soc.culture.thai, when asked to do so. It paid £15,000 damages plus costs, which could be as much as £250,000.

The bottom line is that courts on both sides of the Atlantic will draw negative inferences if an ISP fails to remove offensive content when asked to do so.

The days of a laissez-faire approach to administering content on the Internet look set to become a thing of the past. ®

Related stories:
Demon coughs up damages in Godfrey libel case
Child porn ring smashed

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
UK.gov pushes for SWIFT ACTION against nuisance calls, threatens £500k fines
DCMS seeks lowering of legal threshold to fight rogue firms
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC
More protests planned against giga-tariff for Tuesday evening
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
How to simplify SSL certificate management
Simple steps to take control of SSL certificates across the enterprise, and recommendations centralizing certificate management throughout their lifecycle.