Sunday, May 13, 2007

Reading Around: Chilling Effects Clearinghouse

I discovered the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse this past Saturday. I get asked some simple questions about the Internet (such as will someone get in trouble for posting something stupid to a web page.), but I think this site has the credentials to be a starting point for researching Internet issues. The site describes its credentials and its purpose in the first two paragraphs on the site:

A joint project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, University of San Francisco, University of Maine, George Washington School of Law, and Santa Clara University School of Law clinics.

Do you know your online rights? Have you received a letter asking you to remove information from a Web site or to stop engaging in an activity? Are you concerned about liability for information that someone else posted to your online forum? If so, this site is for you.
If the traffic to this blog is any indication, Indiana has not the interest in the Internet found in other states. None of my business clients leap for the chance of a web presence. I do not think that will last for many more years. Facebook and Myspace will change that. I know one client's daughter received abuse via Myspace and we were able to deal well before litigation but we got lucky that the abuse approached the criminal. More troublesome will be the non-criminal attacks on businesses or businesses attacking non-criminal criticism that will appear in blogs and online forums. I suggest reading Defamation Lawsuits at Blue MauMau for background to this kind of problem. Then read Chilling Effects Clearinghouse to keep up on what is happening elsewhere.