(as usual, Jim speaks well for craigslist, here're a few excerpts)
craigslist has filed suit against SC AG Henry McMaster in federal court in South Carolina, seeking declaratory relief and a restraining order with respect to criminal charges he has repeatedly threatened against craigslist and its executives.
In addition to being unwarranted by the facts, legal experts agree that the charges threatened represent an unconstitutional prior restraint on free speech, and are clearly barred by federal law (sec 230 CDA).
Interestingly, if you read Mr McMaster's ultimatum carefully, you'll
note that the only way to definitively comply with it is to take down
the craigslist sites for South Carolina in their entirety. The open
architecture of craigslist, quintessential to the value it provides for
users, simply does not allow for the absolute prevention of
solicitation or pornography, with respect to any of its categories and
Usage of craigslist in South Carolina has exploded over the last two years, with some cities experiencing 2000% growth.
Mr McMaster has persisted with his threats despite the fact that craigslist:
- is operating in full compliance with all applicable laws
- has earned a reputation for being unusually responsive to requests from law enforcement
- has eliminated its "erotic services" category for all US cities
- has adopted screening measures far stricter than those Mr McMaster himself personally endorsed with his signature just 6 months ago
- has far fewer and far tamer adult service ads than many mainstream print and online venues operating in South Carolina
- has made its representatives available to hear Mr McMaster's concerns in person
- has politely asked Mr McMaster to retract and apologize for his unreasonable threats