In an earlier post about the Clean Internet Act, I connected legal constraints on Internet Service Providers with the Wayne Crookes lawsuit against websites with defamatory user-generated content. Both would impose legal duties on intermediaries to police the data going through their tubes. As you might guess, this creates a problem for large websites which have gained popularity by publishing third-party content – Flickr, Youtube, Google, Technorati, Wikipedia, Facebook, blog hosts and bloggers are all threatened by this legal development.
If successful, the suits would effectively require websites – including anyone who permits comments on a blog or includes links to other sites – to proactively monitor and remove content that may raise liability concerns.
For a more academic treatment of these issues, see Elizabeth F. Judge’s paper Cybertorts in Canada: Trends and Themes in Cyber-Libel and Other Online Torts.