47 U.S.C. § 230

47 U.S.C. § 230

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Section 230. Protection for private blocking and screening of offensive material

(a) Findings The Congress finds the following:

    (1) The rapidly developing array of Internet and other interactive computer services available to individual Americans represent an extraordinary advance in the availability of educational and informational resources to our citizens.

    (2) These services offer users a great degree of control over the information that they receive, as well as the potential for even greater control in the future as technology develops.

    (3) The Internet and other interactive computer services offer a forum for a true diversity of political discourse, unique opportunities for cultural development, and myriad avenues for intellectual activity.

    (4) The Internet and other interactive computer services have flourished, to the benefit of all Americans, with a minimum of government regulation.

    (5) Increasingly Americans are relying on interactive media for a variety of political, educational, cultural, and entertainment services.

(b) Policy – It is the policy of the United States –

    (1) to promote the continued development of the Internet and other interactive computer services and other interactive media;

    (2) to preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet and other interactive computer
    services, unfettered by Federal or State regulation;

    (3) to encourage the development of technologies which maximize user control over what information is received by individuals, families, and schools who use the Internet and other interactive computer services;

    (4) to remove disincentives for the development and utilization of blocking and filtering technologies that empower parents to restrict their children’s access to objectionable or inappropriate online material; and

    (5) to ensure vigorous enforcement of Federal criminal laws to deter and punish trafficking in obscenity, stalking, and harassment by means of computer.

(c) Protection for “Good Samaritan” blocking and screening of
offensive material

    (1) Treatment of publisher or speaker
    No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be
    treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided
    by another information content provider.
    (2) Civil liability
    No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be
    held liable on account of –
    (A) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict
    access to or availability of material that the provider or user
    considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively
    violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not
    such material is constitutionally protected; or
    (B) any action taken to enable or make available to
    information content providers or others the technical means to
    restrict access to material described in paragraph (1).(!1)

(d) Obligations of interactive computer service
A provider of interactive computer service shall, at the time of
entering an agreement with a customer for the provision of
interactive computer service and in a manner deemed appropriate by
the provider, notify such customer that parental control
protections (such as computer hardware, software, or filtering
services) are commercially available that may assist the customer
in limiting access to material that is harmful to minors. Such
notice shall identify, or provide the customer with access to
information identifying, current providers of such protections.

(e) Effect on other laws

    (1) No effect on criminal law
    Nothing in this section shall be construed to impair the
    enforcement of section 223 or 231 of this title, chapter 71
    (relating to obscenity) or 110 (relating to sexual exploitation
    of children) of title 18, or any other Federal criminal statute.
    (2) No effect on intellectual property law
    Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit or expand
    any law pertaining to intellectual property.
    (3) State law
    Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent any State
    from enforcing any State law that is consistent with this
    section. No cause of action may be brought and no liability may
    be imposed under any State or local law that is inconsistent with
    this section.
    (4) No effect on communications privacy law
    Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the
    application of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986
    or any of the amendments made by such Act, or any similar State
    law.

(f) Definitions

    As used in this section:
    (1) Internet
    The term “Internet” means the international computer network of
    both Federal and non-Federal interoperable packet switched data
    networks.
    (2) Interactive computer service
    The term “interactive computer service” means any information
    service, system, or access software provider that provides or
    enables computer access by multiple users to a computer server,
    including specifically a service or system that provides access
    to the Internet and such systems operated or services offered by
    libraries or educational institutions.
    (3) Information content provider
    The term “information content provider” means any person or
    entity that is responsible, in whole or in part, for the creation
    or development of information provided through the Internet or
    any other interactive computer service.
    (4) Access software provider
    The term “access software provider” means a provider of
    software (including client or server software), or enabling tools
    that do any one or more of the following:

    (A) filter, screen, allow, or disallow content;
    (B) pick, choose, analyze, or digest content; or
    (C) transmit, receive, display, forward, cache, search,
    subset, organize, reorganize, or translate content.

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