Wednesday, November 19, 2014
ISP's and service providers use the "harmful to minors" terminology in terms of service provisions
I’ve noticed the occurrence of the phrase “harmful to minors” in some “terms of service” or “acceptable use policies” of various ISPs and service providers, who have recently been updating these legal agreements with users for legal reasons.
Generally, the user agrees not to post material “harmful to minors” or even allow it to be stored in the cloud.
Would the term be implemented as defined in COPA (which was itself finally overturned at trial in March 2007, as reported here)? Even though COPA was struck down, it would be perfectly legal for a private service provider to use the term as it sees fit.
Normally, that would refer to pornographic images or possibly writings.
Service providers do not screen for material pro-actively, but might act upon a complaint.
They generally also stipulate that they have “zero tolerance” for child pornography and will report it to NCMEC. As I’ve noted, technology that could scan cloud images for digital watermarks might come into use in the relatively near future.
Google also now warns users that c.p. is illegal (with what is technically an ad) when they use the search term, before display search results.