Craigslist has announced that they are suing South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster “seeking declaratory relief and a restraining order with respect to criminal charges he has repeatedly threatened against craigslist and its executives.” It’s on, people.
Craigslist says that McMaster’s threats to launch criminal investigations if the company refused to remove portions of the website that could be used to solicit prostitution and disseminate pornographic material are unconstitutional.
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 functions.
CL Sues SC AG For Declaratory Relief [Craigslist Blog]