Monday, January 7, 2013

Fed Judge Grants Injunction Against Tenn. Sex Ads Law

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United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee Judge John T. Nixon last week granted an injunction sought by classified ads Web site against a Tennessee statute aimed at online sex ads, The Tennessean's online edition ( reported. last June sued Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper and the Volunteer State's 31 district attorneys, alleging the law violated its First Amendment rights and ran afoul of the
Communications Decency Act of 1996 [47 U.S.C. sec. 230(c)(1)], which states: "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." The Tennessee statute, which sought to curb sex trafficking of minors, imposes fines of at least $10,000 and subjects violators to a maximum 15 years in prison., which employs roughly 100 persons to track classified ad submissions, features an adult services section that boasts ads for strippers and escort services, among other adult-related ads. stopped running adult classifieds in 2010, which has boosted Backpage's revenues.

According to The Tennessean article, Judge Nixon said the offending statute violated the First Amendment and interstate commerce laws. secured an injunction last July against a similarly worded statute passed by the State of Washington.

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