Andrew Cuomo’s Blueprint For How Gov’t Can Get ISPs To Censor Content: “It looks like NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has put forth a nice blueprint for how politicians can ‘censor’ online content without technically breaking a law themselves: just threaten to publicly humiliate ISPs who won’t censor for you. The process was quite straightforward actually. Cuomo basically threatened that he would sue these ISPs for not agreeing to his own vendetta against ‘objectionable content’ where a third party — with no oversight — gets to determine what’s objectionable. Even though there is no legal reason why these ISPs need to block such content, Cuomo made it clear that the publicity around such a lawsuit, implying that the ISPs weren’t against such objectionable content, would be a public relations nightmare.
So, one by one ISPs have been caving. Broadband Reports notes that at least two more ISPs have agreed to sign Cuomo’s ‘rules’ even if they’re not even sure how they’ll follow through on them. Of course, as we’ve pointed out, this is all about politics anyway, as following the ‘rules’ will do absolutely nothing to stop the production or consumption of objectionable content.
Either way, now other politicians have the blueprint for censorship: simply threaten the ISPs that you’ll sue them and publicly claim that they’re unwilling to be ‘family friendly’ or ‘protect the children’ or any other buzzword.