April 6, 2003 · Lessig
So this story continues to amaze me. Pennsylvania has a law that gives the Pennsylvania Attorney General the power to order an ISP serving Pennsylvania citizens (read: any ISP anywhere) to block a site which the Pennsylvania Attorney General says serves child porn. There is no judicial review of the order, and as no ISP is likely to resist the order, the law results in unreviewed censorship of internet content. According to this report, the AG is now refusing to even reveal the list of sites his secret orders have blocked.
There are hard cases in the law of cyberspace, no doubt. But this should be a slamdunk easy case — if anyone would have the courage to challenge it. CDT is exploring a challenge. Good for them. If the First Amendment means anything, it must mean that the government can’t order the censoring of a publication without any judicial review at all. You might want to tell the Pennsylvania AG what you think. Here’s a form.