Ryan J.P. Dyer


Since its inception, the Internet has disseminated the most vital commodity known to man—information. But not all information is societally desirable. In fact, much of what the Internet serves to disseminate is demonstrably criminal. Nevertheless, in the effort to unbind the “vibrant and competitive free market” of ideas on the Internet, Congress enacted section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which essentially grants immunity to interactive computer service providers from liability for information provided by a third party. This Comment suggests that, in certain contexts, courts applying section 230 immunity should reexamine the preemptive effect Congress intended section 230 to have on traditional state police powers. This Comment also analyzes the several judicial and legislative solutions that could alleviate the strain that section 230 immunity puts on state and local efforts to deal with criminal activity perpetrated via the Internet.