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posted by martyb on Wednesday September 07 2016, @04:13PM   Printer-friendly
from the back-and-forth dept.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday temporarily blocked a congressional subpoena that seeks information on how the classified advertising website screens ads for possible sex trafficking.

The order came hours after Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer asked the high court to intervene, saying the case threatens the First Amendment rights of online publishers.

A federal appeals court ruled 2-1 on Friday that the website must respond to the subpoena within 10 days. Roberts said Backpage does not have to comply with the appeals court order until further action from the Supreme Court.

[...] The Senate panel has tried for nearly a year to force Backpage to produce certain documents as part of its investigation into human trafficking over the Internet.

After the website refused to comply, the Senate voted 96-0 in March to hold the website in contempt.

[...] While Backpage has produced over 16,000 pages of documents responding to the subpoena, Ferrer said documents relating to the website's system for reviewing ads are part of the editorial process protected under the First Amendment.

"This case presents a question of exceptional nationwide importance involving the protection the First Amendment provides to online publishers of third-party content when they engage in core editorial functions," Ferrer said in a brief filed to Roberts.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by takyon on Wednesday September 07 2016, @04:46PM

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {}> on Wednesday September 07 2016, @04:46PM (#398775) Journal

    People are getting tired of hearing about Sex Trafficking. Make sure to refer to it as Child Sex Trafficking.

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bob_super on Wednesday September 07 2016, @04:48PM

    by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday September 07 2016, @04:48PM (#398776)

    Doesn't involve enough agencies yet, try: Web-based International Child Sex Trafficking (by drug cartels)

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday September 07 2016, @08:17PM

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 07 2016, @08:17PM (#398853) Journal

      Don't forget ISIS.

      When trying to solve a problem don't ask who suffers from the problem, ask who profits from the problem.
      • (Score: 2) by TheGratefulNet on Wednesday September 07 2016, @08:19PM

        by TheGratefulNet (659) on Wednesday September 07 2016, @08:19PM (#398854)

        and OSPF and IGRP, as well. those are evil, too.

        "It is now safe to switch off your computer."