Tuesday, September 4, 2007

sex+tech+law

"Her Profile Said She Was 18" = = Jail Cell
(via Slog)

Be careful when hooking up with other "adults" online—even if they say they're 18, you'll be the one in hot water if they turn out to be 14 instead. That's the opinion of a federal judge in Ohio, who dismissed a suit last week against SexSearch.com, a web site that hosts personals ads by people who are looking for sex. The plaintiff, who went by John Doe due to the very personal nature of the suit, accused the site and its owners of negligent misrepresentation, fraud, and breach of warranty, but Judge Jack Zouhary ruled that the site and its alleged transgressions were protected under the 1996 Communications Decency Act.

Case law is pretty clear on the matter. You can’t expect websites to fact-check information other users choose to share. A few years back, when that guy sold the Virgin Mary that appeared in a grilled cheese sandwich, no one expected eBay to hire the Pope to run the official holy foods authenticity test.

Of course, the burden of age-verification was entirely on the man when he decided to take his relationship off-line. On the other hand, what if the young woman had presented the man with a forged birth certificate in addition to her deceptive online profile? There seems to be willful misrepresentation involved too.

Regardless, the website should be entirely off the hook.


Men, when in doubt:

IF [age verification] is 404
THEN !upload ‘tapping that’ sub-routine
initiate cold shower ELSE pointer [jail]

3 comments:

Nick said...

What was he originally charged with?
If he got in trouble for just 'talking' with her online, then the website is liable.
It could have been like the to catch a predator people...unless his penis met her vagina, i don't think a crime was committed.

on another note...what exactly did the idaho senator do that was illegal...and why? so he was looking for sex in a public place...that describes a crime that every single man has committed. who hasn't gone to a bar hoping to hook up?

i don't really understand the nature of the sting operation that the idaho police put on...just asking for sex in a public place really isn't a crime...if he brings his weiner out in the bathroom, well that is a crime every man has committed. the way i see it, the only way the cops could catch him in the act is if one were to take one for the team. i think the village people cop would be up for the challenge.

Paul said...

In the website lawsuit story, I think penis did actually meet vagina. So it’s hard to argue the website tricked him into it. So to speak.

Regarding Sen. Craig, I think his crime was intent to commit lewd conduct or some small misdemeanor like that. Apparently there were indecency complaints about that men’s room and the cops investigated, i.e. not men meeting men to hookup later back home, but men meeting men to hookup right there in the stall.

Good point about committing a crime vs. intending to commit a crime. I think it sounds like entrapment. Unless the vice cop was on the senator’s staff, how could he know?

Nick said...

wow, new meaning to being on the senator's staff.

but even if he was looking to hook up, unless he actually did it in the bathroom...or said, hey, want to be on my staff in this stall, i think the crime is a stretch.