In the last year, the internet has become a battleground for tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, which have been fighting for control over the way people access content.
A number of those companies have been accused of hacking into accounts and leaking data to the press.
However, as The Guardian reported, a few months ago, a US judge ruled that there was no evidence to support the claims that the companies had been hacked, and ordered that they not be prosecuted for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Now, however, a California judge has ruled that this has not stopped the companies from being prosecuted under the federal law.
According to a press release, the California court decision came from a jury verdict, and was based on the same evidence as the jury verdict that led to a ruling against Google in the case of The Guardian.
“As a result of the verdict today, the federal government is not required to enforce Section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act (CDAA) against companies that violate the federal civil rights law,” Judge Jeffrey N. Harnik wrote.
“Instead, Congress has the power to require compliance with the CDAA in order to protect the Internet and its users from threats posed by online threats, and it has the authority to provide remedies in order for those threats to be deterred and mitigated.”
That’s important news for users who use the internet for content, and could make it more difficult for tech companies to continue trying to get around laws that protect their users.
Harkening back to the past, Judge Harni said that the law has been around for more than 100 years, and that the only reason for a law to be on the books at all is to prevent “cyberbullying” by threatening to punish the company that breaks it.
The ruling came after the judge ruled last year that the FBI should not be allowed to investigate Google, and therefore should not have the authority of investigating companies like Amazon.
It was then revealed that the investigation into Amazon’s illegal search engine business was conducted by the FBI, after an investigation into Google was shut down.
Google has appealed this ruling, and is now appealing the decision to the Supreme Court.
“The law is clear that the government does not have authority to investigate the content of the internet, even if it happens to be a private entity like Google,” said EFF Staff Attorney Ryan Calo.
“And that’s exactly what happened here.
In this case, the FBI did not get the authority it needed to investigate Amazon, because Congress never intended that it would.”
The Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department have also taken up the case.
EFF has filed an amicus brief in the appeal, and will be filing an amici brief with the Supreme Courts in the next few days.
EFF Staff attorney Ryan Calof has said that it’s not clear whether the court will issue a stay, and if so, it will likely take a while to issue.
“This is a major victory for consumers who rely on the internet as a critical tool for free speech and information exchange,” Calof said.
“It’s a huge victory for free expression online, and for our economy and innovation.
It also sends a powerful message to companies that want to use their power to censor information that’s critical of their business practices that they have to comply with the law.”
If you’re looking for more on the issue of free speech online, check out our post on the topic from last year.