08 Dec 01
Internet message boards now count as public meeting places, according to an appeals court ruling in California. This seemingly innocuous decision means that companies will find it harder to sue people discussing their business on the Net.
Computer company ComputerXpress sued eight defendants for making what it says were false and disparaging statements on message boards. The ruling now allows people to use freedom of speech, which is protected under the First Amendment, as a defence.
From New Scientist magazine, vol 172 issue 2320, 08/12/2001, page 11