Past case law shows you can’t sue companies that provide basic Web services, even if the clients are running some illegal activities.

A legal effort by several Texas women to attack a “revenge porn” site that posted nude photos of them can go forward against the site’s creators. However, the women won’t be allowed to sue Go Daddy, which provided hosting services for the now-defunct Texxxan.com website.
The lawyer representing the women, John Morgan, filed a proposed class action lawsuit against both the then-anonymous creators of the site and Go Daddy in January 2013. The Texas state court judge overseeing the case wouldn’t let Go Daddy out of the lawsuit, but he’s now been overruled by a three-judge appeals panel based in Beaumont, Texas.
In an opinion published Thursday, the court found that Go Daddy is clearly protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), which immunizes “interactive computer services” against most types of lawsuits over content that they didn’t create. The plaintiffs argued that CDA 230 shouldn’t apply, since the site itself was breaking the law, and the “speech” on the website isn’t protected by the First Amendment.
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