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On March 17, 2008, a three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a Minnesota federal district judge’s ruling that a Minnesota law banning minors from renting or purchasing violent video games is unconstitutional.

Federal Court Decisions Add Uncertainty to Internet Law

Communications Decency Act and Fair Housing Rules Clash in 7th, 9th Circuits

Two spring 2008 cases asked federal courts to interpret a law designed to limit the liability for Internet service providers when their users engage in prohibited speech online in the context of federal fair housing standards. The key difference in the contrasting decisions appears to be the degree to which the different Web sites actively seek particular information from users.

Social Networking Web Site Sued over Sexual Assaults, Suicides

The 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 16, 2008 that a federal law shielded the Web site MySpace from liability for the sexual assault of a Texas girl who met the man who assaulted her via the popular social networking site.

YouTube Bans Videos that ‘Incite Violence’

Popular video sharing Web site YouTube adopted a policy banning videos “intended to incite violence or encourage dangerous, illegal activities” on Sept. 11, 2008, several months after Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) pressured the site and its owner, Google, to remove content he said was “designed to incite violence against America and Americans or that show graphic violence against American troops and others.”

A federal judge in Boston ruled Aug. 19, 2008 that three Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) students can publicly discuss the findings of a research project that explains how to manipulate the state’s electronic payment system for transit fares. The ruling lifted a temporary restraining order, granted ten days earlier, that prevented the students from presenting their project at the DEFCON 16 computer security and hacker conference in Las Vegas on August 10.

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