America OnLine (AOL) is not liable for customers who use the service to post pornography on the Internet, a US judge ruled last week.
Judge James Carlisle said it was up to parents to monitor their PCs and the content their children see on them via the Internet. The suit, filed in January on behalf of a 14-year-old boy who was sexually assaulted by Richard Lee Russell in 1994, alleged that the two had met by exchanging messages in an AOL chat room.
Russell pleaded guilty to the charges and was sent to prison. Russell also admitted he used the chat rooms to talk to other paedophiles around the US.
The judge cited the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which actually worked in favour of AOL.
One section says a service provider cannot be sued for the statements of others.
The boy's lawyer confirmed he would be appealing against the decision.
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