Maine Legislature Reconsiders Troubled Privacy Law
NetChoice testifies alongside broad coalition calling for total repeal
AUGUSTA, Maine, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NetChoice today joined the chorus of voices calling on the Maine legislature to repeal the Maine Predatory Marketing Law. A full repeal is the only way to protect against unintended consequences of the law that could chill free speech and deny young people access to critical information online.
In a dramatic move, House and Senate leaders requested the Maine Joint Standing Committee on the Judiciary to convene a special session to address concerns about the law. Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice, presented testimony at Thursday's hearing that outlined the detrimental effects the law will have for Internet users in Maine, including the withholding of educational and healthcare information from teenagers.
"If the Maine Predatory Marketing Law is allowed to stay on the books, a fear of unchecked litigation will harm the residents of Maine," said DelBianco. "Everyone, from the U.S. District Court to the State Attorney General, agrees that this law cannot stand as is."
In September, Maine Attorney General Janet Mills stated that she would not enforce the law due to its overbroad regulation of commercial speech and potential first amendment violations. On September 9, the U.S. District Court of Maine agreed that the law is overbroad and warned would-be litigants that their actions could suffer from "constitutional infirmaries."
NetChoice is joined by a broad array of groups, including the Maine Independent Colleges Association and Maine Press Association, in calling for a complete repeal of the existing.
"Senator Schneider is a true leader in her commitment to protecting minors online," said DelBianco. "We look forward to working with her to enact legislation in 2010 that will safeguard minor's privacy while also respecting first amendment rights."
The Maine Predatory Marketing Law is the number one offender on NetChoice's iAWFUL list. The list details state laws that represent the greatest threats to a free and efficient Internet. The full iAWFUL list, complete with bill descriptions, is available at http://www.iAWFUL.com. Twitter users can follow iAWFUL developments on the NetChoice feed (@NetChoice). Expanded information is also available on the NetChoice blog at http://blog.netchoice.org
NetChoice is an advocacy organization that fights threats to online commerce and promotes policies that protect Internet innovation and communication on a state, federal and international basis. The Washington, DC-based group protects Internet commerce-driven competition and battles rules that hinder consumer choice and hurt small businesses. NetChoice is backed by Internet leaders, including Yahoo!, eBay, MySpace, BuySAFE, AOL, Overstock.com, VeriSign and top trade associations. For more information, see www.netchoice.org.