Order To Shut Down Websites Critical Of Apex Technology Group Is Dangerous And Wronghttp://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/01/order-shut-down-websites-critical-apex-technology-
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This order dangerously overreaches. By restricting access to entire websites, it places a prior restraint on all of the speech on the websites, even if that speech is unrelated to Apex or Mr. Dharayan. Imagine if a court could order Amazon.com or Yelp.com shut down because of a disparaging review of a single product.
Prior restraints are improper in cases such as this due to the obvious First Amendment problems they pose. Courts limit such injunction to the rare circumstances when (1) the activity to be restrained poses either a clear and present danger or a serious and imminent threat to a protected competing interest, (2) the order is narrowly drawn and (3) less restrictive alternatives are not available. Instead, damages are the preferred sanction for defamatory speech. Here, Apex says it is not even seeking damages. And even if Apex had a valid defamation claim, the wholesale shutdown of a website is not a narrow remedy for a few allegedly defamatory postings.