'Internet' or 'internet'? The Supreme Court Weighs in

Image: Shutterstock Remix by Jason Koebler Justices Kennedy and Alito are engaged in a low-key capitalization battle that may change the future of digital law. In its Monday decision on the First Amendment and social media, the Supreme Court entered into one of the most divisive debates today: whether the word "Internet" is capitalized. And remarkably, the justices’ choice of capitalization appears meaningful, in ways that that could shape future technology law. The decision in Packingham v. North Carolina struck down a North Carolina law prohibiting registered sex offenders from accessing social media services on First Amendment grounds. Although all eight justices (Gorsuch did not participate) agreed that the law was impermissible, they divided sharply on the reasoning—and on capitalization style. Justice Kennedy, writing for a five-justice majority, reasoned that the "vast democratic forums of the Internet" are "the most important places…for the exchange of views" today. Thus, he said, even barring registered sex offenders from just traditional social networking services "like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter" was unconstitutional when such services are now "integral to the fabric of our modern society and culture." In contrast, Justice Alito, writing for himself, Chief Justice Roberts, and Justice Thomas, found "the internet […]

© 2017, Moderator. All rights reserved.