The federal Communications Decency Act protects Web sites against liability for what their users post on the sites. A letter from 17 state attorneys general dated Aug. Analysts said that if the block was a temporary statement of protest, it could backfire because of the avalanche of news coverage that the site had received for taking down the .
Zollman, founding principal of the Advanced Interactive Media Group, a consulting firm that follows Craigslist closely. Attorneys general in several states said they had so far been unable to get any information from Craigslist.
Even though courts have said that Craigslist is protected under federal law, Mr. Blumenthal said part of his mission was to rally public support to change federal law. For a site that prides itself on being a neighborly town square, Craigslist has been increasingly pugnacious in response to its critics.
Last month, Amber Lyon of CNN reported about sex on Craigslist and questioned Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist and who is no longer a manager at the company, outside a conference where he spoke about a different topic. In a blog post addressed to Ms. Lyon, Mr. They work for tabloid media.
Though sex on Craigslist are the most salacious example of the debate over free speech on the Internet, it is a battle being waged across the Web. Yelp, the review site for local businesses, has been repeatedly sued by small businesses for what its users write. Some Internet law experts say the issue strikes at the heart of free speech.
Russell, a law professor at Santa Clara University in California. The erotic services are still accessible on Craigslist sites outside the United States, and the personals section of the site is still active.
Doubts about whether the block on the sex section is permanent are fueled by the prospect of Craigslist losing a ificant amount of money. Still, it is difficult to predict the motives of the company, which employs about 30 people and operates in a quirky, opaque and at times petulant manner.