ISP Liability for COntent - Demon.uk Case
I'd think that an ISP is a common carrier, or as close to a common carrier as is possible. While a telephone call doesn't stay in the system as long as a usenet post, I don't think that speed is the defining factor. After all, what about snailmail?
What's more, if Demon takes the responsibility of starting to censor, it's forced to continue to censor at every opportunity; they give up the defense of being a common carrier. Can you imagine facing obscenity charges for every post to alt.sex.stories? No doubt they're itching to be laid. Demon has no choice but to act as if were a common carrier or be once and totally screwed.