Manchin Section 230 bill inbound – POLITICO – Politico

Posted By on September 25, 2020

With help from Cristiano Lima and John Hendel

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Liability legislation incoming: A soon-to-be-released bill would compel internet companies to report major crimes online to federal authorities by hitting them where it hurts: their prized legal immunity.

Facebooks year-long dilemma: CEO Mark Zuckerberg said last year that his social network should not regulate political ads. This month, it started regulating some political ads. Heres why.

TikTok countdown: A federal court has given the Trump administration a choice: delay or defend its move to ban video-sharing platform TikTok from U.S. app stores. A decision is due today.

ITS FRIDAY. WELCOME TO MORNING TECH AND THE WEEKEND! Youve got co-hosts Alexandra Levine and Steven Overly today. Were bidding adieu to our Morning Cybersecurity colleague, Tim Starks, who signs off today after five years at the helm of that newsletter.

Got a news tip? Write to Alexandra at [emailprotected], or follow along @Ali_Lev and @alexandra.levine. An event for our calendar? Send details to [emailprotected]. Anything else? Full team info below. And don't forget: Add @MorningTech and @PoliticoPro on Twitter.

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5G will accelerate innovation and provide transformative use cases across multiple global sectors. It will also bring new security challenges with broader attack surfaces, more devices and increased traffic loads. We must have networks that are trustworthy, resilient, and secure by design all on day one. Learn more.

SCOOP: INCOMING MANCHIN BILL TARGETS CRIMES ONLINE, SECTION 230 Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is set to unveil a long-awaited bill as early as next week aimed at curtailing major crimes online such as the sale of illegal drugs by amending the internet industrys legal liability protections. The so-called See Something, Say Something Online Act, would require companies shielded under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to report to the Justice Department suspicious activity by users that could be linked to major crimes, or lose their immunity over third-party content, according to a new dispatch by Cristiano.

A bid for bipartisan Section 230 reform: Its the latest proposal in Washington to set its sights on the legal shield. As the Internet rapidly changed, we failed to keep up. Now we must amend Section 230 to reflect the way the Internet impacts our lives today both good and bad, Manchin told POLITICO. Thats why I am planning to introduce bipartisan legislation that would require companies to say something when they see something illegal online.

A concept years in the making: Manchin first raised the specter of tweaking Section 230 to hold social media platforms more accountable for the sale of opioid drugs online at a 2018 hearing. Manchin told MT last September he had a bill prepared and ready to go and would release it if he felt online platforms hadnt done enough to curtail drug sales. The proposal also raises the prospect that if companies fail to exercise due care in reporting criminal activity, Congress intends to look at removing liability protections under the Communications Decency Act of 1996 in its entirety.

HOW FACEBOOK SHIFTED ON POLITICAL ADS For nearly a year, Facebook stuck steadfastly to CEO Mark Zuckerbergs position that it should not police political ads. Then, that suddenly changed. This month has been an about-face: First, Facebook announced that it is banning new political ads in the week before Election Day to prevent last-minute attempts to deceive voters. Then this week the company took it further, saying it will reject ads that claim victory prematurely as worries rise that President Donald Trump might do just that, Nancy reports.

But the move wasnt as sudden as it seemed. Those involved in the discussions over political ads say Facebook officials spent nearly a year wavering between its founders declarations on free expression and a desire to avoid becoming a presidential-election villain yet again. Read more about how Facebook came to change its mind.

TIKTOKS LEGAL TICK TOCK The Trump administration must decide today whether to delay its order banning TikTok from U.S. app stores or defend the move before a federal judge this weekend. In a hearing Thursday, District Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, gave the government until 2:30 p.m. to choose. If the administration opts not to delay, Nichols said he plans to rule on TikToks request for a preliminary injunction before the app gets booted from U.S. app stores at 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

Postponing the ban would mark yet another blow to President Donald Trumps efforts to hobble Chinese tech companies. It also comes as a deal allowing TikTok to continue to operate in the U.S., which seemed settled over the weekend, remains up in the air.

MEET THE UNOFFICIAL REAL FACEBOOK OVERSIGHT BOARD A group of civil rights leaders, academics and big tech critics today are launching what theyre calling the Real Facebook Oversight Board an independent, unsanctioned alternative to the Facebook-approved organization, which will soon launch and be able to overturn the social networks content decisions. The group said in a statement that it plans to sound the warning about Facebooks role in the upcoming election and challenge Facebooks failure to launch its own Oversight Board. The announcement comes a day after Facebooks actual oversight board confirmed plans to launch ahead of Election Day.

Introducing the real board: The unofficial cast includes leaders of the #StopHateForProfit movement, which has organized boycotts of Facebook and its subsidiaries, among others, such as: the heads of the NAACP, Color of Change and the Anti-Defamation League, as well as Yael Eisenstat, former head of elections integrity ops for political advertising for Facebook; and Roger McNamee, an early Facebook investor-turned-prominent-critic.

Facebooks board wont provide sufficient oversight, they say. Facebooks Oversight Board is a distraction, not a real solution, McNamee said in a statement. No amount of spin can hide the damage Facebook does every day to public health and democracy through amplification of hate speech, disinformation, and conspiracy theories.

WICKER EYES TRUMPS NEW FCC PICK Senate Commerce Chair Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) is planning on moving forward with Trumps recent nomination of Nathan Simington, a Commerce Department staffer that Trump chose to take over the seat of GOP veteran Mike ORielly, a senior Commerce Committee aide told John.

Wicker met with Simington Wednesday evening in a meeting that the senior aide called highly detailed. The nominee was scheduled to meet with Senate Commerces policy and legal teams on Thursday evening, and Wicker is urging all panel Republicans to meet with Simington, the aide added. No word yet on a possible confirmation hearing or vote.

Many observers question whether Congress will have enough time to process Simingtons nomination before the end of the year. Controversy lurks given the abrupt way Trump yanked ORiellys nomination this summer following his pushback about regulating social media companies. Simingon worked in a supporting role on the Commerce Departments summer petition seeking an FCC crackdown on online liability protections, a National Telecommunications and Information Administration spokesman told John.

TECH QUOTE DU JOUR At Facebook I believe we sought to mine as much human attention as possible and turn it into historically unprecedented profits. To do this, we didnt simply create something useful and fun. We took a page from Big Tobaccos playbook, working to make our offering addictive at the outset, Tim Kendall, Facebooks first and former director of monetization who appeared in the hit Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma, testified Thursday at a House Energy & Commerce hearing on extremism on social media.

SCHAKOWSKY SOCIAL MEDIA BILL INBOUND Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), chair of the House E&C consumer protection subcommittee, teased plans Thursday to circulate a draft bill next week that will fundamentally alter [social media] companies' business models and give consumers and regulators the recourse when these compes fail in their stated basic commitments to consumers. Schakowsky, whose panel has jurisdiction over a range of key tech issues, did not elaborate on the scope of the bill. But for months she has signaled plans for legislation targeting the internet industrys legal liability shield, Section 230.

STOP THE POLITICAL ADS, AMERICAN VOTERS SAY More than half of U.S. adults believe social media platforms should make a blanket decision to stop running political ads, according to new data from the Pew Research Center. An even greater portion almost 80 percent feel that these tech firms should not be using users data (from what people do online) to target the political ads they see. Republicans and right-leaning Americans are generally more in favor of allowing political ads on these sites than are Democrats and left-leaning Americans. Facebook announced recently it would refrain from running any new political ads in the week before Election Day; Twitter almost a year ago decided to wipe political ads from its platform altogether.

LEGISLATION ON THE MOVE The Senate agreed Thursday to extend the SAFE WEB Act, which originally passed in 2006, for another seven years. The House passed its version of the SAFE WEB Extension Act, H.R. 4779 (116), in December, so the bill now heads to Trumps desk. That law gives the FTC greater power to fight online fraud and deception across borders.

Spotify, Epic Games, Match Group and Tile are among the members of the new Coalition for App Fairness, a group that launched Thursday to preserve consumer choice and a level playing field for app and game developers that rely on app stores and the most popular gatekeeper platforms.

POLITICO scoop: The Senate Commerce Committee will vote next week on Republicans' attempt to subpoena the CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter, a committee aide told POLITICO. John has the details for Pros.

The Great Twitter Hack: Wired examines how Twitter survived a cyber attack that targeted some of its most-followed users, and how it is planning to stop something similar from happening on Election Day and beyond.

A message from Ericsson:

Network security = national security. With any nascent technology, security cannot be an afterthought. Networks must be trustworthy, resilient, and secure by design all on day one. Ericsson is working with the O-RAN Alliance and others to incorporate security best practices into our integrated and open network solutions built upon a flexible, high-integrity supply chain, which will allow our customers to deploy robust, secure and trusted 5G networks. Learn more.

Who sat out Voter Registration Day?: A new site launched by digital rights group Fight for the Future tracks which tech companies are using their reach to get Americans to vote and which did not promote voter registration efforts this week. Amazon and Apple were among those who sat it out, per the tracker.

Tech group blasts EO: The Information Technology Industry Council criticized Trumps recent executive order that prohibits government contractors from offering certain workplace training related to race and gender. CEO Jason Oxman called the order an affront to our industrys core values, an attack on free enterprise and, most importantly, an unacceptable step backward for racial equity. ITIs members include Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and others with federal contracts.

That Cambridge Analytica guy: Alexander Nix, the former Cambridge Analytica boss who got caught up in the global data scandal, has been banned from serving as director of another company for seven years, British authorities decided. More from The Guardian.

Tips, comments, suggestions? Send them along via email to our team: Bob King ([emailprotected], @bkingdc), Heidi Vogt ([emailprotected], @HeidiVogt), Nancy Scola ([emailprotected], @nancyscola), Steven Overly ([emailprotected], @stevenoverly), John Hendel ([emailprotected], @JohnHendel), Cristiano Lima ([emailprotected], @viaCristiano), Alexandra S. Levine ([emailprotected], @Ali_Lev), and Leah Nylen ([emailprotected], @leah_nylen).


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