Deep Dive Episode 131 – Free Speech in the Digital Era: Section 230 and the FCC
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Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act provides liability protection to platforms, internet service providers, and other online intermediaries for third-party content they host or republish. It also provides liability protections for actions taken “in good faith” by such entities to moderate content. Section 230 has recently come under scrutiny from President Trump, members of Congress, and others who have raised questions about the appropriateness of these protections and their continued viability “in the Age of Twitter.”
In May, President Trump issued an Executive Order that directed the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to file a petition for rulemaking with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposing regulations to clarify the scope of Section 230. The FCC is currently soliciting public comment on the NTIA petition, which was filed on July 27.
In this live podcast, panelists discuss the background of Section 230 and reflect on whether it continues to encourage innovation and free speech online, or if changes are needed. What should the FCC do to address the pending NTIA petition? And, in light of the upcoming elections, what are the political dynamics at play-at the FCC, in Congress, and in the White House?
Office of Sen. Marsha Blackburn
Professor of Law & Director of the Intellectual Property, Information & Communications Law Program
Michigan State University College of Law
Professor of Law and Co-Director of the High Tech Law Institute
Santa Clara University School of Law
Director of Civil Liberties
Vice President of Policy and Regulatory Affairs
Consumer Technology Association
Federalist Society’s Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group