Trump threatens to veto defense bill over social media shield law

Washington — President Trump threatened Tuesday to veto a must-pass annual defense policy bill unless Congress agrees to end a federal law that provides social media companies with a crucial legal shield.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Trump Returns To White House From Camp David


© Bloomberg
President Trump Returns To White House From Camp David

Mr. Trump made his threat in a pair of late-night tweets, in which he said Congress must include a repeal of the law known as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act for it to receive his signature. The president has for months been pressuring Congress to strip social media companies of the protections they receive under the 24-year-old law, claiming platforms like Twitter and Facebook censor and suppress conservative speech.

“Section 230, which is a liability shielding gift from the U.S. to ‘Big Tech’ (the only companies in America that have it – corporate welfare!), is a

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Justices express qualms about sweeping computer crime law

“Under the government’s broad interpretation of the CFAA,” they wrote, “standard security research practices — such as accessing publicly available data in a manner beneficial to the public yet prohibited by the owner of the data — can be highly risky.”

Key context: The case that could decide the scope of the CFAA stems from a tawdry sting operation. In 2017, a district court convicted police officer Nathan Van Buren for using his access to the license plate database to check whether a strip club dancer was an undercover officer in return for a loan from a man who turned out to be an FBI informant. Van Buren’s lawyers argued that he hadn’t violated the CFAA’s prohibition on unauthorized computer access because he’d had legitimate access to the database as part of his job.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit upheld Van Buren’s conviction, finding that the

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Social Media Section 230 Law: No One is Happy

What is Section 230?

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act gave social media giants like Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc., Google, and YouTube broad immunity for the content they publish from users on their sites.

The law dates back to 1996 when no one could foresee the power of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.

No One is Happy

The Wall Street Journal reports Social Media’s Liability Shield Is Under Assault

Democrats say the immunity has allowed companies to ignore false and dangerous information spreading online, since the companies generally aren’t liable for harmful content.

Republicans focus their ire on another aspect of Section 230, which says companies broadly aren’t liable for taking down content they deem objectionable. President Trump and others contend liberal-leaning tech companies have used that provision to block conservative views.

It may make sense for there to be liability for some of the

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What To Watch As High Court Takes On Computer Crime Law

Law360 (November 25, 2020, 7:12 PM EST) — A computer crime law whose scope has been hotly debated since it was passed in 1984 will have its moment in the limelight Monday, when the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether a Georgia police officer violated the law by abusing his access to an online government database.

The high court’s ruling in Van Buren v. United States is expected to resolve a circuit split over what it means for someone to “exceed authorized access” to a system under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The decision will have an immediate impact on how both prosecutors and businesses apply the statute — which allows…

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Russian parliament given draft law enabling Moscow to block U.S. social media giants

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Lawmakers in Russia’s parliament presented draft legislation on Thursday that, if passed, would enable the government to restrict internet access to U.S. social media giants deemed to have discriminated against Russian media outlets.



FILE PHOTO: A 3D-printed logo for Twitter is seen in this picture illustration


© Reuters/Dado Ruvic
FILE PHOTO: A 3D-printed logo for Twitter is seen in this picture illustration


The authors of the bill, most of whom were from the ruling United Russia party, said they had received complaints from home-grown outlets like Russia Today, RIA Novosti and Crimea 24 about accounts being suspended or labelled by Twitter , Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s YouTube.

Twitter began labelling the accounts of several Russian media outlets with the description “state-affiliated media”, along with those of their senior staff and some key government officials in August, a move decried by Russia at the time.

“The urgency in adopting the draft law is due to numerous cases of unjustified restriction of

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Russia presents draft law enabling Moscow to block Facebook, Twitter

A Russian waves a Facebook flag in Red Square, Moscow.

Sasha Mordovets | Getty Images

Lawmakers in Russia’s parliament presented draft legislation on Thursday that, if passed, would enable the government to restrict internet access to U.S. social media giants deemed to have discriminated against Russian media outlets.

The authors of the bill, most of whom were from the ruling United Russia party, said they had received complaints from home-grown outlets like Russia Today, RIA Novosti and Crimea 24 about accounts being suspended or labelled by Twitter, Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s YouTube.

Twitter began labelling the accounts of several Russian media outlets with the description “state-affiliated media”, along with those of their senior staff and some key government officials in August, a move decried by Russia at the time.

“The urgency in adopting the draft law is due to numerous cases of unjustified restriction of Russian citizens’ access to information

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Benjamin Law: the 10 funniest things I have ever seen (on the internet) | Culture

First up, I need to come clean: unlike all the fine people who’ve contributed to this series so far, I’m not technically a comedian. Also, I acknowledge that constantly being mistaken for one represents a stain on the Australian comedy industry and I apologise for that – I’m always learning, I’m committed to listening and will try to do better, etc.

But as a writer and broadcaster who spends way too much time online, I delight in all the delightful, surreal and absolutely rank stuff I’ve reaped from the internet over the roughly 12,000 years I’ve been online, and I’m happy to share some of my bountiful harvest now.

Putting this list together was a trip down memory lane, spanning the “Bacon is good for me” kid to Keke Palmer’s quietly savage and fit-for-all purposes online response “Sorry to this man”. But here are some pearls I’ve bookmarked

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Facebook, Twitter CEOs express support for changes to key law governing internet speech

jack-dorsey-nov-17-2020-senate-hearing.png

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifies virtually Tuesday about social media’s responsibilities in fighting hatred while promoting free speech.


Screenshot by CNET

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey agreed Tuesday to support changes to a key federal internet law even as they pushed back at allegations that their companies are biased against conservative views.

In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, the pair of executives answered a range of questions that strayed from the original topic: how the companies handled the 2020 US election. The four-and-a-half-hour hearing touched on tech addiction, encryption and antitrust, in addition to content moderation.

The testimony marked the second congressional appearance for both men in less than a month. Though the exchanges were more cordial than last month’s, it was clear from the outset that lawmakers are intent on reining in the two popular social networks. One frequently raised possibility: revising Section 230, a

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Facebook, Twitter CEOs say they would support changes to key internet law

jack-dorsey-nov-17-2020-senate-hearing.png

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifies virtually Tuesday about social media’s responsibilities in fighting hatred while promoting free speech.


Screenshot by CNET

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey agreed Tuesday to support changes to a key federal internet law even as they pushed against allegations their companies are biased against conservative views.

In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, the pair of executives answered a range of questions that strayed from the original topic: how the companies handled the 2020 US election. The four-and-half-hour hearing touched on tech addiction, encryption and antitrust, in addition to content moderation. 

The testimony marked the second Congressional appearance for both men in less than a month. While the exchanges were more cordial than last month’s, it was clear from the outset that lawmakers are intent on reining in the two popular social networks. One frequently raised possibility: revising Section 230, a key federal

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Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to urge lawmakers to build on key internet law

twitter-facebook-logo-phone-united-states-flag-4542

Facebook and Twitter took steps to crack down on election-related misinformation.


Angela Lang/CNET

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey plans to tell US lawmakers on Tuesday that Congress should build on a federal law that shields internet companies from liability for user-generated content rather than eliminate it.

In prepared remarks, Dorsey says lawmakers should work with “industry and civil society” to address concerns about the law, which is called Section 230. Some of the potential solutions, he says, include “additions to Section 230, industry-wide self-regulation best practices, or a new legislative framework.”

“Completely eliminating Section 230 or prescribing reactionary government speech mandates will neither address concerns nor align with the First Amendment,” Dorsey says in excerpts of prepared remarks provided by Twitter. “Indeed, such actions could have the opposite effect,

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