Read the full article by JC Adams at XBIZ.com

 

LOS ANGELES — Free speech advocates, tech lobbyists, civil liberties groups and others are raising the alarm about legislation unveiled Thursday, intended to combat “online sexual abuse of children,” that directly threatens Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which offers tech companies a measure of protection from liability for content posted by users of their websites or platforms.

Section 230 has been described as “the internet’s First Amendment.”

“Without Section 230, it would be hard for companies to avoid lawsuits and criminal charges without either becoming cesspools of totally unmoderated speech or banning user-generated speech entirely,” observed Reason.com last year.

Yesterday’s bill, introduced by “the heads of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, would revoke tech companies’ long-standing protection from being sued based on user-posted content unless the companies comply with a new commission’s ‘best practices’ for combating the spread of online sexual exploitation, or show that they’ve taken other ‘reasonable’ steps to address the issue,” reports Ben Kochman for Law360.com.