CCIA Encouraged By Progress on SESTA, Though Concerns Remain

BY Heather Greenfield
November 7, 2017

Washington — As Congress works to reduce sex trafficking online, bill sponsors recently announced progress that has been made in tailoring the legislation to better ensure the intended target, while reducing unintended consequences.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association appreciates efforts to revise the bill to address wide-ranging concerns from industry and public interest stakeholders, and the proposed Manager’s Amendment makes considerable strides toward doing so.

The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“Thousands of legitimate companies would be impacted in a variety of ways by changes to legislation in this area. While we believe reforms can be made, it is important to be careful that the impact of such fundamental changes in a foundational legal principle be fully understood.

“The legislation still contains ambiguities that could result in law enforcement targeting lawful Internet companies with litigation or investigations. As an association that championed Section 230 over 20 years ago, CCIA deeply appreciates how vital the underlying principles therein have been to the positive development of freedom on the Internet, both domestically and globally.

“The bill, while improved, still includes, for example, an overbroad, knowledge standard that would inadvertently sweep in providers of core Internet services and hold them liable for criminal conduct of which they do not know and cannot control. We should ensure that any legislation is well focused and thereby more effective by allowing compliance resources to be devoted to stamping out unlawful activity online, and not discourage companies from continuing efforts to police for unlawful and abusive activity.”

Related Articles

CCIA Cautions FCC On Taking Actions Outside Its Legal Authority

Sep 2, 2020

Washington — The Federal Communications Commission is receiving comments until Wednesday in response to an NTIA petition for a rulemaking through which the FCC would assert greater control over online speech, by narrowing Section 230 of the Telecommunications Act. The action follows an executive order from President Trump in May aimed at pressuring social media…

NTIA Files Petition With FCC To Issue Rulemaking On Section 230 In Response To Executive Order

Jul 27, 2020

Washington — The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has filed a petition with the FCC asking it to issue a rulemaking clarifying Section 230 intermediary protections for what users say and do online. NTIA was required to file the petition by President Trump’s May 28th Executive Order aimed at social media companies, and could result…

Senate Judiciary Advances Measure To Give Government Greater Control Over Online Content, Opens Risks For Online Security Through Patchwork Of State Laws

Jul 2, 2020

Washington — The Senate Judiciary Committee took a step toward approving legislation, S. 3398, the “Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies” (EARNIT) Act, which would weaken the law companies rely upon to address objectionable activity online, commonly referred to as Section 230. In March, when the bill was introduced, the Computer & Communications…