CCIA Cautions Congress About Altering Internet Liability Rules

BY Heather Greenfield
February 26, 2018

Washington — As Congress works to reduce human trafficking, the House is making additional changes that are expected to ensnare legitimate tech companies, with no evidence this plan would actually help stop trafficking.

An amended bill that may rescind critical intermediary protections for internet companies is expected to get a House vote early next week. CCIA has supported a previous version of the bill that House Judiciary Committee leadership worked on with input from a diverse group of stakeholders including law enforcement and trafficking victims.

As an association that championed Section 230 over 20 years ago, the Computer & Communications Industry Association appreciates how the underlying principles have supported the development of freedom on the internet, both domestically and globally. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“Tech companies share the goal of reducing sex trafficking. A well-tailored bill would ensure compliance resources go toward stamping out unlawful activity online — and not discourage companies from their ongoing efforts to police for unlawful and abusive activity. Unfortunately reducing liability protections could cause companies to avoid the risks that would come from patrolling their sites.”

“Unmanageable liability exposure would particularly harm small startups and small businesses, who do not have the resources to monitor content. While established companies may be able to comply with new changes, the impact is likely to be felt most by startups and small businesses.”

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