CCIA Expresses Concern About FCC Plans To Alter Legal Protections For Services Facilitating Free Speech Online

BY Heather Greenfield
October 15, 2020

Washington — Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai issued a statement today on liability rules for services that facilitate free speech online, saying he planned to move forward with steps to alter the law in response to a request from President Trump and later the Commerce Department. The rules under Section 230 of the Communications Act enable free speech online by offering some legal protections to companies from internet services to newspapers to broadcasters when they enforce policies moderating some types of harmful content like hate speech or misinformation. 

The Computer & Communications Industry Association previously expressed concern in comments to the FCC, saying the FCC did not have the legal authority to issue a rulemaking on Section 230. 

The following can be attributed to CCIA President Matt Schruers:

“Retaliating against companies enforcing their Terms of Service by initiating regulatory proceedings is not how democracies are supposed to work.  There is broad consensus on the importance of moderating online content, and most would agree it is particularly critical amid an election and a pandemic.  Being a political figure isn’t a free pass to break digital services’ content rules.”  

For media inquiries, please contact Heather Greenfield hgreenfield@ccianet.org or 202-256-5610

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