CCIA, NetChoice File Lawsuit Against Unconstitutional Florida Law

BY Heather Greenfield
May 27, 2021

Washington — The Computer & Communications Industry Association has co-filed a lawsuit with NetChoice in a Florida federal district court against a recently signed Florida law. The law, were it to enter into force, would open digital services that allow third-party content to lawsuits when they enforce terms or policies designed to keep users safe. 

The lawsuit explains that the law is unconstitutional and violates federal law. The Florida law infringes on rights of freedom of speech, equal protection, and due process, as protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. 

The Computer & Communications Industry Association supports free speech online, which includes the right for private businesses to protect users and determine what material is appropriate for their community.

The following can be attributed to CCIA President Matt Schruers:

“We are bringing this suit to safeguard the industry’s free speech right to deliver on their commitments to users to mitigate harmful content online.”

“By constraining digital services’ ability to fight bad actors online, this law threatens to make the Internet a safe space for criminals, miscreants, and foreign agents, putting Floridians at risk.  Gov. DeSantis is correct that this is a free speech issue: a digital service that declines to host harmful content is exercising its own First Amendment rights.”

“U.S. free speech principles protect the public from government penalties for speech; they do not protect elected officials from the speech choices of the public.  Forcing a company to publish government officials’ speech is more characteristic of last-century dictatorships than 21st-century democracies.”

The following can be attributed to Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice: 

“We cannot stand idly by as Florida’s lawmakers push unconstitutional bills into law that bring us closer to state-run media and a state-run internet.”

 

For additional information, please see Schruers’ op ed in the Orlando Sentinel.

For media inquiries, please contact Heather Greenfield hgreenfield@ccianet.org

 

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