Intermediaries such as telecommunications and online service providers perform essential functions in promoting the Internet economy.  They have enabled e-commerce to become a vital component of the U.S. and global economies, and provide a unique opportunity to leverage American innovation in the international marketplace.

Unfortunately, plaintiffs seeking well-financed defendants frequently attempt to blame intermediaries for the online acts of third parties.  U.S. law has endeavored to limit this “kill the messenger” litigation, but foreign jurisdictions have not, and the principle remains under continuing attack in U.S. courts.

CCIA’s View:

If the internet economy is to continue to grow, service provider protections must be an integral component of U.S. domestic and foreign technology policy.  Exposing online service providers to legal liability for the actions of users inhibits investment and impedes economic prosperity.

In light of the extraordinary volume of Internet communication, imposing liability rules that mandate the review of internet communications represent a barriers to Internet commerce, and lead to bad public policy that would encourage Orwellian policing of Internet content by intermediaries.  Just as U.S. law does not compel commercial shippers to open packages that they carry, online intermediaries must not be obligated to choose between limiting liability and invading user privacy.

 

Most Recent Statements & Filings:

Administration Should Not Embrace Censorship Nor Hamstring Efforts To Fight Online Extremism, Says CCIA

Washington, DC —  Following recent tragedies in Texas and Ohio, the White House has publicized a meeting with technology companies to discuss responses to violent online extremism.  At the same time, press reports indicate that White House officials are contemplating an executive order prohibiting viewpoint bias by these same companies, sometimes referred to as the…

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CCIA Warns Section 230 Bill Sets Up Government Censorship Of Online Speech; Less Freedom For Internet Sites To Remove Extremist Content

Washington — Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., has introduced legislation that would give tech companies the option of either applying to the government for a license to remove particular content like hate speech — or take an entirely hands-off approach. The bill to remove Section 230 liability protections without a government license and scrutiny of a…

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CCIA To Testify At USTR’s Special 301 Hearing

Washington — Computer & Communications Industry Association Vice President Matt Schruers will testify at a USTR hearing today on what should be included in its annual report on other countries’ IP policies that present market access barriers to US industries. CCIA filed comments with USTR earlier this month noting that Europe is poised to enact…

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