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:

EU Countries Question The Compatibility Of Copyright Reform With EU Fundamental Rights

Brussels — This morning, the website Statewatch published a leaked EU Council document on the copyright reform, in which a number of European countries are strongly questioning its compatibility with European fundamental rights. For the past year, the European Commission has been explaining that Article 13 of its copyright proposal – despite upending the liability…

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Tech Associations Send Letter To Senators About Problems With Proposed Changes CDA-230

Washington – CCIA joined nine other associations in a letter to senators about the unintended consequences of legislation to update Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. While associations support their goal of shutting down organizations like Backpage that facilitate human trafficking, the proposed bill would ensnare legitimate companies. CCIA also expressed its concerns in…

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Tech Industry Warns About Unintended Consequences Of Proposed Changes To Reduce Human Trafficking

Washington — Proposed changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act could have broad, unintended consequences for internet services, online platforms and websites. The Computer & Communications Industry Association appreciates the goal of reducing human trafficking, but is concerned the exact changes being proposed would do little to rein in the worst offenders, while…

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