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:

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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European Parliament’s Internal Market Committee Votes On Copyright Directive

Brussels, BELGIUM — Last September, the European Commission published its proposal for a Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (the “copyright proposal”). This proposal has been denounced as “backward-looking” and failing to “meet the expectations of European citizens and businesses”. Today, the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee of the European Parliament adopted…

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CCIA Weighs In On Copyright Office’s DMCA Proposal

Washington — Internet users and other stakeholders have until Friday to file comments in response to questions from the Copyright Office on the “safe harbor” in Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) — one of the legal cornerstones that enables the provision of platforms for communication and commerce on the Internet. Currently,…

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