The Trump administration has apparently proposed that the Congress must pass a legislation in order to roll out the protection that huge technology majors such as Facebook and Google have been enjoying for a considerably long while.
As per sources familiar with the knowledge of the matter, the goal of this proposal is to coerce technology firms to address the criminal content on their platforms and increase transparency for the users when lawful material is taken down. The criminal content includes terrorism, cyber stalking, and child exploitation.
Apparently, the U.S. lawmakers are required to approve a bill in order for the proposal to become a law.
With regards to the proposal, Attorney General William Barr states that these reforms are necessary to push the platforms into ensuring that they are addressing exploitive and illegal content, while at the same time, working to preserve an open, competitive internet.
Reliable reports claim the U.S. President to have said earlier that he plans to propose certain legislations that would weaken the laws protecting internet companies. He apparently intended to “change/remove” the Section 230, 1996 Communications Decency Act. For the unversed, this act exempts platforms from the responsibility of what their users can post – in essence, it allows them to moderate their site content, the way they deem suitable.
Reportedly, The White House has welcomed the proposal from the Justice Department. Judd Deere, Spokesperson, The White House, has said that President Trump specifically called on the Department of Justice in order to develop such model legislations in the recently signed Executive Order signed recently, and he is delighted that the department is following it through.
As per sources, the proposal put forth by the Justice Department suggests to push internet companies for addressing concerns pertaining to illicit content, such as those violating federal laws. Also, the proposal entails that it would require firms to be honest regarding the decisions pertaining to content moderation, and preventing huge online platforms from bringing up the mention of Section 230 in antitrust cases.
The Justice Department proposal would seek to push platforms to “address” illicit content online, such as material that violates federal criminal law, the department said. It would also seek to require the companies to be upfront about content moderation decisions and prevent the big online platforms from invoking Section 230 in antitrust cases.