Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020
News Every Day |

Because Congress Apparently Has NOTHING AT ALL IMPORTANT To Work On, It Introduced TWO MORE Section 230 Bills Yesterday

If you were in a coma for the past 12 months, just came out of it, and had to figure out what had happened in the last year or so solely based on new bills introduced in Congress, you would likely come to the conclusion that Section 230 was the world's greatest priority and the biggest, most pressing issue in the entire freaking universe. I've completely lost track of how many new bills have been introduced this year -- in the midst of a pandemic -- that try to undermine and destroy the open internet enabled by Section 230 of the CDA. It's absolutely ridiculous.

Last week we had Lindsey Graham and his garbage Online Content Policy Modernization Act. Josh Hawley, the lying demagogue, has probably introduced half a dozen bills aimed at undermining Section 230, including one a few weeks ago. On Tuesday of this week we had Senators Manchin and Cornyn introduce their despicable and dangerous See Something, Say Something Act.

And then, on Wednesday, we got two more truly awful anti-230 bills. What's going on over there on Capitol Hill? If you introduce 12 bills to destroy the internet do you get a 13th one free?

First up, we had Reps. Sylvia Garcia and Ann Wagner introduce the House companion to the Senate's EARN IT Act. We've spent months detailing how this bill is a two-fer: it's dangerous for both encryption and Section 230. And yet, it now has bipartisan support in both the Senate and the House. Garcia seems so proud of being a part of this nonsense that she didn't put the press release on her own website (though she did have time to put up a press release for a bill to rename a post office).

Ann Wagner, you may recall, is the force behind the previous disastrous anti-230 bill, FOSTA, who has spent the years since passing that bill just flat out lying about what the bill did. She claims it's been a huge success, and yet it has yet to be used successfully, has been shown to put women's lives in danger, and has made it more difficult for law enforcement to find actual sex traffickers.

But, not surprisingly, Wagner is touting her "success" with that terrible legislation in introducing this new garbage:

“I’m proud to join with my colleague Rep. Sylvia Garcia in introducing the EARN IT Act, critical legislation that will hold accountable bad actors that facilitate child sexual abuse material,” said Congresswoman Wagner. "This bill is the natural follow-up to FOSTA, my Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, which amended section 230 to hold accountable websites that facilitate sex trafficking. As I have said many times, I believe that if exploitation is a crime offline, it should also be a crime online, and I’m delighted to continue working with survivors, advocates, law enforcement, and industry to protect children from online sexual exploitation.”

Yes, she keeps saying that "if it's a crime offline, it should be a crime online" and it always has been. This bill, like her last bill, changed literally nothing about what was a "crime." What it did was blame service providers for non-crimes, and made them less willing to host perfectly legal content. And, again, her bill has harmed survivors and made it more difficult for law enforcement, meaning it has done the opposite of protecting children from online sexual exploitation.

And the EARN IT Act, as we've discussed, will again make things worse. This version of EARN IT is even worse than the Senate version, which included a narrow (and most likely useless) attempt to say that it couldn't be used to ban encryption. This version of the bill narrows that limitation, meaning encryption would be even more at risk.

And that was for the horrific bill we already knew about.

Next up to the plate is Senator John Kennedy with the ridiculously named Don't Push My Buttons Act. As you may have guessed, it's pushed all of my buttons for wasting my time in needing to respond to absolute wingnut batshittery in the form of you-can't-actually-be-serious legislation. There have been so many dumb anti-230 bills that it's hard to rank which one's worse than the next, but this one is... just bad. Basically, this would take Section 230 away from any site that tracks any information on its users, or presents an algorithmically generated feed for its users. But, it would not apply if the users of those sites "knowingly and intentionally elect to receive" the algorithmically generated feed. And so sites that want to do that will just put it in their terms of service and make people agree to it and... what good does that do for anyone?

And what does this even have to do with Section 230 anyway? If you don't like algorithmically generated feeds, it would seem that (1) you're going to have a 1st Amendment issue to overcome at some point and (2) there are other tools in the toolbox and (3) it's totally unrelated to the questions about Section 230. This is just "old man yells at cloud... and writes weird legislation."

Kennedy is trying to get this bill attached as an amendment to Graham's wacky bill that's about to be marked up, and it's just open season for crazy ideas on an issue that should not be a priority at this moment when people are literally dying by the thousands every damn day due to a pandemic that Congress seems to have decided to ignore.

Does this shit ever end?

Read also

Sarah Davies: Birmingham 2022 will be women’s time to shine

Siraha’s teachers, govt employees yet to get four months’ salary

Make your WFH life easier with a portable touchscreen monitor

News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here