The Center for Democracy & Technology (“CDT”) respectfully submits these comments in response to the Commerce Department’s Notice of Inquiry regarding the free flow of information on the Internet. CDT is a nonprofit public interest organization dedicated to preserving and promoting openness, innovation, and freedom on the global Internet. The Association of Research Libraries and the American Library Association endorse these comments.
Restrictions on the free flow of information on the Internet take a number of forms. Government policies assigning liability to online intermediaries for the content their users post serve as one of the most significant barriers to the free flow of information online. In Part I of these comments, we highlight the importance of liability protections for online intermediaries and the way these protections serve to maintain the Internet as a robust platform both for the free flow of information and for trade. In Part II, we discuss additional restrictions while addressing many of the specific questions outlined in the Notice.