Related Posts

Congress Should Take "Filtering Practices of Social Media" Seriously

Tomorrow, the House Judiciary Committee will host what’s likely to be a wide-ranging discussion of how social media companies moderate content, in its hearing on Filtering Practices of Social Media Platforms. While the hearing is sure to include some spectacle and grandstanding, make no mistake: This is a deeply serious issue that deserves thoughtful consideration by policymakers, companies, and users alike. Here are a few key themes we hope members of the committee will consider.

Read More

The Zuckerberg Hearings: Hits, Misses, and Unanswered Questions

The House and Senate grilled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for a total of ten hours this week, covering privacy, content policy, and election interference. The hearings didn’t reveal new information about Facebook’s practices, but they suggested that many members of Congress are ready to move on from the status quo of weak privacy protections and unfettered data collection by companies in the U.S.

Read More

It’s All Downsides: Hybrid FOSTA/SESTA Hinders Law Enforcement, Hurts Victims and Speakers

The hybrid FOSTA/SESTA would strip away some of the protections in Section 230 that make it possible for platforms large and small to host user-generated content. And website operators aren’t the only ones who will suffer: no internet user, website operator, trafficking victim, law enforcement officer, or other individual will be immune to the consequences of and fallout from this legislation.

Read More

Who Needs Courts? A Deeper Look At the European Commission’s Plans to Speed Up Content Takedowns

Today, the European Commission released its “Recommendation on measures to effectively tackle illegal content online”, which presents the Commission’s ideas for how to speed up removal of allegedly illegal content. The Recommendation includes a number of departures from the traditional court-order process, which provides both substantive and procedural protections for individuals whose speech is challenged under the law. Instead, the Commission relies on several approaches to speedy censorship that circumvent the courts and provide the public with no way to hold the government accountable for declaring that someone’s speech violates the law. We provide a closer look at these alternative censorship models, which have been gaining traction in Europe over the past few years.

Read More

EC Recommendation on Tackling Illegal Content Online Doubles Down on Push for Privatized Law Enforcement

The European Commission published its “Recommendation on measures to effectively tackle illegal content online”, which puts forward a number of non-binding guidelines and principles for online platforms and hosts of user-generated content. These recommendations go beyond the ill-defined approach the Commission took in its “Communication on Tackling Illegal Content Online”. While we recognize the Commission’s interest in seeking effective enforcement of national law, we continue to have significant concerns about the Commission’s overall approach and a number of its specific recommendations.

Read More

CDT’s Response to EC ‘Fake News’ Consultation: How to Tackle the Issue and Protect Free Expression?

On 23 February, CDT filed its response to the European Commission’s Consultation on Tackling ‘Fake News’. Commissioner Gabriel should be commended for launching this initiative, and we are hopeful it contributes solid European data and analysis, without which it is impossible to make recommendations for policy. However, CDT worries that the group generally lacks participation from NGOs and experts focused on protecting free expression, which brings up broader questions.

Read More

Goodlatte’s Online Trafficking Bill Makes Key Improvements, But Risks to Free Speech Persist

The House Judiciary Committee will hold a markup on HR 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA). The Committee will consider an amendment to the original FOSTA in the form of a substitute bill offered by Chairman Goodlatte. This bill includes a number of improvements over both the original House bill and the SESTA bill in the Senate, and we appreciate the Committee’s diligent efforts to craft a more tailored legislative approach. But CDT remains concerned that increasing the risk of criminal charges and civil claims against website operators and other online intermediaries will result in overbroad censorship of constitutionally protected speech.  

Read More

Anonymous Speech Online Dealt a Blow in US v. Glassdoor Opinion

First Amendment protections for anonymous speech online were dealt a serious blow earlier today when the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued its opinion in United States v. Glassdoor. In its opinion, the Court ruled in favor of the US government’s efforts to compel Glassdoor to unmask anonymous reviews of employers by employees posted on the site.

Read More