Related Insights

CDT Responds to EC Public Consultation on Tackling Illegal Content Online

In October of last year, the European Commission published its Communication on tackling illegal content online. We criticised it for pushing private companies to police on government’s behalf for content that may be considered harmful or illegal. A few months later, Commission issued a Recommendation doubling down on this approach. The Commission has now conducted a public consultation aiming to ‘gather evidence and data on current practices, respondents’ experiences and organisations’ policies for tackling illegal content online’.

Read More

CDT’s Response to EC ‘Fake News’ Consultation

On 23 February, CDT filed its response to the European Commission’s Consultation on Tackling ‘Fake News’. In our comments we make a number of observations. First, we point out that there is no consensus on a definition of the concept of fake news, which the consultation document acknowledges. Second, there is a need to gather credible evidence about what material exists fitting the description, and any impact it may have. Third, one essential piece is missing from the Commission’s consultation document: the acknowledgement that the ‘fake news’ issue is now top of the political agenda due to the Russian regime’s deliberate, sustained and increasingly well-documented strategy to interfere with the 2016 U.S. elections. Finally, the questionnaire seeks input on what civil society should do to meet the challenges discussed in the consultation.

Read More

Open Letter to European Commission – Urgent Consideration of Tackling Illegal Content Approach

It has come to our attention that the European Commission plans to issue a set of recommendations on Notice and Action by the end of February 2018; going against their initial plans. We urge the Commission to uphold its promise to continue dialogues and exchanges with stakeholders on how best to tackle illegal content online. The lack of a structured, targeted and multi-stakeholder dialogue would inevitably be detrimental to maintaining a sturdy e-Commerce framework for the EU.

Read More

Frequently Asked Questions: Section 230, Sex Trafficking, and Current Legislation

Want to learn more? Please contact Emma Llanso ([email protected]) or Sasha Moss ([email protected]).   What is 47 U.S.C. § 230 of the Communications Decency Act? • Section 230 shields online intermediaries from liability for speech that they host or republish. It protects the whole range of interactive computer service providers including social media sites, message boards,…

Read More

Mixed Messages? The Limits of Automated Social Media Content Analysis

This paper explains the capabilities and limitations of tools for analyzing the text of social media posts and other online content. It is intended to help policymakers understand and evaluate available tools and the potential consequences of using them, and focuses specifically on the use of natural language processing (NLP) tools for analyzing the text of social media posts.

Read More

Letter to Senate Commerce Committee on Censorship Concerns with SESTA Manager's Amendment

The Honorable John Thune Chairman, Senate Commerce Committee United States Senate Washington, DC 20510 The Honorable Bill Nelson Ranking Member, Senate Commerce Committee United States Senate Washington, DC 20510 7 November 2017 Dear Chairman Thune, Ranking Member Nelson, and Members of the Committee, We, the undersigned human rights and civil liberties organizations, trade associations, and individuals write to convey our significant concern with the Manager’s Amendment to S.1693, the…

Read More

Overview of the NetzDG Network Enforcement Law

The German parliament passed a law on 30 June that subjects social media companies and other providers that host third-party content to fines of up to €50 million if they fail to remove “obviously illegal” speech within 24 hours of it being reported. Here’s a review of the law with a focus on the free speech implications.

Read More

CDT Co-Signs Letter Calling on Commission to Act Against Germany’s Draft Network Enforcement Law

CDT has signed a joint letter on the draft German law that threatens to fine large social media platforms if they do not react swiftly to take down certain types of content. Together with other civil and human rights organisations, as well as industry bodies representing the Internet technology, we call on the European Commission to ensure compliance of the draft German law with EU law, including the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

Read More

Amicus Brief, Ferrer v. Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

Section 230 of the Communications Act enables individual speakers to identify online services that will host their own First Amendment-protected speech. The Subcommittee’s invasive, burdensome inquiry into Backpage.com’s editorial practices creates an intense chilling effect, not only for Backpage but for any website operator seeking to define their own editorial viewpoint and moderation procedures for the third-party content that they host.

Read More