Sen Wyden co-wrote Sec. 230 of the Communications Decency Act. He still stands by it — and everything it’s brought with it.

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A Q&A with Sen Ron Wyden (D-OR).

The law in question is Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, written by Sen Wyden and former Rep Chris Cox (R-CA). It protects internet companies from being held liable for the content posted by their users and says they’re platforms, not publishers. It also gives them the space to police their sites and restrict and take down material as they see fit. 

Sen Wyden acknowledges that there’s a problem with big tech and how it’s regulated— he has introduced legislation that would overhaul privacy protections in the US, including establishing minimum privacy and cybersecurity standards, imposing criminal sentences for executives of offending companies, and creating a “do not track” system for consumers. But he believes Sec 230 is still essential in making sure the internet is a level playing field, including for startups that could eventually compete with today’s behemoths.“If you unravel 230, then you harm the opportunity for diverse voices, diverse platforms, and, particularly, the little guy to have a chance to get off the ground,” he said.

Ron Wyden wrote the law that built the internet. He still stands by it — and everything it’s brought with it.