Public Knowledge

Speech and Commerce: What Section 230 Should and Should Not Protect

The broad language of Section 230 should not be interpreted in a way that gives platforms that host third-party content a special exemption from laws that apply to businesses generally, or creates an exemption from the kinds of health, safety, public interest, and economic regulation that governments at every level—from federal agencies to municipalities–engage in. To be clear at the outset, this does not mean that any and all regulations a government may want to enforce are good ideas. Some of them might be. Others might be terrible.

Libraries Ensure That Our Future Is Connected and Informed. Let’s Help Them Keep It That Way.

As is often the case in other areas of public concern, regulatory volatility coupled with the glacial pace of legal development has created obstacles for libraries seeking to fulfill their missions. Two key challenges for libraries are (1) their ability to access (and provide access to) quality, affordable broadband, and (2) their ability to expand the traditional library practice of owning and lending out physical works into the digital world. Policymakers must pursue sensible broadband and copyright policies to help libraries further their service to the public interest.

Public Knowledge Bolsters Advocacy and Policy Teams to Protect Consumers

Public Knowledge welcomes Jenna Leventoff, Senior Policy Counsel, and Bertram Lee, Policy Counsel, as new additions to our government affairs and policy teams. Prior to joining Public Knowledge, Leventoff served as a Senior Policy Analyst for the Workforce Data Quality Campaign (WDQC) at the National Skills Coalition, where she led WDQC’s state policy advocacy and technical assistance efforts on state data system development and use.

Keeping Thumbs Off the Scale: Nondiscrimination on Digital Platforms

Digital platforms, be they search engines like Google or marketplaces like Amazon and the Apple app store, rely on similar algorithms, which have since conditioned us to trust the top search results by virtue of the Wisdom of Crowds. But this logic assumes that the algorithms doing traffic control only discriminate based on the user’s preferences. And in recent years, reports have emerged that some of the large platforms may nudge their algorithms to favor their own results over competitors.

Making the Digital Transition an “Upgrade for All” Again

Copper networks still form the backbone of America’s communication system despite the rise of fiber -- and providers are either pulling the plug or letting them fall into disrepair.