Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship

It is the policy of the United States to foster clear ground rules promoting free and open debate on the internet.  Prominent among the ground rules governing that debate is the immunity from liability created by section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act (section 230(c)).  47 U.S.C.

Sen Jeff Flake: From our very beginnings, our freedom has been predicated on truth

I rise today to talk about the truth, and its relationship to democracy. For without truth, and a principled fidelity to truth and to shared facts, our democracy will not last. 2017 was a year which saw the truth – objective, empirical, evidence-based truth -- more battered and abused than any other in the history of our country, at the hands of the most powerful figure in our government. It was a year which saw the White House enshrine “alternative facts” into the American lexicon, as justification for what used to be known simply as good old-fashioned falsehoods.

FCC Chairman Pai Remarks on Restoring Internet Freedom

Much has been said and written over the course of the last week about the plan to restore Internet freedom. But much of the discussion has brought more heat than light. I’d like to cut through the hysteria and hot air and speak with you in plain terms about the plan. First, I’ll explain what it will do. Second, I’ll discuss why I’m advancing it. And third, I’ll respond to the main criticisms that have been leveled against it.

House Commerce GOP Prepare Latest Smackdown of Big Tech

The House Commerce Committee’s Republican leadership has scheduled the latest Big Tech beating on Capitol Hill and they have signaled it will be filled with Republican red-meat issues. The official beating will commence on March 28 at 10:30 a.m., but it has already begun. Unlike a recent Senate Judiciary Committee subcommittee hearing that had bipartisan backing, the House hearing notice is filled with partisan shots. In a joint statement, House Commerce Chair Cathy Mc

Weapons of control, shields of impunity: Internet shutdowns in 2022

From Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe, authorities are imposing internet shutdowns at staggering rates. In 2022 alone, governments and other actors disrupted the internet at least 187 times across 35 countries — breaking our #KeepItOn record for the number of countries to hit the kill switch in a single year. Not only are shutdowns resurging after a decrease at the height of the pandemic, they’re lasting longer, targeting specific populations, and are being wielded when people need a connection the most — including during humanitarian crises, mass protests, and active conflict and war.

Free Speech vs. Disinformation Comes to a Head

Dozens between government officials and executives at Facebook, Google, Twitter and other social media companies that have spilled into public are at the heart of a partisan legal battle that could disrupt the Biden administration’s already struggling efforts to combat disinformation. The attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana, both Republicans, have sued the White House and dozens of officials, accusing them of forcing the platforms to stifle the voices of its political critics in violation of the constitutional guarantee of free speech.

Welcome to the Era of Internet Blackouts

The Iranian government's attempts in recent months to stifle protests through internet blackouts, digital curfews, and content blocking have presented a particularly extreme example of how far regimes can go in restricting digital access.

Republicans Comer, McMorris Rodgers, Jordan Introduce Bill to Stop Biden Administration from Pressuring Social Media Companies to Censor Americans

Rep. James Comer (R-KY), House Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) introduced the Protecting Speech from Government Interference Act (H.R. 140).

McCarthy's fast start: Big Tech is a top target

House Republicans plan to launch a new investigative panel that will demand copies of White House emails, memos, and other communications with Big Tech companies. The new panel, the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, is partly a response to revelations from Elon Musk in the internal documents he branded the "Twitter Files." The subcommittee will be chaired by House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) — a close ally of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and a favorite of the hard right. The probe into communications between tech giants and

Iran’s Online Crackdown Prompts Smuggling of Starlink Kits

Iran’s government has throttled down bandwidths, stepped up filtering of social-media sites and taken down virtual private networks, according to analysts and reports by nongovernment organizations. It has also sought to intercept Starlink and other satellite internet devices, which are illegal in Iran. The number of Iranians with access to Starlink is a tiny fraction of the millions who use virtual private networks and other platforms to evade government restrictions, users say.