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.
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.
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.
Where there’s a coup, there will probably be an internet outage. At least 35 countries have restricted access to the internet or social media platforms at least once since 2019, according to Netblocks, a group which tracks internet freedom.
Freedom of the Press Foundation's newest report shows that there have been at least 117 verified cases of a journalist being arrested or detained on the job in the US in 2020. The U.S. Press Freedom Tracker is also still investigating more than a dozen additional reports of arrests or detentions. Arrests of journalists skyrocketed by more than 1200% in comparison to 2019. In just one week, from May 29 - June 4, more reporters were arrested in the U.S. than in the previous three years combined. Arrests occurred in more than two dozen cities across the country.
On Oct 15, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that he will move forward with clarifying the meaning of Section 230.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai issued the following statement on Section 230 of the Communications Act:
Six senior officials at the US Agency for Global Media have filed a whistleblower complaint with the State Department’s inspector general and the US Office of Special Counsel, alleging that they were retaliated against for raising concerns about the new political leadership installed earlier in 2020 by President Donald Trump. The 32-page complaint accuses top officials at the taxpayer-funded media group of abusing their authority, violating the law and mismanaging the organization.
President Donald Trump’s ongoing assault against Twitter may represent the most egregious violation of the First Amendment by a president since Richard M. Nixon went to war against this newspaper almost half a century ago. Not since the McCarthy era has our country experienced such an effort to neuter the press and evade the government accountability that comes only through meaningful reporting. Consider what could lie ahead.
For people who spend a lot of time on TikTok, the last few months have been surreal: a president with no presence on the platform has been agitating to ban it on the basis of national security.