The U.S. Attorney General to shield the big tech from liability for user posts

FILE PHOTO: U.s. Attorney General William Barr announced that the results of the criminal investigation into the Dec. 6, 2019 at the latest, violence, and the Pensacola Naval Air Station, Florida, during a press conference at the Department of Justice in Washington, d.c., USA, January 13, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday asked Facebook, Google and any other online platforms you need to have the immunity from civil liability, which has to prevent them from being sued over material that their users post.

“No longer are tech firms, the underdog upstarts. They are the game,” Barr said at a public meeting held by the Ministry of Justice, will examine the future of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

“In view of the ever-changing technological landscape, it is valid questions have been raised about the question of whether Section 230’s broad immunity, it is necessary to fill in each and every case, in its current form,” he said.

Section 230 says the online services such as Facebook, Alphabet, Google, and Twitter may not be treated as the publisher or speaker of information that they provide, mainly the exemption of them from liability, in which the content is posted by users. These companies can still be held responsible for the content that is in conflict with the criminal law or intellectual property law.

The increase in the size and power of online platforms, it offers the consumer with less options and the lack of viable alternatives, is relevant to the discussion, ” he said, adding that the Section 230, and a review of the Department of Justice, in the broad review of possible anti-competitive practices in the tech business.

Lawmakers from both the Republican and Democratic parties, have called for Congress to amend Section 230 in ways that could expose technology companies to more lawsuits or a significant increase in their costs.

Some Republicans have expressed concern that Section 230 prevents you from taking any other actions in internet-related services, for the removal of the conservative social and political content, and while a few Democratic leaders have said the law allows the services to avoid the penalty for harboring, misinformation, and extremist content.

“While our efforts to ensure competitive markets through enforcement, and policy is critical, we also recognize that not all of the concerns about online platforms, a square will fall within the antitrust law,” Barr said.

He said that the department is not in favor of a point of view during the meeting on Wednesday, but the main thing is to listen to the opinions of the different stakeholder groups.

Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by David Gregorio

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