WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Justice is going to hold a conference to discuss the future of the federal act, which are largely exempt, the online platforms from liability for the content their users post, sources familiar with the plan said on Friday.
FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Ministry of Justice building is seen in Washington, d.c., U.S., on April 18, 2019 at the latest. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky
The U.S. government, a source said that the department is planning to invite a wide range of stakeholders, the conference will examine the future of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, including those of the representatives of the industry, the Congress, the “thought leaders” and government officials, from the President, Donald Trump’s private offices.
The 24-year-old law that is the foundation for many internet businesses, which Facebook Inc., Google, YouTube, and Twitter, Inc. will be hosting large amounts of video, photos, messages, and documents in the control of offensive language and images, and only in a limited fashion.
All three of these companies do not immediately respond to requests for comment.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr said in a speech last month that the Justice Department was “studying the Section 230, and the scope of the” because of “a lot of people are concerned that the Section 230 immunity has been extended far beyond what Congress originally intended.”
Barr said: “the internet companies, was freed from the responsibility for the control of their platforms, while the blocking of political speech with impunity.
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.
But there are a number of legal experts have said the amendment to Section 230, and is detrimental to the freedom of expression on the internet.
To the tech publication, The Information on Friday that the ministry was planning to hold on to what they have described as a of the 230 the “workshop” in the month of February. However, the source familiar with the plans of the government, and I have a date for the event has yet to be determined.
By Emma Llansó, director, Free Expression Project, Center for Democracy & Technology, said that the Ministry of Justice is considering holding public panels and private meetings, according to an invitation received this week.
Different professors in the United States, including a study of the laws surrounding free speech on the internet have been invited to the event, according to five people are invited to attend. The two said that they had not received the details of the event and its timing, participants, and format.
Reporting By Mark Hosenball; additional reporting by Paresh Dave and Katie, Paul, in San Francisco; editing by Diane Craft, Jonathan Oatis