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OpenMarket: Media, Speech and Internet Freedom

  • Regulatory Restraint, Full Throttle

    March 31, 2020
    Members of Congress pursuing compromise or bipartisan net neutrality legislation should think twice about regulating away certain practices as a priori harmful. Among the greatest harms of regulation are the beneficial market responses it often prevents and the innovations it precludes. It’s not just in times of crisis that citizens deserve the most possible flexibility and the greatest range of solutions.
  • CEI Scholars Warn EARN IT Act Will Weaken Online Protections

    March 5, 2020
    Today, a bipartisan group of senators introduced the EARN IT Act, a bill that ties critical intermediary liability protections for online platforms, known as Section 230, to meeting yet-to-be-determined regulations regarding the spread of child sexual abuse material online. While the bill's goal is critically important, there are reasons to believe this legislation would backfire and is designed to accomplish other goals beyond its stated purpose, such as weakening online privacy protections powered by encryption.
  • Federal Court Rightly Affirms Online Platforms' First Amendment Rights

    February 28, 2020
    This week the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that, “despite YouTube’s ubiquity and its role as a publicfacing platform, it remains a private forum, not a public forum subject to judicial scrutiny under the First Amendment.” CEI agrees with the court and has said as much – many times.
  • Net Reality: Five Years Since the Open Internet Order

    February 26, 2020
    If you’re reading this, the Internet is alive and well. If you’re wondering how the Internet is doing, just picture a rocket—symbolizing both the incredible Internet speeds and new technological frontiers achievable through deregulation.
  • So-Called Conservative Tech Proposal Is an Affront to the First Amendment

    February 18, 2020
    Several conservative groups have signaled their support for what some are calling a “small-government solution” to perceived anti-conservative bias by tech platforms. The solution that seems to be gaining traction is to tie Section 230 intermediary liability protection to a “First Amendment standard.” Essentially, so long as companies do not remove any content that is otherwise protected by the First Amendment they will continue to be protected from liability over third-party content. There are a number of glaring problems with this idea, not the least of which is the fact that it is antithetical to the First Amendment.
  • USMCA Won't Protect Tech from Trudeau

    December 16, 2019
    A point of contention in the debate over the new U.S., Mexico, Canada (USMCA) trade agreement has been whether or not the final deal will include language inspired by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Despite opposition from some including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Section 230-type language will be included in the final agreement.
  • Government of Singapore Demonstrates Real Online Censorship

    December 2, 2019
    Singapore’s recent policing of online content provides an instructive example of the difference between private curating of material by platform owners and dangerous curtailing of free speech by governments. 
  • Twitter's Ban on Political Ads Has No First Amendment Implications

    October 31, 2019
    Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey announced that the social media platform will ban all political advertising. This comes on the heels of Facebook’s recent announcement that the company won’t fact check political ads on their platform. Whichever tack tech companies take with their privately owned platforms, there are no First Amendment implications. The First Amendment prevents only the government from making laws that abridge freedom of speech.
  • Cautiously Optimistic about Facebook's New Approach to Speech

    October 23, 2019
    It seems increasingly the case that there is a lot more to like about what Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has to say than not. His recent speech at Georgetown University, outlining the company’s general direction when it comes to content moderation, is no exception.
  • Facebook's $5 Billion Privacy Fine Almost Certainly Too High

    September 3, 2019
    Facebook has faced intense criticism from lawmakers and regulators since last spring, when The Observer and The New York Times reported that data from over 50 million Facebook users had been harvested as part of Cambridge Analytica’s effort to influence American voters.

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