Roll Call: Lawmakers issue ultimatum to tech platforms over data privacy 

May 14, 2024

The protections offered by the section are not as broad as companies claim, according to the Electronic Privacy Information Center, or EPIC, a non-profit online privacy advocacy group. Nor is the provision intended to be a stand-in for online free speech and innovation, Megan Iorio and Tom McBrien, lawyers for EPIC, wrote in a recent blog.  

The provision “was meant to accomplish a very limited purpose: preventing lawsuits that would force internet companies to either screen for and block all illegal content, or to not moderate their platforms at all,” Iorio and McBrien wrote. “This limited purpose protects free speech online; an overbroad interpretation of Section 230 is a license for internet companies to act with impunity, removing an important incentive to design safe products and comply with generally applicable laws.” 

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