ICYMI: McMorris Rodgers, Pallone Unveil Bipartisan Draft Legislation to Sunset Section 230

Washington D.C. – On Sunday, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) unveiled bipartisan draft legislation to sunset Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. As laid out in the Leaders’ opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, the legislation seeks to encourage Congress and stakeholders to work together over the next 18 months to evaluate and enact a new legal framework that will allow for free speech and innovation while also incentivizing these companies to be good stewards of their platforms.

Excerpts from The Wall Street Journal op-ed by Chair Rodgers and Ranking Member Pallone:

The internet’s original promise was to help people and businesses connect, innovate and share information. Congress passed the Communications Decency Act in 1996 to realize those goals. It was an overwhelming success. Section 230 of the act helped shepherd the internet from the “you’ve got mail” era into today’s global nexus of communication and commerce.

Unfortunately, Section 230 is now poisoning the healthy online ecosystem it once fostered. Big Tech companies are exploiting the law to shield them from any responsibility or accountability as their platforms inflict immense harm on Americans, especially children. Congress’s failure to revisit this law is irresponsible and untenable. That is why we’re taking bipartisan action.

[…]

Over the years lawmakers have tried to no avail to address these concerns, thanks in part to Big Tech’s refusal to engage in a meaningful way. Congress has made good-faith efforts to find a solution that preserves Big Tech’s ability to innovate and ensures safety and accountability for past and future harm. It’s time to make that a reality, which is why we are unveiling today bipartisan draft legislation to sunset Section 230.

Our measure aims to restore the internet’s intended purpose—to be a force for free expression, prosperity and innovation. It would require Big Tech and others to work with Congress over 18 months to evaluate and enact a new legal framework that will allow for free speech and innovation while also encouraging these companies to be good stewards of their platforms. Our bill gives Big Tech a choice: Work with Congress to ensure the internet is a safe, healthy place for good, or lose Section 230 protections entirely.

CLICK HERE to read the full op-ed.

CLICK HERE to read the bipartisan discussion draft legislation.

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