Hawley escalates attacks on online companies’ practices, says he’ll push bill to limit game apps

St. Louis Dispatch and Cherokee Tribune

But Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of NetChoice, an online commerce association that represents Facebook, Twitter and other big tech companies, warned that “knee-jerk reactions to perceived problems could harm small businesses and our ability to connect with friends and family.”

Missouri Sen. Hawley finds a new target in his war with tech industry: Candy Crush

The Kansas City Star

Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of NetChoice, a group which represents the tech industry, called Hawley’s bill well-intentioned but overly broad. He said the bulk of “loot-box games” are targeted at adults rather than teens.

“Furthermore, as a parent, it’s my right to choose what games and services are appropriate for my children, not the government’s,” Szabo said in an email.

How to read a Facebook privacy settlement


The spin is already flowing. After Facebook predicted it would face a multibillion fine, the industry group NetChoice, which represents Facebook, said that the “expected fine demonstrates to consumers and European regulators that the FTC is serious about privacy.”

Bill would give kids a ‘clean slate’ online


“It sends the wrong message to children not to think before they post and sends the wrong message to parents that they don’t need to worry,” said Carl Szabo of NetChoice, who represents companies like Twitter, Google and PayPal.

Facebook could create new privacy positions as part of FTC settlement

Carl Szabo, NetChoice vice president and general counsel, said that the multibillion-dollar fine was already a big enough statement for the FTC. “Despite a potentially record setting fine against Facebook, for anti tech activists nothing short of a total business shutdown or break-up seems to be enough,” Szabo told The Verge. “This is not a slam dunk case for the FTC and if the FTC tries to go beyond just a [financial penalty] they will lose in court.”

Read more…

NetChoice and Congressman Cox File Amicus Brief Protecting Homeowners Using Airbnb and HomeAway in Santa Monica

Today, NetChoice filed, alongside Chris Cox, Former Member of Congress and Co-Author Of CDA Section 230, an amicus brief in HomeAway and Airbnb v Santa Monica.  As the brief outlines, “the Panel opinion in this case upends the well-established meaning of the words of Section 230, and will have dramatic consequences by overriding the intent of Congress.”

“The prior Panel ruling by the ninth circuit violates the very principles Section 230 put into law and if left in place risks closing-off avenues for free enterprise and free speech for all Americans.  We expect and support an overturning of the prior ruling,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice.

“Section 230 empowers individuals and businesses all over the country through the use of online platforms like HomeAway and Airbnb,” continued Szabo. “The prior decision runs contrary to multiple 9th Circuit decisions that have upheld Section 230 and enabled unprecedented innovation.”
The full amicus brief can be read here.

NetChoice Comments on Marriott’s Home Sharing Division Announcement

Today, Marriott announced the US rollout of their new home sharing division.

“Marriott has spent the last few years attacking home sharing. This confirms that the big chain hotel association, AHLA was just kneecapping new competitors while its large scale members scrambled to develop their own home sharing platforms,” said Steve DelBianco, President of NetChoice.

“Now that big hotel chains embrace the benefits of home sharing, AHLA should cease fear-mongering about home sharing and protect the rights of homeowners to earn income on their properties.”

Eagle Tribune - State Eyes Bigger Net for Online Sales Tax

Eagle Tribune – State Eyes Bigger Net for Online Sales Tax

Steve DelBianco, president and CEO of NetChoice, a Washington D.C.-based trade group representing online retailers such as Overstock.com, eBay and PayPal, says Massachusetts and other states are attempting to squeeze more from retailers than the court’s decision allows by “cutting and pasting” South Dakota’s threshold for collecting sales taxes.

DelBianco said the $100,000 threshold set by the Supreme Court ruling was based on South Dakota’s economy and can’t be applied to wealthier states.

“Massachusetts has 10 times the gross domestic product as South Dakota,” he said.

“They ought to be increasing the threshold to follow the proportional size of the state. It should really be $1 million.”

He expects a lawsuit to challenge states that drop their thresholds to collect more revenue.

The Intercept - Silicon Valley-Funded Privacy Think Tanks Fight in D.C. to Unravel State-Level Consumer Privacy Protections

The Intercept – Silicon Valley-Funded Privacy Think Tanks Fight in D.C. to Unravel State-Level Consumer Privacy Protections

“One of the largest lobbying groups for Silicon Valley, NetChoice, has rallied behind Sen. Marco Rubio’s, R-Fla., privacy bill. His bill would roll back state regulation and place enforcement authority largely under the Federal Trade Commission, a notoriously toothless federal agency with no rule-making power, instead of letting consumers directly sue tech companies under the law.

NetChoice lobbies on behalf of Facebook, Google, Twitter, Airbnb, and eBay, among other tech companies. (Pierre Omidyar, founder of The Intercepts parent company, First Look Media, is the chair of eBay.)”