Press

Expedia to Congress – Hands Off Tech Liability Shield

Politico Morning Tech

“The beneficiaries of this bill are big hotel chains who want to raise room rates without worrying that guests would consider short-term rentals as an alternative,” said NetChoice President Steve DelBianco. (His trade group members include all the major short-term rental platforms, from Airbnb to Expedia to Travelocity).

NetChoice Challenges State Attorney’s General Antitrust Attack on Tech

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, several state Attorneys General from across the country are launching an antitrust investigation into technology businesses including Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

“These cases brought by state AGs are weak as these platforms have neither market dominance nor engage in anti-competitive behavior,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice.

“It’s clear that tech markets are highly competitive. Within 18 months of launching, Tik Tok achieved over a billion global downloads, Snapchat maintains a strong standing, Spotify is double the size of Apple music, and Walmart remains the largest seller in the world.”

“State AGs should focus on industries where consumer harm actually exists. NetChoice polling shows that only 5% of consumers think that antitrust enforcement should be most focused on online platforms.“

“This attack on online platforms by Republican AGs should concern conservatives who expect the GOP to be the party of small government – instead, these AGs are listening to the siren song of populism in their desire to regulate businesses they don’t like.”

NetChoice Criticizes Congressional Efforts to Upend Short-Term Rental Market

Today, NetChoice criticized efforts by Rep. Case (D-HI) to pass legislation that would upend the American short-term rental market by removing Section 230 protections.

“Nobody would say that a newspaper is liable for problems that occur with a rental that appeared in the paper’s classified ads, but that is just what Case’s bill would do to short-term rental platforms. This approach creates a moral hazard by shifting legal responsibility from the homeowner to the platform that lists it for rental.” said Steve DelBianco, President of NetChoice.

“Without Section 230 it will be harder for homeowners to earn extra income through short-term rental of their home, which today is helping them cover expenses and mortgage payments.”

“Weakening Section 230 will damage Americans’ ability to communicate online.  The beneficiaries of this bill are big hotel chains who want to raise room rates without worrying that guests would consider short-term rentals as an alternative.”

NetChoice Raises Concerns with Beto O’Rourke’s Proposal to Amend Section 230

Today, NetChoice raised concerns with former Congressman Beto O’Rourke announced plans to hold internet companies accountable for failing to stop hate speech and domestic terrorism threats online.

“By prescribing how platforms moderate speech, Beto’s proposal would actually make it harder to remove hateful and extremist content.” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel of NetChoice. 

“Since 8chan doesn’t moderate content at all, 8chan doesn’t rely on Section 230 to avoid liability for user content. 8chan already gets the same ‘conduit’ liability limits as newsstands and cable providers.”

“Section 230 is the legal tool that empowers platforms to take down hate speech, and has allowed Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to remove almost 12 million accounts for hate speech violations.”

Internal Divides Cloud Tech Industry’s Antitrust Defense

Politico – Morning Tech

As the antitrust heat rises, the small, right-leaning trade association NetChoice, which counts Facebook and Google as members, has emerged as one of the tech industry’s most vocal defenders. Carl Szabo, the vice president and general counsel of the three-person operation, said antitrust falls well within the group’s mission to “keep the internet open for free expression and free enterprise.”

After the DOJ announced its review, NetChoice called on the department to “resist the siren song of populism and only investigate actual evidence of consumer harm.” It also slammed House Democrats as “hypocritical” for complaining about the power of tech companies while seeking an antitrust exemption for big news publishers to negotiate collectively with Google and Facebook over ad sales.

Industry trade groups shouldn’t shy away from the fight, Szabo said.

“I would hope that all associations and all business would oppose a movement away from objective, data-based analysis of antitrust and all associations and businesses would oppose the weaponization of antitrust,” Szabo said. “While such actions may help them today, it can definitely be used against them tomorrow.”

Trump seeks powers to rein in alleged tech bias

The Hill

NetChoice, a trade association that represents Facebook, Google and Twitter, said Friday that an executive order on social media content would be counterproductive to the president’s goal of weeding out extremism online.

“In a week where many in Washington pressured social media sites to more closely moderate their platforms, we are seeing efforts from the White House to make content moderation harder,” Carl Szabo, the group’s vice president and general counsel, said in a statement. 

“If President Trump is concerned about mistreatment of conservatives by social media platforms the White House should continue a productive dialogue with the tech industry — not empower government agencies to regulate online speech,” he added. “Diminishing platforms’ ability to remove offensive content empowers the spread of extremist political speech.” 

Trump seeks powers to rein in alleged social media bias

High Plains Pundit

NetChoice, a trade association that represents Facebook, Google and Twitter, said Friday that an executive order on social media content would be counterproductive to the president’s goal of weeding out extremism online.

“In a week where many in Washington pressured social media sites to more closely moderate their platforms, we are seeing efforts from the White House to make content moderation harder,” Carl Szabo, the group’s vice president and general counsel, said in a statement.

“If President Trump is concerned about mistreatment of conservatives by social media platforms the White House should continue a productive dialogue with the tech industry — not empower government agencies to regulate online speech,” he added. “Diminishing platforms’ ability to remove offensive content empowers the spread of extremist political speech.”

NetChoice Challenges White House Proposal to Control Online Speech

Today, CNN obtained a copy of a summary of a proposed Executive Order by The White House to grant the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission investigation and oversight powers regarding moderation of content by online platforms.

“In a week where many in Washington pressured social media sites to more closely moderate their platforms, we are seeing efforts from the White House to make content moderation harder.” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel for NetChoice.

“If President Trump is concerned about mistreatment of conservatives by social media platforms the White House should continue a productive dialogue with the tech industry — not empower government agencies to regulate online speech.”

“Diminishing platforms’ ability to remove offensive content empowers the spread of extremist political speech.”

How Big Tech Cracks Down on Extremist Content Uploaded by Mass Shooters

Inside Sources

Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel for Big Tech lobbying group NetChoice, said that between July and December 2018, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube “took action against over 11 million accounts that had broken policies on hate speech and extremism.”

“The 11 million accounts, that’s the number you don’t hear about because it’s gone before you even see it,” Szabo told InsideSources. “The large platforms and even the small ones do work really hard to take down harmful content and do that through algorithms and bots, through user tagging, and through manual reviews.”

The internet’s role in gun violence

Politico Morning Tech

Legal protections: “All posts on 8chan are the responsibility of the individual poster and not the administration of 8chan, pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 230,” reads one line of tiny fine print on the site’s landing page, invoking Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the clause that gives 8chan and other websites legal immunity for user-generated content. The statute has been at the center of a growing debate over whether the legal shield is providing cover to tech companies that need to do more to combat hate speech and disinformation. (Republicans have also floated the idea of weakening 230 because, they say, Google, Facebook and Twitter are biased against conservatives.) The 8chan link to the El Paso shooting could accelerate talk of changing the law. But industry groups argue 230 helps tech platforms police bad content. “Section 230 empowers platforms to stop the spread of vile content from the dark corners of the Internet,” Carl Szabo, general counsel at NetChoice, told MT. “Without Section 230, extreme speech would become more prevalent online — not less.”

They’re barking up the wrong tree on Section 230

The Economic Standard

That’s according to Robert Winterton, Director of Communications at NetChoice, a trade association committed to protecting free enterprise and free expression online, writing in the OC Register. A measure implemented in 1996 to establish the legal responsibility of content creators for whatever they post on the Internet — surely a good idea? — Section 230 has come under fire from the likes of Ted Cruz and Tucker Carlson as a “handout” to big tech companies like Google and Facebook in the wake of terrorism and alleged election meddling controversies. The fact that neither company existed when the law was passed is your first clue that the logic here may be faulty, and Winterton lays out a convincing argument supported, among other things, by analysis from the Mercatus Center.

Media v. Tech Continued

Politico

— But critics say the media industry is using big tech as a scapegoat for its business model woes. “It’s clear this is just an attack on social media by big media companies upset that they no longer control our news and views,” said Carl Szabo, general counsel at NetChoice, a trade group representing Facebook, Google and Twitter, in June. “Big media is struggling to dominate again as they did before the internet. … Rather than looking for government to tear down tech businesses, big media should follow tech’s lead and innovate so they are more competitive.”

U.S. Senator introduces a new Social Media Addiction Reduction Tech (SMART) Act that bans endless scrolling and autoplay

Packt

According to Bloomberg, Google and Facebook declined to comment. NetChoice, a trade group that counts both companies as members, said, “The goal of this bill is to make being online a less-enjoyable experience.”

Amazon targeted (again) at Dem debate

Politico Morning Tech

Critics say the media industry is using big tech as a scapegoat for its business model woes. “It’s clear this is just an attack on social media by big media companies upset that they no longer control our news and views,” said Carl Szabo, general counsel at NetChoice, a trade group representing Facebook, Google and Twitter, in June. “Big media is struggling to dominate again as they did before the internet. … Rather than looking for government to tear down tech businesses, big media should follow tech’s lead and innovate so they are more competitive.”

Senator’s bill would ban YouTube, Facebook scrolls as addictive

The Business Times

Google and Facebook declined to comment. NetChoice, a trade group that counts both companies as members, said, “The goal of this bill is to make being online a less-enjoyable experience.”

Senator’s Bill Would Ban YouTube, Facebook Scrolls as Addictive

Bloomberg Quaint

Google and Facebook declined to comment. NetChoice, a trade group that counts both companies as members, said, “The goal of this bill is to make being online a less-enjoyable experience.

Hawley Introduces Plan to Prohibit Addictive Tech Practices

Washington Free Beacon

Hawley’s bill attracted immediate criticism from major tech firms. NetChoice, a trade association which represents e-commerce sites, claimed that the SMART Act would reduce social media sites’ usefulness and and enjoyability.

“This bill would reduce the power of consumers to make decisions for themselves and give that power to the government,” said Carl Szabo, NetChoice vice president and general counsel. “It’s our role to decide what online services and tools we use, not the government’s.”

New Poll Reveals 70 Percent of Americans Value Their Ability to Post or View User-Created Online


Facebook comments, Instagram posts, and reviews on Yelp are a valuable part of American business and daily lives

WASHINGTON – NetChoice today announced new polling on user-created content and responsibility for illegal activity online. The poll’s findings show that Americans overwhelmingly (70 percent) value their independent ability to post or view user-created content online.

The poll, conducted by RealClear Opinion Research, revealed that 62 percent of Americans say users who act illegally or post illegal content online are the ones who should be held responsible. Just 26 percent think the online platform should be held liable.

“Tech platforms powered by Section 230 continuously protect consumers from harmful and illegal activity while empowering free speech online. The results from this polling showcase that maintaining Section 230 is a priority for the American people,” says Steve DelBianco, President of NetChoice.

“Section 230 enables online platforms to connect workers with potential employees, consumers to read reviews and comments to help them make decisions, and families to stay connected. It is understandable that the American public would continue to support Section 230 and not want to hold platforms liable for the content other people are posting.”

Additional poll findings include:

  • Americans overwhelmingly (70%) say their ability to post of view user-created content online is valuable to their personal and professional lives.
  • 62% of Americans say users who act illegally or post illegal content online are the ones who should be held liable.
  • Of those polled, 73% say users, not platforms, should be held responsible for posts made in the comments section of a webpage.
  • Only 1 in 5 polled say they trust the government keep online business practices ethical and fair, whereas a majority most trust consumers or businesses.

Each tech and social platform that hosts user-generated content has community standards in which customers and organizations need to abide to be part of the conversation.

DelBianco added, “These poll results confirm that despite calls for changes to Section 230 by some, Americans value their ability to post content online. It’s vital to keep Section 230 in place, because it not only empowers small businesses nationwide, it also connects Americans with their friends, family, and elected officials.”  

While online platforms work to improve the user experience and ensure safe environments for all users through content moderation and removal of offensive content, Americans continue to value their ability to post and view user-created content online. 

The poll data can be found here. For more information, please email info@netchoice.org.

###

About NetChoice

NetChoice is a trade association that works to protect free expression and free enterprise online.

NetChoice Condemns Introduction of Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology (SMART) Act

Today, NetChoice raised concerns with new legislation introduced by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), the Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology (SMART) Act.

The bill would reduce the usefulness of social media platforms by banning features like autoplay and automatic scrolling. Ironically, a visitor to Sen. Hawley’s own website will see an autoplay video.

“This bill would reduce the power of consumers to make decisions for themselves and give that power to the government,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “It’s our role to decide what online services and tools we use, not the government’s.”

The bill would also grant the FTC and HHS power to ban social media practices.

“The goal of this bill is to make being online a less enjoyable experience — which polling reveals as something the American people oppose.”

“This bill gives the federal government the power to shut down sites and services it doesn’t like, with little-to-no recourse,” continued Szabo. “Consumers have an abundance of tools that let them control their online experiences. Sen. Hawley’s legislation would expand governmental control over the internet.”

NetChoice Commends President Trump and the White House for Addressing French Digital Service Tax

Today, NetChoice commended President Trump and the White House for addressing discriminatory tax proposals coming from Europe.

“France’s Digital Service Tax (DST) is a clear and targeted attempt by Macron to unfairly line French pockets with revenue generated by American innovations,” said Carl Szabo, VP and General Counsel at NetChoice. “President Trump has correctly recognized that France’s Digital Service Tax treats American businesses operating in Europe unfairly.”

“France’s DST ignores advertising by newspapers and television by only taxing large online businesses, the vast majority of which are housed in the United States. DST’s discrimination is obviously intentional and patently unfair,” continued Szabo. “We commend President Trump for his initiative in protecting America’s businesses and combat this unfair tax on American innovation by a foreign power.”

NetChoice Opposes Introduction of Stop Censorship Act

Today, Reps. Gosar (R-AZ), Meadows (R-NC), and King (R-IA) introduced the Stop Censorship Act. The bill would make platforms liable for all content if they remove “legal but otherwise objectionable” content, effectively banning platforms from removing extreme political content and misinformation.

“This bill effectively forces platforms to host harmful content like misinformation, radicalization, deep fakes, and racism.” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel of NetChoice.

“Even though the bill claims to allow moderation of adult content, spam, and bots, without text it’s likely these exemptions won’t allow for necessary content moderation that keeps consumers safe online.” 

“The bill would prevent platforms from removing extreme content including from groups that support white supremacism and antisemitism.”

“This bill won’t help conservatives but would undermine conservative values by giving government greater control over online speech.”

Morning Tech – Antitrust Action for Big Tech

Politico

— The tech industry is pushing back, contending that the sector fosters competition in the broader economy. “While anti-tech advocates argue that anything big is bad, for America’s small businesses, often the bigger the platform the better,” said Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of NetChoice, an e-commerce trade group representing Facebook, Google and Twitter. But tech critics cheered the move, which drew statements of support from across the ideological spectrum, including from Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Elizabeth Warren(D-Mass.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Blumenthal.

The Technology 202

Citizens for Change

NetChoice, a tech lobbying group that counts Facebook and Google as members, quickly slammed the move, urging the DOJ to “resist the siren song of populism.”

NetChoice Raises Concerns with a Wide-Reaching Department of Justice Investigation into the Tech Industry

Today, NetChoice Raised Concerns with a Wide-Reaching Department of Justice Investigation into the Tech Industry

“The DOJ must resist the siren song of populism and only investigate actual evidence of consumer harm,” said Carl Szabo, NetChoice Vice President and General Counsel.

“While anti-tech advocates argue that anything big is bad, for America’s small businesses, often the bigger the platform the better.”

“If the DOJ sticks to the facts, it will see that Americans have more choices and more information than ever. Thanks to innovative online services, consumers have access to an abundance of products, businesses, and information.”

“These businesses cannot be considered monopolies when they compete against one another. Competition in tech is fierce.”

Outraged Politicians and Official Statistics Miss the Benefits of Tech

Reason Magazine

“Thanks to large online platforms, for less than $10, a small business can reach thousands of potential customers and target them more accurately than ever,” Carl Szabo of NetChoice, a trade association of e-commerce businesses, testified to the House Judiciary Committee last week. Szabo highlighted the story of a woodworker in Albany, New York, who can now sell his craft to buyers around the country thanks to Etsy.

PragerU is an unpersuasive victim of Big Tech bias against the right

American Enterprise Institute

Consider: To believe YouTube is engaged in a conspiracy to disappear conservative content, one also has to think that it’s trying to hide that conspiracy by suppressing liberal content even harder with popular channel such as Huffington Post, the Daily Show, and Young Turks experiencing far more of their content restricted, according to tech trade association NetChoice. PragerU’s problems with YouTube seem so far to be yet another example of Big Tech bias where the more you dig, the less you find. 

Ohio Governor Vetoes Expanding Sales Tax to Internet Platforms

Bloomberg Tax

But expanding the sales tax to technology platforms, and making that tweak retroactive, was a large change that would have violated the Internet Tax Freedom Act, a federal law barring multiple or discriminatory taxes on e-commerce, Steve DelBianco, president and CEO of NetChoice, an e-commerce trade association, said.  “The legislators read the headlines and understood the dangers of imposing a retroactive sales tax on businesses around the country,” he said.

Facebook faces record $5bn fine

The Bangkok Post

The tech industry group NetChoice praised the fine, saying it would motivate companies to improve their privacy practices.

Democrats Scoff at Facebook Fine

Politico Morning Tech

DEMS: $5B FACEBOOK FINE NOT CUTTING IT — Fans of the $5 billion FTC settlement with Facebook leaked late Friday are striving to present it as a wise and just punishment; the trade association NetChoice, which counts Facebook as a member, tried to spread the hashtag “#ThatsGonnaLeaveAMark.” But the settlement in the privacy and data-handling probe, sparked by the revelations over Cambridge Analytica, seems to have only inflamed some company critics.

Tech executives to take hot seat at antitrust hearing

The Hill

On Monday, the committee announced that Carl Szabo, the vice president and general counsel of tech trade group NetChoice — which counts Facebook, Google and eBay as members — will be testifying.

Tech executives to acquire sizzling seat at antitrust hearing

The News American

On Monday, the committee declared that Carl Szabo, the vice president and basic counsel of tech trade group NetChoice — which counts Fb, Google and eBay as users — will be testifying.

So the fine is $5B: Does that change anything?

International Association of Privacy Professionals

“The fine is a joke, which is why Facebook’s trade associations such as NetChoice are lobbying for it,” Stoller said. “Who lobbies for their own fine unless it’s not actually a penalty? They want a good headline. So they want to make the number seem like a record fine. When it isn’t. The FTC wants you to compare it in absolute size, but that’s apples to oranges. If you compare it to Facebook’s revenue, it’s relatively small.” 

Tech Giants Brace for Washington Showdown in Echo of Bill Gates

Hedge Accordingly

The company executives scheduled to appear are Adam Cohen, Google’s director of economic policy, Matt Perault, head of global policy development at Facebook, Amazon associate general counsel for competition Nate Sutton, and Kyle Andeer, vice president of corporate law at Apple.E-commerce trade association NetChoice, which includes Google and Facebook, will tell the committee a different story: The reach of tech platforms gives small businesses the opportunity to target large audiences of potential customers through digital advertising.

Not long ago, their only choice was expensive advertising in a local newspaper or television station, the group said.“These platforms are helping small businesses the same way a large retailer operates as an anchor for a shopping center or mall,” Carl Szabo, vice president of NetChoice, will say, according to his prepared remarks. “The larger these platforms grow means the more customers small businesses can reach with better targeting and lower costs.”

Will ‘Big Tech Censorship’ Split the Republican Party Going Into 2020?

Inside Sources

Carl Szabo, policy counsel for the Big Tech lobbying firm NetChoice, told InsideSources that even though the conservative education organization PragerU complains about being censored for its conservative ideas, YouTube has restricted only 12 percent of PragerU’s videos, while restricting a whopping 71 percent of progressive, socialist-leaning group, the Young Turks. Szabo also said PragerU’s subscriber base continues to grow at an “exponential rate.”

“This is a defining time for conservatives in determining where they truly stand on limited government and free markets,” he said. “Conservatives should stop complaining about victimhood and just start focusing on 2020.”

NetChoice Supports Facebook and FTC Settlement

Today, NetChoice voiced support for the FTC and Facebook’s settlement, for which Facebook will be fined $5 billion. This breaks the record for privacy-related fines and is about 100 times larger than last year’s EU’s fine for Google.

“The FTC’s Facebook fine is the largest ever, by a huge margin,” said Carl Szabo, General Counsel at NetChoice. “Yet we are already hearing anti-tech critics claim that the fine is not enough. “

“The FTC’s Facebook fine is unprecedented and will undoubtedly motivate better privacy practices by all businesses. The FTC commissioners should enjoy their weekend, #ThatsGonnaLeaveAMark”

After Uber Tiff, Ohio Casting Broader E-Commerce Tax Net

Bloomberg Tax

Steve DelBianco, president and CEO of NetChoice, an e-commerce trade association, said the Senate proposal would almost certainly bring lawsuits from internet platforms, as well as possible congressional scrutiny over the issue of retroactivity. States have generally steered clear from retroactivity following the U.S. Supreme Court’s South Dakota v. Wayfairdecision, which dozens of states have used as the foundation to expand sales tax on out-of-state retailers—a move Ohio is also considering in the Senate budget bill.

Congress Tackles Facial Recognition

Politico

Instead of holding all online platforms exempt from liability by default, IBM believes that the exemption should be conditioned on companies applying a standard of “reasonable care” and taking actions and preventative measures to curb unlawful uses of their service. In a 2017 research paper, Professors Danielle Citron and Ben Wittes proposed this approach as a balanced compromise to address the growing proliferation of illegal and harmful online content.

The “reasonable care” standard would provide strong incentives for companies to limit illegal and illicit behavior online, while also being flexible enough to promote continued online innovation and fairly easy adaptation to different online business models.

Reasonable care does not mean eliminating entirely the intermediary liability protections of CDA 230, or comparable laws in Europe and elsewhere. Nor are we calling for amending the “Good Samaritan” provision of CDA 230, which limits the liability of companies that take voluntary actions to stop bad actors. We simply believe companies should also be held legally responsible to use reasonable, common-sense care when it comes to moderating online content. This means, for example, quickly identifying and deleting content focused on child pornography, violence on child-oriented sites, or online content promoting acts of mass violence, suicide, or the sale of illegal drugs. A reasonable care standard in CDA 230 would add a measure of legal responsibility to what many platforms are already doing voluntarily.

14 Conservative and Free Market Groups Ask Congress to Protect Section 230

Today, 14 Free Market and Conservative groups sent a letter to House and Senate leadership asking them to defend Section 230 of the Communications and Decency Act. 

The letter illustrates the importance of Section 230 to the American economy and free speech online. Sent the day before President Trump’s Social Media Summit, the letter is key reading for conservatives discussing concerns about social media platforms.

Below are quotes from NetChoice and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance about the importance of the letter and Section 230:

David Williams, President of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance: “Countless conservative voices benefit from the liability protections guaranteed by Section 230, and oppose any attempts to end this vital provision. The internet flourishes when social media platforms allow for discourse and debate without fear of a tidal wave of liability. Ending Section 230 would shutter this marketplace of ideas at tremendous cost.”


Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice: “Online platforms power the American economy and conservative speech online, and it’s clear that many conservative and free market groups support maintaining Section 230. It’s bad policy and bad politics for Republicans to attack Section 230.”

Link to letter: https://www.protectingtaxpayers.org/wp-content/uploads/S230-Letter-to-Congress-with-Logos-1.pdf 

Silicon Valley wages silent battle to ward off lawsuits

Politico Pro

The topic is also an increasingly dominant part of the industry’s private meetings on Capitol Hill, said Carl Szabo, vice president of the right-leaning e-commerce trade group NetChoice, which represents industry heavyweights like Facebook, Google and Twitter.

“It’s easily one of our top priorities,” Szabo said. He said his group’s conversations with lawmakers include “explaining what Section 230 is, besides just a buzzword — its impact on their constituents and their ability to reach potential voters.”

Nancy Pelosi: Facebook’s refusal to remove video shows it enabled Russian election meddling

9JABase

NetChoice, an e-commerce trade group that includes Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet Inc’s Google, issued a statement objecting to Pelosi’s criticism.

“Hyperbolic attacks on platforms won’t help solve the tech issues of today,” Carl Szabo, vice president of the group, said in the statement. “It’s obvious that Facebook is hugely invested in ensuring that its platform won’t be misused to aid election interference.”

What you need to know about Josh Hawley’s war on Big Tech

Springfield News-Leader

“This bill prevents social media websites from removing dangerous and hateful content, since that could make them liable for lawsuits over any user’s posting,” Carl Szabo, an attorney at the advocacy group NetChoice, which counts Facebook, Twitter and Google among its members. “Sen. Hawley’s bill creates an internet where content from the KKK would display alongside our family photos and cat videos.”

Putting Together a State Budget

Rock The Truth

“A group representing some of the country’s biggest e-commerce companies, including eBay and Overstock.com, has sued the state in an effort to block a plan that requires online retailers to collect sales tax. The state’s new policy will take effect July 1, unless a judge grants NetChoice’s request for an injunction…..”

The Republican lawmaker rattling Silicon Valley

Politico

“He’s one of the smartest people in the legislature and he’s somebody who, when he puts his mind to something, is incredibly driven,” said Carl Szabo, general counsel for right-leaning industry group NetChoice. “This is why I’m as disheartened as I am to see him put a lot of his effort into attacks on America’s businesses and harms to America’s freedoms that we enjoy today.”

NetChoice, like the Internet Association, counts digital heavyweights like Google, Facebook and Twitter as members.

Responding to “The Case for Regulatory Capture of ICANN”

Circle ID

It bears mentioning that the effectiveness of the post is considerably dampened by expending a considerable amount of proverbial column inches to call out the past employment history with VeriSign of Shane Tews — which ended nearly a decade ago and is ancient history — who is currently founding principal of Logan Circle Strategies and a visiting scholar with the American Enterprise Institute along with various financial disclosures made in accordance with legal requirements by NetChoice’s Steve Delbianco and Jonathan Zuck, formerly of ACT. 

NetChoice Releases New Report on Privacy Regulations Governing Tech

Today, as part of its filings with the Federal Trade Commission, NetChoice released a white paper outlining identifying the myriad of privacy laws and actions taken against technology businesses. 

This report lists the more than 100 US privacy laws governing tech and more than 75 general privacy cases and 65 data security cases brought against tech by the FTC since 2002.

“Some in Congress think the tech industry is the “wild west.” This is completely untrue. The industry is regulated by over 100 different laws and 75 enforcers,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel for NetChoice. 

“Tech regulation is substantial with over eleven federal agencies providing oversight and more than $100 million reaped in privacy fines.”

Full report at: www.NetChoice.org/RegulationWhitePaper

Silicon Valley vs. the Post-Trump Right

Lincoln Network

Under the proposed regime, large platforms would have to “earn immunity” by undergoing periodic audits and certification by the Federal Trade Commission. These audits, which would require a supermajority vote for approval, could force a broad range of social media platforms, apps, games, and other online services to disclose a trove of proprietary data to the government to get the legal protections they currently enjoy. And just like with Mexico, they would have to pay for it!

Understandably, the tech industry and associated pundit class were not fans of the bill, and responded with mockery and outrage. They deconstructedevery provision in a barrage of official statements, blogs, and Twitter threads, characterizing it as an idiotic solution to a fake problem promoted by ignorant populists.

Big Tech to Hold Panel Against Regulating Communications Decency Act to Curb Censorship

Breitbart

NetChoice, a trade association representing many of America’s largest tech companies, will host an event Tuesday criticizing recent calls for regulating Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which many conservatives believe allows large tech companies to censor without significant legal recourse.

NetChoice, which represents Facebook, Google, and Twitter, will host an event Tuesday on why Congress should not alter Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a provision crafted by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) to give tech companies more legal immunity to censor conservative and alternative voices on the Internet.

Report: Section 230 Enables American Innovation to Flourish, Igniting Investment Opportunities for Startups

US internet companies are ten times as likely to raise over $100 million in venture capital compared to EU internet platform businesses

WASHINGTON, DC – NetChoice, a trade association committed to make the internet safe for free enterprise and free expression, today hosted the release of a new report – Don’t Shoot the Message Board – revealing the positive economic impact of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act on the US economy and the ability of American companies to innovate and receive strong investments.

Authored by the Copia Institute, the report reveals that US companies are five times as likely to raise over $10 million in venture capital, and ten times as likely to raise over $100 million in venture capital compared to those in the EU. These benefits to the US economy and businesses are attributed to the assurances and broad immunity provided by Section 230.

The report, using cross-regional comparisons, as well as changes over time within certain

countries, explores how different levels of platform protections from liability impact investment and innovation. According to the report:

  • Section 230 continues to enable strong economic growth. There is a direct correlation between countries with intermediary liability protections like Section 230 and economic growth. Over the next decade, Section 230 will contribute a further 4.25 million jobs and $440 billion in growth to the US economy.
  • Section 230 enables a world-leading, innovative and competitive tech industry. After Section 230 was put into law, investment in internet platform businesses tripled.
  • Limits on liability offered by Section 230 resulted in two to three times greater total investment in internet platform businesses in the US as compared to the more limited protections offered in the EU and under the E-Commerce Directive
  • Section 230 is credited with creating “a trillion dollars in value” and is a driver for American job creation.
  • US platform companies are five times as likely to be able to raise significant funds (over $10 million in venture capital) and ten times as likely to raise massive funds (over $100 million in venture capital) due to these stronger protections from Section 230 than those in the European Union.

Mike Masnick, CEO of the Copia Institute, added: “This report reaffirms that Section 230 is vital for strong investments and innovation around the country.”

“With the strong data presented in this report, there is no denying the fact that American innovation and start-up success is directly linked to the confidence provided to investors under Section 230,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel of NetChoice.

“Not only does Section 230 empower communities and voices across the United States, it also ignites American innovation and American economic prosperity with rippling benefits to all that utilize internet-based platforms.”

For more information and a downloadable copy of the report, please visit this webpage.

Sen. Hawley’s “Bias” Bill Would Let the Government Decide Who Speaks

EFF

What does “in a manner that is biased against a political party, political candidate, or political viewpoint” mean, exactly? Would platforms be forced to host propaganda from hate groups and punished for doing anything to let users hide posts from the KKK that express its political viewpoints? Would a site catering to certain religious beliefs be forced to accommodate conflicting beliefs?

Guy Pushing Hawley’s ‘Viewpoint Neutrality’ Concept In The Media Used To Write For White Supremacist Site

TechDirt

But one of the most ridiculous parts is that it literally requires internet platforms to give extra weight to Nazis, and to punish any site that does not give the Nazis a platform. NetChoice made this point with its statement on the bill:

Sen. Hawley’s “Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act,” would force online platforms to host politically extreme content that most of us would prefer to avoid online, such as views and videos produced by the KKK.

Senator Hawley’s Proposal to End Support for Internet Speech

Ctrl-Alt-Dissent

Fortunately, it’s unlikely this bill will ever become a law given its glaring constitutional challenges. By controlling the type of content (speech) private Internet companies can and can’t host, the government clearly crosses the First Amendment’s compelled speech line. As NetChoice notes, websites would be required to host KKK propaganda just to maintain political-neutrality.

Both parties are mad about a proposal for federal anti-bias certification

The Verge

NetChoice, an e-commerce association that also includes major tech companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon, said the bill would turn the internet into “a hub of extremism,” and “embolden extreme political movements, such as the KKK.

Josh Hawley Moves to End Immunity Privileges for Big Tech Monopolies Unless They Protect Free Speech

Big League Politics

ECommerce trade group NetChoice opposes the legislation because they admit that it would restrict the ability of tech giants to censor.

“This bill prevents social media websites from removing dangerous and hateful content, since that could make them liable for lawsuits over any user’s posting” said Carl Szabo, who works as General Counsel at NetChoice, in a statement. “Sen. Hawley’s bill creates an internet where content from the KKK would display alongside our family photos and cat videos.”

Hawley’s bill requires audits for Facebook, other sites to prove no political bias

Kansas City Star

Carl Szabo, general counsel for NetChoice, another tech industry group, said the bill would turn popular sites into hubs for extremism.

“Sen. Hawley’s bill creates an internet where content from the KKK would display alongside our family photos and cat videos,” Szabo said.

T-Mobile-Sprint’s move to woo the Justice Department

Politico Morning Tech

Tech companies don’t like the sound of it; Carl Szabo, general counsel at NetChoice, condemned the proposal, adding, “Sen. Hawley’s bill creates an internet where content from the KKK would display alongside our family photos and cat videos. This law would turn today’s popular social media sites into hubs of extremism like 8-Chan.”

Senator Hawley Proposes Law To Force Internet Companies To Beg The FTC For Permission To Host Content

TechDirt

Hawley has set up a purposefully impossible standard. As we’ve pointed out, many people still insist that Twitter deciding to kick off literal Nazis is “evidence” of anti-conservative bias. As NetChoice points out, Hawley’s bill would require sites to host KKK propaganda just in order to obtain basic liability protections.

Tech industry slams GOP senator’s bill that would hold companies liable for user-posted content

CNBC& Yahoo Finance

A Facebook spokesman also pointed at a statement provided by NetChoice, a trade association focused on e-commerce businesses whose members include Facebook, Twitter and Google.

“This bill prevents social media websites from removing dangerous and hateful content, since that could make them liable for lawsuits over any user’s posting,” said Carl Szabo, general counsel at NetChoice, in a statement. “Sen. Hawley’s bill creates an internet where content from the KKK would display alongside our family photos and cat videos.”

Tech industry slams Josh Hawley’s bill targeting internet bias, censorship

The Washington Times

“This bill prevents social media websites from removing dangerous and hateful content, since that could make them liable for lawsuits over any user’s posting,” said Carl Szabo, general counsel at NetChoice, whose members include Facebook, Google and Twitter.

Sen. Hawley’s bill creates an internet where content from the KKK would display alongside our family photos and cat videos,” he said in a statement.

NetChoice Condemns Sen. Hawley’s “Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act.”

Today, NetChoice condemned Sen. Hawley’s “Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act” as legislation that would embolden extreme political movements, such as the KKK.

The bill empowers the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to judge whether a platform is moderating with “political neutrality.” Under the bill, before a platform can enjoy liability protections, it must first receive a “neutrality seal of approval” from the FTC.  This means that the FTC would have the power to say which social media platforms are allowed to host political speech by users.

“This bill prevents social media websites from removing dangerous and hateful content, since that could make them liable for lawsuits over any user’s posting” said Carl Szabo, General Counsel at NetChoice.  “Sen. Hawley’s bill creates an internet where content from the KKK would display alongside our family photos and cat videos.”  

“This law would turn today’s popular social media sites into hubs of extremism like 8-Chan.”

“Republicans should be very worried about Sen. Hawley giving control of the internet to the FTC, since it empowers a future Democratic administration to suppress conservative speech online.”

‘Deepfake’ dilemma

Politico

Opinion on earth: “For antitech activists, no fine is too high — even $5 billion from Facebook,” writes Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel at NetChoice.

Tech turns to K Street in antitrust fight

The Hill

Enlisting help from the influence world will be critical to helping fight off that threat, K Street watchers told The Hill.

“Washington likes to control anything that’s important, and today that includes online platforms,” Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel at NetChoice, a trade association of e-commerce businesses, said.

“Silicon Valley has woken up to this reality and is hiring accordingly. This is the normal path of any business as it grows.”

News publishers seize moment as Congress amps up tech scrutiny

Politico

The committee should “avoid creating a political platform for aggrieved industries and companies to complain about their competitors,” said Billy Easley, policy analyst for Americans for Prosperity, the Koch network’s policy and political arm. Carl Szabo of e-commerce trade group NetChoice, which counts Google and Facebook as members, blasted the hearing as “an attack on social media by big media companies upset that they no longer control our news and views.”

Antitrust Probe Starts Today With Focus On Big Tech’s Profits From News

Forbes

Rather optimistically, perhaps, e-commerce trade association NetChoice is attempting to portray the internet giants as underdogs being bullied by the media.

“Big media is showing its true colors by supporting antitrust exemptions for themselves, while demanding tougher antitrust enforcement on tech businesses,” says NetChoice vice president and general counsel Carl Szabo.

“Rather than looking for government to tear down tech businesses, big media should follow tech’s lead and innovate so they are more competitive.”

Tech Companies To Be Investigated With An “Open Mind”

Android Headlines

While most tech giants welcome regulation, they disagree that they are a monopoly. Most of these companies have been preparing for this investigation for a while, putting up a team of lawyers and policymakers to present their side of the story. The industry group NetChoice has sided with the internet giants and says that today’s hearing is an attempt by the big media to take government’s assistance to help them survive instead of innovating like social media companies.

Antitrust Hearings on the Hill

Politico Morning Tech

Americans for Prosperity’s Billy Easley said the committee should “avoid creating a political platform for aggrieved industries and companies to complain about their competitors.” And Carl Szabo of e-commerce trade group NetChoice blasted the hearing as “an attack on social media by big media companies upset that they no longer control our news and views.” Committee leaders, however, are standing by the session. “This is not, from my perspective, a beat-up of any one particular industry,” House Judiciary ranking member Doug Collins (R-Ga.) told Cristiano, adding that the hearing will explore “a real concern that’s being discussed out in the world.”

NetChoice Voices Concerns Over House Judiciary Committee Antitrust Hearing

Tomorrow, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing entitled “Online Platforms and Market Power, Part 1: The Free and Diverse Press.” NetChoice is concerned that the hearing will be used to push for government to protect big media companies rather than to act in the interests of consumers.

“It’s clear this is just an attack on social media by big media companies upset that they no longer control our news and views,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice.

“Big media is showing its true colors by supporting antitrust exemptions for themselves, while demanding tougher antitrust enforcement on tech businesses.”

“It’s hypocritical for legislators to simultaneously complain about the size of tech businesses while seeking to pass a law to give more power to Rupert Murdoch and Carlos Slim.”

“Big media is struggling to dominate again as they did before the internet,” continued Szabo. “Rather than looking for government to tear down tech businesses, big media should follow tech’s lead and innovate so they are more competitive.”

Big Tech Break-Up Could Be a Messy Affair

Wall Street Journal

On June 6, 2019, Gene Kimmelman, CEO of Public Knowledge and Carl Szabo VP of NetChoice, discuss the possibility of a Big Tech antitrust push by Congress against Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

Congress takes on Big Tech in hearing on anti-competitive behavior among digital giants

CNBC

One key industry group is already pushing back against the probe. NetChoice represents e-commerce giants ranging from Alibaba to Google to Travelocity and slammed Tuesday’s hearing as an attack on social media by legacy media.

“Big media is struggling to dominate again as they did before the internet,” said Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel at NetChoice. “Rather than looking for government to tear down tech businesses, big media should follow tech’s lead and innovate so they are more competitive.”

Congressional listening to takes on antitrust habits amongst digital giants

East Auto News

One key business group is already pushing again in opposition to the probe. NetChoice represents e-commerce giants starting from Alibaba to Google to Travelocity and slammed Tuesday’s listening to as an assault on social media by legacy media.

“Huge media is struggling to dominate once more as they did earlier than the web,” mentioned Carl Szabo, vp and basic counsel at NetChoice. “Somewhat than in search of authorities to tear down tech companies, massive media ought to observe tech’s lead and innovate so they’re extra aggressive.”

Congress takes on Big Tech in hearing on anti-competitive behavior among digital giants

1 Business World

One key industry group is already pushing back against the probe. NetChoice represents e-commerce giants ranging from Alibaba to Google to Travelocity and slammed Tuesday’s hearing as an attack on social media by legacy media.

“Big media is struggling to dominate again as they did before the internet,” said Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel at NetChoice. “Rather than looking for government to tear down tech businesses, big media should follow tech’s lead and innovate so they are more competitive.”

NetChoices Voices Concerns with “Protecting Children from Online Predators Act.”

Today, Sen. Hawley (R-MO) announced plans to introduce the “Protecting Children from Online Predators Act.” The bill would ban “video hosting websites” from showing videos depicting minors as part of Youtube recommendations.

“While Hawley’s goal is to help minors, his bill would suppress all videos featuring minors — with the unintended effect that high schools and youth groups like the YMCA cannot effectively promote their activities.”

“The largest social media platforms are devoting substantial resources to remove child exploitation content from their websites. Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook together removed over 16 million users who had violated child safety standards in the second half of 2018.”

NetChoice Applauds New YouTube Community Guidelines

Today, Google announced in a blog post that it is updating YouTube’s community guidelines. The move will further reduce the presence of supremacist and hateful content on YouTube’s platform.

“It’s clear Google has listened to concerns from Congress and the public about harmful content and the role of content moderation,” said Carl Szabo, VP and General Counsel at NetChoice.

“Google rightly met with voices from across the political spectrum to craft these fair and effective rules.”

“We should all celebrate Google’s move to increase transparency and make YouTube better for its users and advertisers,” continued Szabo. “Google is ensuring that YouTube prevents the spread of cruelty online – regardless of political affiliation.”

Tech giants under fire: Is antitrust action the answer?

Mercury News

NetChoice, an e-commerce trade group, slammed the reported antitrust investigations.

“Pointless antitrust attacks on American businesses risk stalling out America’s tech leadership as competition from China is fiercer than ever before,” said Carl Szabo, NetChoice vice president and general counsel, in a statement.

Google has spent millions wooing friends in D.C. — but will they save them in an antitrust fight?

Politico

NetChoice, one tech industry group that counts Google as a member, defended the company amid the reports of potential DOJ scrutiny, predicting this probe would fizzle as well.

“Back in 2013, the FTC looked at Google and realized that there’s no ‘there’ there,” said Carl Szabo, the group’s general counsel. “So now I guess it’s DOJ’s turn to realize that there’s no ‘there’ there.”

Silicon Valley in the crosshairs: Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple face bipartisan onslaught

Fox News

“The Justice Department’s investigation of Google will come to the same conclusion as the FTC’s did in 2013 — that there is no antitrust case,” said Carl Szabo, VP of NetChoice, an e-commerce trade association, in a statement to Fox News. “It’s illogical that the DOJ is investigating competitors in the same market for monopoly behavior. Amazon, Apple, and Google all compete with each other in a vibrant and competitive marketplace.”

Antitrust tech crusade will destroy trust in government and innovation

The Center Square

In a recent piece, NetChoice’s Carl Szabo implores bureaucrats to consider the local greeting card store. Szabo argues that, “A decade ago this business could barely afford to place an ad in a local newspaper, let alone on TV or radio. But for less than $10 spent with online platforms, this small business can reach thousands of potential customers, and target them more accurately than ever too.”

Antitrust Investigations into Apple, Amazon, and Google are Misguided

“The Justice Department’s investigation of Google will come to the same conclusion as the FTC’s did in 2013 — that there is no antitrust case,” said Carl Szabo, NetChoice Vice President and General Counsel.

“It’s illogical that the DOJ is investigating competitors in the same market for monopoly behavior. Amazon, Apple, and Google all compete with each other in a vibrant and competitive marketplace.”

“Consumers don’t have antitrust concerns with America’s tech industry. NetChoice polling from August 2018 shows that less than 5% of consumers say antitrust enforcement should be most focused on tech,” continued Szabo.

“Pointless antitrust attacks on American businesses risks stalling-out America’s tech leadership as competition from China is fiercer than ever before.”

Pelosi: FB a Russia ‘enabler,’ keeps $1M in stocks

One News Now

NetChoice Vice President Carl Szabo – whose company is part of an association of Internet companies that includes Facebook – condemned Pelosi’s recent rant against the social media giant, calling her accusation “false and over-the-top.”

“Speaker Pelosi’s accusation that Facebook is a ‘willing enabler’ of Russian interference in our elections is completely false and appears to be an attempt to use an important national discussion for her own political gamesmanship,” Szabo commented, according to the Beacon. “[It appears that Pelosi’s true motive is] to frighten platforms into removing any content she feels is unflattering.”

The Importance of Balancing Privacy with Innovation, Consumer Benefits, and Other Rights in the FTC’s Approach to Consumer Data Privacy

Mercatus Center

These preferences can vary dramatically, and most Americans do not find themselves trapped by the data-driven websites; they choose to participate because they find those services beneficial. According to Zogby polling data conducted for NetChoice, 42 percent prefer targeted ads based on data collection to nontargeted ads. Americans also find themselves willing and able to leave platforms they no longer find beneficial, with 43 percent of participants in the same survey saying they had left a social media platform at some point. While only a small percentage chose to leave because of changes in a privacy policy, consumers nonetheless make choices when it comes to data-driven services.

Pelosi Attacks Facebook As ‘Willing Enabler’ of Russia, Still Owns Up to $1 Million In Company Stock

Washington Free Beacon

NetChoice, an association of internet companies including Facebook, objected to Pelosi’s “false and over-the-top” accusation.

“Speaker Pelosi’s accusation that Facebook is a ‘willing enabler’ of Russian interference in our elections is completely false and appears to be an attempt to use an important national discussion for her own political gamesmanship,” said Carl Szabo, the group’s vice president.

Szabo also said Pelosi’s true aim appeared to be “to frighten platforms into removing any content she feels is unflattering.”

Big Tech Fires Back at Elizabeth Warren’s ‘Break Up’ Billboard

Inside Sources

But a Big Tech trade group representing e-commerce businesses — NetChoice — called Warren’s billboard a “populist rant” without substance.

“I think what we’re starting to see is weaponization of antitrust law,” Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel for NetChoice, told InsideSources. “We have over 100 years of antitrust law and enforcement and it’s always done on an objective base. You look at the market and competition and anticompetitive activities and then you do your conclusion. What we’re hearing from people like Elizabeth Warren is they want to move to a subjective test: ‘I don’t like that business, therefore it should be broken up.’ What’s ironic is in their efforts to allegedly protect consumers, many of the calls we’ve heard to break up tech would harm [consumers].”

Pelosi Blasts Facebook for Enabling Russian Election Interference — Owns Around $1M in Company’s Stock

Independent Journal Review

E-commerce association NetChoice responded to Pelosi’s “false and over-the-top” accusation, claiming that her comments were politically driven.

“Speaker Pelosi’s accusation that Facebook is a ‘willing enabler’ of Russian interference in our elections is completely false and appears to be an attempt to use an important national discussion for her own political gamesmanship,” said Carl Szabo, NetChoice vice president to the Washington Free Beacon.

Szabo claimed that her intention is to “to frighten platforms into removing any content she feels is unflattering.”

Pelosi Slams Facebook as ‘Willing Enabler’ of Russia Despite Owning Up to $1M in Company’s Stock

Fox News

The head of NetChoice, a trade association for e-commerce, called Pelosi’s comments “hyperbolic” and “over-the-top.”

“Speaker Pelosi’s accusation that Facebook is a ‘willing enabler’ of Russian interference in our elections is false and over-the-top,” Carl Szabo told Fox News in a statement.

“It’s obvious that Facebook is hugely invested in ensuring that its platform won’t be misused to aid election interference.”

Refusal to Remove Video Shows Facebook Enabled Russian Election Meddling: Pelosi

Reuters

“Hyperbolic attacks on platforms won’t help solve the tech issues of today,” Carl Szabo, vice president of the group, said in the statement. “It’s obvious that Facebook is hugely invested in ensuring that its platform won’t be misused to aid election interference.”

Pelosi Slams Facebook For Not Removing Altered Video

Associated Press

Tech industry trade group NetChoice, whose members include Facebook, called Pelosi’s comments “hyperbole” that makes it hard to identify the “real bad actors.”

NetChoice Objects to Hyperbolic Statements Calling Facebook a “Willing Enabler” of Russian Interference

Today Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Facebook was a “willing enabler of the Russian interference in our elections.”

“Facebook is taking extraordinary steps to protect our democracy. This type of hyperbole makes it hard to identify the real bad actors,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President of NetChoice. “Speaker Pelosi’s accusation that Facebook is a “willing enabler” of Russian interference in our elections is false and over-the-top. It’s obvious that Facebook is hugely invested in ensuring that its platform won’t be misused to aid election interference,” continued Szabo.

“Hyperbolic attacks on platforms won’t help solve the tech issues of today,” said Szabo.

Do Not Track is back in the US Senate. And this time it means business. As in, fining businesses that stalk you online

The Register

 NetChoice represents most of Big Tech in Washington DC – including Google, Facebook and Twitter – and said the proposed law would “harm consumers and competition.”

“By preventing the use of interest-based ads, this bill will result in more ads, more paywalls, and less content,” the lobbying group said in a statement on Monday. “Senator Hawley’s bill undermines small online businesses trying to compete with large incumbents by preventing them from making the most from their smaller user base.”

It concludes that the bill “doesn’t give users more rights over their data, it gives users the right to use online platforms without paying for them.”

Don’t want your online data tracked? You could sign up for a list under Hawley’s bill

Kansas City Star

“By preventing the use of interest-based ads, this bill will result in more ads, more paywalls, and less content,” said Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of NetChoice, a group that represents the tech industry.

“Sen. Hawley’s bill undermines small online businesses trying to compete with large incumbents by preventing them from making the most from their smaller user base.The bill most helps large businesses with trusted names while kneecapping future competitors.”

The Do Not Track Act Would Harm the Digital Marketplace

Today, Sen. Hawley announced the introduction of the “Do Not Track Act.” The bill claims to give consumers the right to use online services without allowing those services to use interest-based advertising.

“This bill harms consumers and competition,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “By preventing the use of interest-based ads, this bill will result in more ads, more paywalls, and less content.”

“Sen. Hawley’s bill undermines small online businesses trying to compete with large incumbents by preventing them from making the most from their smaller user base. This bill most helps large businesses with trusted names while kneecapping future competitors.”

“Sen. Hawley’s bill doesn’t give users more rights over their data, it gives users the right to use online platforms without paying for them.”

America’s GDPR

The Margins

Meanwhile, actual tech industry lobby groups are pushing federal legislation along the same lines as that proposed by the tech-funded think tanks. 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.

Missouri’s freshman senator taking on Candy Crush

New Haven Register

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 most of the games like Candy Crush are aimed at adults, and parents should be the ones to choose what games are appropriate for their children.

Pressure builds for FTC to punish Zuckerberg

The Hill

Carl Szabo, the vice president of the trade group NetChoice, which represents Facebook, said that such a move would be extreme and that “anti-tech activists” will not be satisfied no matter how far the FTC goes.

“I think the multibillion-dollar fine that we’ve been hearing about for some time is more than appropriate,” Szabo told The Hill. “Holding business leadership liable risks undermining innovation and leaves America open to foreign technological dominance.”

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

Axios

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

KSN

“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.

Hawley says Silicon Valley offers little good while monetizing social media addictions

St Louis Dispatch and The Neighbor

Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel for the e-commerce trade association NetChoice, was in the Hoover audience. In a question, he tried to reinforce Hawley’s acknowledgement that “we should be doing this through market reinforcement” rather than government intervention.

Szabo, whose organization represents a veritable alphabet of big tech companies, said that Hawley “is too dismissive of the widespread benefits of social media.

“Never before in the history of the world have so many people had access to so much information,” he said. “No longer is our access to news about (the) world dictated by a small number of news outlets.

“Social media is not destroying democracy, as Sen. Hawley suggests,” Szabo added. “Rather, social media connects us to our government like never before.”

Szabo responded, “Social media, like any tool, can be used for good and ill.

“Knee-jerk reactions to perceived problems could harm small businesses and our ability to connect with friends and family,” the NetChoice executive said.

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.”


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