Press

‘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.”

Opinion: 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.”


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.

Politico Morning Tech - Fat Fine for Facebook

Politico Morning Tech – Fat Fine for Facebook

Facebook has stayed mum on the potential settlement, limiting its comments on the matter to the multibillion-dollar estimate, disclosed in the company’s latest quarterly earnings report. But e-commerce trade group NetChoice, of which Facebook is a member, said it views a historically large fine as more than sufficient and warned the FTC against taking Facebook to court for more. “A multi-billion dollar settlement is vastly greater than the UK’s $600,000 privacy fine and demonstrates the FTC is a serious enforcer of privacy laws,” said NetChoice general counsel Carl Szabo. “This is not a slam dunk case for the FTC. The FTC knows that if they overplay their hand they will lose in court.”

NetChoice Comments on FTC Facebook Fine

“The expected fine demonstrates to consumers and European regulators that the FTC is serious about privacy,” said Steve DelBianco, President of NetChoice. “The fine shows that American businesses should not trust any Cambridge University professor who promises to protect user data.”

“A multi billion dollar settlement is vastly greater than the UK’s $600,000 privacy fine and demonstrates the FTC is a serious enforcer of privacy laws,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “This is not a slam dunk case for the FTC. The FTC knows that if they overplay their hand they will lose in court.”

The Verge Republicans dig into Facebook and Twitter over concerns of ‘conservative bias’

The Verge Republicans dig into Facebook and Twitter over concerns of ‘conservative bias’

“If we prevent online platforms from removing objectionable content, we risk turning online platforms into 8-Chan,” said Carl Szabo, general counsel for NetChoice. “Section 230 was specifically created to enable private platforms to remove offensive content.”

NetChoice Raises Concerns About Attacks on Platforms’ Ability to Remove Content

Today, NetChoice raised concerns about suggestions made by members of the US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee that government should prevent online platforms from removing content they find objectionable ahead of today’s hearing, “Stifling Free Speech: Technological Censorship and the Public Discourse”.

“If we prevent online platforms from removing objectionable content, we risk turning online platforms into 8-Chan,” said Carl Szabo, General Counsel for NetChoice. “Section 230 was specifically created to enable private platforms to remove offensive content.”

“Online platforms have bolstered conservative speech in public discourse, empowering modern conservative thought leaders such as Ben Shapiro, Jordan Peterson, and Blaire White,” continued Szabo.

“Sen. Cruz is a smart lawyer who surely wants online platforms to remove violent and hateful content, so he’s not really looking to apply the first amendment to private parties.” said Steve DelBianco, President of NetChoice. “Sen. Cruz just wants assurances that online platforms are not curtailing conservative speech. We look forward to today’s witnesses giving him those assurances.”

NetChoice Raises Concerns About Attacks on Platforms’ Ability to Remove Content

Today, NetChoice was concerned by suggestions made during the US Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution Hearing: Stifling Free Speech: Technological Censorship and the Public Discourse to prevent platforms from removing content it finds objectionable.

“Despite the misinformation, Section 230 was specifically created to enable content moderation and removal of offensive content.”  said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel for NetChoice. “It’s surprising that conservatives support the Hobby Lobby decision while oppose the rights of private platforms to remove content they deem objectionable to users and advertisers.”

“Preclusions on platforms removing content would require ChristiansLikeMe to retain atheist’s “political” comments.” warned Szabo.  “If we prevent online platforms from removing objectionable content we risk turning the whole internet into 8-Chan.”

Politico Morning Tech - Stifling free speech

Politico Morning Tech – Stifling free speech

Not all conservatives are happy with the theme. Billy Easley, a senior tech policy analyst for the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, is warning the committee against infringing on free speech. “Senator Cruz is right: tech companies ought to provide an open platform for speech across the political and ideological spectrum,” he said in a statement. “But asking the government to police online speech — either through direct action or by cajoling private firms — sets a dangerous precedent.” Carl Szabo, vice president for right-leaning trade group NetChoice, called it “inconsistent for conservatives to support the free speech rights of businesses” while opposing it for “private platforms when moderating content they host.”

NetChoice Commends LaHood on Effort to Combat Discriminatory Tax Proposals

Today, NetChoice commended Congressman Darin LaHood (R-IL) for leading the effort to combat discriminatory tax proposals coming from Europe.

“France’s Digital Service Tax’s (DST) targeting of U.S. companies is the poster child for taxation without representation,” said Carl Szabo, VP and General Counsel at NetChoice. “These taxes are designed to target American businesses regardless of whether they’re physically present in Europe.”

“France’s DST ignores advertising by newspapers and television by only taxing online businesses, most of whom are housed in the United States. DST is obviously intentional and patently unfair,” continued Szabo. “We commend Rep. LaHood for his initiative in pushing the White House to protect America’s businesses and combat this tax by a foreign power.”

NetChoice and Taxpayers Protection Alliance Reject Preferential Treatment for Big Media

Today, NetChoice and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) voiced concerns over the “Journalism Competition and Preservation Act,” reintroduced by Rep. Cicilline (D-RI), and co-sponsored by Rep. Collins (R-GA).

The legislation would exempt media companies from certain antitrust laws, allowing them to collude against online platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

“This bill empowers big media to circumvent antitrust laws and collude to grow their power.” said Carl Szabo, VP and General Counsel at NetChoice. “We should reject attempts by those representing the ‘old economy’ to maintain relevance and gain advantages to the detriment of the consumer.”

“This legislation empowers big media to force prioritization of their content over their competitors,” continued Szabo.

TPA President David Williams also voiced concerns with the legislation’s text arguing “Companies should get equal treatment under the law, instead of big media companies enjoying a lucrative exemption from antitrust laws.”

“Instead of complicating regulations via special carve-outs, lawmakers should look to simplify rules and promote digital innovation.”

Politico Morning Tech - Senators Bullish on Robocall Bill

FIRST IN MT: TALK 230 TO ME — E-commerce trade group NetChoice is ramping up its defense of a law that shields companies like Google and Facebook from lawsuits over content on their platforms. The new initiative, called Protect Online Voices, is part of the right-leaning association’s effort to challenge critics who argue tech firms no longer deserve the broad immunity afforded by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The campaign has debuted as a website with information about the law and statements from advocacy groups and lawmakers who back Section 230, including Democrats Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (Calif). It will supplement lobbying that NetChoice and other groups already have underway on the Hill.

The internet industry is hustling to defend Section 230 after Congress passed a law last year making websites liable for facilitating sex trafficking. Both Democrats and Republicans have flirted with additional changes to the law to, for instance, make internet companies more accountable for online opioid sales or restrict them from censoring political speech. Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel at NetChoice, argues that the law is what empowers companies to remove problematic material in the first place. “Before we consider doing anything to undermine that, I think it’s important for people to know what it is,” he said.

Politico - Facebook's FTC worries go beyond a massive fine

“This is a great opportunity to show the FTC really is the premiere privacy cop on the beat,” said Carl Szabo, who worked on privacy issues at the FTC in the early 2000s and is now vice president of the tech trade group NetChoice.

The commission can “show not only other agencies and states but the rest of the world that the U.S. takes privacy seriously, and that the American approach works,” he said.

NetChoice Criticizes Attacks on Successful American Businesses

Today, NetChoice was concerned by suggestions made by Sen. Cory Booker during a campaign event in Washington that suggested he could weaponize antitrust law against American tech companies.

“We are not seeing a call for antitrust enforcement but rather an attack on successful businesses,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “Breaking-up America’s most successful innovators will leave a vacuum only to be filled by foreign enterprises.”

“Antitrust should not be exploited for political purposes – to do so undermines the American public’s trust in fair and honest enforcement of laws,” continued Szabo.

The reaction to Sen. Warren’s antitrust proposal shows that Americans want fair rather than political enforcement of antitrust laws.”

NetChoice Comments on Mark Zuckerberg’s Washington Post Op-Ed

“Zuckerberg rightly raised the threat to American businesses from data nationalization laws around the world, many of which intentionally target the U.S. tech economy,” said Steve DelBianco, President of NetChoice.

“Zuckerberg welcomed national or even global consensus about standards to moderate harmful content such as hate speech and terrorist propaganda. Until then, Facebook will continue to moderate content in order to meet the terms of service it promises to users.”

Politico - Lawmakers sound off as Facebook probe turns 1 

“Conservatives must keep to their principles and respect that online platforms are private businesses not public utilities,” said Carl Szabo, vice president at e-commerce trade group NetChoice.

The Hill - GOP steps up attack over tech bias claims

Carl Szabo, the general counsel for NetChoice, a trade group representing internet companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter, said on Tuesday that Nunes’s case is unlikely to succeed.

“This lawsuit underscores the importance of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which empowers platforms to host content and discussions of our elected officials — whether our elected officials like it or not,” Szabo said in a statement.

“Twitter has been an amazing forum for discussing — and yes, criticizing — our public officials, hopefully this lawsuit doesn’t undermine that. The ability to criticize our public officials is core to our American principles.”

SacBee - Devin Nunes sued a parody account with about 1,000 followers. Here’s how many it has now

Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice, an advocacy group for the tech industry, said in a statement he hoped the lawsuit would not undermine internet forums for talking about public officials.

“This suit’s survival is unlikely as the ability to criticize and mock our public officials is well settled court doctrine,” Szabo said.

Rep. Devin Nunes’s Suit against Twitter Won’t work

Today, NetChoice identified legal infirmities in Rep. Devin Nunes’s lawsuit against Twitter for comments posted on the platform.

“This lawsuit underscores the importance of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act which empowers platforms to host content and discussions of our elected officials — whether our elected officials like it or not,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice.

“Twitter has been an amazing forum for discussing – and yes, criticizing – our public officials, hopefully this lawsuit doesn’t undermine that.” continued Szabo.  “The ability to criticize our public officials is core to our American principles.”

“This suit’s survival is unlikely as the ability to criticize and mock our public officials is well settled court doctrine.”

NetChoice Concerned by Ninth Circuit Ruling on Section 230

Today, NetChoice voiced concerns about today’s Ninth Circuit Ruling that could undermine Section 230 and threaten the legal structure that empowers entrepreneurs online.

“The Ninth Circuit’s ruling is wrong and violates the reasoning behind Section 230. This decision risks closing-off avenues of free speech and free enterprise for all Americans,” 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.”

“This ruling runs contrary to multiple court decisions that have upheld Section 230 and enabled unprecedented innovation.”

NetChoice filed a joint “friend of the court” brief with Hon. Chris Cos on this case last year.

Multiple Sources – Media Reaction to Warren’s Medium Piece “Here’s How We Can Break Up Big Tech”

“Sen. Warren is wrong in her assertion that tech companies lack competition,” said Carl Szabo, vice president of the trade group NetChoice that lists both Facebook and Google as members. “Never before have consumers had access to more goods, services, and opportunities online.”

Reported in:

44 smaller outlets also quoted NetChoice.

NetChoice Challenges Warren’s Hipster Antitrust Assertions

Today, NetChoice challenged US Senator Warren’s new Medium post supporting the breaking-up of successful American tech businesses like Amazon, Facebook, and Google.

“Sen. Warren is wrong in her assertion that tech markets lack competition. Never before have consumers and workers had more access to goods, services, and opportunities online,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel for NetChoice.

“Breaking up tech companies would hurt – not help – America’s middle class,” continued Szabo.

“Sen. Warren’s proposal would increase prices for consumers, make search and maps less useful, and raise costs to small businesses that advertise online. This proposal is bad for all Americans.”

Startups have never been more prevalent.  The Kauffman Index of Growth Entrepreneurship shows that entrepreneurship is at its highest levels since 2008. Main street growth and startup activity are likewise up.  The US Bureau of Labor Statistics found self-employment is up since 2014 and is projected to grow at 7.9% — faster than the projected rate for all workers.

NetChoice challenges Klobuchar’s Attempts to Politicize Antitrust

Today, NetChoice challenged US Senator Klobuchar’s comments on weaponizing antitrust during today’s Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights – “Does America Have a Monopoly Problem?: Examining Concentration and Competition in the US Economy

“It’s concerning to hear a US Senator weaponizing antitrust for campaign slogans while in the same breath berating the President over his approach to antitrust,” said Carl Szabo, NetChoice Vice President and General Counsel.

“Contrary to the claims of some presidential candidates, consumers have never had more choice when it comes to online services.”

Kansas City Star - Hawley’s CPAC debut: a moment in the spotlight and a subpoena in Missouri lawsuit

Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of NetChoice, a group that represents the tech industry, said in an email that platforms make their privacy rules clear in user agreements.

Facebook’s Terms say, ‘You own the content you create and share on Facebook and the other Facebook Products you use, and nothing in these Terms takes away the rights you have to your own content,’” Szabo said in an email.

“When customers choose to trade their information for services, whether discounts at a supermarket or access to free online services, conservatives should respect that agreement. This transaction is at the heart of property rights and contracts law.”

St Louis Dispatch - Hawley's declarations of independence riling up his party's right wing

“I understand the frustration about the issue, of being concerned that my voice is being de-prioritized,” said Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel for the internet freedom group NetChoice. “But at the same time undermining our conservative values is risky business, because once you hand over this power to the government, you may not like what you get.”

Chamber Business News – New legislation would end Arizona sales tax exemption for out-of-state online retailers

Chamber Business News – New legislation would end Arizona sales tax exemption for out-of-state online retailers

NetChoice, a national trade association of eCommerce businesses that promotes convenience, choice and commerce online, opposes H.B. 2702 in its present form. According to a NetChoice analysis, H.B. 2702 would discriminate against interstate commerce by requiring out-of-state business to pay the Transaction Privilege Tax (sales tax) of the location where Arizona purchasers reside, while in-state businesses could simply use the rates and rules applying to the physical business location regardless of where customers reside.

NetChoice Comments in Advance of House and Senate Privacy Hearings

Below is NetChoice’s statement in advance of tomorrow’s privacy hearing in the House, and Wednesday’s privacy hearing in the Senate. Here are NetChoice’s comments for the record for the House Hearing on consumer privacy.

“We are seeing a fracturing of the internet driven by states introducing disparate privacy bills.” said Carl Szabo, Vice President of NetChoice. “The time has come for establishment of a nationwide standard for privacy online.”

“Americans should ask for a better privacy approach than what Europe and California concocted. Americans deserve a privacy law that doesn’t remove services and stymie innovation.” continued Szabo. “Federal privacy legislation should allow for industry safe-harbors similar to those in the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.”

City and State NY - What would Cuomo’s internet sales tax do?

This time around, some opposition from the industry remains. “Governor Cuomo’s internet tax proposal shows that he misunderstands who will pay his new tax – any taxes collected by Internet businesses will come from the pockets of New Yorkers who already bear the highest tax burden in the nation,” Steve DelBianco, president of NetChoice, an eCommerce trade association, said in an email.

AP News - Proposed bill would protect secondary-ticket market sales

Also reported in SFGate, Miami Herald, SF Chronicle, Santa Maria Times, The Journal Times, The Modesto Bee, The Gazette Times, Daily Journal Online, The Sentinel, and TDN

“But the share of restricted tickets is rising, according to Carl Szabo, vice president of NetChoice, an e-commerce trade association.”

NetChoice Raises Concerns with Calls to Tear Apart Previously Approved Mergers

Today, NetChoice raised concerns about House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee suggestions of re-reviewing merger approvals.

“Tearing apart previously approved mergers threatens America’s startups and empowers America’s competitors.” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel for NetChoice.  

“We must not take a rear-view mirror approach to merger reviews.” continued Szabo.  It’s surprising to hear Rep. Cicilline saying the Obama FTC failed to do an adequate review of mergers.”  

For more information read NetChoice’s oped: An antitrust Game of Thrones – The fantasy fight against Google and Facebook

Politico Morning Tech - Trump talks ‘industries of the future’

Politico Morning Tech – Trump talks ‘industries of the future’

TECH PUSHES BACK ON GRAHAM — The tech industry is pushing back on Graham’s plans to create a task force to look into allegations that tech companies are biased against conservatives. “This taskforce sets a dangerous precedent that government should intervene in spaces that enable free speech online,” said Carl Szabo, general counsel for NetChoice. Graham told reporters on Tuesday he wants to put together a joint task force of the Judiciary and Commerce committees to look at privacy, content, bias and terrorism in social media.

NetChoice Raises Concerns with Calls for Conservative Taskforce to Regulate Tech

Today, NetChoice raised concerns about Senate Commerce Committee calls for a taskforce to investigate allegations of tech bias against conservatives.

“It is a myth that social media platforms are unregulated. Online platforms are subject to dozens of laws from across the country.” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel for NetChoice.

“Jumping to big government solutions such as a task force to address concerns is counter to conservative principles.” continued Szabo.  “This taskforce sets a dangerous precedent that government should intervene in spaces that enable free speech online. Politicians regardless of political affiliation should reject policies that put our online freedoms at risk.”

Politico Influence - Who’s still lobbying for Bayer

She’s already working with the trade group NetChoice “on their efforts in various states to promote and improve the economic and tax environment” for data centers, according to her spokesperson.

Bloomberg – Tech Group Favors Privacy Bill That Preempts Tougher State Laws

Bloomberg – Tech Group Favors Privacy Bill That Preempts Tougher State Laws

NetChoice says measure would avoid a patchwork of regulations.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Hawley says he'd welcome joining with Ocasio-Cortez in challenging big social media companies

St. Louis Post-Dispatch – Hawley says he’d welcome joining with Ocasio-Cortez in challenging big social media companies

also reported in Nouvelles Du Monde and Tech2.

Hawley and Ocasio-Cortez are facing resistance from online industry players, including NetChoice, the trade association representing e-commerce companies.

“Sensible legislators need to avoid the allure of weaponizing antitrust for political aims,” said Carl Szabo, NetChoice’s vice president and general counsel. “Politicizing antitrust exchanges good policy for partisan politics and creates a disastrous precedent.”

He added: “Hipster antitrust threatens small businesses that rely on large platforms to find new customers. If Sen. Hawley and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez want to support small business back home, they should applaud platforms — not attack them.”

Internet Society - International Approach to Internet Policy Declining, Some Experts Say

also reported in Finance Follow

Recent efforts to keep the Internet safe for free expression and free enterprise are “mission impossible,” said Steve DelBianco, president and CEO of Internet-focused trade group NetChoice.

Back in the early 2000s, the Internet was enabling the disruption of governments and powerful businesses by providing users ways to work around those organizations, DelBianco added. “Fifteen years later, I’d have to say that governments and big businesses have regained their footing and are reasserting control,” he said.

Fox News - Missouri's GOP senator wants to work with Ocasio-Cortez on tackling tech giants

“Sensible legislators need to avoid the allure of weaponizing antitrust for political aims,” Carl Szabo, NetChoice’s vice president and general counsel, told the newspaper. “Politicizing antitrust exchanges good policy for partisan politics and creates a disastrous precedent.”

“Hipster antitrust threatens small businesses that rely on large platforms to find new customers,” he added. “If Sen. Hawley and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez want to support small business back home, they should applaud platforms — not attack them.”

NetChoice Commends Facebook for Securing User Data

Today, NetChoice commended Facebook for prioritizing the security of its users by restricting what user data third party apps can access.

“After Cambridge Analytica, Facebook is right to prevent third party apps from abusing their access to Facebook user data,” said Steve DelBianco, President of NetChoice. “Even if a good actor wishes to access Facebook user data, allowing that risks bad actors gaining access too.”

“Facebook is balancing important priorities that traditional media outlets like the Guardian should appreciate rather than tying Facebook up in a Catch-22.”

NetChoice Applauds the US Supreme Court’s denial of Certiorari in Online Platform Liability Case

Washington, D.C. – Today, NetChoice applauded the US Supreme Court’s denial of Certiorari in Hassell v. Yelp, Inc, No. 18-506. This denial retains a California State Supreme Court ruling that Section 230 protections prevent Yelp from being held legally liable for negative reviews posted on their site.

“This case shows the importance of Section 230. Without Section 230 Yelp would be held responsible for negative reviews posted on their site — a legal burden that could shut them down,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “Americans increasingly rely on online services like Yelp in their daily lives, services which rely on Section 230 to function.”

Small Business Advocate Radio - Short-Term Rentals, Antitrust, and Facial Recognition

Segments:

NetChoice Concerned By Push for Government Intervention in Barr Confirmation Hearing

Washington, D.C. – Today, NetChoice raised concerns with some Senators’ politically motivated demands to punish the tech industry during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing of William Barr.

“Weaponizing antitrust in order to attack online platforms sets a dangerous precedent,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “Conservatives should turn to market-based solutions to solve perceived problems, not seek more intervention from big government.”

“Anyone who’s seen the movie “Vice” knows conservatives like Vice President Dick Cheney fought against the so-called fairness doctrine for broadcast TV.  Only after eliminating “equal time” mandates did we see the rise of conservative voices like Fox News and Rush Limbaugh,” continued Szabo.

“An internet unhindered by heavy-handed government regulation continues to help conservative voices be heard online. Had the proposals we heard in today’s confirmation hearing been implemented 10 years ago, modern conservative voices like Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens would likely be no more than whispers.”

The Information - Tech’s Next Big Battle: Protecting Immunity From Content Lawsuits

Groups like NetChoice, a trade association for eCommerce whose clients include Airbnb, Facebook, Google, Twitter and Hotels.com, are educating new and old members of Congress on the history and usefulness of the law.

“Without Section 230, we couldn’t have Yelp reviews. We couldn’t have services like Patreon or GoFundMe or websites like NextDoor,” said Carl Szabo, president of NetChoice, in an interview with The Information. “This is the most important law for the internet that no one has ever heard of.”

E-Turbo News - NY court protects Airbnb and Homeaway from customer data violation

E-Turbo News – NY court protects Airbnb and Homeaway from customer data violation

“New York City’s fight against their own residents has led them to defy the constitution and violate the rights of New Yorkers,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “New York’s Southern District Court should protect the rights of NYC homeowners. The city’s anti-homesharing laws are dysfunctional and to enforce them New York City is trampling residents’ right to privacy.”

NetChoice Commends Injunction of NYC’s Anti-Homesharing Ordinance

Today, NetChoice commended the US Southern District Court of New York’s preliminary injunction of NYC’s anti-homesharing ordinance requiring short-term rental platforms, like Airbnb and HomeAway, to hand over huge amounts of sensitive customer data.

“New York City’s fight against their own residents has lead them to defy the constitution and violate the rights of New Yorkers,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice. “New York’s Southern District Court should protect the rights of NYC homeowners. The city’s anti-homesharing laws are dysfunctional and to enforce them New York City is trampling residents’ right to privacy.”

Here are some quotes from the Southern District Court’s decision:

  1. “[The ordinance] would invite such productions so as to permit regulators to troll these records for potential violations of law, even as to customers as to which there had been no basis theretofore to suspect any violation of law.” P.40
  2. “Existing Fourth Amendment law does not afford a charter for such a wholesale regulatory appropriation of a company’s user database.” P.40
  3. “A home-sharing platform has at least two very good reasons to keep host and guest information private, whether as to these users’ identities, contact information, usage patterns, and payment practices. One is competitive: Keeping such data confidential keeps such information from rivals (whether competing platforms or hotels) who might exploit it. The other involves customer relations: Keeping such data private assuredly promotes better relations with, and retention of, a platform’s users.” P.22

Link to opinion and order: netchoice.org/nycpreliminjunction

WJBF - New year, new laws for 2019

“You’re seeing states throw away the recommendations set forth by Justice Kennedy and instead doing anything and everything they can do to collect as much taxes from every small seller across the country as possible,” says Carl Szabo of NetChoice.

2019 Outlook: States Still Responding to ‘Wayfair’

“Among the new states imposing remote sales tax are some who are nowhere close to the standards in the Wayfair ruling,” Steve DelBianco, president of NetChoice, a trade association of e-commerce business and online consumers. “That includes states where hundreds of local tax jurisdictions have their own rules, returns, and audits, like Arizona, Colorado, and Louisiana, who are likely targets for litigation.”

NetChoice Commends Moderation Efforts by Tech Platforms

Today, NetChoice commended efforts by tech platforms to curb manipulation by foreign actors to influence American elections. The statement was made in response to President Trump’s comments made earlier today criticizing online platforms for their moderation efforts.

“Platforms are taking steps to curb manipulation – proactively addressing the issues raised by the recently released Senate Report on Disinformation Campaigns. This should be celebrated, not condemned,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President at NetChoice. “Condemning platforms for addressing foreign interference in our elections sends the wrong message.”

Retail Dive - 12 news stories that shaped retail in 2018

The ruling has sparked a chain reaction of various tax legislation in the states. In December, California, for example, laid out new e-commerce tax requirements with the same threshold. Meanwhile, some trade organizations like the American Catalog Mailers Association and NetChoice have continued to push local and federal lawmakers to carve out protections for small businesses, which may be negatively affected by the burden of sales tax collection across the country. Retailers can expect the issue to continue into 2019

Retail Dive - California lays out new e-commerce tax requirements

In the months since that decision came down, the issue has played out in various ways state by state. Some trade organizations like the American Catalog Mailers Association and NetChoice continue to push local and federal lawmakers to carve out protections for small businesses, which may be negatively affected by the burden of sales tax collection across the country.

Politico Morning Tech – The Latest Privacy Proposals

Politico Morning Tech – The Latest Privacy Proposals

TWITTER JOINS NETCHOICE — Tech trade association NetChoice has added Twitter to its ranks, bringing its total membership count to 31, the group tells MT. “NetChoice fights to keep the internet safe for free enterprise and free expression, and we’re excited to have Twitter’s support,” NetChoice spokesman Robert Winterton said. Twitter joins Facebook, Google, Alibaba and other top industry players repped by the group.

Disruptive Competitive Project - Crucial USMCA Intermediary Protections Are Consistent with U.S. Law

Disruptive Competitive Project – Crucial USMCA Intermediary Protections Are Consistent with U.S. Law

However, this progress has been criticized by a handful of commentators who are under the misimpression that inclusion of these longstanding protections will lead to political bias, or represent a departure from current U.S. law.  (For more on why neither Section 230 nor the USMCA provision are enablers of political bias, see this post by NetChoice’s Carl Szabo.)

POLITICO – CEOs to White House to talk tech today

POLITICO – CEOs to White House to talk tech today

— The remarks drew swift repudiation from tech industry groups. NetChoice Vice President Carl Szabo said he is “blown away that leaders of the conservative movement want increased government regulation of business and increased government regulation of free speech.” And the libertarian-leaning TechFreedom tweeted that in “suggesting government meddle in a private companies business,” Hawley was taking a stance that “true conservatives are against.”

The Kansas City Star - Josh Hawley’s war against Big Tech could bring down small startups

The Kansas City Star – Josh Hawley’s war against Big Tech could bring down small startups

Also available in the Miami Herald, and the Sacramento Bee

Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of the tech industry group NetChoice, said that rolling back the law would make it nearly impossible for some internet startups to operate.

“The liability would just be too great to the point where only incumbents with armies of lawyers and dollars could even conceive of operating,” he said.

USMCA Interactive Computer Service Provisions Put America’s Digital Economy First

Washington, D.C. – Today, NetChoice commended the Trump Administration for including Article 19.17 in the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA). The USMCA contains language from the Communications Decency Act that allows online platforms to engage in good faith content moderation efforts without being subjected to legal liability.

“When it comes to our digital economy, USMCA puts America first,” said Steve DelBianco, President of NetChoice. “Online platform protections make the United States a world leader in tech and innovation, Canada and Mexico will surely benefit from emulating these platform protections.”

Insights Association - Should America Copy the EU General Data Protection Regulation?

Insights Association – Should America Copy the EU General Data Protection Regulation?

Carl Szabo of Netchoice contended that the FTC’s “unfairness” authority “is pretty broad,” so he asked if Section 5 can address a lot of Brookman’s concerns? And should it apply to nonprofits, he asked, since they deal with so much data, too?

The Daily Caller: The Misguided 'Hipster Antitrust' Movement to Break Up Amazon, Apple, and Google

Rarely does a day go by without groups decrying economic disparity in America. The rich are too rich, and America’s most successful businesses are too big.

And as you can expect, these groups oppose free-markets seeing heavy-handed government engagement as our only savior. Apparently, these groups have forgotten that it is America’s exceptionalism that led us to become the greatest country on earth.

When it comes to America’s tech businesses, their complaints are the same: Apple is too powerful, Google too large, and Amazon too ubiquitous. Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch called these attacks “hipster antitrust.”

Legislation Will Imperil Short-Term Renters from Anacostia to Brookland

Washington DC, November 12, 2018 – The future of short-term rentals (STRs) throughout the nation’s capital is being put at risk by DC Council Bill – B22-0092 which would introduce a licensing system that would eliminate nearly all current short-term rentals like Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO.

The bill would:

  • impose zoning requirements that effectively eliminate nearly all short-term rentals;
  • require short-term rental platforms to share private information about hosts with the city government;
  • cost the city over $104 million in lost taxes and implementation costs;
  • eliminate short-term rental competition allowing big-hotels to gouge visitors to the nation’s capital.

“Big hotels are the only real winners of DC’s anti-home sharing bill.” said Carl Szabo, Vice President at NetChoice. “The city’s latest anti-tech action threatens resident’s privacy and financial security.”

“I can think of a better way for the city to spend $100 million.”

“DC is going after short-term rentals to the detriment of home owners and at a cost of $104 million,” continued Szabo. “The City Council’s proposed rules would burden residents who use STR platforms to help make ends meet.”

A copy of coalition opposition letter can be found at: https://netchoice.org/wp-content/uploads/Association-Joint-DC-Council-Letter-150.pdf

About NetChoice

NetChoice is a trade association of eCommerce and online businesses that share the goal of promoting convenience, choice, and commerce on the net.

NetChoice Calls For Federal Privacy Legislation to Stop Fracturing of the Internet

Washington, D.C. – Today, NetChoice filed comments with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (“NTIA”) request for comments on Request for Comments on Developing the Administration’s Approach to Consumer Privacy.

“We are seeing a fracturing of the internet driven by states introducing disparate privacy bills.” said Carl Szabo, Vice President of NetChoice. “The time has come for establishment of a nationwide standard for privacy online.”

“Americans should ask for a better privacy approach than what Europe and California concocted. Americans deserve a privacy law that doesn’t remove services and stymie innovation.” continued Szabo. “Federal privacy legislation should allow for industry safe-harbors similar to those in the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.”

Read Comments to NTIA

American Action Forum - Comments On Developing The Administration's Approach To Consumer Privacy

An unwillingness to pay is a common finding and for good reason. Everyone would love to get something for nothing. Trade association NetChoice worked with Zogby Analytics to find that only 16 percent of people are willing to pay for online platform service. Strahilevitz and Kugler found that 65 percent of email users, even though they knew their email service scans emails to serve ads, wouldn’t pay for alternative.

POLITICO – Tech Pushes Back on Trump Regulation Remarks

POLITICO – Tech Pushes Back on Trump Regulation Remarks

— Industry rebuttal: “When President Trump says he would regulate online platforms for alleged anti-conservative bias, he really means he would suppress free expression,” NetChoice president Steve DelBianco said in a statement. “Government suppression of negative news and views about the President would blatantly violate the constitution.” And the libertarian TechFreedom group tweeted that “Principled conservatives and liberals should unite against Trump’s attempts to create a Fairness Doctrine for the Internet as a sword for government meddling in social media.”