NetChoice Media Hits

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.”

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.

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. 

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.

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?