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

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

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

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

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.”

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 Opposition to Montana HB 645 - Concerns about overregulating the use of Biometrics

NetChoice Opposition to Montana HB 645 – Concerns about overregulating the use of Biometrics

NetChoice support for Indiana SB 554, creating consumer protections for event tickets

NetChoice support for Indiana SB 554, creating consumer protections for event tickets

NetChoice Support for Texas SB 2409 - Protecting Texas Fans

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.