Without question, the debate over Section 230 has been one of the hottest topics with policy makers, free speech advocates and internet innovators concerned about their ability to compete. Section 230 of the Communications Act has been critical to the growth of the economy as it generally provides online content providers immunity from civil liabilities for content that users publish on their platforms.
Curious about what Section 230 means, how its being addressed and what's at stake? In a session from The 2020 INCOMPAS Show released on our YouTube channel today, INCOMPAS Attorney and Policy Advisor Lindsay Stern offers an overview of Section 230 and the proceeding underway at the FCC as a result of the NTIA petition.
Tomorrow on our YouTube channel, we'll follow up with a panel discussion from the show, featuring a panel of experts who discuss Congressional activity on Section 230, alternatives to legislation and reasons why proposed changes should consider the impact to the entire ecosystem.
Justice Department Unveils Proposed Section 230 Legislation
Last week, the Department of Justice sent draft legislation to Congress to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The draft legislative text implements reforms that the Department of Justice deemed necessary in its June Recommendations. The legislation also executes President Trump’s directive from the Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship. The Justice Department’s draft legislation focuses on two areas of reform:
Promoting transparency and open discourse
Addressing illicit activity online
FCC Announces September 30 Meeting Agenda
At its open meeting on Wednesday, September 30, the FCC will consider the following agenda items:
Facilitating Shared Use in the 3.1-3.55 GHz Band - A Report and Order that would remove the existing non-federal allocations from the 3.3-3.55 GHz band as an important step toward making 100 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.45-3.55 GHz band available for commercial use, including 5G, throughout the contiguous United States. Also under consideration is an FNPRM that would propose to add a co-primary, non-federal fixed and mobile (except aeronautical mobile) allocation to the 3.45-3.55 GHz band as well as service, technical, and competitive bidding rules for flexible-use licenses in the band.
Expanding Access to and Investment in the 4.9 GHz Band - A 6th Report and Order that would expand access to and investment in the 4.9 GHz (4940-4990 MHz) band by providing states the opportunity to lease this spectrum to commercial entities, electric utilities, and others for both public safety and non-public safety purposes. The Commission also will consider a 7th FNPRM that would propose a new set of licensing rules and seek comment on ways to further facilitate access to and investment in the band.
Reforming IP Captioned Telephone Service Rates and Service Standards - A Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration, and FNPRM that would set compensation rates for Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS), deny reconsideration of previously set IP CTS compensation rates, and propose service quality and performance measurement standards for captioned telephone services.
Senators Offer Small Business Broadband Bill
Sens. John Kennedy (R-LA) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced a bipartisan bill to boost Small Business Administration (SBA) efforts to assist small businesses in adopting and using broadband service and other emerging information technologies.
The proposed Small Business Broadband and Emerging Technology Enhancement Act would establish a position of broadband and emerging information technologies (BEIT) administrator within the SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation, which, among other things, would serve as the SBA’s primary liaison “to other Federal agencies involved in broadband and emerging information technology policy, including the Department of Commerce, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Treasury, and the Federal Communications Commission.”