Richard B. Newman Quoted by Communications Daily on Attempts to Rewrite Section 230 of Communications Decency Act

FTC CID investigations attorney Richard B. Newman was recently quoted in Communications Daily (subscription required) in an article entitled “Sens. Manchin, Cornyn File CDA S. 230 Bill to Combat Illegal Drugs.” Communications Daily is a leading publisher of hard news on telecom, broadcasting, the Internet, international trade and the consumer electronics industries.

On September 29, 2020, a bipartisan pair of senators introduced legislation to amend Communications Decency Act Section 230 and require platforms to report illegal drug sales and other illicit activity.  Tech industry and privacy advocates oppose the bill.

Introduced by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and John Cornyn, , R-Texas, the See Something, Say Something Online Act would require platforms to report drug activity similar to the way banks “report suspicious transactions over $10,000” or other potential criminal acts.  Companies could be held liable if they fail to report, and they “must take reasonable steps to prevent or address unlawful activity.”

Based on the Bank Secrecy Act, the bill would create a DOJ office to “act as the clearinghouse for these reports.”

The Manchin-Cornyn bill is another “slippery-slope” attempt to reform 230, said Richard Newman.  “The chipping away at this portion has perhaps partly been driven by a focus on public safety and concerns about selective censorship of political opinion,” he said.

View the article, here.

Richard B. Newman is an FTC attorney at Hinch Newman LLP.  

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