An Act – to Clear the Internet of Censorship, 2021: Amendments to 47 USC, Section 230

Rationale:

What should have been the most open and free part of the internet, social media and search engines, have become some of the most restrictive. Leftist ideologues with delusions of superiority of judgment and purpose are using their power to control various social media outlets and internet search engines, to advance a dangerous Leftist ideology through a combination of censorship, propaganda, and information manipulation, and force their agenda on this nation, and the world. This has to be permanently disabled and stopped.

Many approaches have been proposed, usually involving the deletion of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which covers the blocking and screening of offensive material. The problem is, what the ideologues consider “offensive” or “false” is anything they disagree with, or opposes their ideological agenda. This Act, in contrast to all the others, maintains the liability immunity to the “provider” of any interactive computer service, from anything post by a “user” of any interactive computer service. This is to insure that there is never a reason for the provider to ever have any interaction in any way with any action by a user, because the USER is responsible and fully liable for their content, and the PROVIDER is fully insulated from it.

This law creates a “wall of separation” between the providers, and the users, in the same way that land line phone services have a separation from the phones and communication lines, from anything said across those phones and communication lines.

Anything less than absolute free speech, however offensive, is unconstitutional. Users are free to make their own decisions as to what they see. Providers can have no such ability at all. *** The only exception to this rule is in the commission of an actual, statutory, prosecutable, ongoing crime, such as publishing child pornography, or posting an actual crime such as a carjacking in progress by the perpetrators, so there is no gain from their crime, at which point the ONLY action the provider can take is to report the post to the proper law enforcement authorities. Such posts will not be touched, and shall remain as “evidence” for any prosecution or defense, until such time as any case which arises from the post, becomes part of a law enforcement proceeding and the post has been preserved for that purpose. The point is to remove any discretion from the provider of interactive computer services. Users are still completely at risk and liable for anything criminal that they post. Anyone who reposts child pornography from a post that has been reported to law enforcement is guilty of the same crime as the original poster, so again the provider is not liable. As for the most horrendous of crimes, they are post all the time anyway by people not part of the crime.

Current law:

47 U.S. Code § 230 – Protection for private blocking and screening of offensive material

(c) Protection for “Good Samaritan” blocking and screening of offensive material

(1) Treatment of publisher or speaker

No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

(2) Civil liability
No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of—

(A) any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected; or

(B) any action taken to enable or make available to information content providers or others the technical means to restrict access to material described in paragraph (1).[1]

Title 47, Section 230 (c) is being amended to read as follows:

47 U.S. Code § 230 – Limited Immunity Liability Protection for Providers of Interactive Computer Services

It is the intention of this section to specifically grant limited liability protection to providers of interactive computer services, primarily social media and search engines, so that the absolute free flow of all forms of information among and between, users of interactive computer services, be strictly maintained, without any lawsuit or other penalty being applied to the providers, because of any content arising from the users of any interactive computer service.

Definitions:

The term “interactive computer service” means any information service, system, or access software provider that provides or enables computer access by multiple users to a computer server, including specifically a service or system that provides access to the Internet and such systems operated or services offered by libraries or educational institutions.

The term “information content provider” means any person or entity that is responsible, in whole or in part, for the creation or development of information provided through the Internet or any other interactive computer service.

Amendments to Section (c)

(c) Immunity from civil liability for providers of interactive computer services, namely social media and search engines, or any related interactive technology or service:

(1) Treatment of publisher or speaker
No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.

(2) Conspiracy Against Rights, and Public Accommodation.
As provided in USC Title 18, Section 241, Conspiracy Against Rights, including penalties, compliance with this section means that no provider of an interactive computer service shall in any way conspire to oppress the “exercise or enjoyment” of any constitutional right. As provided in USC Title 42, Section 2000, Public Accommodation, providers shall consider and interact with the internet, exactly as telephone companies consider and interact with land line telephone service. Telephone companies provide the means of communication through the rental of phone equipment, but have no interaction at all with what is said by conversing parties. In the same way interactive computer service providers shall provide the means of communication and information through social media and internet search engines, paid for by the voluntary availability of personal information provided by the users, but shall have no interaction at all with any content provided by the users of such services on the internet.

(3) A wall of separation between the “provider” of the service, and the “user” of the service.
No provider of an interactive computer service shall be held liable for any information or content post to any interactive computer service, by any user, so long as the following conditions are met:

(A) Immunity from liability shall not extend in any case, whether individual or group, private or public, commercial or government, or any other party or entity, posting, commenting or sharing video, photograph, print, or any other medium of communication, which has in any way been touched, infringed upon, limited, censored, deleted, blocked, restricted or impacted in any way, by the “provider” of an interactive computer service, upon any “user” of that service, or the content provided by the user.

(B) Immunity from liability shall not exist should any criteria be applied to any content post by a user of an interactive computer service such as: community standards, fact checks, ratings of the quality of the information, or any other rule, procedure, measure, or other, of what is post by the user.

(C) Only in the event of an actual crime being committed by a user, such as the posting of child pornography, or the posting in any medium or form of an actual, prosecutable, crime in progress by the perpetrators, shall the provider be allowed to take the action, and ONLY the action, of reporting the user to the proper legal authorities. Liability immunity will not be granted if the provider reports to law enforcement authorities what they consider any user might do or may do in the future, also known as prior restraint. The wall of separation remains in all cases between providers and users. All other users are still free to block, reject, or delete, any content they find objectionable, or illegal. Users are also free to report to law enforcement, posts that may or might indicate an ongoing crime, or imminent crime about to take place. All other users are also free to contact lawful authorities themselves. The posting in question shall remain posted and untouched by the provider, pending a review by the proper legal authority, and proper legal defense has been secured for the user, until such time as the case becomes an ongoing legal proceeding. This section shall not limit liability on cases based on the opinion of the provider that a law is being broken, nor shall there exist any “good faith” exemption allowed for the provider merely thinking a law is being broken. Any question of the legality of any action taken by any user should be by official legal authority only. Any action taken outside of this section by any provider is outside of any protection of liability for their actions.

(D) The intent of this section is to allow for the data and information itself to determine any trends, rather than from any interaction with any provider of that data and information, regardless of any reason supplied by any provider. As such, immunity from liability shall not extend to any manipulation of data and information, the use of algorithms or any other methods or technology, to characterize, channel, direct, organize by trend or any other way, or restrict, the free flow of content in any way, especially any political or ideological content, in any interactive computer service, regardless of the opinion of the provider as to any reason why they think they should in any way influence the user or users of any interactive computer service. Nor shall any provider in any way have any quantifiable or measurable impact on personal or public opinion as to any consideration of candidates for office, issues before the public, or any individual concerns or issues that any service provider wishes to impact, through the manipulation, limitation, or any other interaction with data or information content, such that providers are completely neutral with regard to the users of their service, all other users of the internet, and all people exposed to content carried by any provider. Any speech or opinions emanating from a provider as free speech may only occur directly from the provider themselves, as is normal and customary for free speech, where the source of that speech is clearly declared and known, and not as a result of any action or impact on the general population from any provider to influence the people in any way.

(E) Immunity from liability shall not be allowed in cases where any individual or group, public or private, commercial or government, has been denied access to any provider of interactive computer services open to the public. This includes, but is not limited to: outright bans, shadow bans, cancellation of accounts, temporary blocking of access to accounts, limitations on accounts, limits on who any account can reach, reduced visibility, reduced access, or infringements of any kind on the users of these services, the content of the users, or the accounts of the users with service providers.

2 comments

  1. Margie Baldwin says:

    The bill seems to address the censorship & other interference with exclusions for criminal things. Sounds good to me, but needs legal analysis to move it forward.

  2. Elijah Bell says:

    Just read your Bill above. Eyes crossed. Darn sure wish bills were much less wordy. Maybe you could give me a Cliff notes version. Love your work and dedication to For The People.

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