Jed Rubenfeld is incorrect; the Good Samaritan provision of Section 230 does not turn internet platforms into First Amendment state actors.
Alan Z. Rozenshtein is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School. Previously, he taught law at the Georgetown University Law Center and served as an Attorney Advisor with the Office of Law and Policy in the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School.
Subscribe to this Lawfare contributor via RSS.
A recent lawsuit by WhatsApp against a spyware company may signal the beginning of the end for lawful hacking as a solution to the problem of law enforcement access to encrypted data.
On Sept. 28, the New York Times published a harrowing, in-depth investigative story on the prevalence of child pornography on the internet. The piece describes a staggering increase in the number of reports to the federal National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) flagging child sexual abuse imagery online from an already-high one million in 2014 to an almost unfathomable 18.4 million in 2018—an increase of almost 1,750 percent in just four years.
As soon as the news broke that President Trump had pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden—including by threatening to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in badly needed military assistance—commentators began analyzing whether the president broke the law.
In recent months, Republican Sen. Josh Hawley has introduced three bills that would take a startlingly aggressive approach toward the technology industry: prohibiting gambling-like “loot boxes” in video games, restricting certain design features to make social media less addictive and tying platforms’ intermediary-liability immunity to “unbiased” content moderation.
On March 6, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a long-term road map to turn Facebook into a “privacy-focused communications platform.” His “principles” for this transformation include auto-deleting old user content and choosing “not to build data centers in countries that have a track record of violating human rights like privacy or freedom of expression,” even if that gets Facebook blocked from lucrative markets such as China or Russia.
In Carpenter v. United States, the Supreme Court held that the Fourth Amendment applies when the government acquires large amounts of cell-phone location data.