As Congress decides whether to change the legal underpinnings of the internet, we need a better understanding of why it passed Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in the first place.
Latest in First Amendment
On Thursday, a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia returned a superseding indictment charging WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with 17-counts of violating the Espionage Act and one count of conspiring to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The full document is below.
On Tuesday, former intelligence and military officials filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the government's pre-publication review process, which requires former personnel to submit public writing for review before publication. The complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, is available in full here and below.
Document: Fourth Circuit Says Virginia Politician’s Facebook Page is a ‘Public Forum’ and that First Amendment Prohibits Blocking Constituents
On Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled in Davidson v. Randall that a Virginia county official who blocked a constituent's access to the official’s Facebook page had violated the First Amendment. The court held that the official’s Facebook account amounted to a “public forum” and that blocking constituent access based on political viewpoints is unconstitutional. The full ruling is below.
The ongoing publicity tour by former senior White House staffer Omarosa Manigault-Newman, once designated as one of the “nastiest TV villains of all time,” is the culmination of the questionable hiring choices made during the early days of the Trump White House.
The White House’s threat Monday to revoke the security clearances of former intelligence community officials who have criticized the president over his response to Russian interference in the 2016 election (and Tuesday’s apparent escalation) is the latest move in the Trump administration’s ongoing campaign to punish those who voice disagreement with the president.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA), on behalf of two human rights organizations, the Internet Archive, and two individual plaintiffs. FOSTA creates a loophole in the immunity granted to internet platforms for third-party content under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act: under FOSTA, websites can be held liable for promoting or facilitating prostitution. Plaintiffs seek to declare the law unconstitutional under the First and Fifth Amendments.
U.N. Special Rapporteur’s Latest Report on Online Content Regulation Calls for 'Human Rights by Default'
David Kaye, the U.N. special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, released his latest report to the U.N. Human Rights Council last week.
Document: Trump's Blocking of Critics on Twitter is Unconstitutional, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Rules
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has issued a declaratory judgment holding that President Trump's blocking of his critics on Twitter violates the First Amendment. The ruling is included in full below.
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is critical to Facebook’s existence. Under Section 230, the platform is immune from liability that might otherwise be incurred from its users’ posts.