Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) introduced legislation Friday that would limit big tech companies’ unconditional Section 230 legal immunity to censor or moderate content without significant legal recourse.
Steube introduced the Curbing Abuse and Saving Expression in Technology (CASE-IT) Act. This legislation would alter Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in several ways, including:
- Big tech companies would no longer receive unconditional immunity from civil liability under Section 230.
- Companies and websites that develop, create, post, or distribute illicit sexual contact between adults and minors would no longer enjoy Section 230 immunity.
The legislation would protect Section 230 immunity for innovators and competitors to big tech companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter so that they would not face frivolous lawsuits.
In a statement Friday, Steube said big tech companies should not be able to abuse Section 230 to censor content. He explained:
Unelected Big Tech CEOs should not be able to abuse the protections granted to them by Section 230 to block speech and withhold information from the public, just because it doesn’t suit their political beliefs. Their censorship has gone beyond simply acting as publishers and has reached the point of active and intentional election interference. They will be held accountable.
Steube has promised to remain immune from the influence of big tech in Congress. The Florida conservative told Breitbart News Daily host Alex Marlow in July that he will no longer accept donations from Silicon Valley.
Jon Schweppe, director of policy and government affairs at the American Principles Project (APP), issued a statement Friday in support of Steube’s legislation. He said:
Rep. Steube’s CASE-IT Act is the most substantive Section 230 reform proposed to date. Not only would it hold Big Tech accountable, but it would protect kids from dangerous content online.
Ultimately, the CASE-IT Act provides these market-dominant platforms with a choice: respect free speech and free expression, or don’t. Protect kids from illegal online content, or don’t. If these companies want a special government subsidy, they need to follow the rules — and if they break those rules, there should be meaningful consequences.
“American Principles Project wholeheartedly endorses the CASE-IT Act and urges its sponsorship and passage,” Schweppe added.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.