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Leaked Draft of Trump Executive Order

31 comments, 218 views, posted 8:50 pm 12/08/2019 in Politics by griffin
griffin has 15572 posts, 2187 threads, 539 points

Leaked Draft of Trump Executive Order to 'Censor the Internet' Denounced as Dangerous, Unconstitutional Edict

"In practice, this executive order would mean that whichever political party is in power could dictate what speech is allowed on the Internet."

byJon Queally, staff writer

Civil liberties groups are warning of a major threat to online freedoms and First Amendment rights if a leaked draft of a Trump administration edict—dubbed by critics as a "Censor the Internet" executive order that would give powerful federal agencies far-reaching powers to pick and choose which kind of Internet material is and is not acceptable—is allowed to go into effect.

According to CNN, which obtained a copy of the draft, the new rule "calls for the FCC to develop new regulations clarifying how and when the law protects social media websites when they decide to remove or suppress content on their platforms. Although still in its early stages and subject to change, the Trump administration's draft order also calls for the Federal Trade Commission to take those new policies into account when it investigates or files lawsuits against misbehaving companies."

While Politico was the first to report how the draft was being circulated by the White House, CNN notes that if put into effect, "the order would reflect a significant escalation by President Trump in his frequent attacks against social media companies over an alleged but unproven systemic bias against conservatives by technology platforms. And it could lead to a significant reinterpretation of a law that, its authors have insisted, was meant to give tech companies broad freedom to handle content as they see fit."

Following reporting on the leaked draft, free speech and online advocacy groups raised alarm about the troubling and far-reaching implications of the Trump plan if it was put into effect by executive decree.

"It's hard to put into words how mind bogglingly absurd this executive order is," said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, in a tweet. "In the name of defending free speech it would allow mass government censorship of online content. In practice, it means whichever party is in power can decide what speech is allowed on the internet."

PEN America, which defends the free expression for writers, journalists, and others, warned that any executive order based on this draft rule would be an unconstitutional "anti-American edict."

As detailed in an action alert put out by Fight for the Future over the weekend:

[The] leaked documents show that the Trump administration is drafting an executive order that, if upheld by the courts, could essentially end free speech on the Internet. The draft order would put the FTC and the FCC, headed by its notoriously corrupt chairman Ajit Pai, in charge of monitoring and policing online speech on social media platforms, online forums, and more.

It would give these bureaucratic government agencies unprecedented control over how Internet platforms moderate speech by allowing them to revoke the essential protections Congress laid out in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA). CDA 230 is the basic law that makes it possible for online platforms to let users post our own content, and to make basic decisions about what types of content they as private entities want to host. Every meme, every social media post, every blog and user-created video on the Internet has been made possible by this crucial free speech protection.

In practice, this executive order would mean that whichever political party is in power could dictate what speech is allowed on the Internet. If the government doesn't like the way a private company is moderating content, they can shut their entire website down.

"These leaks about a potential Executive Order from the White House are troubling on many levels, from the order's potential to violate the First Amendment, to its apparent disregard for the independence of agencies like the FCC and the FTC, to its intent to unilaterally limit Section 230 which promotes moderated online communities free of hate speech and misinformation," said Chris Lewis, president and CEO of Public Knowledge.

"If these reports are a trial balloon from the White House," Lewis added, "then it's time to pop it."

While the Trump administration has tried to argue the new order is a tool to keep web platforms from censoring online speech, Fight for the Future warns "this plan would create terrifying new censorship powers for the government to do just that."

Hit it up and smack it down at RL

Extra Points Given by:

tricpe (5), tamsnod27 (5)

Comments

0
12:39 am 13/08/2019

griffin

Quote by REALITY:
I'm arguing that they are forcing regulation upon themselves.


I don't see that at all.

Are you arguing that their use of free speech precludes their further use of free speech, and that if they have the audacity to use free speech, then that right should be taken from them? Is that what you are saying, while claiming that you are not supporting government censorship?

Please enlighten us.

1
4:49 am 13/08/2019

Quaektem

Quote by griffin:
Remember when republicans pretended to be upset about executive orders?

Seems so long ago now, doesn't it?



*cough* Patriot Act *cough*...

1
5:08 am 13/08/2019

Quaektem

Quote by griffin:
The poor mega corps have a right to freedom of speech.

Quote by griffin:
The government's job is to protect freedom of speech, not limit it. Youtube telling some neo-nazi jackwads to go fuck themselves is in fact youtube exercising their freedom of speech. That is how freedom of speech works.



So, in your world Verizon can shut off my internet and phone because they are watching what I say and don't like it? Can my electric company shut off my power? Can my local grocer refuse to sell me food? Can Disney send Eisner to bend me over a barrel and fuck me if I speak out against homosexuality as a social justice protest?

Are you really advocating for a world where massive corporations get to judge, condemn, isolate and destroy individuals in the guise of 'free speech'?

Really?

This country was founded upon the sovereignty of the individual, not the collective. It has become what it is by countering mob rule. I've had a business FB page of mine taken down without explanation. Best I can guess is another business in another state started a page years after mine with the same name and lodged a complaint. No due process, no explanation, just gone and all contact lost with my client base. If I relied on that business I would be ruined. But hey, FB has free speech rights!!! It doesn't matter that my user information, everything I post and every action I take of FB is sold to the highest bidder... FB has rights dammit!

What if they start to censor you? What if your position is deemed 'radical'? What then?

To bring it closer to home... What if Reality decided to edit, block or remove your posts here as an expression of his freedom of speech? Would you be celebrating his right to free speech?

0
11:31 am 13/08/2019

griffin

Ha ha hoo boy. So much to unpack.

If you pay Verizon for a service, and they do not adhere to the terms you may sue. You have a contract.

You do not have a contract with Facebook. Nor with Youtube. You have no contract.

"Can Disney send Eisner to bend me over a barrel and fuck me if I speak out against homosexuality as a social justice protest?"
This is even stupider than the rest of you post, but not by much.

Quote by Quaektem:
Quote by griffin:
The poor mega corps have a right to freedom of speech.



To bring it closer to home... What if Reality decided to edit, block or remove your posts here as an expression of his freedom of speech? Would you be celebrating his right to free speech?

Ha ha, this is the funniest part.
0
3:06 am 14/08/2019

Quaektem

Quote by griffin:
You do not have a contract with Facebook. Nor with Youtube. You have no contract.



How naive are you? Of course I do. I clicked on the 'Agree' button like we all did.

Verizon can deny me internet access at their convenience, it's part of their contract. Same for all ISPs I know of locally (ymmv).

Seriously, can you just change your avatar to an ostrich? It would be much more apt.

0
5:05 am 14/08/2019

griffin

Quote by Quaektem:
How naive are you?


Did you sign a contract? They agree to provide service under certain terms. Terms of service is a get out of jail card for them, not a real enforceable contract for you. What are your rights, and what are their obligations to you under your imaginary contract? TOS is liability avoidance for them and intellectual property rights grab. If you break the terms of service, can they do anything to you other than boot you? Can they sue you for breach of contract? Thought so.

Quote by Quaektem:
Verizon can deny me internet access at their convenience, it's part of their contract.


Quote by griffin:
If you pay Verizon for a service, and they do not adhere to the terms you may sue. You have a contract.


You signed a shitty contract? One where they can deny you service at will? Wow.

Quote by Quaektem:
How naive are you?


Looks like we have the answer to that one.

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