Non-Compliant Podcast Episode 26: The One Where We Talk Big Tech & Section 230 With Jeff Kosseff

Non-Compliant Podcast Episode 26: The One Where We Talk Big Tech & Section 230 With Jeff Kosseff
2 feb 2021 · 48 min. 48 sec.

Section 230 and content moderation are hot topics in Washington amid calls for change to the tech liability shield. While some of these efforts come from a misunderstanding of Section...

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Section 230 and content moderation are hot topics in Washington amid calls for change to the tech liability shield. While some of these efforts come from a misunderstanding of Section 230, there is room for reform that could open the door to hold social platforms accountable.

In Non-Compliant Podcast Episode 26, Host Jay Edelson, nationally recognized plaintiff’s attorney and founder of Edelson PC, and Guest Jeff Kosseff, professor of cybersecurity at the U.S. Naval Academy and author of The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet, discuss Big Tech regulation, Section 230 reform efforts, First Amendment protections, and digital anonymity.

Jay and Jeff first discuss what Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act really means and why so many lawmakers and so-called experts get it wrong (5:10). Jeff says he supports some efforts to change the liability shield citing court rulings that say platforms don’t have to take down posts because of Section 230 (6:20).

The discussion turns to former President Trump and the GOP’s efforts to repeal Section 230 (9:00). Jay and Jeff expose why these efforts actually harm the GOP’s arguments over conservative censorship and would lead to more aggressive actions by social platforms to block content (10:00).

Jay and Jeff continue with their discussion on the GOP’s strategy against the Big Tech companies arguing that Republican arguments aren’t about legal strategy, but rather they are focused on politics (12:30). Jeff believes it's part of an effort to pressure Big Tech so they will do less moderation – something that is unlikely to happen after platforms doubled-down after the January 6th attack on our Capitol (14:30).

Next, Jay and Jeff turn their attention to the judicial system and how the U.S. Supreme Court played a role in broadening Section 230 (20:00). Jeff discusses options for making it easier on people to have a chance against social platforms, including allowing limited early discovery.

Later in the show, Jeff explains why so many people confuse First Amendment protections with Section 230 (34:00). The First Amendment doesn’t apply to private businesses and only restricts the actions of the government. On the other hand, the dominance of Big Tech platforms show that they could censor anyone if it’s a message they don’t believe in (37:30).

To wrap the show, Jeff discusses his upcoming book United States of Anonymous Speech and how courts have created First Amendment rights to online anonymity (40:00). Jeff and Jay end the show by discussing the downside to anonymity and how to balance the need to mitigate real world harms it causes.

Check out the show for even more from Jay and Jeff and for a preview of our upcoming animated rap video (0:55).

If you liked the show, please subscribe and leave a review. You can also send us an email at podcast@edelson.com with any questions or for guest booking.

Connect with us:
Website: https://www.edelsoncreative.com/#podcast
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/edelsonlaw
Twitter: https://twitter.com/EdelsonCreative
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/edelson-pc

Connect with Jeff:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jkosseff
Website: https://www.jeffkosseff.com
U.S. Naval Academy Profile: https://www.usna.edu/CyberCenter/People/Biographies/Kosseffbio.php


Jeff’s Books:
United States of Anonymous Speech (Upcoming)
The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet

Recent Non-Compliant Podcast Episodes:
Non-Compliant Podcast Episode 25: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/non-compliant-podcast-episode-25-one-where-we-talk/id1491233296?i=1000506637686
Non-Compliant Podcast Episode 24: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/non-compliant-podcast-episode-24-one-where-we-talk/id1491233296?i=1000505141465
Non-Compliant Podcast Episode 23: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/non-compliant-podcast-episode-23-one-where-we-talk/id1491233296?i=1000503229823
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