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DOJ Unveils Trump Administration’s Legislation to Reform Tech’s Legal Liability Shield

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U.S. Attorney General William Barr appearing before the House Oversight Committee this summer.

The u.S. Department of Justice last week proposed legislation to reform a key legal liability shield for the technology industry known as Section 230.

Credit: Matt McClain/Reuters

The Department of Justice proposed legislation Wednesday to reform a key legal liability shield for the tech industry known as Section 230.

The draft legislation focuses on two areas of reform. First, it aims to narrow the criteria online platforms must meet to earn the liability protections granted by Section 230. Second, it would carve out the statute's immunity for certain cases, like offenses involving child sexual abuse.

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects online platforms from liability for their users' posts, but it also allows them to moderate and remove harmful content without being penalized.

The statute's protections helped tech platforms grow from the early days of the Internet but have come under scrutiny in recent years as lawmakers and regulators more broadly question the tech industry's power.


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