Monday, March 27, 2023

Tech giants are trembling over a ruler who would hold them accountable for terrorism

12:01 AM

Through the Office of the Editor and AFP

The United States Supreme Court has begun reviewing a law that has protected technology companies from lawsuits over content published by their users for more than a quarter of a century. If this judicial body decides to overturn it, as many voices have demanded, it would be quite a mess on the internet and hard for the cyberspace giants to start testing for terrorism.

The High Court analyzes cases presented by victims of jihadist attacks, who accuse Google and Twitter of spreading the “Islamic State” (IS).

The Supreme Court – which must pass its rulings before June 30 – defines the scope of the 1996 rule, which is section 230, and which for many is the pillar of the internet boom. The text confirms that companies in the technology sector cannot be considered “publishers” and enjoy legal immunity for content published on platforms.

Congress’s idea was to protect the then-embryonic industry from potential lawsuits and allow it to flourish by encouraging it to remove so-called “problem” content.

This legal provision no longer enjoys legislative consensus: in parties more to the left of the Democratic Party, the technological giants are criticized for hiding behind this immunity, allowing racist and conspiratorial messages to circulate; On their part, from the right, the exile of the former President Donald Trump (2017-2021) from the various social networks, they are accused of “censorship” under their right of containment.

Given these divergent perspectives, legislative efforts to amend the text never came to fruition.

Rather, reform could come from the hands of the Supreme Court, which was the first to examine a file questioning the scope of section 230.

“A decision that undermines the protections of Section 230 could have a catastrophic impact on all Internet services,” President Matthew Schruers of the Computer and Communications Industry Association told AFP. He added: “It could fundamentally change our online experiences.”

Specifically, the Court is examining a complaint filed by relatives of a young American killed in November 2015 in Paris against Google, the parent company of YouTube, which they accuse of having supported the growth of the IS group by suggesting its videos to some users. .

Their complaint has so far been rejected by the courts for Section 230, but in an appeal to the Supreme Court, they think that the Google “publisher” is not protected by this art, since it “recommends” the videos of the jihadist group through their algorithm.

YouTube “rejects terrorism,” replied Google in an argument sent to the Court.

In all these circumstances, it is also known that the other side, if this protection were to fall, could be opened to the technology giants – through social network companies – to accuse terrorism.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
Latest news
Related news