National Consumers League

NCL statement on White House “Protecting Americans from Online Censorship” proposal

August 12, 2019

Media contact: National Consumers League – Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (412) 945-3242 or Taun Sterling, tauns@nclnet.org, (202) 207-2832

Washington, DC—The National Consumers League, America’s pioneering consumer and worker advocacy organization, is urging the Trump Administration not to move forward on its reported proposal to require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to regulate speech on the Internet. As reported, the draft proposal would severely curtail the protections that website operators receive under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. These protections are crucial to website operators’ abilities to moderate content, including hate speech, violence, and other objectionable content.

The following statement is attributable to John Breyault, vice president of public policy, telecommunications and fraud at the National Consumers League:

An open and well-moderated Internet is crucial to consumers’ ability to get the information they need to make informed marketplace decisions and to hold industry and government officials accountable. Nonetheless, the Trump White House seems determined to pursue a fairness doctrine for the Internet in order to placate a small, but vocal portion of the President’s base. In the name of protecting against largely fictitious ‘conservative bias,’ the Administration’s proposal would direct the independent FCC and FTC to exercise authority they don’t legally have and which their leaders have said they don’t want. If reports about the draft executive order are true, the results could be disastrous for consumers and free speech online. This proposal is deeply misguided. We urge the Administration to consign it to the dustbin of history.

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About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.