Trump’s misleading claims about Section 230 could last beyond his showdown with Congress

with Tonya Riley

President Trump’s last-ditch salvo to crack down on Silicon Valley by dismantling a key Internet law appears unlikely to work. 

Even Republicans who are open to restructuring the decades-old law that protects tech companies and other website operators from lawsuits for content moderation decisions are united in their opposition to tacking it onto a key defense bill during a lame-duck session.  

  • “[Section] 230 has nothing to do with the military,” said Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), a Trump ally. “I agree with his sentiments, we ought to do away with 230 — but you can’t do it in this bill.” 
  • “I will vote to override,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), an Air Force veteran, tweeted in response to Trump’s veto threat. “Because it’s really not about you.” 

If Trump follows through on his threat to veto the must-pass military operations bill unless it contains

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The Technology 202: Trump’s misleading claims about Section 230 could last beyond his showdown with Congress

  • “[Section] 230 has nothing to do with the military,” said Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), a Trump ally. “I agree with his sentiments, we ought to do away with 230 — but you can’t do it in this bill.” 
  • “I will vote to override,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), an Air Force veteran, tweeted in response to Trump’s veto threat. “Because it’s really not about you.” 

Whatever happens in the coming week, the issue certainly won’t go away. 

And Trump’s powerful megaphone, which he’s using to spread misleading claims about the law, could have a long-term impact on how some lawmakers approach Section 230 as they review the power and influence of technology companies – even after Trump leaves office. 

Here are some of the biggest myths the president has pushed this week: 

Trump made the misleading claim that Section 230 is a “liability-shielding gift from the

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Trump threatens defense bill veto if Sec 230 not revoked by Congress

  • President Donald Trump tweeted late Tuesday night that he would veto the National Defense Authorization Act unless it included a repeal of Section 230.
  • Section 230 is the part of US law that grants broad protections allowing tech companies to moderate their own platforms.
  • Trump has been trying to roll it back since Twitter first applied fact-checks to his tweets in May.
  • The NDAA is an annual defense-spending bill worth roughly $740 billion, and Trump has already threatened to veto it if lawmakers go ahead with a plan to rename Army bases named after Confederate generals.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump is trying desperately to revoke a part of US law that protects Big Tech companies.

The president tweeted late Tuesday night that he would veto the National Defense Authorization Act unless it included a repeal the statute known as Section 230.

“If the very

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Trump threatens to veto major defense bill unless Congress repeals Section 230, a legal shield for tech giants

President Trump on Tuesday threatened to veto an annual defense bill unless Congress repeals the federal law that spares Facebook, Google and other social-media sites from legal liability over their content-moderation decisions.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie


© Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images


Trump delivered the ultimatum targeting the digital protections, known as Section 230, in a late-night tweet that marked a dramatic escalation in his attacks against Silicon Valley over unproven allegations that the country’s tech giants exhibit bias against conservatives.

“Section 230, which is a liability shielding gift from the U.S. to ‘Big Tech’ (the only companies in America that have it – corporate welfare!), is a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity,” Trump tweeted.

Unless the “very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA),” Trump continued, “I will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill when sent

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Ash Carter: How the U.S. Congress and STEM Experts Must Work Together

The incoming Biden-Harris administration brings hope that scientific expertise will once again be a cornerstone of good governance. 

There are good reasons to expect that Washington will do so. As President-elect Biden said during his victory speech, “Americans have called on us to marshal…the forces of science and the forces of hope in the great battles of our time.”

We are in the midst of one such great battle now. Despite promising news on several potential vaccines, COVID-19’s trajectory of cases portends a dark pandemic winter. 

At times like these, we need all hands on deck. Especially critical to our efforts will be enlisting more scientists and technologists into the policymaking process. So, let me speak directly to those engineers, coders, geneticists, and others on the front lines of innovation who may be considering public service. 

Any service to the country is valuable. Should you decide that the best way

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How Can Congress Prepare for the Next Global Crisis? Create A ‘Science Readiness Reserve,’ IBM Says

It’s time that America’s elected officials bring together some of the nation’s greatest minds and technologies to prepare for the globe’s next emergency.



a man and a woman standing in front of a building: People walk past the United States Capitol on November 8 in Washington, DC.


© Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP
People walk past the United States Capitol on November 8 in Washington, DC.

That is the message from IBM, the multinational American technology and consulting company, to prominent members of Congress.

In a letter sent to leaders of relevant congressional committees Wednesday morning and provided to Newsweek, the company urged lawmakers to establish a Science Readiness Reserve, a group comprised of leading scientists and private sector resources that would explore how to best use artificial intelligence and other technologies to combat whatever calamities that may arise beyond 2020.

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“Since the beginning of the pandemic, our scientific community has been racing against the clock to save

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Where the youngest new faces coming to Congress stand on tech

With help from John Hendel

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Morning Tech will not publish on Thursday, Nov. 26, and Friday, Nov. 27. We’ll be back on our normal schedule on Monday, Nov. 30.

Editor’s Note: Morning Tech is a free version of POLITICO Pro Technology’s morning newsletter, which is delivered to our subscribers each morning at 6 a.m. The POLITICO Pro platform combines the news you need with tools you can use to take action on the day’s biggest stories. Act on the news with POLITICO Pro.

— ‘Political Playlist’: Emerging tech critic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may have been the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, but next year’s crop of young lawmakers — breaking ceilings with some “firsts” of their own — are already sporting tech priorities.

— Parler’s new grievance: The growing social media site has long amplified conservative complaints about bias on mainstream platforms. Now the upstart has

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Weather Service tells Congress radar gaps don’t hurt warning accuracy, but outside scientists disagree

Weather forecasters around the country strive to warn communities in advance of every tornado that touches down, each flash flood that is about to occur and each winter weather event.



a group of clouds in the sky: A rotating supercell thunderstorm takes on a “mothership” appearance as it moves south of Lakin, Kan. on Sept. 9. (Photo by Matthew Cappucci/The Washington Post)


© Matthew Cappucci/TWP
A rotating supercell thunderstorm takes on a “mothership” appearance as it moves south of Lakin, Kan. on Sept. 9. (Photo by Matthew Cappucci/The Washington Post)

One of the most reliable and costly tools at a meteorologist’s disposal for issuing watches and warnings is a network of 159 Doppler radars located across the country that provide detailed views inside storms. Radar helps meteorologists determine precipitation type and intensity, how much rain or snow has fallen, as well as the wind direction and speed at which precipitation is moving within a storm.

Using these radars, forecasters can spot the existence of a tornado by detecting airborne debris lofted by the twister’s circulation. They can track the all important

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Big Tech faces rising pressure in Congress and courts

While the tech industry delivers many benefits to society, governments around the world have been showing a rising interest in regulating it. Digital platforms, they worry, may be encouraging tech overuse and eroding privacy among consumers, curbing competition among businesses, and failing to adequately manage their societal role as gatekeepers of information. 

In the U.S., tighter antitrust oversight appears to be already taking shape. On Oct. 20, the U.S. Justice Department sued Google for using anticompetitive practices to maintain its dominance over search and search advertising. And many Democrats in Congress support legislation to break up tech monopolies.

Separate questions are swirling about what role tech giants should play in controlling misinformation online, and Republican allegations that the firms have an anti-conservative bias. The Senate Commerce Committee has been considering whether changes are needed to a 1996 provision that protects internet companies from liability for what people say on their

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The Technology 202: Expect more tech executive grillings in the next Congress

Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee signaled they want Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey back in the hot seat next year — along with executives from Google and Amazon. (Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

They called for greater regulatory action on Silicon Valley, as they escalated their criticism of tech giants and the myriad ways their power influences American society and politics, as Rachel Lerman and I reported. 

“The bottom line is we want to make these platforms better,” said the committee’s chairman, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.). “We want to continue to grow this part of our society responsibly, and right now without regulation or lawsuit, it’s becoming the Wild Wild West. ”

But the hearing crystallized familiar impediments to Washington’s years-long push to crack down on the tech industry. 

The hearing reflected the broader partisan divisions in the

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