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03/07/2018: The law that built the internet as we know it
Mar 7, 2018

03/07/2018: The law that built the internet as we know it

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Congress took a step toward tighter internet censorship last week, depending on how you look at it. The House passed the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, which makes it easier to sue websites that allow sex traffickers to post on their sites. The bill changes previous legislation that made sure third-party providers, like websites, couldn’t be held liable for online posts by independent users. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act was co-authored by then-Rep. Chris Cox, a Republican from California, and Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon in 1996. Cox spoke with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood about the legislation and why it may be time for an update.    

Segments From this episode

Should websites be responsible for what users post online?

A new bill makes it easier to sue websites for illegal content their users post.
The statute that former Rep. Chris Cox wrote with Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden has “worked pretty well over the last 20 years,” Cox says, but he's seen courts “stretch the rule a little bit too far.”
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Congress took a step toward tighter internet censorship last week, depending on how you look at it. The House passed the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, which makes it easier to sue websites that allow sex traffickers to post on their sites. The bill changes previous legislation that made sure third-party providers, like websites, couldn’t be held liable for online posts by independent users. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act was co-authored by then-Rep. Chris Cox, a Republican from California, and Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon in 1996. Cox spoke with Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood about the legislation and why it may be time for an update.    

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