In unusual move, Justice Department asks Congress to limit Section 230 protections for tech firms

The U.S. Justice Department today sent Congress draft legislation intended to limit the scope of Section 230, a legal shield that gives online platforms immunity against certain types of lawsuits. 

Section 230 is a statute in the Communications Decency Act that protects companies such as Facebook Inc. from being held legally liable for user content. It allows tech firms to remove a post without the risk of being sued if they deem it to be “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing or otherwise objectionable.” Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have called for Section 230 to be revised amid a broader debate in Washington about social media.

The change proposed by the Justice Department today consists of several points. First, the draft legislation seeks to narrow the criteria that tech companies must meet to qualify for the Section 230 legal shield. Under the proposal, an online platform could

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ByteDance asks China for approval to export TikTok technology: report

TikTok’s parent company ByteDance has sought permission from the Chinese government to export technology, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

ByteDance filed a request with the Beijing Municipal Commerce Bureau asking for approval to export its technology under restrictions recently implemented by the Chinese government, according to Bloomberg.

ByteDance, TikTok, and the Commerce Bureau did not respond to requests for comment.

In August, China expanded its list of “forbidden and restricted technology exports” to include “personalized information recommendation services based on data analysis” — such as the algorithm that powers TikTok. That move threw a wrench in the TikTok deal by requiring the company to obtain a license from the government, effectively giving Beijing veto power over a deal.

Following the announcement of the new rules, ByteDance reportedly considered bypassing that hurdle by selling TikTok without handing over its source code, but Bloomberg’s report Wednesday suggests the company wants the algorithm to be

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Australia Asks Google to Block Users ‘Walking’ Sacred Site | World News

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia has asked Google to remove photographs of the top of the sacred Indigenous site, Uluru, a tool that allowed users to appear to walk on its summit.

Australia in 2019 closed Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, after a decades-long campaign by indigenous communities to protect it.

Parks Australia, which is responsible for the national park where Uluru is located, said Google images contains photographs of the sacred site, which effectively defies the ban.

“Parks Australia…requested that the content be removed in accordance with the wishes of Anangu, Uluru’s traditional owners, and the national park’s guidelines,” a spokeswoman for the governing body said.

The Anangu people, the traditional owners of Uluru, have called for the climb to be closed since 1985, when the park was placed in indigenous hands, due to its spiritual significance as a route their ancestors took.

Google did not immediately respond to

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