President Trump has just announced that he would veto the $740 billion National Defence Authorization Act unless it includes a measure eliminating a federal law protecting tech companies such as Facebook and Twitter.
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects technology firms from liability over content posted by users, and has been under attack from Trump and Republican lawmakers, who have criticized internet platforms’ content moderation decisions accused them of stifling conservative voices.
It has been passed for six decades, one of the few major pieces of legislation seen as a “must-pass” since it governs everything from pay increases for the troops to the amount of aircraft ought to be purchased or how best to compete with rivals like Russia and China.
Congressional aides have expressed some scepticism that President Trump would really veto the legislation. Democrats won’t agree to repealing 230 because the 24-year-old law stipulates an essential protection to social media firms.
The aides suggested Trump’s hazard was a part of an effort to force revisions to Section 230 and include these in the defence bill.
This year, the Democrat-led House and Republican-controlled Senate passed versions of the bill. It is in conference, where lawmakers come up with a compromise final version.
Trump has pulled back from threats to derail legislation previously. Early last year, Trump agreed under mounting pressure to finish a 35-day-old partial US government shutdown without getting the $5.7 billion he had demanded from Congress to get a boundary wall, handing a political victory to Democrats.
The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Eric Beech, Nandita Bose, David Shepardson, Alex Alper and Mike Stone. Editing by Sandra Maler, Christian Schmollinger and Gerry Doyle.
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