Press Release | September 02, 2020

CTA Urges FCC to Protect Online Innovation and Free Speech

Laura Ambrosio

The following statement is attributed to Michael Petricone, senior vice president, government and regulatory affairs, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, regarding the petition by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeking regulation of online providers that host third-party content under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. CTA filed comments with the FCC today urging the commission to deny NTIA’s petition. 

“It is shocking that our own government would seek to undermine a law that has led to unprecedented American innovation, with massive benefits for our consumers and economy. If we were to weaken Section 230 the biggest winner would be China, which is spending billions in an all-out campaign to catch and surpass U.S. tech leaders.   

“The NTIA proposal would have sweeping and harmful effects on the online services that enable our daily internet experience – from digital marketplaces to consumer review sites, dating apps and much more. Because of Section 230, startups can launch without massive lawsuits, internet sites can host third-party reviews and individuals can freely express their opinions. This law is a key reason why American companies are the world’s default choices for entertainment, communication and commerce. 

“NTIA’s request to rewrite Section 230 raises serious legal questions about the FCC’s role as an independent regulatory agency and would contradict congressional intent. NTIA does not have the legal authority to add new laws for the FCC to follow; that is the role of Congress. 

“CTA urges the commission to deny NTIA’s petition, maintain its role as an independent agency and preserve free speech and innovation online.” 

Read CTA’s full comments here