White House Still Pushing To Slip Section 230 Repeal Into 'Must Pass' Military Spending Bill

from the what-the-actual-fuck? dept

This was rumored a week and a half ago, and at the time I stated that there was no way in hell it was happening, and that it was all just performative nonsense... but yesterday Axios reported that the White House is still pushing Congress to insert a total repeal of Section 230 into the "must pass" National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). At the time, the story was that Trump would make a trade: he wouldn't veto the bill over a provision that removed Confederate army names from US military bases if there was a full repeal of Section 230 in it.

This is silly for all sorts of reasons, including the idea that you're horse trading the law that helped create the open internet for racist military base names in a bill that has fuck all to do with internet/telecom policy. Of course, then Thanksgiving happened, and the President threw a total shitfit because #DiaperDon started trending on Twitter, making him declare that we had to repeal Section 230 for "national security." Seems more like it would be for dealing with the insecurity of the President of the United States.

And so it appears that the White House has decided to appease the whims of the mad child emperor, and is still pushing Congress to slip the repeal into the NDAA and hoping that the confused, misplaced, and somewhat contradictory bipartisan hatred for Section 230 will cause them to go with it. Incredibly, Axios notes that it's the Republicans in the Senate trying to talk the White House out of this plan -- though they're pushing a bunch of nonsense 230 reform bills as an "alternative." The article's only comment on Democrats is that they "are sure to object." And I think that will still doom this entire effort. But, the real goal seems to be to try to sneak through some terrible bills that are short of a full repeal.

But Senate Republicans are instead trying to negotiate an alternative that would combine multiple bills aimed at reforming the law, including the bipartisan Platform Accountability and Consumer Transparency Act and Wicker's Online Freedom and Viewpoint Diversity Act, a Hill source familiar with the matter told Axios.

We've gone through the details of why all of those bills are garbage and/or unconstitutional, and even if there were legitimate movement on getting those bills through Congress, lighting up the NDAA with them is the exact wrong thing to do. Bills like these, that would fundamentally change the very nature of the internet, are not something you just hang on an appropriations bill at the last minute.

I'm still mostly confident that none of this is actually going to happen and that it's still all just insane posturing and performative nonsense. But it's still 2020, and crazy, unprecedented shit still keeps happening, so I'll back down slightly from my "no way in hell" statement, and note that we're in hell right now, and so there's still a small chance that something horrific would happen here. It's still very, very unlikely. But it's just not going away.

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Filed Under: confederate bases, donald trump, horse trading, intermediary liability, names, ndaa, section 230, white house


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2020 @ 9:40am

    But it's still 2020, and crazy, unprecedented shit still keeps happening,

    XKCD Summed up 2020, and if Donald gets his way, the word for 2021 will be Internet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Dec 2020 @ 9:54am

    Bills like these, that would fundamentally change the very nature of the internet, are not something you just hang on an appropriations bill at the last minute.

    Yeah, Congress typically reserves that maneuver for copright-related bills.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 1 Dec 2020 @ 10:18am

      Re:

      Yeah, Congress typically reserves that maneuver for copright-related bills.

      Funny you say that. Just got word that a copyright bill has been added to the NDAA.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Dec 2020 @ 10:30am

        I solemnly swear that I had nothing to do with that.

        Unless it’s a pro-public domain bill, in which case yes I had everything to do with that and I will gladly take all the credit. 😁

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    danderbandit (profile), 1 Dec 2020 @ 10:11am

    Wish someone would get a backbone

    I know it is wishful thinking but I wish someone would get a backbone and propose that adding items totally unrelated to the original bill illegal. I know it won't go anywhere, but I'd still like to see it.

    I'm remembering a movie called 'Dave' where a doppleganger is a stand-in for the president. He calls in a bunch of congress reps to witness him signing a bill. But brings up a bunch of pork in the bill, in front of the press, and shames the various reps supporting it and gets it removed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 1 Dec 2020 @ 10:30am

    'Since we couldn't pass this honestly...'

    Always a good look when politicians decide that must pass bills like military funding are the perfect way to get things that they could never defend or pass on their own into the law, as it shows so very clearly that even they realize how terrible their ideas are since they're trying to tack them on to something that they don't need to defend.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2020 @ 10:40am

    White House Still Pushing To Slip Section 230 Repeal Into 'Must Pass' Military Spending Bill

    Why are military spending bills always "must pass?"

    When you can simply divert funds from the military budget to play Bob the Builder at the southern border, I have a hard time feeling sorry for those military folks. After all, since we're drawing down forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, you'd think the military would lay some of them off because they won't have any work.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2020 @ 11:38am

      Re:

      Blame Blitzkrieg for that one - improved mobility and communications mean that attackers make the older models as an alternative to a standing army non-viable as the war would be already lost essentially. The old model of "full time military as the generals and a smaller force to train masses of conscripts or reserves of pre-trained non-full time combatant miltia" doesn't work when the war may be lost by the time they get out of boot camp. That doesn't quite fit the US situation.

      Worse much of the technological effectiveness sources involved are fixed cost and capital intensive and not only beat the pants off of large conscripts but call for "full time career" effectiveness but and the fixed cost vs martinal cost provides a perverse incentives to use military force as the expensive hammer they already have lying around.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2020 @ 11:53am

      Re:

      The military budget has very little to do with actually paying soldiers.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 1 Dec 2020 @ 9:56pm

      Re:

      "Why are military spending bills always "must pass?""

      People who block them get painted as unpatriotic, and everyone voting on the bills is going to be looking at their next re-election campaign.

      "After all, since we're drawing down forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, you'd think the military would lay some of them off because they won't have any work"

      The US military is riddled with projects that never go anywhere but cost trillions, and keeping a significant number of Americans employed by or dependant on military contracts is a good way to ensure that they keep people who might vote against their budgets in line.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 4 Dec 2020 @ 5:34am

      Re:

      "Why are military spending bills always "must pass?""

      Because it sends a pretty grim message if you tell the troops Uncle Sam can't afford to pay them their salaries and veteran's benefits. The power bill for the security system and doors to the missile silos. The fuel for the navy and air force. Etc.

      And that's not mentioning the long-term cost of breaking contract with all the military contractors.

      "When you can simply divert funds from the military budget to play Bob the Builder at the southern border..."

      Yeah, there's a certain buffer's worth of slush funds the military has at their disposal they can divert from non-critical issues. That's already been diverted to playing Bob the Builder in a hamfisted fashion, the fence bought for the money already collapsing in places.

      "After all, since we're drawing down forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, you'd think the military would lay some of them off because they won't have any work."

      It's been the common wisdom since the early days of Rome that it's a Bad Idea to drop large bunches of well-trained military veterans on the labor market willy-nilly. Turns out those guys make excellent labor sources for organized crime in times of recession. Sure, most of them might have the moral compass to compete with college students and undergrads for burger-flipping jobs at minimum wage, but a definitive non-zero number instead ends up lifting a way bigger paycheck as hitman for the mob or doing shady shit as a merc.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Koby (profile), 1 Dec 2020 @ 10:49am

    He's Still Fighting

    Yesterday, mathematician Bobby Piton was suspended from twitter just for attending a hearing in Arizona regarding voter fraud. Clearly, social media is not enforcing any if its "rules", but is engaging in punishment for people with which they disagree. Contrary to the testimony Dorsey and other tech CEOs gave in front of Congress. Repealing section 230 is likely the only way to end the abuse. Hopefully, this will happen.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Dec 2020 @ 10:55am

      Yes or no, Koby: Do you believe the government should have the legal right to compel any privately owned interactive web service into hosting legally protected speech that the owners/operators of said service don’t want to host?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2020 @ 7:10pm

        Re:

        Do you believe the government should have the legal right to compel any privately owned interactive web service into hosting legally protected speech that the owners/operators of said service don’t want to host?

        Yes.

        We already have them declaring the government incapable of creating / enforcing public safety regulations because of "free speech" rights. Why should web services get a pass when people's lives are not?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 1 Dec 2020 @ 10:01pm

          Re: Re:

          Public safety and speech on a privately owned platform don't really compare very well, but setting that aside you seem to be solving the wrong problem there, as if the government isn't allowed to enforce public safety then treating both online speech and public safety equally would mean that platforms wouldn't have to host speech they don't want to, because if lives aren't enough to abrogate someone's 'rights' then not being able to speak on a given platform certainly wouldn't.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2020 @ 10:58am

      Re: He's Still Fighting

      hearing

      You mean that conference they had where no one was under oath?

      Oh well, he can always go fuck himself and head over to Parler, amirite?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2020 @ 11:00am

      Re: He's Still Fighting

      Yesterday, mathematician Bobby Piton was suspended from twitter just for attending a hearing in Arizona regarding voter fraud.

      And out of which arsehole did you pull that accusation?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2020 @ 12:05pm

      Re: He's Still Fighting

      no he wasn't

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 1 Dec 2020 @ 3:00pm

      Re: He's Still Fighting

      "Yesterday, mathematician Bobby Piton was suspended from twitter..."+

      No he wasn't, it was a fake account.

      "Clearly, social media is not enforcing any if its "rules"..."

      Turns out they actually are.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Rocky, 1 Dec 2020 @ 3:05pm

      Re: He's Still Fighting

      Repealing section 230 is likely the only way to end the abuse. Hopefully, this will happen.

      So how do you propose to get anything on Twitter if 230 is repealed? Inquisitive minds are wondering.

      I do hope you get to experience the consequences of what you are arguing for. I'll despair for those whose voices that'll be silenced because of it, but I'll gladly have a drink celebrating that your incessant whining won't be heard anymore.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 1 Dec 2020 @ 4:12pm

      Re: He's Still Fighting

      Note: The "hearing" was a Trump campaign sham, not a real, official hearing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 1 Dec 2020 @ 10:05pm

        Re: Re: He's Still Fighting

        Well, yes, that's also one of the best parts. Even if this apparently inactive user was blocked from Twitter for partisan reasons (and Twitter have that right, even as Koby pretends Parler aren't doing the same thing), the "hearing" itself was meaningless. Trump's team is losing hilariously in any actual courtroom setting, so they're now putting on plays to run out a what if scenario.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 1 Dec 2020 @ 10:02pm

      Re: He's Still Fighting

      "Yesterday, mathematician Bobby Piton was suspended from twitter just for attending a hearing in Arizona regarding voter fraud"

      I love it when you guys provide specifics, it's always fun to see where your lies differ from reality, how you are being lied to, and who is lying to you.

      There are several outlets that have investigated this, and found that the 2 Twitter accounts in question don't appear to have been owned and operated by Piton, and seem to have been set up specifically to trigger the braying of idiots when they were blocked for obvious fraud.

      https://www.truthorfiction.com/did-twitter-suspend-bobby-piton-an-election-whistleblower-to-p revent-people-understanding-his-testimony/

      Oh dear, it seems that maybe you need to stop getting your news from known right-wing fiction peddlers.

      This is your problem, Koby. You are not dealing with the real world.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2020 @ 5:08am

      Re: He's Still Fighting

      If they do repeal it I hope your the first one They ban for life lol

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2020 @ 11:40am

    Trump and his ilk are going to do as much damage as possible before they are forced out of office! i just hope that there are some series and quick ways for Biden to bail us out of the shit we'll be in!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2020 @ 11:54am

      Re:

      I wouldn't count on Biden for a hell of a lot more than simply not being Trump.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 1 Dec 2020 @ 12:04pm

        After four years of Trump, I’ll fucking take it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 1 Dec 2020 @ 1:26pm

        Re: Re:

        Given what four years has demonstrated as the alternative 'not Trump' may be a low bar to surpass but it's still plenty, anything above that will just be icing on the cake.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2020 @ 3:37am

        Re: Re:

        I would like to see the Biden administration acknowledge the fact that the people voted against trump, not for biden.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 2 Dec 2020 @ 5:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That really doesn't matter. The American public were presented with 2 choices, some said "we want this guy", some said "we don't want that guy" - on both sides. This happens all the time and I doubt you'll find an election in modern history where this wasn't true.

          What needs to happen now is that the people who voted just to keep Trump out of office work to ensure they have a person they do wish to vote for in the next election - be that by taking primaries seriously enough that each party has a candidate that's an actual good choice, by taking runoff and midterms seriously enough that their views are reflected in the overall makeup in the races that take place there, or otherwise participating in the process at a point other than "crap, we really need to do something now".

          The problem isn't that Trump was so bad that people voted for Biden despite not wanting him in charge either, the problem is the mix of apathy, sports mentality and systemic failures that made sure those were the only choices presented to them.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2020 @ 9:58am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Fair enough.

            Thing is, if things are business as usual then when 2022 comes around there may be less voters exercising their right.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 2 Dec 2020 @ 10:54pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Yes, that is the danger and the real question of what needs to be done - motivating voters to actually vote. Far right-wingers seem to spend their entire lives in an echo chamber of fear, where every day is one election away from a communist takeover. Fear is a great motivator, even if it's all based on fiction - which is why they turn out for not only presidential years, but every smaller election in off years.

              Normal people dealing with the real world get complacent, because in most years politics is boring and nobody's excited to vote for competent administrators who are doing their jobs. So, they're motivated in "please god let this end" years to make their distaste of the disasters caused by Bush and Trump known, but otherwise they're not motivated to step up and you get the crazies getting their people in, ready to create the next disaster.

              The question is how you get the turnout to continue making decisions that actually help the country, instead of the recent regular cycle of barely fixing the damage done before another pyromaniac steps in to burn down the new builds. There seems to be good noises coming out of the Georgia runoff race, but the damage is still fresh and Trump's not leaving yet. But, what of 2 years time when (hopefully) COVID drifts into memory, people regain their lives and the economy starts a real upswing? Do people participate and ensure that the latest batch of QAnon weirdos don't start getting power, or do people return to their normal lives not taking notice of politics until the next imminent collapse?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2020 @ 12:09pm

    We’re doomed

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2020 @ 1:15pm

    At this point it's pointless trying to set a limit or a moral level below which the trump White House will not go,
    giving massive tax breaks to mega corporations, helping company's to avoid laws that might limit damage to the environment, neutering the epa.
    Of course they will try and slip in a law that limits free speech and attacks the open Web. Into a bill that is related to military spending.
    Even worse in a time where most workers work from home
    and where the Internet is basically holding the economy
    together and is the main venue for people to communicate

    The free open Web is one thing that makes America free and democratic above country's like China or Turkey
    Of course trump will try and break the Internet while ihe is still in office

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2020 @ 5:11am

      Re: oblivion

      At this point it’s not even question he’s going to hell when he dies. I actually feel sorry for the red guy becuase You can’t quantify that level to just one part of the sulfur pits.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2020 @ 2:08pm

    Its the Trump method of negotiation. Propose to do something so crazy and extreme and outlandish, then any alternative suddenly sounds reasonable.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    restless94110 (profile), 2 Dec 2020 @ 12:05pm

    Good News

    Repeal of Section 230 is long overdue. Censorship is un-American. Big Tech is no Big Nanny. They have abused their power and lost any right of immunity.

    Repeal 230 now. Do it any way it can be done.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 2 Dec 2020 @ 1:05pm

      Re: Good News

      "BiG TeCh!!!"

      You realize 230 applies to and protects every single website on the internet right?

      Rhetorical question, of course you don't.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2020 @ 4:07pm

      Re: Good News

      Moderation is differs from editorial choice in that it is carried out post publication and remove that which the owners of a site find objectionable. You cannot force a publisher to publish your book so why should you be able to force a web site to keep up your postings?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 2 Dec 2020 @ 5:13pm

      Re: Good News

      Repeal of Section 230 is long overdue. Censorship is un-American.

      Then you should want to retain 230. Without Section 230, the incentives are for sites not to host public comments at all, or to be very heavy handed in their moderation to avoid liability.

      Of course this has been explained a dozen times to you idiots already.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 2 Dec 2020 @ 6:29pm

      Re: Good News

      Censorship is un-American.

      Therefore you, calling here for censorship, are un-American. QED.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 4 Dec 2020 @ 5:49am

      Re: Good News

      "Censorship is un-American."

      And no private entity practices censorship. What you advocate for is for the government to seize private property so as to either assume direct ownership of social platforms, or prevent the owners from deciding who is and is not welcome on that property.
      You sad deluded fucks from the "alt-right" have actually started quoting Karl Marx and Chairman Mao whenever Big Tech comes up. At least start owning that you've gone full commie.

      "Big Tech is no Big Nanny."

      No they are private entities, owning private property. Since when is any non-government entity obliged to cater to your private interests?

      "Repeal 230 now. Do it any way it can be done."

      As a european it really shouldn't bug me if the US decides to roll their society and tech back to early 1970 soviet standards. But the stupid of it still itches and burns.

      It's fucking pathetic that racist no-hope losers like you are so invested in being able to holler the N-word online you don't give a shit that for that to happen you actually need to embrace god damn communism.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 5 Dec 2020 @ 4:04pm

      Re: Good News

      Compelled speech is equally un-American.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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