It's past time to update the "castle doctrine" for the internet
It is extremely relevant when both 'liberal' and 'conservative' legislators find enough common ground, and courtesy of speech and behavior to consider acting in the best interest of the Commons.
In the recent Judicial hearings on the first African American Woman proposed for the US Supreme Court it is fascinating to see Senator Manchin align with his Democratic Brethren to support her nomination, for example. Regardless of the recent historical language and discussions about our different origins with respect to genetic aspects, it makes good sense to finally have another qualified woman jurist on the US Supreme Court - after all 50% of our US population is female.
On the use of Sec. 230, as usual Mr. Hartman has some poignant legal and historical points that should be considered, very, very carefully. Our children are exposed to a lot of garbage on the web and promoters such as Facebook-MetaVerse and Google-Alphabet, along with all the service providers installing unproven 5G technology on every street corner, are about to 'know' and 'control' our very thoughts, feelings and every single purchase and behavior.
It is almost impossible to do unbiased, independent higher level research anymore because search math 'feeds' you only what the providers want to allow you to find and know. People doing their thesis and cutting edge research cannot avoid censoring by governments, pharmaceutical corporations and universities staffed and funded by corporate donations and grants. A good example is the police state methodology surrounding all our health research during the last two years. Regardless of whether people have a certain personal opinion on an issue access to all research available and the ability of individuals to have a secure space to discuss the facts and information available is the only difference between autocratic governance (China, Russia, Hungary, Saudi Arabia) and Western democracies.
This Freedom, of course, comes with risks and disagreements, and necessitates EU style legislation to curb the behavior of online giants (https://www.reuters dot com/technology/new-eu-rules-regulating-us-tech-giants-likely-set-global-standard-2022-03-25/). And, it also comes with the temptation to provide legislation and politics to subdue, outlaw and name calling of a variety of opinions .
This is the 'Canary-in-the-coal-mines' and should suggest that adult wisdom is needed.
Mr. Hartman with his 70 year+ wisdom has some relevant points that suggest we all need to keep an eye on the legislation that may come out of Sec. 230 revisions:
"Nonetheless, Section 230 lives on. I wrote a book that covers it, The Hidden History of Big Brother: How the Death of Privacy and the Rise of Surveillance Threaten Us and Our Democracy.
So did Josh Hawley, the Republican Senator from Missouri who hopes to be the next Trumpy president, and his book’s take is pretty much the same as mine: section 230 is extremely problematic, at the very least.
Fixing Section 230 is a place where internet-savvy liberals like Ron Wyden and far-right conservatives like Hawley can find considerable common ground.
It won’t be super-easy and is going to require some serious discussion and debate about the limits of both surveillance and liability, as the Electronic Freedom Foundation points out in a recent piece about the newest attempt to “protect children” on the internet.
Nonetheless, something should be done about these cyberspace “castles,” especially given the demonstrable harm Section 230 is allowing to happen to our kids (among others).
After all, King Edward III lived and ruled on the castle doctrine almost a thousand years ago. It’s past time to revisit it for the internet."
"Aye, there's the rub!" Even if you find a sweet spot for intelligence gathering, personal data collection and censorship, what's the punishment for the violators? Fines? Prison? Crash their equipment and software?
Eliot Ness and prohibition is looming in my mind. So is the word education when it comes to kids, but we are watching the radical right trying to destroy any good intentions on social issues there.
We all need the worthy information out there on the internet---even if the castle is a mess just as it was for poor Hamlet.