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Thread: Sen. Mark Warner’s Memo Calls for the Government to Regulate Internet

  1. #1
    INGSOC GURPS's Avatar
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    Sen. Mark Warner’s Memo Calls for the Government to Regulate Internet

    The memo splits the proposal into three sections: combat disinformation, protect user privacy, promote competition in tech. Axios provided the details:

    • New resources and roles for government: The paper raises the prospect of new federal funding for media literacy programs that could help consumers sort through the information on online platforms. It also describes the military and intelligence communities as not adequately prepared for foreign information operations and includes various measures for bolstering their capabilities.
    • New rules for platforms: The paper considers requiring web platforms to label bot accounts or do more to identify authentic accounts, with the threat of sanction by the Federal Trade Commission if they fail to do so.
    • But it also goes further: One idea would be to make platforms legally liable for claims like “defamation, invasion of privacy, false light, and public disclosure of private facts” if they fail to take down doctored video and audio or so-called deep fakes (or fabricated footage), if a victim secured a necessary judgement regarding the sharing of that content.
    • Another would hang an “essential facility” label on certain widely-used tech products, like Google Maps. That would require them to offer access on “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” terms and not engage in “self-dealing or preferential conduct.”
    • New powers for consumers: Warner’s staffers raised the idea of a law mimicking Europe’s GDPR privacy rules in the United States or offering a more limited right for users to consent to the use of their data.
    • The report also suggested that, to increase visibility into competition, platforms could put a monetary value on an individual user’s data.


    At least the memo “acknowledges that these policy ideas come with plenty of questions: ‘In many cases there may be flaws in each proposal that may undercut the goal the proposal is trying achieve, or pose a political problem that simply can’t be overcome at this time.'”

    One of those is labeling for bots. Warner’s office wants “companies to somehow label bots or be penalized” without offering an idea on how a company should do this. The memo also would like “social media platforms to authenticate and disclose the geographic origin of all user accounts or posts.” Matthew Ingram at the Columbia Journalism Review addresses this issue:

    But would labeling bots actually help solve the issues Congress is concerned about? Experts say they are just one part of the problem, and that the behavior of what are sometimes called “cyborgs”—partially automated accounts run by human beings—is also important. And while anonymity can be a shield for some trolls, others are more than happy to engage in all kinds of bad behavior under their real names.

    The paper also admits that identifying users could backfire if it invades the privacy of journalists or dissidents and whistleblowers who have real reasons for wanting to remain anonymous.

    Sen. Mark Warner’s Memo Calls for the Government to Regulate Internet










    Oh Know .... I Might Be Exposed As A Russian BOT
    We’re tempted to suggest a conspiracy here — but it’s just liberals agreeing yet again that conservatives have hidden, evil motives, because modern liberals simply can’t conceive of any other reason to disagree with the liberal consensus.

    “Moral precepts are constant through the ages and not obedient to circumstances.”

  2. #2
    INGSOC GURPS's Avatar
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    Senate Democrats Are Circulating Plans for Government Takeover of the Internet: Reason Roundup
    Plus: Testing telemedicine abortion and 3D printed guns.


    All your base are belong to us. A leaked memo circulating among Senate Democrats contains a host of bonkers authoritarian proposals for regulating digital platforms, purportedly as a way to get tough on Russian bots and fake news. To save American trust in "our institutions, democracy, free press, and markets," it suggests, we need unprecedented and undemocratic government intervention into online press and markets, including "comprehensive (GDPR-like) data protection legislation" of the sort enacted in the E.U.

    Titled "Potential Policy Proposals for Regulation of Social Media and Technology Firms," the draft policy paper—penned by Sen. Mark Warner and leaked by an unknown source to Axios—the paper starts out by noting that Russians have long spread disinformation, including when "the Soviets tried to spread 'fake news' denigrating Martin Luther King" (here he fails to mention that the Americans in charge at the time did the same). But NOW IT'S DIFFERENT, because technology.

    [clip]

    Other proposals include more disclosure requirements for online political speech, more spending to counter supposed cybersecurity threats, more funding for the Federal Trade Commission, a requirement that companies' algorithms can be audited by the feds (and this data shared with universities and others), and a requirement of "interoperability between dominant platforms."

    The paper also suggests making it a rule that tech platforms above a certain size must turn over internal data and processes to "independent public interest researchers" so they can identify potential "public health/addiction effects, anticompetitive behavior, radicalization," scams, "user propagated misinformation," and harassment—data that could be used to "inform actions by regulators or Congress."

    And—of course— these include further revisions to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, recently amended by Congress to exclude protections for prostitution-related content. A revision to Section 230 could provide the ability for users to demand takedowns of certain sorts of content and hold platforms liable if they don't abide, it says, while admitting that "attempting to distinguish between true disinformation and legitimate satire could prove difficult."

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    Don't Democrats realize, actions like this only expose their machinations
    Last edited by GURPS; 08-03-2018 at 08:47 AM.
    We’re tempted to suggest a conspiracy here — but it’s just liberals agreeing yet again that conservatives have hidden, evil motives, because modern liberals simply can’t conceive of any other reason to disagree with the liberal consensus.

    “Moral precepts are constant through the ages and not obedient to circumstances.”

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