Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) sent a letter to United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer Friday, urging him to remove language that would enshrine Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in the USMCA and the U.S.-Japan trade agreements.
Cruz, one of the leading big tech critics in the Senate, called on Lighthizer to remove language in the United States-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) and U.S.-Japan trade agreements that would enshrine technology platforms’ legal immunity. The senator cited Article 19.17 of the USMCA and Article 18, Sections 2 and 3, in the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement as areas of concern.
The Texas conservative contended that both treaties would enshrine Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Section 230 grants technology companies such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter increased legal immunity to moderate content on their platforms to prevent frivolous lawsuits. Conservatives and many tech experts contend that Section 230 grants these social media platforms too much legal immunity, thus allowing them to censor conservative and alternative voices on the Internet without significant legal recourse.
Breitbart News’s Allum Bokhari has detailed that Article 19.17 in the USMCA grants social media companies even broader legal immunity in the USMCA.
The Texas senator said that, because Congress has continued to consider whether to amend or eliminate Section 230, “enshrining” Section 230 “would be a mistake.”