The Heritage Foundation announced on Thursday it will join America First Legal in filing an amicus brief to a lawsuit seeking to force Big Tech to take more accountability for content that appears on its platforms.
The suit, Gonzalez v Google, involves Section 230, the immunity from civil liability granted to Big Tech by Congress:
Americans are looking for answers to Big Tech’s abuse which is why we filed an amicus brief in Gonzalez v Google with @America1stLegal on behalf of 17 members of Congress that want to put the limits of Section 230 immunity to the test.
— Heritage Foundation (@Heritage) December 8, 2022
The Heritage press release reads, in part:
WASHINGTON—Today, The Heritage Foundation, in partnership with America First Legal, filed an amicus brief in Gonzalez v Google. With Boyden Gray & Associates serving as lead counsel, the amicus brief was filed on behalf of Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Braun, Joni Ernst, Lindsey Graham, Chuck Grassley, Bill Hagerty, James Lankford, Mike Lee, Cynthia Lummis, Marco Rubio, and Roger Wicker, and Representatives Mike Johnson, Jodey C. Arrington, Scott Fitzgerald, Doug Lamborn, Victoria Spartz, and Tom Tiffany.
Gonzalez v Google puts the limits of Section 230 immunity to test. The family of Naomi Gonzalez argues that YouTube helped aid and abet her killing in the 2015 Islamic State terrorist attacks in Paris by “recommending” content by a militant Muslim group. The central premise the court is considering in the case is whether YouTube’s active role in recommending videos negates Section 230’s liability shield for tech companies.
Heritage’s brief makes a textualist argument that lower courts have improperly expanded the scope of Section 230 immunity from civil liability for tech companies beyond what the text of the statute allows. It asks the Supreme Court to send this case back to the lower courts with new directions on proper interpretation.
The move comes on the heels of America First Legal’s bombshell of a document dump shared on Twitter Tuesday, made up of 600 pages it received from litigation, about a special portal Twitter maintained–just for likeminded government pals and politicians to flag content they didn’t like, for immediate removal from the platform.
We’ll keep you posted as the lawsuit is considered by the U.S. Supreme Court.
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