Press Release

Public Knowledge Welcomes Comprehensive $100 Billion Broadband Plan As Part of Moving Forward Act to Close Digital Divide

June 22, 2020 Affordable Broadband , Broadband Deployment , broadband infrastructure , Digital Divide , digital equity , internet inequality , Rural Access , Rural Broadband

Today, House Democrats announced “The Moving Forward Act,” a massive infrastructure bill funding broadband deployment as well as the building of roads, bridges, housing, rail, and clean energy services.

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Press Release

Justice Department, Sen. Hawley Proposals Could Limit Efforts to Fight Online Harms

June 17, 2020 digital platforms , DOJ , Free Speech , Section 230 , social media

Today, reports surfaced that the Department of Justice and Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) have separate proposals to amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a law that shields digital platforms from liability for user content they carry, while also allowing platforms to take down content they find objectionable. While we await specific legislative language, some reported details are troubling.

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Commends Internet Archive for Championing Consumers During Pandemic, Urges Lawmakers to Support Digital Lending

June 10, 2020 controlled digital lending , coronavirus , internet archive , Pandemic

Today, the Internet Archive announced that it is ending its National Emergency Library lending program, citing the efforts of local libraries and other institutions to increase the circulation of digital books. Public Knowledge commends the Internet Archive for championing access to knowledge during this time of crisis, and urges policymakers to support legislation that makes more print books available electronically.

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Urges Antitrust Enforcers to Scrutinize Facebook’s Conduct for Antitrust Violations

June 9, 2020 Antitrust Law , digital platforms , Facebook , Platform Competition

Today, Public Knowledge sent letters urging the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, House Judiciary, and state attorneys general to evaluate whether Facebook’s past acquisitions and what appear to be anti-competitive practices violate antitrust law.

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Stands with Civil Rights Groups by Refusing Facebook Funding

June 9, 2020 civil rights , Content Moderation , Facebook , Public Knowledge , Section 230

Today, Public Knowledge announces that it will not accept funding from Facebook for any of the organization’s programs or initiatives. The decision follows a June 1 meeting between Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg and civil rights leaders to discuss the company’s choice to leave up without moderation comments made by President Trump, including one in which he posted, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” in reference to protests over George Floyd’s death. Twitter, meanwhile, labeled the content with a disclaimer that it “glorified violence.”

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Press Release

Meredith Rose to Testify Before Senate Judiciary Committee On the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

June 2, 2020 Copyright , Copyright Reform , DMCA , Notice and Takedown , Section 512 , testimony

Public Knowledge Policy Counsel Meredith Rose will testify before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Intellectual Property today at 2:30 p.m. Her testimony in the hearing, “Is the DMCA’s Notice-and-Takedown System Working in the 21st Century?,” will warn Congress not to reduce the debate on Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to “Big Tech” vs “Big Entertainment” — jeopardizing internet users in the process.

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Welcomes Bill Creating Privacy Rules for COVID-19 Exposure Notification Apps

June 2, 2020 Consumer Privacy , contact tracing , coronavirus , Data Privacy , exposure notification

Yesterday, Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) introduced the “Exposure Notification Privacy Act” to ensure that any exposure notification apps developed to assist with contact tracing will protect user privacy. Public Knowledge welcomes the bill for providing privacy protections for Americans’ data collected from these apps. 

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Files Brief Supporting Maine’s Effort to Protect Broadband User Privacy

June 1, 2020 ACA v Frey , amicus brief , Broadband Privacy

Today, Public Knowledge filed an amicus brief at the United States District Court of Maine in the case of ACA v. Frey. In June of 2019, Maine passed a law prohibiting broadband providers from using, disclosing, selling, or permitting access to a customer’s personal information without the customer’s consent. Broadband providers sued, claiming that the law infringed on their First Amendment rights and was preempted by federal law. 

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Public Knowledge Responds to Lawsuit Against Internet Archive: Policymakers, Publishers, and Libraries Should Make Print Books More Accessible During the Pandemic

June 1, 2020 controlled digital lending , Copyright , internet archive , lawsuit

Today, a number of major publishers filed suit against the Internet Archive, arguing that making electronic copies of print books available to library patrons is unlawful.

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Rejects White House Executive Order Targeting Free Speech on Social Media Platforms

May 28, 2020 digital platforms , due process , FCC , Free Speech , FTC , Section 230

Today, President Trump will reportedly sign an Executive Order that would direct the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission to regulate speech on social media platforms. Based on reporting, the Executive Order calls for the FCC to develop rules detailing how and when the law shields social media companies when they remove or moderate content on their platforms. Public Knowledge finds this Administration’s potential interference with free speech and abandonment of agency independence alarming, and reminds President Trump that neither the FCC nor the FTC have any authority to regulate social media.

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