In a recent “Expert Analysis” article published by Law360, shareholders Aron U. Raskas and Nicole K. Atkinson penned an editorial piece on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, explaining what is at stake with its potential repeal and why Congress should not act precipitously or extremely.
The article, Congress Shouldn’t Abrogate Section 230 Immunity, discusses the risks of potentially eliminating or reducing the immunity of interactive computer service providers.
Though Section 230 remains targeted from both sides of the aisle, for different reasons and with varying concerns, the internet has expanded and thrived for more than two decades because of this legislation.
Often referred to as the 26 words that created the internet, Section 230 states that “[n]o provider … of an interactive computer service shall be treated as a publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”
In a 2020 opinion, in Doe v. Kik Interactive Inc, where Raskas and Atkinson were counsel for the defendants, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida ruled on the first impression of the interrelationship between Section 230 and FOSTA, a newly enacted law that impinged upon the existing Section 230 immunity. The Kik Interactive court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint with prejudice.
According to Raskas and Atkinson, there is a message that emerged from that ruling for interactive computer service providers and lawmakers: When providers knowingly and deliberately make choices that affect content distribution, they provide fodder for those seeking to end the immunity provided by Section 230. However, when providers strictly fulfill their traditional roles of equitably facilitating the distribution of content, the existing law provides a reasonable balance of interests.
Click here to read the full Law360 article.
Aron U. Raskas is a shareholder in Gunster’s business litigation practice in Miami. He focuses on business disputes and the defense of professional liability matter, including disputes involving breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, corporate governance, trade secrets and disputes over business operations and control. He has performed internal investigations for companies under various circumstances and is the author of a series of articles on “Insulating the Corporation from Potential Liability.” Raskas has been recognized for many years by The Best Lawyers in America® in commercial litigation and Maryland Super Lawyers. He holds an AV Preeminent rating from the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings.
Nicole K. Atkinson is a shareholder in Gunster’s business litigation practice in the West Palm Beach office. Atkinson co-chairs the firm’s Women’s Leadership Forum and serves on the firm’s Diversity Committee. She represents clients in a variety of litigation and estate and trust matters and has a broad range of experience at the trial and appellate levels in federal and state courts throughout the country. Her practice includes defending accountants and lawyers in professional liability cases, handling complex business litigation matters, contract disputes, real estate disputes, product liability litigation, intellectual property litigation and estate and trust litigation. Nicole has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® in commercial litigation, real estate litigation and estate and trust litigation.