Section 230 Is Essential to the Internet's Future

Authors: Sophia Cope, Ernesto Omar Falcon, Elliot Harmon, India McKinney, Corynne McSherry, Joe Mullin


Summary 

Section 230 is not a gift to Big Tech, and eliminating it will not solve the problems that Big Tech is causing. Those problems stem from a severe lack of competition. Repealing Section 230 will exacerbate those problems.


Section 230 is critical to the proper functioning of the Internet. To rein in Big Tech, the law should be supported, not weakened or repealed. The Trump Administration’s executive order on Section 230 should be repealed. Further, action to limit the power of large tech companies should be taken on three fronts: antitrust, privacy, and interoperability.


Download PDF


About the Authors

Sophia Cope is a Senior Staff Attorney on the Electronic Frontier Foundation's civil liberties team, working on a variety of free speech and privacy issues. She has been a civil liberties attorney for over 15 years and has experience in both litigation and policy advocacy. Prior to joining EFF, Sophia spent eight years in Washington, DC, working at the Newspaper Association of America (now News Media Alliance) and the Center for Democracy & Technology.


Ernesto Falcon is Senior Legislative Counsel at Electronic Frontier Foundation with a primary focus on intellectual property, open Internet issues, broadband access, and competition policy. He represents EFF’s advocacy, on behalf of its members and all consumers, for a free and open Internet before state legislatures and Congress. Ernesto’s work includes pushing the state of California to pass the strongest net neutrality law in the country in response to federal repeal efforts, as well as leading EFF's research and advocacy to promote universally available, affordable, and competitive fiber broadband networks.


Elliot Harmon is a Senior Activist at Electronic Frontier Foundation. He advocates for free speech and the right to innovate online, with particular emphases on patents, copyright, open access, and Section 230. Before coming to EFF, Elliot served as director of communications at Creative Commons, an organization that helps creators share their works with the public via open copyright licenses.




Corynne McSherry is the Legal Director at Electronic Frontier Foundation, specializing in copyright, intermediary liability, open access, and free speech issues. As a litigator, she has represented the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, Professor Lawrence Lessig, Public.Resource.Org, the Yes Men, and a dancing baby, among others. Her policy work includes leading EFF’s efforts to fix copyright, promote competition, and promote best practices for online expression. In 2019 she testified before Congress regarding Section 230; in 2014, she testified before Congress about problems with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Prior to joining EFF, Corynne was a civil litigator at the law firm of Bingham McCutchen, LLP.


India McKinney is Director of Federal Affairs for Electronic Frontier Foundation. Prior to joining EFF, India spent 10 years in Washington as a staffer for three members of Congress from California. Her passion has always been good public policy, and she is excited to be using her skills in advocating for privacy rights for consumers.




Joe Mullin is a Policy Analyst on Electronic Frontier Foundation’s intellectual property team, where he works on patent reform, copyright issues, and free speech online. Before joining EFF, Joe worked as a reporter covering legal affairs for the technology website Ars Technica, and American Lawyer’s magazine group. Earlier in his journalism career, Joe wrote for The Associated Press and The Seattle Times.