June 29, 2021 - Section 230 Reform in an Era of Big Tech

Once an obscure piece of legislation passed in 1996, Section 230 of the U.S. Communications Decency Act (CDA) has emerged as a focal point for heated debates over key questions for the future of the internet, and for the Digital Economy that evolved with it. Viewed by some as a bulwark for free speech and expression, and a key element in the internet's growth, recent reevaluations have raised bipartisan calls for reforms that could have significant impacts on current business models and on the legal liability of companies - including the "Big Tech" juggernauts, that had been protected by the law's current form.

Following Competition Policy International's May Antitrust Chronicle on Section 230, CPI, in collaboration with Duke’s Center for Science and Technology Policy , worked to encourage discussion and interest in the topic with this broad and potentially transformative debate affecting both businesses and individuals.

Starting with a conversation with Senator Wyden and the insightful contribution of a distinguished panel of experts, "Section 230 Reform in an Era of Big Tech" explored the implications of proposed changes to Section 230 in various areas, from Antitrust enforcement to academic engagement, and how these changes interact with other areas of the law - most notably Free Speech/Press considerations and the liabilities and obligations of the Big Tech powerhouses, whose mere existence and actions have prompted the debate.

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