Showing posts with label Brian Fung. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brian Fung. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Regulate This You Fraud !!! Trump On a Rampage & Goes Haywire After He Gets His Hands Slapped !! Too Bad You Asshole Trump. UPDATE 05/28: New York Times Covers Trump's Latest Power Move...Yep The Cretan Did It - Signs Draft Executive Order Against Twitter, Facebook, Google etal

The "normal" blog with the death count is coming up I am once again running behind, but first this:

 ~ From CNN:

Trump Threatens To 'Regulate' Social Media Platforms. His Options May Be Limited 
by, Brian Fung

" President Donald Trump threatened to "regulate" or even "close" down social media platforms in a series of tweets over the last day after Twitter added a fact-check label to some of his posts. But Trump's options for cracking down on Twitter and other platforms over how they moderate their platforms are somewhat limited, legal experts say.

The options at Trump's disposal could range from pushing for new legislation to pressuring US regulators to sue the companies, none of which are guaranteed to accomplish what the president is threatening to do.

The most "obvious" course of action would be for Trump to seek changes to the Communications Decency Act, which shields tech platforms from legal liability for a wide range of online content, according to Andrew Schwartzman, senior counselor at the Benton Institute for Broadband and Society.

There has been an ongoing push, led by the Justice Department and Republicans in Congress, to do just that. But changing the law would require building broad consensus in a deadlocked Congress. The Trump administration could not go it alone. And a new law that specifies how tech companies must police their platforms could raise questions about the law's constitutionality.

"This is just another example of Trump thinking that the Constitution makes him a king, but it doesn't," said David Vladeck, a Georgetown University law professor and former senior Federal Trade Commission official.

Trump could pressure agencies such as the FTC and the Federal Communications Commission to take action against social media companies. But the agencies have previously resisted efforts by the White House to transform them into arbiters of political speech, with officials privately voicing opposition to a draft executive order that experts at the time said tested the limits of agency jurisdiction.

The FCC regulates phone and broadband infrastructure, said Schwartzman, and lacks much jurisdiction over Twitter (TWTR) and Facebook (FB) in the first place.

" I do think although [FCC Chairman Ajit] Pai has a good relationship with the president, and they have partnered on some things, I think he is still maintaining his independence," added one telecom industry official, speaking from his experience interacting regularly with the agency.

Schwartzman said one way Trump could seek to "harass" social media companies would be to pressure the FCC to deny those companies licenses for unrelated experiments involving satellite internet or wireless spectrum. (Google and Facebook have both tinkered with beaming high-speed internet to consumers from drones, balloons or even from space.) But those types of actions would not substantially affect the companies' core businesses.

Meanwhile, the FTC is already scrutinizing the tech industry over antitrust concerns. Last year, Facebook disclosed that it is under active antitrust investigation by agency officials. But antitrust cases hinge on highly technical economic analyses, are subject to judicial review and take years to play out.

Trump could try to appoint allies to the FTC who might be willing to launch still more probes, experts said, but the laws governing independent bodies such as the FTC make them harder to politicize than a cabinet agency such as the Justice Department. The FTC is composed of five commissioners who serve staggered terms, and their decisions are also subject to judicial review.

Unlike the FTC, the Justice Department is led by one person, Attorney General William Barr, making it the most likely tool for going after the social media platforms, several experts said. The Justice Department is currently conducting a wide-ranging review of the tech industry, as well as a specific antitrust investigation of Google. The agency is widely expected to wrap up its tech review this summer.

Barr has alluded to complaints of anti-conservative bias on several occasions. In December, he told an audience of state attorneys general that the Communications Decency Act "has enabled platforms to absolve themselves completely of responsibility for policing their platforms, while blocking or removing third-party speech -- including political speech -- selectively, and with impunity."

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump has considered establishing a White House commission to study allegations of conservative bias. But that only underscores the limits of Trump's direct influence on the matter.

Despite the limitations, growing tensions with the White House could still be perceived as a threat to the companies. Twitter and Facebook saw their shares dip on Wednesday on a day when the overall market was up."

Then, there is this:

 ~ From Politico:
By, Josh Gerstein 

"A ruling that emerged from a powerful federal appeals court in Washington on Wednesday morning is strong evidence that the courts are unlikely to be receptive to President Donald Trump’s claims that he and his political supporters are being silenced by social media platforms like Twitter.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit resoundingly rejected a lawsuit the conservative legal organization Freedom Watch and right-wing provocateur Laura Loomer filed in 2018 against four major technology companies: Google, Facebook, Twitter and Apple.

Facebook, Twitter and other platforms have banned Loomer, citing anti-Muslim statements.

The unanimous court decision from a three-judge panel runs to only four pages, but is dismissive of a wide range of legal claims some conservatives and liberals have leveled at social media firms in recent months.

The appeals court judges said that, despite the companies’ power, they cannot violate the First Amendment because it regulates only governments, not the private sector. 

“Freedom Watch’s First Amendment claim fails because it does not adequately allege that the Platforms can violate the First Amendment. In general, the First Amendment ‘prohibits only governmental abridgment of speech,'” the court said.

“Freedom Watch contends that, because the Platforms provide an important forum for speech, they are engaged in state action. But … ‘a private entity who provides a forum for speech is not transformed by that fact alone into a state actor.’ ... Freedom Watch fails to point to additional facts indicating that these Platforms are engaged in state action and thus fails to state a viable First Amendment claim,” the judges added.

The court decision was released as Trump mounted an intense flurry of attacks against Twitter, after the social-media messaging firm took the unprecedented step of attaching fact-checks to some of his tweets about potential fraud in vote-by-mail programs being rolled out to address the coronavirus pandemic.

“@Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election. They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect,” Trump complained Tuesday on that very platform.

He added in a tweet Wednesday: “Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen."

Trump’s aides have been vague about his plans, but one option reportedly under consideration is a blue-ribbon panel to examine alleged unfair treatment of conservatives by social media platforms. 

The Justice Department is also conducting an investigation into whether social-media companies’ policies raise antitrust issues. The new D.C. Circuit ruling rejected antitrust claims raised by Freedom Watch and Loomer, but doesn’t seem to preclude others bringing similar claims with different facts.

 While the appeals court designated its new decision as an unpublished “judgment” rather than the customary full opinion, it nonetheless grappled with some thorny issues, including whether a local District of Columbia anti-discrimination law applies to online businesses based elsewhere. One provision in the law prohibits "public accommodations" from discriminating on the basis of political affiliation.

The district court judge who handled the suit, Trump appointee Trevor McFadden, held that law didn’t cover the companies’ virtual, digital platforms. The notion of excluding online businesses from anti-discrimination protections so worried the District government that D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine weighed in with a friend-of-the-court brief asking the D.C. Circuit to reject that position.

But the appeals court judges — Clinton appointee Judith Rogers, George W. Bush appointee Thomas Griffith, and George H.W. Bush appointee Raymond Randolph — said a 1981 decision from another court limited the law to businesses operating in a “particular place” somewhere in Washington.

“The D.C. Court of Appeals has interpreted this statute and at minimum, its interpretation is a reasonable one. We have no basis to believe it would reach a different conclusion on reconsideration,” the D.C. Circuit judges wrote.

Freedom Watch founder Larry Klayman called the decision “outrageous” and vowed to press on with the case.
“We’re going to obviously move for en banc reconsideration and go to the Supremes, if we have to,” he said.

Klayman said the timing of the decision seemed spurred by Trump lashing out against Twitter in recent days. “Obviously, it’s a very political issue. … None of those judges particularly care for Trump. It looked like they rushed the decision off their desk to make a point.”

The longtime legal gadfly blasted as “outrageous” the court’s ruling that online ventures are beyond the reach of the D.C. Human Rights Act. “D.C. law can’t just apply if you’re standing in Farragut Square,” he said.

Racine’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the appeals court decision."


UPDATE/edit 05/28:

Trump is so desperate, his lies are increasing and his behaviour is more repulsive than ever before. He is like a wounded wild animal just scrambling in an attempt to salvage  the end of his reign of terror. He will go down in the history books as the ultimate worst and most despised holder of the office of President of the United States .  

 ~ From the New York Times (via MSN):

Trump's Proposed Order On Social Media Could GHarm One Person In Particular: Trump 
By, Peter Baker & Daisuke Wakabayashi 

"WASHINGTON — President Trump, who built his political career on the power of a flame-throwing Twitter account, has now gone to war with Twitter, angered that it would presume to fact-check his messages. But the punishment he is threatening could force social media companies to crack down even more on customers just like Mr. Trump. 

 The draft executive order that Mr. Trump signed on Thursday seeks to strip liability protection in certain cases for companies like Twitter, Google and Facebook for the content on their sites, meaning they could face legal jeopardy if they allowed false and defamatory posts. Without a liability shield, they presumably would have to be more aggressive about policing messages that press the boundaries — like the president’s.

That, of course, is not the outcome Mr. Trump wants. What he wants is to have the freedom to post anything he likes without the companies applying any judgment to his messages, as Twitter did this week when it began appending “get the facts” warnings to some of his false posts on voter fraud. Furious at what he called “censorship” — even though his messages were not in fact deleted — Mr. Trump is wielding the proposed executive order like a club to compel the company to back down.

It may not work even as intended. Plenty of lawyers quickly said on Thursday that he was claiming power to do something he does not have by essentially revising the interpretation of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the main law passed by Congress in 1996 to lay out the rules of the road for online media. Legal experts predicted such a move would be challenged and possibly struck down by the courts.

But the logic of Mr. Trump’s order is intriguing because it attacks the very legal provision that has allowed him such latitude to publish with impunity a whole host of inflammatory, factually distorted messages that a media provider might feel compelled to take down if it was forced into the legal role of a publisher that faced the risk of legal liability rather than a distributor that does not.

“Ironically, Donald Trump is a big beneficiary of Section 230,” said Kate Ruane, a senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, which instantly objected to the proposed order. “If platforms were not immune under the law, then they would not risk the legal liability that could come with hosting Donald Trump’s lies, defamation and threats.”

Mr. Trump has long posted false and disparaging messages to his 80 million followers on Twitter, disregarding complaints about their accuracy or fairness. In recent weeks, he has repeatedly issued tweets that essentially falsely accused Joe Scarborough, the MSNBC host, of murdering a staff member in 2001 when he was a congressman. Mr. Scarborough was 800 miles away at the time and the police found no signs of foul play. The aide’s widower asked Twitter to delete the messages, but it refused.

Mr. Trump and his allies argue that social media companies have shown bias against conservatives and need to be reined in. While they are private firms rather than the government, the president and his allies argue that they have in effect become the public square envisioned by the founders when they crafted the First Amendment and therefore should not be weighing in on one side or the other.

As a legal matter, Mr. Trump and his allies would be on stronger ground if Congress were to rewrite the law, as some Republicans like Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri and Marco Rubio of Florida are vowing to do.

“If @Twitter wants to editorialize & comment on users’ posts, it should be divested of its special status under federal law (Section 230) & forced to play by same rules as all other publishers,” Mr. Hawley said this week on, yes, Twitter. “Fair is fair.”

 The order that Mr. Trump is considering was not finished on Thursday morning and may yet be revised before he signs it, aides cautioned. A draft version said that an online provider that “restricts access to content” in certain cases “forfeits any protection from being deemed a ‘publisher or speaker’” under the law.

The Federal Trade Commission would be directed to consider taking action against providers that “restrict speech in ways that do not align with those entities’ public representations about those practices.”

Mr. Trump on Thursday framed his goal as combating bias. “This will be a Big Day for Social Media and FAIRNESS!” he wrote, also on Twitter.

But even some government officials said his plan was unenforceable. “This does not work,” Jessica Rosenworcel, a member of the Federal Communications Commission who was first appointed under President Barack Obama, said in a statement. “Social media can be frustrating. But an executive order that would turn the Federal Communications Commission into the president’s speech police is not the answer. It’s time for those in Washington to speak up for the First Amendment. History won’t be kind to silence.”

The Communications Decency Act was passed during the dawn of the modern information age, intended at first to make it easier for online sites run by early pioneer companies like Prodigy and AOL to block pornography without running afoul of legal challenges.

By terming such sites as distributors rather than publishers, Section 230 gave them important immunity from lawsuits. Over time, the law became the guarantor of a rollicking, almost no-holds-barred internet by letting sites set rules for what is and is not allowed without being liable for everything posted by visitors, as opposed to a newspaper, which is responsible for whatever it publishes.

Since Section 230 was signed into law by President Bill Clinton, the courts have repeatedly shot down challenges to get around it, invoking a broad interpretation of immunity. In recent years, the court system has been flooded with litigants claiming that social media companies blocked them or their content.

As a result, Mr. Trump may face an uphill road with his draft executive order. Daphne Keller, who teaches at Stanford Law School and has written extensively on internet law and regulation, said the order appeared to be “95 percent political rhetoric and theater that doesn’t have legal effect and is inconsistent with what the courts have said.”

However, Ms. Keller, who worked as an associate general counsel at Google for 10 years, said that even if the order did not carry legal weight, it may still be challenged because it was potentially an abuse of power that could violate the First Amendment rights of the companies.

Eric Goldman, a professor at Santa Clara University Law School and co-director of the High Tech Law Institute there, said that the order “doesn’t stand a chance in court” but that it could do some damage until a legal challenge reached the judicial system. “Section 230 is a magnet for controversy, and this order pours fuel on the fire,” he said.

While the courts have sided with the internet companies, Congress is a different matter. Both Republicans and Democrats have taken issue with the protections afforded to social media companies, even though they disagree on why.

Republicans have accused the companies of censoring conservative voices and violating the spirit of the law that the internet should be a forum for a diversity of political discourse. Democrats have argued that the companies have not done enough to remove problematic content or police harassment.

 Jeff Kosseff, a cybersecurity law professor at the United States Naval Academy and the author of a book about the law, “The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet,” said he believed that Section 230 would be repealed by Congress in the next few years. He believes that the internet of 1996, when the law was written to protect start-ups, is different now and that many of the tech firms protected under the statute are among the most valuable companies in the world.

Without Section 230, courts would be forced to apply the protections of the First Amendment to the modern internet. “We haven’t had a test of that yet,” Mr. Kosseff said, “because there was always Section 230.”

In the meantime, Mr. Trump’s proposed order may still have an impact. “I think what the order is trying to do is say a company like Twitter holds itself out to be a neutral platform, and when it is biased against conservatives, it is acting deceptively,” said Jeffrey Westling, a technology and innovation policy fellow at the R Street Institute, a public policy research organization.

Mr. Westling said the legal theory would probably be difficult to pursue. “The issue I have and I think a lot of people are starting to realize is the executive order doesn’t need to be legally enforceable to still be a threat to these companies,” he said. “The companies will likely win any challenge, but no one wants to go through litigation. It becomes a cost-benefit analysis of, ‘Is it worth it to put a fact check the next time the president puts a false tweet out there?’”

 Peter Baker reported from Washington, and Daisuke Wakabayashi from Oakland, Calif. Kate Conger contributed reporting from Oakland, and Maggie Haberman from New York."


Wrong guys - Trump loves lawsuits, he thrives on them. Lawsuits drive the maniac. Money is no option for him, nor are his crooked, foul and demonic attorneys.  And yes, it is worth it to"... put up a fact check the next time the president puts a false tweet out there. " In fact, Twitter should have been putting up these fact checks from the get go. Thanks, Maggie.

end edit.


Reminder y'all  to pay attention to Juan Gonzalez & I'm not suggesting by the video of U2 to eliminate masks or social distancing, but dang I wish I could have been there and so does Paris...sorry for the delay once again in the local updates. Isn't Trump a complete piece of shit ?

 ~ From Democracy Now! (link hit title) - BTW, hoping Juan Gonzalez is okay, we haven't heard anything; both his Mom and his wife had the virus.

Juan Gonz├ílez: “Make No Mistake: This Country Is Edging Closer to Neo-Fascist Authoritarianism”


1987  Wow: