Justice Department to defend tech protections Biden denounced

Attorney General Elizabeth Prelogar was confirmed and sworn in last month, but the three-sided storage says federal agency “limited” intervention in the Trump lawsuit has been approved by the acting attorney general.

Similar communications are expected in the other two lawsuits that Trump has filed: one against Facebook and the other against Google.

Justice Department spokesmen didn’t respond to questions about why Prelogar didn’t approve the filing on Thursday, but her former law firm Cooley LLP serves numerous tech clients, including Twitter. An ethics agreement The prelogar signed in connection with their nomination includes a commitment not to participate in matters with corporate customers for at least one year after they have left Cooley.

Section 230 has been at the heart of US internet policy for more than two decades, enabling online services to monitor social media posts without holding any liability for their content. In recent years, however, activists and lawmakers on the right and left have pushed for reforms to the law.

Biden jumped on this train during his presidential campaign and stated in January 2020 that the provision should be repealed. His remarks appeared to show a particular hostility towards the policies of Facebook and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg.

“Section 230 should be revoked, should be revoked immediately, number one. For Zuckerberg and other platforms, ”said Biden at the time. “It should be revoked because it’s not just an internet company. It spreads falsehoods that they know are wrong. “

Trump took each of the lawsuits to federal court in South Florida. However, the Internet companies relied on provisions in their Terms of Service that lawsuits must be filed in Northern California, where the companies are based. Judges have ordered the lawsuits against Twitter and Google’s YouTube service to be relocated to California. The motion to postpone the lawsuit against Facebook is still pending in federal court in Miami.

The Justice Department generally defends federal law, but on rare occasions rejects it and must notify Congress when this happens.

Leah Nylen contributed to this report.

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