For the past year, Texas has been fighting in court to uphold a controversial law that would prohibit tech companies from moderating content based on viewpoints. In May The Supreme Court narrowly blocked the law, but it seemed to do little to solve the case. Today, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower Texas court’s decision to block the law, ruling instead to uphold the Texas law, This was reported by the Washington Post.

According to the report, because the two circuit courts came to different opinions, the ruling “is likely to create a showdown at the Supreme Court over the future of online speech.” In the meantime, the 5th Circuit Court’s opinion could tempt other states to adopt similar laws.

Trump-nominated Justice Andrew Stephen Oldham joined two other conservative justices in ruling that the First Amendment does not provide corporations with protection against “silence.”

John Bergmeier, legal director of Public Knowledge (a public interest group that protects the rights of online consumers), provided a statement to Ars suggesting that the 5th Circuit Court’s decision may be overturned.

“The Fifth Circuit has ignored decades of First Amendment and Supreme Court precedent — and contrary to recent Supreme Court rulings — to make a seemingly politically motivated decision that will have disastrous consequences if not immediately reversed,” Bergmeier said.

The Post reported that some in the tech industry also oppose the latest enforcement decision and plan to consider appeals. Matt Schruers, president of the Computer and Communications Industry Association, has been vocal in his opposition to the Texas law. The Post quoted him as calling the ruling “Orwellian” because it gives the government the power to dictate “what companies should say” in the name of protecting free speech.

“The Texas law forces private businesses to distribute dangerous content, from foreign propaganda to incitement to terrorism, and puts Americans at risk,” Schruers said.

Bergmeier said the sentence could result in platforms losing their ability to effectively stop the spread of hate speech, abuse and misinformation. He suggests the ruling would mean newspapers could be ordered to publish propaganda, or that email spam filters could become illegal because it’s a technology company that blocks political speech.

“Platforms should be regulated in many ways, but such regulations undermine serious attempts to protect consumers online,” Bergmeier warned.

Source link

Previous articleLSU student was shot in the car, remembered as “everyone’s daughter”
Next articleKing Woman is directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood at Backlash