Our policy director, Erik Jaffe, discusses the U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Gonzalez v. Google with The Federalist Society.
Via The Federalist Society:
On February 21, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Gonzalez v. Google.
After U.S. citizen Nohemi Gonzalez was killed by a terrorist attack in Paris, France, in 2015, Gonzalez’s father filed an action against Google, Twitter, and Facebook. Mr. Gonzalez claimed that Google aided and abetted international terrorism by allowing ISIS to use YouTube for recruiting and promulgating its message. At issue is the platform’s use of algorithms that suggest additional content based on users’ viewing history. Additionally, Gonzalez claims the tech companies failed to take meaningful action to counteract ISIS’ efforts on their platforms.
The district court granted Google’s motion to dismiss the claim based on Section 230(c)(1) of the Communications Decency Act, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed. The question now facing the Supreme Court is does Section 230 immunize interactive computer services when they make targeted recommendations of information provided by another information content provider, or only limit the liability of interactive computer services when they engage in traditional editorial functions (such as deciding whether to display or withdraw) with regard to such information?
Our senior policy advisors and former congressmen, Bob Goodlatte and Rick Boucher, wrote an important piece on the need for federal law to protect journalists.
Should the government be free to dig into the records, notes, phone logs and emails of journalists or subpoena them into federal court to catch a leaker?