President Trump has said that he will veto this year’s bill to authorise defense spending if it does not contain a clause to end Big Tech immunities.
Last week, President Trump called for the “immediate” termination of Section 230 of the Communications and Decency Act, declaring that the liability protections of Big Tech companies like Facebook and Twitter should be stripped for “purposes of national security.”
For purposes of National Security, Section 230 must be immediately terminated!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2020
Currently, Big Tech companies claim they act as a neutral platform, meaning that they receive certain protections from what people post on their site under Section 230, which gives them a “liability shield.” However, given that they have engaged in the censorship of conservatives, they act more like a publisher, who is more liable for what is on their site.
The President did not expand on how he would go about terminating Section 230 until Tuesday evening, where he declared that he would be forced to “unequivocally” veto this year’s National Defense Authorization Act if Section 230 is “not completely terminated” as part of it. The NDAA specifies the budget and expenditure of the Department of Defense each year, and is therefore considered crucial within Congress.
“Section 230, which is a liability shielding gift from the U.S. to “Big Tech” (the only companies in America that have it – corporate welfare!), is a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity,” the President said, announcing his plan to hold the defense spending to ransom. “Our Country can never be safe & secure if we allow it to stand… Take back America NOW.”
…..Therefore, if the very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill when sent to the very beautiful Resolute desk. Take back America NOW. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 2, 2020
President Trump is following in the footsteps of his predecessor, President Obama, who also used the NDAA to push through changes that proved controversial, although not in the same manner. The 2012 NDAA included provisions that authorised the indefinite military detention of individuals, including American citizens, without habeas corpus or due process.
As National File reported, the President’s actions may have had something to do with the behaviour of Big Tech over the course of this election:
Throughout the election, a large quantity of the President’s tweets and other social media postings, along with those of many of his supporters, have been labelled as misinformation, with Tucker Carlson even arguing that Big Tech rigged the election in favour of Joe Biden “in plain sight.”
Only this week, the personal Twitter account of Pennsylvania state Senator Doug Mastriano was banned, after the Senator had organised a hearing in his state’s legislature about the vast irregularities that took place in this month’s presidential election.