[Wikimedia-l] WMF position on SESTA/ Sec 230?

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[Wikimedia-l] WMF position on SESTA/ Sec 230?

David Gerard-2
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/09/stop-sesta-congress-doesnt-understand-how-section-230-works

What's our position/analysis on this?


- d.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF position on SESTA/ Sec 230?

Patrik Zill
There is a Katherine Maher quote prominently featured on <
https://stopsesta.org/#quotes>.

I'd be interested in what exactly the problem is for the Foundation,
though. The EFF leaves aside that question at least in the blog post that
David referred to, which is instead focussed entirely on some exception to
the exception that allegedly doesn't apply. What it doesn't talk about is
why and when - in the cases at issue here - a hosting provider like the
Wikimedia Foundation needs to rely on 47 U.S.C. § 230 in first place. It's
not so obvious (at least not to someone legally trained outside the U.S.)
that you would attract criminal liability for somehow being involved in
"Sex trafficking of children or by force, fraud, or coercion" (18 U.S.C.
§ 1591(e)) or otherwise get into conflict with provisions relating to sex
trafficking by hosting an open web encyclopedia that may be abused in some
way (how?) by some random third party. Naturally, laws don't penalize all
conduct remotely linkable to a criminal act - there's always some kind of
threshold, implicit or explicit, and I'd be curious as to where/what for
specifically the Wikimedia Foundation needs a section 230 defense in this
area.

I believe if you want to communicate your position effectively, you (that
is, the Wikimedia Foundation) should produce one or two example scenarios
and then contrast your liability analysis under the present legislative
framework with that under the proposed new regime, so an interested
observer can follow along the relevant provisions and get an idea of where
exactly we'd reach the point where the proposed changes would cause the
Foundation extra troubles. If you've already done that, all the better,
and, like David, I would appreciate a pointer :).

Patrik

On 7 September 2017 at 21:13, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/09/stop-sesta-congress-do
> esnt-understand-how-section-230-works
>
> What's our position/analysis on this?
>
>
> - d.
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wik
> i/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] WMF position on SESTA/ Sec 230?

Jan Gerlach
Hi David and Patrik

We're closely watching developments around SESTA. As we explain on the public
policy portal <https://policy.wikimedia.org/policy-landing/liability/>, we
strongly support intermediary liability protections, such as CDA 230, which
are of existential importance to community driven platforms like Wikipedia.
We rely on such rules to ensure we can continue to be a neutral host of
content that can stay away from editorial decisions. In other words, the
rules allow us to defer to community consensus on editorial decisions. The
SESTA bill is problematic because it is written too broadly, as the EFF
describes
<https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/09/stop-sesta-amendments-federal-criminal-sex-trafficking-law-sweep-too-broadly>,
and would open up states to write more laws that affect website hosts.

On the EFF's campaign page <https://stopsesta.org/>, Katherine Maher
briefly explains our views on CDA 230. We are in conversations with several
advocacy groups who are focusing on the SESTA bill and have submitted a
letter to the Senate in which we explain our concerns. We shared an update
<https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/publicpolicy/2017-September/001691.html>
about that with the public policy mailing list. We invite you to discuss
the issue with other Wikimedians on that list, if you'd like. Please join
the list <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/publicpolicy> if
you'd like to receive further updates and join the conversation.

Best,

Jan


==



Jan Gerlach
Public Policy Manager
Wikimedia Foundation
149 New Montgomery Street, 6th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
[hidden email]



On Fri, Sep 8, 2017 at 1:34 PM Patrik Zill <[hidden email]> wrote:

> There is a Katherine Maher quote prominently featured on <
> https://stopsesta.org/#quotes>.
>
> I'd be interested in what exactly the problem is for the Foundation,
> though. The EFF leaves aside that question at least in the blog post that
> David referred to, which is instead focussed entirely on some exception to
> the exception that allegedly doesn't apply. What it doesn't talk about is
> why and when - in the cases at issue here - a hosting provider like the
> Wikimedia Foundation needs to rely on 47 U.S.C. § 230 in first place. It's
> not so obvious (at least not to someone legally trained outside the U.S.)
> that you would attract criminal liability for somehow being involved in
> "Sex trafficking of children or by force, fraud, or coercion" (18 U.S.C.
> § 1591(e)) or otherwise get into conflict with provisions relating to sex
> trafficking by hosting an open web encyclopedia that may be abused in some
> way (how?) by some random third party. Naturally, laws don't penalize all
> conduct remotely linkable to a criminal act - there's always some kind of
> threshold, implicit or explicit, and I'd be curious as to where/what for
> specifically the Wikimedia Foundation needs a section 230 defense in this
> area.
>
> I believe if you want to communicate your position effectively, you (that
> is, the Wikimedia Foundation) should produce one or two example scenarios
> and then contrast your liability analysis under the present legislative
> framework with that under the proposed new regime, so an interested
> observer can follow along the relevant provisions and get an idea of where
> exactly we'd reach the point where the proposed changes would cause the
> Foundation extra troubles. If you've already done that, all the better,
> and, like David, I would appreciate a pointer :).
>
> Patrik
>
> On 7 September 2017 at 21:13, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2017/09/stop-sesta-congress-do
> > esnt-understand-how-section-230-works
> >
> > What's our position/analysis on this?
> >
> >
> > - d.
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wik
> > i/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> > New messages to: [hidden email]
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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