Hurwitz Guests on the Cyberlaw Podcast, Offers Perspective on Section 230

Tue, 06/15/2021

Nebraska Governance and Technology Center Director Gus Hurwitz was recently quoted in a variety of outlets, offering his perspective on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and the fight against “coordinated inauthentic behavior” on internet platforms, among other issues. 

The Cyberlaw Podcast- on March 19th, Hurwitz joined Stewart Baker of Steptoe & Johnson LLP on The Cyberlaw Podcast to discuss “coordinate inauthentic behavior,” that is, the abuse of online platforms by actors seeking to promote a message through phony means. Often this takes the form of global states who employ “troll armies” of bogus accounts to promote a false government narrative.

Inside Sources- on May 3rd, Hurwitz published a piece in Inside Sources entitled “J&J ‘Pause’ Underscores What Government Gets Wrong About Risk.” In it, Hurwitz argues that the hasty decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to “pause” the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after a handful of reports of recipients of the vaccine experiencing blood clots highlights the fact that “the federal government lacks a coherent or consistent approach to risk.” “As we continue toward a new normal after the pandemic, we must take stock of what we have learned and update our assumptions about how the government approaches risk,” Hurwitz states.

Bloomberg Law- Hurwitz was quoted in a May 14th article in Bloomberg Law entitled “Snap, Amazon Appellate Rulings Pave New Paths to Tech Liability” about Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which provides immunity for website platforms from third-party content. In it, Hurwitz explains that the question of protection from liability under Section 230 turns on whether the platform is acting as a publisher or whether the platform “is trying to direct the speech” at issue.

NTV News- in an appearance on local station NTV, an ABC affiliate, Hurwitz commented on the rise in ransomware attacks that have affected a number of industries, from hospitals to banking providers.

"With cybersecurity, it’s the wild west. Generally, a problem happens, a major industry is shut down, a major company is shut down. And what’s their response? We don’t want the public, we don’t want our investors to hear about this because that could hurt our stock price. We don’t want the government to hear about this because that could launch an investigation about how we’re handling our data," said Hurwitz.

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