President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House, in Washington. File/AP
President Donald Trump is threatening to veto a defence policy bill unless it ends protection for internet companies that shield them from being held liable for material posted by their users.
On Twitter on Tuesday night, Trump took aim at Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which protects companies that can host trillions of messages from being sued into oblivion by anyone who feels wronged by something someone else has posted - whether their complaint is legitimate or not.
Trump called Section 230 “a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity,” adding, “Therefore, if the very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA), I will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill.”
Trump has been waging a war against social media companies for months, claiming they are biased against conservative voices.
In October he signed an executive order directing executive branch agencies to ask independent rule-making agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, to study whether they can place new regulations on the companies.
Since losing the presidential election, Trump has flooded social media with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. Twitter has tagged many such Trump tweets with the advisory, “This claim about election fraud is disputed.”
Tuesday’s veto threat is another potential roadblock for the passage of the annual defence policy measure, which is already being held up in Congress by a spat over military bases named after Confederate officers. The measure, which has passed for 59 years in a row on a bipartisan basis, guides Pentagon policy and cements decisions about troop levels, new weapons systems and military readiness, military personnel policy and other military goals.
Though Black Out Tuesday was originally organised by the music community, the social media world also went dark in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, joining voices around the world outraged by the killings of black people in the US.
As social media outlets have become more proactive in eliminating fake news, including tweets by President Donald Trump, many have criticised these measures. This isn’t a reflection of any technical design error by the social media companies — it’s because there is a latent demand for fake news that many critics fail to understand.
US President Donald Trump issued two executive orders on Thursday restricting Chinese social media networks TikTok and WeChat, on the grounds that they pose significant national security threats to the United States. These executive actions set a 45-day deadline to ByteDance, which owns TikTok, and Tencent, owner of WeChat, to sell the two platforms to American companies, or face a complete ban in the US.
By a lopsided vote of 81-13, well more than the two-thirds of the 100-member chamber required, the Republican-controlled Senate approved the $740.5 billion National Defense Authorisation Act to fund the military for fiscal year 2021.
“In the first half of this year, RTA received 5,724 emergency reports through the Call Centre and (Madinati) through RTA DUBAI app. The instant response and sign-off rate clocked 99%, which reflects the mutual response between the community and RTA and the public’s keenness to protect the appearance of the emirate.
The Abu Dhabi Court for Family and Civil and Administrative Cases obligated a man to pay a lawyer’s office Dhs380,000, including Dhs360,000 as fees, in return for filing a lawsuit for a discharge of a Dhs2,500,000 cheque, besides Dhs20,000 in compensation for the damage the office incurred as a result of procrastination.
The Dubai Misdemeanours and Violations Court convicted an Asian investor who smuggled 213,000 cans of unauthorised energy drinks from the customs office in Jebel Ali, and sentenced him to one year in jail to be followed by deportation after serving his jail term.