A Section 230 Rewrite, Midterm Results, and Human Rights Concerns: November-December 2018 Legislative Update
After midterms, Congress is headed into an abbreviated lame-duck session and a season of more potential reshuffling in the Executive Branch. In November, the House will be in session in for eight days the weeks before and after Thanksgiving. Only four of those are full voting days. The same is true in December, with an eight-day session planned before the Christmas holiday. The Senate schedule is similar. In that time, both chambers will be focused on remaining appropriations bills and disaster funding mechanisms to assist the California wildfires victims and those still recovering from Hurricane Michael. This Congress is set to adjourn December 14th. The 116th Congress will begin January 3, 2019.
Democrats took control of the House with 218 seats to the Republicans 198. There are still a number of House races that are too close to call. An election update tracker can be found here.
Relevant Priorities In The New Congress
Section 230, Opioids and anti-Semitism
The anti-Semitic online activity tied to the man police say killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue is rekindling debate in Congress over the role that social media companies should have in policing their online platforms, and the penalties they should face if they fail. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA)and Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) have all raised concerns directly referencing a potential Section 230 re-write.
The U.S. is preparing to announce by early December tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports if a meeting between presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Nov 30-Dec 1 Group of 20 Summit in Buenos Aires yields no progress.
At some point, the USMCA (aka NAFTA 2.0) will be presented to Congress for a vote. With the House changing control, this may mean concessions on labor and other issues. We will be tracking positions as they develop.
Australia’s own human rights committee is taking issue with its encryption legislation, saying it does not address human rights concerns.
Canada’s breach notification rules are now in effect, but some want the legislation to be strengthened in light of the Facebook and Equifax breaches