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Sens. Thune, Schatz Teaming on Sec. 230 Transparency Bill

Sen. John Thune

Sen. John Thune

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Communications Subcommittee, signaled Wednesday that he and a Democratic colleague are introducing a bill aimed at Sec. 230, which is the surviving section of the Communications Decency Act that exempts web sites from civil liability over their handling of third-party speech on their platforms. 

At an FCC oversight hearing in the Senate Commerce Committee, Thune, former chairman of the committee, said he would be teaming up with Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) to introduce the Platform Accountability  and Consumer Transparency (PACT) Act that he said would provide more accountability and transparency about how large tech platforms treat their content and make their content moderation decisions. 

At that same hearing, where Sec. 230 was prominently featured, all the FCC commissioners agreed Big Tech had transparency issues that need addressing, while Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said securing such transparency would be "transformative." 

Thune said the act drew from Sec. 230 reforms offered up by the Justice Department and Attorney General Bill Barr last week.