CANCELED: The Cult of the Internet

  • Starts: 3:30 pm on Wednesday, March 18, 2020
  • Ends: 5:00 pm on Wednesday, March 18, 2020
[This event is postponed to a later date, TBD] It is no coincidence that the Internet is effectively controlled by a handful of multi-billion-dollar corporations with no incentive to distinguish between productive and destructive uses of technology. Companies like Google and Facebook are essentially immunized from liability for the activity they facilitate even as they are allowed to reap enormous profits from it. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), passed by Congress in 1996, invoked free speech principles to shield Internet intermediaries from liability for the content they make available to the public.

This Cyber Alliance talk, featuring University of Miami Law Prof. Mary Anne Franks, will explain how the law dramatically curtailed the government’s power to regulate destructive online activity by characterizing Internet activity primarily as speech rather than conduct. Conservative and liberal legislators, judges, and advocates have formed a near-united front to maintain a framework that makes it virtually impossible to prevent the Internet from being used to engage in destructive harassment, disseminate harmful misinformation, and to radicalize and mobilize violent extremist movements.

There will be time for casual conversation and light refreshments before and after the presentation. Please RSVP to
Seminar Room, Hariri Institute for Computing, 111 Cummington Mall