President Donald Trump vetoed the $740 billion military spending bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), because changes to Section 230 weren’t included, which gives social media companies legal immunity of most of the content posted by users.
President Trump, whose administration has been trying to amend or repeal Section 230 during his term in office, said Congress’ “failure to terminate the very dangerous national security risk of Section 230 will make our intelligence virtually impossible to conduct without everyone knowing what we are doing at every step.”
“The Act fails even to make any meaningful changes to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, despite bipartisan calls for repealing that provision,” Trump said. “Section 230 facilitates the spread of foreign disinformation online, which is a serious threat to our national security and election integrity. It must be repealed.”
Section 230, a highly controversial law passed in 1996, says that “no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider,” and “no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of civil liability,” according to Legal Information Institute. According to the Verge, “this protects websites from lawsuits if a user posts something illegal, although there are exceptions for pirated and prostitution-related material.”
While Congress passed Section 230 “by veto-proof margins” this month, the House will meet on Monday to vote to override the President’s veto of the NDAA and Senate will do the same on Tuesday.
While some Republican lawmakers said they won’t vote against the President’s veto, others vow that they will and believe a veto override will be successful.
“I would hope we would be able to override the veto,” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said.