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Civil Liability for Internet Companies to Help Prevent International Terrorism

On May 18, the Supreme Court issued its much-anticipated decisions in Twitter v. Taamneh and Gonzales v. Google. Both cases involved terrorist attacks by members of ISIS. In both cases, plaintiffs alleged that social media companies helped ISIS recruit new members by amplifying ISIS content and promoting that content to social media users. In both…

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If Not Here, Where? Transnational Litigation Against U.S. Tech Companies Around the World

As U.S. courts have narrowed their amenability to transnational litigation, foreign courts have emerged as forums for such litigation. This is strikingly clear in suits against U.S. tech companies, which often cannot be sued at home because of Section 230 immunity. In suits around the world against U.S. tech giants, foreign courts are adapting concepts…

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Throwback Thursday: Equustek v. Google

  This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Equustek v. Google, in which Canada’s highest court became one among a select few to order an internet intermediary to remove information from its services on a worldwide basis. The decision in Equustek aroused angst and controversy out of fear…

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Comparing Extraterritoriality in the EU

How a court decides whether a statute applies extraterritorially is a fundamental question in transnational litigation. TLB has lots of information about the U.S. approach. Our Primer on Extraterritoriality describes the federal and state approaches, as well as the customary international law rules on jurisdiction to prescribe. Recent posts have discussed the extraterritorial application of…

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Section 230 and the Presumption Against Extraterritoriality

The Ninth Circuit opinion in Gonzalez v. Google (2021) raises important questions about how the presumption against extraterritoriality applies to immunity defenses invoked by social media companies under 47 U.S.C. § 230.Section 230 shields internet companies from civil liability for user-generated content hosted on their platforms. Gonzalezholds, effectively, that there is no conceivable application of…

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Doe v. Meta and the Future of the Communications Decency Act

Two law firms recently filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Rohingya refugees in the United States seeking at least $150 billion in compensatory damages from Meta (formerly Facebook).  The plaintiffs in Doe v. Meta allege that Meta’s algorithms were designed to promote hate speech and misinformation about the Rohingya, a Muslim-minority population in Myanmar…

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