SCOTUS heard arguments Tuesday against big tech’s role in displaying harmful content through their algorithms in the Gonzales v. Google case. This case has the potential to change internet law and the power big tech has for good.
Nohemi Gonzales, a California native and senior design major at California State University-Long Beach, was studying abroad in France at Strate College of Design in Sèvres, when she was killed in the crossfire of a terrorist attack on the 13th of November, 2015. Her family is arguing that YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, is responsible for her death for promoting Islamic State-related content to viewers and this violates US law in the act of aiding and abetting terrorists.
According to reports, Google lawyer Lisa Blatt argued in favor of the protections section 230 offers big tech companies and told the Supreme Court justices that ‘such immunity is essential to tech companies’ and that the law protects the company from all legal responsibility for the videos that are recommended by their algorithm.
Eric Schnapper, lawyer for the Gonzales family, countered this argument saying that applying section 230 to the recommended videos stemming from their algorithms is dangerous and that the protections for big tech needs to be narrowed. He said that section 230 is only incentivising dangerous and harmful content, according to reports.
Justices of both political ideologies were confused by the arguments presented by the Gonzales family’s lawyer. The justices are worried that they could undercut Congress‘ effort to provide such immunity for the platforms many years ago, at a time when lawmakers wanted to watch the growth of the internet. It appears that SCOTUS will continue to proceed cautiously over the course of the case. Times have changed since the implementation of section 230 and SCOTUS will need to take that into consideration when continuing with this case, there is no harm in the reduction of harmful content recommended if it means keeping internet users safe.
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Hunter Biden Indicted on Federal Gun Charges Amidst Special Counsel Investigation
In a significant development, Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, was indicted on Thursday on federal gun charges as part of Special Counsel David Weiss’ ongoing investigation. The indictment alleges that Hunter Biden made false statements during the purchase of a firearm, among other charges.
The charges against Hunter Biden include:
• Making a false statement in the purchase of a firearm
• Making a false statement related to information required to be kept by a federal firearms licensed dealer
•Possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance
According to the indictment, the alleged incident occurred on or about October 12, 2018, in the District of Delaware. Hunter Biden is accused of knowingly making a false and fictitious written statement during the acquisition of a Colt Cobra 38SPL Revolver. According to reports from Fox News, the statement, submitted on Form 4473, falsely certified that he was not an unlawful user of, and addicted to, any stimulant, narcotic drug, or controlled substance.
Furthermore, the indictment further states that between October 12, 2018, and October 23, 2018, in the District of Delaware, Hunter Biden knowingly possessed the same firearm despite being an unlawful user of and addicted to controlled substances. This marks the first set of charges brought by Special Counsel David Weiss against Hunter Biden since being granted special counsel status.
The investigation came to public attention when it was reported by Fox News in 2021 that police had responded to an incident in 2018 involving a gun owned by Hunter Biden.
Reports state that, Hallie Biden, the widow of President Biden’s late son, Beau, who was in a relationship with Hunter at the time, discarded the gun. Hunter’s gun was thrown away in a dumpster near a market, located close to a school. It was subsequently revealed that Hunter Biden had purchased a gun earlier that same month.
Hunter Biden’s legal troubles do not end with the gun charges. Earlier in July, an original plea agreement collapsed, which would have seen him plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax counts for willful failure to pay federal income tax, thus avoiding jail time on a felony gun charge. Instead, he pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and one felony gun charge.
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed David Weiss as special counsel to oversee the Hunter Biden investigation and related matters. The White House has declined to comment on these developments, which continue to draw significant public and media attention.
Follow Alexander Carter on Twitter @AlexCarterDC for more!
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