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Donald Trump Threatens to Veto Defense Bill if Tech Liability Shield Stands

President is demanding termination of broad legal immunity that social-media companies enjoy
Why Lawmakers Want to Rewrite Section 230

Why Lawmakers Want to Rewrite Section 230
Leaders in government and tech want to rewrite a law that governs the internet. WSJ explains Section 230, how it shaped the modern internet, and what lawmakers and tech executives want to change. Photo illustration: Carlos Waters/WSJ

WASHINGTON—President Trump threatened to veto an annual defense-policy bill if it doesn’t include language revoking a provision that gives social-media companies broad immunity for the content they publish from users on their sites.

Mr. Trump demanded on Tuesday night that Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act be repealed.

“[I]f the very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill when sent to the very beautiful Resolute desk,” he wrote on Twitter.

The president had previously threatened to veto the same defense bill, which includes a 3% pay raise for U.S. troops, over his opposition to language that would rename military bases honoring Confederate commanders. The legislation would authorize a total of $740 billion in fiscal year 2021 for the Defense Department’s and Energy Department’s national-security programs.

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