Platform accountability transparency act submitted to US Senate

Following the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) recent recommendation to reform Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), two US senators have proposed the Platform Accountability and Consumer Transparency Act (PACT) aimed at addressing illicit content on online platforms. The PACT requires transparency, accountability, and the protection of consumers online. The proposal includes an obligation for Internet service providers (ISPs) to publish an acceptable use policy, easily accessible to users. This policy shall inform users on the sorts of content that are allowed and legal, which means users can notify the provider of illegal content or activity. Moreover, ISPs shall provide an easily accessible complaint system, a quarterly transparency report with the total number of illegal activities that were flagged. The proposal also aims to change Section 230 of the CDA by holding ISPs liable for third-party illegal content or activity when they acquire knowledge about it and do not take action within 24 hours. The proposal exempts small business providers (with fewer than 1M monthly active users, and accrued revenues of less than USD$25M) and Internet infrastructure services (web hosting, domain registration, content delivery networks, caching, back-end data storage, and cloud management services).