The memo, written by Phil Kerpen of an activist organization called American Commitment, suggests that conservative lawmakers could reframe the battle over net neutrality into a larger battle over neutral speech on the internet.
"Social media (Facebook, Twitter) and search (Google) companies with dominant market position represent themselves as politically neutral while systematically promoting liberal views and limiting or even banning conservatives," begins the letter.
Right now, online platforms are protected under the Communications Decency Act from liability for material their users post. For instance, while a newspaper can be sued for libel if it prints something untrue written by a reporter, Facebook cannot be sued because a user posts something libelous.
Kerpen's memo suggests that the government should make internet companies promise that they're going to treat all content equally or lose this protection.
"Platforms that represent themselves to the public as neutral would be subject to enforcement actions if they violate those representations (of neutrality) through a consumer-protection framework."
The political calculus here seems to be that Google and Facebook would look like hypocrites if they oppose this kind of regulation while at the same time arguing for regulation of internet access providers.
"By simply proposing this framework, the Trump administration would make clear that the asymmetry of companies identified with conservative causes risking regulatory retaliation while companies identified with liberals are given a free pass is over."
Kerpen told Axios that the memo represented only "preliminary thoughts."
But it's an interesting glimpse into a possible political attack from the right on Silicon Valley companies.
Read the full letter here.
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