A pair of Big Tech lobbyists groups, NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association, have filed a lawsuit against Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, along with Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and other state officials, after DeSantis signed into law a bill that regulates Big Tech’s censorship abilities earlier this week.
“Americans everywhere should oppose Florida’s attempt to run roughshod over the First Amendment rights of private online businesses,” Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of NetChoice said, according to POLITICO. “By weakening the First Amendment rights of some, Florida weakens the First Amendment rights of all.”
“The Act is a frontal assault on the First Amendment and an extraordinary intervention by government in the free marketplace of ideas that would be unthinkable for traditional media, book sellers, lending libraries or newsstands,” the lawsuit says.
Ironically, one of America’s most powerful Silicon Valley titans, Amazon, is known for banning the sale of books that call into question leftist orthodoxy.
Monday, DeSantis signed SB 7072 into law, the first of its kind.
“The bill will fine companies $250,000 per day if they censor or suspend accounts for political candidates, with Disney World being a notable exception,” The Florida Capital Star reported.
DeSantis has led the charge among American politicians in fighting back against Big Tech censorship, which conservatives say limits their First Amendment rights.
Former President Donald J. Trump, now a resident of Florida, was banned from prominent social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook and Google-owned YouTube during his tenure as President. His bans followed a disturbing trend of suspensions, limitations, or outright bans of other high-profile conservative personalities from the same platforms over a period of years.
“This session, we took action to ensure that ‘We the People’ — real Floridians across the Sunshine State — are guaranteed protection against the Silicon Valley elites,” DeSantis said of the new law. “Many in our state have experienced censorship and other tyrannical behavior firsthand in Cuba and Venezuela. If Big Tech censors enforce rules inconsistently, to discriminate in favor of the dominant Silicon Valley ideology, they will now be held accountable.”
He expected pushback from Big Tech, telling Spectator earlier this week that the new law would “absolutely be challenged.”
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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Florida Star News and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Gov. Ron DeSantis” by U.S. Secretary of Defense CC 2.0.