S. 299SAFE TECH Act: Safeguarding Against Fraud, Exploitation, Threats, Extremism, and Consumer Harms Act

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA)

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA)

Introduced: February 8, 2021
Status: The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in February 2021.


The “SAFE TECH Act” amends Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to remove the legal protections for platform providers or users in situations where they have accepted payment to make the speech available, or they have created or funded (both in whole or in part) the speech. The bill also carves out new exceptions to the liability protections granted by Section 230 in cases involving, civil rights laws, antitrust laws, stalking, harassment, or intimidation laws, international human rights laws, and wrongful death actions. The liability shield would also not apply if a plaintiff seeks an injunction because the service failed to “remove, restrict access to or availability of, or prevent dissemination of material that is likely to cause irreparable harm.” In addition, the SAFE TECH Act downgrades Section 230 (c)(1) to an “affirmative defense,” shifting the burden of persuasion to the defendant to prove “by a preponderance of the evidence” that the case can be dismissed on Section 230 grounds.

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