Technology companies fear new legal challenges will come in international trade agreement
If online platforms themselves are held liable in a way that is overly broad, the platforms themselves will start screening and censoring or scaling back how open to user participation they are.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Companies across the technology industry — from Internet access providers to social networking sites to video-sharing services — are bracing for this week's release of a draft of a trade agreement that they fear could undermine all sorts of online activities.
The agreement, being negotiated by the United States and nearly a dozen trading partners, is intended to create an international framework to crack down on counterfeiting, copyright violations and other intellectual property theft. But skeptics warn that it could chill free speech and other online expression by making technology companies liable for the misdeeds of their users.