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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is reviving his bipartisan bill that would add fresh carve-outs to tech's liability shield to force online platforms to report opioid sales and other illegal activity on their websites to law enforcement.

Why it matters: As the 117th Congress shifts into gear, tech companies will again be fighting attempts by lawmakers of both parties to tweak or curb Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields website operators like Facebook or Reddit from liability over content their users post.

Details: Manchin and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) are announcing Monday they have reintroduced their "See Something, Say Something Online Act," which would add provisions to Section 230 requiring companies to report suspicious activity to law enforcement through a new clearinghouse within the Justice Department.

  • Companies must take "reasonable steps" to prevent or address illegal activity, and can be held liable if they fail to report it.

Yes, but: The tech industry has said the bill would put companies in the untenable position of trying to figure out what is and isn't evidence of a crime, which could lead to sharing user information with law enforcement to avoid liability.

The big picture: The bill is one of several whacks at Section 230 in the works on the Hill, with both Democrats and Republicans eager to make changes to the 1996 law to bring tech giants to heel.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

Updated 6 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.

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