I'm Ina Fried and I approve this introduction. (Editor's note: Well, actually Ina, technically I am the one who has to approve it.)
Today's Login is 1,042 words, a 4-minute read.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
The Trump administration is turning up the heat on one of Big Tech's most important legal protections, as the Justice Department convenes a debate over changing a law that protects platforms from suits over content their users posts, Axios' Margaret Harding McGill reports.
Why it matters: The threat to remove immunity granted by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is one of a handful of weapons that Washington is mulling using against Facebook, Google and other tech giants.
Driving the news: The DOJ is convening policy experts for a workshop Wednesday titled “Section 230 — Nurturing Innovation or Fostering Unaccountability?"
The big picture: Republicans and Democrats in Congress frustrated with how tech companies handle content moderation have been debating changes to 230 to address a range of issues, including child exploitation.
Yes, but: Supporters of Section 230 have questioned the motives of the DOJ and proponents of changing the law, including critics from some industries that have clashed with tech — including many in the news media.
Of note: Attorney General William Barr has been campaigning for tech platforms to build back doors into their encryption systems so that law enforcement can better monitor communications while investigating child exploitation and terrorism, and some critics say he is using the Section 230 debate as a pressure tactic.
The other side: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a co-author of Section 230, sees the move to change the law as a blow against free speech being promoted by "big legacy companies," as he wrote in the Washington Post.
"Under the guise of getting rid of lies and protecting children, they’re working with the Trump administration and top Republicans to undermine Americans' rights and give the government unprecedented control over online speech."— Sen. Ron Wyden
Flashback: Section 230 was enacted in 1996 as part of a broader online regulation law that was eventually overturned by the Supreme Court, leaving the liability shield as the only remnant still in force.
For the record: Then and now, Section 230 protects platforms from civil suits over user content, but not from criminal prosecution for content that breaks federal law.
The novel coronavirus outbreak in China is affecting nearly every sector of tech manufacturing, leading analysts to reduce production estimates for everything from TVs and smartphones to laptops and video game consoles.
In a new report, analysis firm Trendforce said it was cutting its first quarter forecast for nearly all manner of high-tech goods manufactured in China. While TV and monitor production estimates got cut by only about 5% each, the firm slashed most other categories by double-digit percentages.
Yes, but: Bloomberg reports that Apple remains on track to launch its updated low-cost iPhone next month and a new iPad Pro in the coming months, despite the virus-related slowdowns.
I talked more about the virus' impact on tech in a segment on CNBC's "The Exchange" yesterday.
Employees at Kickstarter voted 46 to 37 to unionize, signaling a small but notable shift in an industry that has historically eschewed collective bargaining.
Why it matters: Workers who are taking a more activist stance are seeing unions as one way to have a greater voice at their companies.
Unions remain few and far between in large tech companies, but that's beginning to change.
Go deeper: Tech's new labor unrest
Huawei lost a round in court Tuesday, with a federal judge ruling that Congress was within its rights to exclude agencies and contractors from buying gear from Huawei and ZTE.
The big picture: This is one battle in the larger and more multifaceted conflict between Washington and Beijing that's playing out in courts, through trade negotiations and in public rhetoric.
What's next: Huawei says it will consider further legal options. Meanwhile the fight continues on many levels, with the U.S. enacting several policies designed to limit Huawei's ability to do business in the U.S. and weighing further actions.
Most recently, per the Wall Street Journal, the Trump administration has been weighing whether to require those using U.S.-made chip gear to certify their products won't be used for Huawei products.
Meanwhile: In a series of Tuesday tweets, President Trump threw his administration's Huawei policy into confusion.
Check out this beautiful example of how representation matters.