Nov 13, 2018

Penalize liars in media and online, congressman says

Ro Khanna, Renee DiResta, Darrell Issa. Photo: WSJ / Nikki Ritcher Photography

Rep. Darrell Issa, speaking at the Wall Street Journal's tech conference in Laguna Beach Monday, said the U.S. information system needs new ways to hold liars accountable — including journalists' anonymous sources and social-media disinformation providers.

What they're saying: "We have to have a result for the person who creates a lie, which we don't yet have,” said Issa.

  • The retiring congressman cited the example of anonymous sources who tell lies to journalists but have their identities protected.
  • He applied the same concern to lies spreading on social media. "If you’ve been hurt, and Facebook says, 'I'm immune,' then who is responsible and how do I get that data?” he later added, in reference to the Communications Decency Act's Section 230, which protects internet services from being liable for content posted by their users.
  • Issa acknowledged the complexities that both constitutional free speech and press guarantees and traditional libel laws bring to any effort to hold misinformation providers accountable.

U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna, who represents part of Silicon Valley, disagreed with Issa, saying that he's "all for a messy democracy," if that's the result of protecting the freedom of speech.

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Debate night: Candidates' last face-off before Super Tuesday

Sanders, Biden, Klobuchar and Steyer in South Carolina on Feb. 25. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders wanted to keep his momentum after winning contests in New Hampshire and Nevada, while former Vice President Joe Biden hoped to keep his own campaign alive. The other five candidates were just trying to hang on.

What's happening: Seven contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination were in Charleston, South Carolina, for the tenth debate, just days before the South Carolina primary and a week before Super Tuesday. They spoke, sometimes over each other, about health care, Russian interference in the election, foreign policy the economy, gun control, marijuana, education, and race.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

4 takeaways from the South Carolina debate

Former Vice President Joe Biden, right, makes a point during Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders listens. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The 10th Democratic debate was billed as the most consequential of the primary thus far, but Tuesday night's high-stakes affair was at times awkward and unfocused as moderators struggled to rein in candidates desperate to make one last splash before Saturday's primary in South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

The big picture: After cementing himself as the Democratic favorite with a sweeping win in Nevada, Sen. Bernie Sanders came under fire as the front-runner for the first time on the debate stage. Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who will be on the ballot for the first time next Tuesday, was a progressive foil once again, but he appeared more prepared after taking a drubbing at the Nevada debate.

Coronavirus spreads to Africa as U.S. soldier in South Korea tests positive

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

A 23-year-old American soldier stationed at Camp Carroll in South Korea has tested positive to the novel coronavirus, as the outbreak spreads to more countries.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 80,000 others, mostly in mainland China. Public health officials confirmed Tuesday the U.S. has 57 people with the novel coronavirus, mostly those repatriated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health