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.

Go deeper

Pundits react to a chaotic debate: “What a dark event we just witnessed”

The first presidential debate between President Trump and Joe Biden in Cleveland on Tuesday night was a shouting match, punctuated by interruptions and hallmarked by name-calling.

Why it matters: If Trump aimed to make the debate as chaotic as possible with a torrent of disruptions, he succeeded. Pundits struggled to make sense of what they saw, and it's tough to imagine that the American people were able to either.

Trump to far-right Proud Boys: "Stand back and stand by"

Asked to condemn white supremacist violence at the first presidential debate on Tuesday, President Trump said the far-right Proud Boys group should "stand back and stand by," before immediately arguing that violence in the U.S. "is not a right-wing problem. This is a left-wing problem."

Why it matters: Trump has repeatedly been accused of failing to condemn white nationalism and right-wing violence, despite the FBI's assessment that it's the most significant domestic terrorism threat that the country faces. The president has frequently associated antifa and the left-wing violence that has afflicted some U.S. cities with Biden, despite his condemnation of violent protests.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The first Trump v. Biden presidential debate was a hot mess

Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

This debate was like the country: Everybody’s talking. Nobody’s listening. Nothing is learned. It’s a mess.

  • We were told President Trump would be savage. Turned out, that was a gross understatement. Even the moderator, Fox News' Chris Wallace, got bulldozed.

Why it matters: Honestly, who the hell knows?

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