Theresa Manzell’s SB391 will seek to do what three similar bills in the House failed to do, thanks largely to Rep. Casey Knudsen (“R”-Malta), and his left-of-center colleagues in the Democrat-Crossover Caucus.
Yesterday, the Montana Daily Gazette revealed that Facebook and Google had spent 1.3 million dollars harvesting ballots in the state’s blue districts. Claiming the funds would be spent on personal protective equipment (PPE) for election staff, the funds were actually used to harvest ballots from university campuses and other far-left districts where liberals wanted to drive out their vote.
Other than giving money exclusively and prejudiciously to Democrat districts to harvest ballots, Facebook, Google, Apple, and a sea of Technocrat overlord’s have repeatedly engaged in viewpoint discrimination that scuttles the accounts and muzzles the mouths of the state’s conservatives. Opinions about COVID-19 – which have largely now been proven correct – or sharing opinions about election fraud or the violent nature of Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots – has got thousands of thousands of Montanans booted for violating Facebook’s community standards, usually under the accusation of “terrorism” or “violence.”
Because of Section 230 of the Decency in Communications Law, Big Tech monopolies (Facebook has a higher share of the market than when Standard Oil was broken up in 1911) remain immune to liability regarding what someone does with their utility, allowing them to act with impugnity and with prejudice against its users.
Currently, there is no court and no means of due process for Montanans to seek an appeal to have their accounts restored. There is no court in Montana with oversight over Big Tech, however, the State laws absolutely do give regulatory oversight of Communications Utilities to the Public Service Commission (click here for link to state law)
Equal Protection Under the Law is enshrined in the 14th Amendment requires people be treated equally under the law, which is not bypassed or transcended by the Communications Decency Act.
By giving the Public Service Commission regulatory oversight over Big Tech communications utilities like Facebook, Google, Apple and more, it will serve as the avenue for due process so citzens can launch a complaint if they feel their constitutional rights have been violated. The Montana PSC therefore, order Big Tech companies to reinstate their rights – should they have been found to have violated them – and be ordered to comply. If they do not comply, they can be fined by the Public Service Commission.
Theresa Manzell’s (SD44) bill SB391 (available here) will attempt to do previous house bills by Lola Galloway and Brad Tschida could not, in their tabling and very narrow defeat.
The bill has been carefully crafted to ensure that it does not run afowl of Section 230 and should have little challenge in the courts. The Montana Attorney General should have little to no headache defending it in the event of a challenge. The PSC already regulates communication utilities and even private companies, like the taxi industry. It has proven itself capable at protecting the interests of their constituents to ensure fairness at the corporate level.