Social Media Platforms are Electronic Communication and Remote Computing Providers

Huge social media Platforms claim that they are editors, publishers, or speakers, but the federal government treats them as remote computing providers and/or electronic communication providers  under 18 U.S. Code Chapter 121 – STORED WIRE AND ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS AND TRANSACTIONAL RECORDS ACCESS.

One example of such treatment is that the Platforms are subject to 18 U.S. Code § 2703. Required disclosure of customer communications or records. It is well known that the law enforcement cannot demand customer, journalist, or participant records from a newspaper, parade organizers, or anybody engaged in the business of publishing or speech.

The support for the Platforms in the Amicus Brief of the Solicitor General (Supreme Court, No. 22-555) confirms that the Platforms are state actors.

Law enforcement regularly uses this law. One example is a warrant issued by the DC District Court, ordering Twitter to provide Jack Smith all information on the account of Donald Trump and some information about his ~90 million followers, and everybody who liked or retweeted his tweets from October 1, 2020 until his suspension in 2021.

Apparently, this treatment covers social media platforms of all sizes and types, including those that are dedicated to a single subject or political philosophy.

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