By Robert Willmann
President Trump has signed the estimated $2.3 trillion Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. Its 5,593 double-spaced pages are stuffed with pork to grease domestic and foreign hands in order to get it passed for the piddling $600 for some people in the U.S., and possibly more for some illegal immigrants. Referred to as House Resolution 133, the copy still sits at the House Committee on Rules. Divided up into Divisions A-FF, it may be the longest law ever passed by Congress. Divisions 'M' and 'N' are for "corona virus response and relief"–
Trump is signing H.R. 133 in exchange for promises, instead of getting the promises passed by Congress first, and then signing all the bills at once. But this was probably done because the government would run out of other people's money on Monday night, 28 December, and some sort of partial government shutdown would then happen .
When the Internet was getting underway for the general public with slow dialup connections over a telephone line using a modem, some computer technology companies planned for the future and got Congress — under the name of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 — to give them legal liability protection like a common carrier and almost as good as a telephone company. If someone uses a telephone to slander and defame someone, or to plan or carry out crime, the telephone company cannot be sued in a civil lawsuit, nor can it be charged with a crime as a party or co-conspirator, including for such things as robbery and murder. It is a "common carrier", and acts as a neutral carrier of communications between people, although a phone company does have to abide by laws concerning such things as wiretapping. The phone companies used to keep your call records private (the "subscriber information"), unless a court order was obtained. However, after the George W. Bush administration started the illegal domestic surveillance program, it also secretly got the phone companies (except for Qwest) to agree to hand over your calling information in clear violation of the law restricting disclosure without a court order. Lawsuits were filed because a phone company was liable for $1,000 for each disclosure. With millions of customers, that added up to billions of dollars, but Congress kneeled down and gave the phone companies retroactive immunity for their misconduct. Then section 215 of the USA Patriot Act amended the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to allow easier collection of call-detail records, and the FISA court, operating in secret, was told by the government that everybody's phone metadata was "relevant", and the "judges" went along with it. This misuse of the statute became well known to the public in 2013. But the computer tech companies quietly got their own protection starting in 1996 .
Sections 230(c) and (e)(3) are the big ones, as 230(c)(1) prevents the tech companies from being sued for libel, slander, and defamation, since they would not be legally considered to be a "publisher or speaker of any information". Section 230(c)(2) lets them restrict access to material that they consider to be "… harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected". This is the language they are likely hiding behind now while engaging in blatant censorship of protected speech, including core political speech.
Section 230(e)(3) seeks to use the "preemption doctrine" that some federal laws can override state laws, in order to protect the Internet tech companies from state laws that are "inconsistent" with section 230.
But the tech companies are not protected by section 230 from criminal laws and others having to do with sex trafficking and communications privacy, and the section does not expand or limit "intellectual property" law.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Repub. Kentucky) has stabbed Trump in the back about voting fraud in the election by calling his former colleague Joe Biden the president-elect, and by trying to prevent any senator from objecting on 6 January 2021 about the effect of voting fraud on the Electoral College. Now Congress has gotten its massive appropriations bill for this fiscal year signed.
Trump may otherwise be engaging in wishful thinking, except for maybe an increased single payment from $600 to $2,000 for many people barely able to tread water financially. In the meantime, employees of the local, state, and federal governments have continued to get paid since March 2020.
 The announcements on signing the new law, and reasons given by Trump.
Update: The bill is now on the main Internet website for Congress, and has single-spaced printing that totals 2,124 pages.
 Title 47, U.S. Code, section 230. Protection for private blocking and screening of offensive material.