Bipartisan Commission to Study Proliferation of Terrorist Content Online

October 22, 2019 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – A bill introduced Tuesday by the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security would establish a bipartisan commission of non-government experts to examine the ways social media and other online platforms have been exploited to promote and carry out acts of terrorism.

“Today, the unfortunate reality is that terrorists and other bad actors are spreading their violent ideologies online,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., who introduced H.R. 4782, the National Commission on Online Platforms and Homeland Security Act.

“This past year, we saw one terrorist livestream his attack and far too many others post their hateful manifestos online,” he said. “Online platforms have struggled to respond to viral proliferation of such content.  The magnitude of the challenge demands that we bring experts together to develop effective approaches for companies to keep their platforms safe while promoting free speech and innovation on the internet. 

“By creating a bipartisan commission, this bill takes an important first step to making online platforms more secure.  I am proud to say it is a product of months of rigorous bipartisan engagement with civil rights and civil liberties groups, industry, and anti-violence organizations,” Thompson added.

If the legislation passes, the commission will also examine how free speech, privacy, civil rights and civil liberties have been impacted by online terrorist content and covert state influence campaigns, as well as the platforms’ responses to such content. 

Importantly, in furtherance of this targeted review, the commission will look at whether platforms have transparent, consistent, and equitable policies to enforce their rules and if these rules are enforced consistently and effectively, Thompson said.

The commission will prepare a written report at the end of its work, offering recommendations for how online platforms can address such dangerous content in a manner that promotes free speech and innovation.

As described in the bill, the commission will be chaired by an expert in privacy, civil rights, or civil liberties and will have members with expertise in these areas, as well as computer science and engineering, digital media and communications, online platform management, cybersecurity, information operations, and national security.

Co-sponsors of the legislation include Reps. Jim Langevin, D-R.I.; Cedric Richmond, D-La.; Donald Payne Jr., D-N.J.; Max Rose, D-N.Y.; Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y.; Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-N.J.; Nanette Barragan, D-Calif.

The Act has been endorsed by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Counter Extremism Project, and Jewish Federations of North America.

This bill will be marked up in Committee tomorrow, October 23rd. More info here.

H.R. 4782 Bill Text

Bill Fact Sheet

Bipartisan

Sherrill, Stivers Deliver Unanimous Passage of Veterans Service Dog Bill
Sherrill, Stivers Deliver Unanimous Passage of Veterans Service Dog Bill
February 7, 2020
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Proving that acrimony wasn't the only emotion felt on Capitol Hill this week, Reps. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J. and Steve Stivers, R-Ohio delivered a unanimous House vote Wednesday in favor of granting access to treatment derived from working with service dogs. Though the name of... Read More

McBath Aims for Bipartisanship on Major Issues
Congress
McBath Aims for Bipartisanship on Major Issues
December 19, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Last week was a typical whirlwind week in the life of Rep. Lucy McBath. In the space of five days, the Georgia Democrat, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, voted on impeachment, health care, trade and joined a bipartisan group of House and... Read More

House Votes to Extend Select Committee on Modernization Through 116th Congress
Congress
House Votes to Extend Select Committee on Modernization Through 116th Congress
November 15, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The House on Thursday voted to extend the mandate of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress through the end of the 116th Congress. The rule that created the Select Committee originally had it set to expire on February 1, 2020. The extension... Read More

Bipartisan Bill Incentivizes States to Report of Domestic Violence to Federal Background Check Systems
Bipartisan Bill Incentivizes States to Report of Domestic Violence to Federal Background Check Systems
November 8, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - A bipartisan bill introduced by Reps. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., and Mike Turner, R-Ohio, will create incentives for states to provide complete domestic violence records to federal background check databases. Rep. Rice announced the filing of the bill at Bethany House in Baldwin, N.Y., where... Read More

Widespread Support Emerges for Extending Panel Working on Congressional Reforms
Congress
Widespread Support Emerges for Extending Panel Working on Congressional Reforms
November 7, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Multiple letters addressed to the House leadership shows there's widespread support for extending the mandate of a select committee that has been working for the past year on finding meaningful ways to reinvigorate the procedures and culture of Capitol Hill. The charter for that... Read More

Bipartisan Commission to Study Proliferation of Terrorist Content Online
Bipartisan
Bipartisan Commission to Study Proliferation of Terrorist Content Online
October 22, 2019
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - A bill introduced Tuesday by the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security would establish a bipartisan commission of non-government experts to examine the ways social media and other online platforms have been exploited to promote and carry out acts of terrorism. “Today,... Read More

Straight From The Well
scroll top