September 21, 2015

Wyden Applauds Win for Free Speech and Common Sense in Revised Intelligence Authorization Bill

Vague Provision Requiring Companies to Report “Terrorist Activity” on Social Media is Dropped From Bill After Wyden and Tech Industry Raised Objections

Washington, D.C. – Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., praised the removal of a flawed Intelligence Authorization bill provision to require companies like Twitter and Facebook to notify the government about vaguely defined “terrorist activity” by social media users.

Wyden placed a hold on the 2016 Intelligence Authorization bill in July over concerns about the provision after an outcry from technology companies that the bill could force companies to take drastic steps to police users’ speech online. Wyden will lift his hold now that the provision has been removed.

“Going after terrorist recruitment and activity online is a serious mission that demands a serious response from our law enforcement and intelligence agencies,” Wyden said. “Social media companies aren’t qualified to judge which posts amount to 'terrorist activity,' and they shouldn’t be forced against their will to create a Facebook Bureau of Investigations to police their users’ speech.”