Don’t give Congress a censor’s pen

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Deputy Director of Advocacy

Senate Amendment 218 would give federal lawmakers the power to compel information that they find embarrassing, inconvenient, or politically damaging to be removed from the internet.

Ken Lund via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

A new proposal in Congress would give lawmakers the power to censor information about themselves online. As we explain in Tech Policy Press, Senate Amendment 218 would be a disaster for public oversight of Congress by journalists, watchdog groups, activists, and constituents:

Not only is Amendment 218 unconstitutional and opposed by a broad coalition of civil society organizations, it also foolishly trusts social media companies to moderate content well and to act in the best interests of users and the public. If passed, this proposal will make investigative journalism harder and lead to the removal of news and other important speech about lawmakers from the internet. Protecting lawmakers from actual threats to their safety is important, but giving Congress the power to censor the internet isn’t the right approach. Congress should not bundle legislation prioritizing its own privacy over the public interest into the must-pass defense bill.

Read more at Tech Policy Press, here.

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