Senate DEMs Circulating Plans for Govt Takeover of Internet
This is not a joke, unfortunately, but Democrats’ idea about regulating “digital platforms” via what can be best described as a govt takeover of internet. The proposal is as serious as it gets, according to a leaked memo circulated among Senate DEMs. The respective memo contains all sorts of crazy authoritarian proposals for basically nationalizing the internet, in order to mitigate so-called fake news and eradicate pesky Russian bots and things of that nature.
The memo can be admired here and it marks the next step in the epic battle for controlling freedom of expression on the internet. Alex Jones was just the canary in the coal mine, as thing are going to get uglier. The memo aims at saving American people’s trust in, let me quote, “our institutions, democracy, free press, and markets,” by communist-style censorship. The author(s) of the memo suggest that America requires undemocratic and unprecedented govt intervention into online markets/press/alternative media, which would include, let me quote again, “comprehensive (GDPR-like) data protection legislation”, similar to what the European Union enacted earlier this year.
The draft policy paper is titled “Potential Policy Proposals for Regulation of Social Media and Technology Firms” and it has been circulated by DEM Senator Mark Warner. The memo claims that Russians have a long history spreading disinfo and fake news since the sixties, but now, due to the internet, it’s different. Here are some of the proposals from the memo, which reads like all your base are belong to us:
-mandatory location verification, as in forcing Twitter, Facebook et al to disclose and authenticate the geo-location of all user posts/accounts and whatever.
-mandatory identity verification, as in only authentic accounts should be allowed on the internet, because “muh democracy: “inauthentic accounts not only pose threats to our democratic process…but undermine the integrity of digital markets”), with “failure to appropriately address inauthentic account activity” punishable as “a violation of both SEC disclosure rules and/or Section 5 of the [Federal Trade Commission] Act.”
-bot labeling, as in social media should be forced to somehow label bots, or face legal consequences, even if it’s not clear how feasible/doable the proposal is
-define popular tech platforms/services as essential facilities, which would be subject to controls and rules from the government: “The law would not mandate that a dominant provider offer the serve for free,” writes Warner. “Rather, it would be required to offer it on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms”
-more disclosure requirements for online political speech, more funding for the FTC and to counter cyber-threats, a requirement of “interoperability between dominant platforms” and a requirement that companies’ algorithms can be audited by the government
– big tech platforms must turn over internal data to, let me quote “independent public interest researchers” so they can identify potential “public health/addiction effects, anticompetitive behavior, radicalization,” scams, “user propagated misinformation,” and harassment—data that could be used to “inform actions by regulators or Congress.”
On short, Internet giants are trying to be the police of the community and the Government is trying to be the police of technology. As Thomas Sowell put it: “There are only two ways to say the truth, anonymously or posthumously”. These “democrats” would be at home in the British parliament, where all the politicians share the same authoritarian bent.