Senator Joe Manchin wants to bring DHS’s spy on your neighbors, “If You See, Something Say Something” program to social media, blogs, websites, and much more. Manchin’s bill, the “See Something, Say Something Online Act” would essentially turn social media users into Federal spies by forcing them to report suspicious people to law enforcement.
Just how bad is this bill?
This bill would essentially force anyone on social media to report suspicious “transmissions” to law enforcement.
“Known Suspicious Transmission.—The term ‘‘known suspicious transmission’’ is any suspicious transmission that an interactive computer service should have reasonably known to have occurred or have been notified of by a director, officer, employ, agent, interactive computer service user, or State or Federal law enforcement agency.”
Major Crime —The term ‘‘major crime’’ means a Federal criminal offense that is a crime of violence (as defined 13 in section 16 of title 18, United States Code); relating to domestic or international terrorism (as those terms are defined in section 16 2331 of title 18, United States Code)
What exactly is a known suspicious transmission or major crime?
The term “suspicious transmission” means any public or private post, message, comment, tag, transaction, or any other user-generated content or transmission that commits, facilitates, incites, promotes, or otherwise assists the commission of a major crime.
How could social media users, bloggers, web forum moderators, web conferencing users, etc. know that a comment left or uttered by someone would later lead to them committing a major crime?
The See Something, Say Something Online Act would force social media users into red-flagging every person’s comments just in case someone commits a major crime in the future.
This bill would effectively destroy the First Amendment as we know it, dispelling any vestiges of America still being a free country.
Social media users would be forced to submit a Suspicious Transmission Activity Report (STAR) on suspicious individuals within 30 days.
“In General.—If a provider of an interactive computer service detects a suspicious transmission, the interactive computer service, including any director, officer, employee, agent, or representative of such provider, shall submit to the Department a STAR describing the suspicious transmission in accordance with this section.”
As Reason warned, the See Something, Say Something Online Act would put reporting on your fellow American on steroids. It would create a glut of frivolous reports, including many that are politically motivated, or otherwise disingenuous.