OpEd: Senate Democrats Are Circulating Plans for Government Takeover of the Internet

BY ANNETA GRIFFEE / AUGUST 7, 2018 /

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As the most reliable and balanced news aggregation service on the internet, DML News offers the following opinion editorial written by Elizabeth Nolan Brown and published by REASON.COM:

A leaked memo circulating among Senate Democrats contains a host of bonkers authoritarian proposals for regulating digital platforms, purportedly as a way to get tough on Russian bots and fake news. To save American trust in “our institutions, democracy, free press, and markets,” it suggests, we need unprecedented and undemocratic government intervention into online press and markets, including “comprehensive (GDPR-like) data protection legislation” of the sort enacted in the E.U.

Titled “Potential Policy Proposals for Regulation of Social Media and Technology Firms,” the draft policy paper—penned by Sen. Mark Warner and leaked by an unknown source to Axios—the paper starts out by noting that Russians have long spread disinformation, including when “the Soviets tried to spread ‘fake news’ denigrating Martin Luther King” (here he fails to mention that the Americans in charge at the time did the same). But NOW IT’S DIFFERENT, because technology.

“Today’s tools seem almost built for Russian disinformation techniques,” Warner opines. And the ones to come, he assures us, will be even worse.

The article goes on to state the following:

Here’s how Warner is suggesting we deal:

Mandatory location verification. The paper suggests forcing social media platforms to authenticate and disclose the geographic origin of all user accounts or posts.

Mandatory identity verification: The paper suggests forcing social media and tech platforms to authenticate user identities and only allow “authentic” accounts (“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: Warner’s paper suggests forcing companies to somehow label bots or be penalized (no word from Warner on how this is remotely feasible)

Define popular tech as “essential facilities.” These would be subject to all sorts of heightened rules and controls, says the paper, offering Google Maps as an example of the kinds of apps or platforms that might count. “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” provided by the government.

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7 Comments

  1. Patti August 7th, 2018 at 10:56 am

    The leftists are at war with us, we’d better get ahold of this because it’s going to get really ugly.

    Reply

  2. SHIRLEY Blanchard August 7th, 2018 at 11:23 am

    Mandatory identity verification? How about the dangers without Mandatory E-verify? This is the Dems fake idea that really means “screw the Conservatives reporting the truth”, we can’t let that happen!

    Reply

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  4. Robert August 7th, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Again our leftist Democrats are trying to suppress the truth by interfering with the internet to the extent it’s really designed to block candidates targeted candidates criminal democrats should be in prison we need term limits now immediately

    Reply

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  7. Ang August 8th, 2018 at 2:56 am

    The authentic , dangerous criminals here are the democrats themselves! Wth is going on?! Why aren’t any of these horrible monsters in prison?!

    Reply

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