New Senate Bill Would Create Federal Agency to Police Americans for ‘Misinformation’ and ‘Hate Speech’

The new Senate bill would create a federal agency to oversee speech by Americans for “misinformation” and “hate speech” if passed by Congress.

The bill was tabled by Colorado US Senator Michael Bennet and has been dubbed the Digital Platform Commission Act (DPCA). As the senator announced, the law would “create a federal body of experts empowered to provide comprehensive, sector-specific regulation of digital platforms to protect consumers, promote competition, and defend the public interest.”

“The new Federal Digital Platforms Commission will have the mandate, jurisdiction, and broad set of tools to develop and enforce prudent guardrails for a sector that has been allowed too long to write its own rules, with serious consequences for everything from youth mental health. for disinformation to anti-competitive practices that have harmed small businesses,” argued the senator.

“As a country, we should be proud that most of the world’s leading technology companies were founded in America. But they’re not a start-up anymore. Today they rank among the most powerful corporations in human history. The time has come for a thoughtful and comprehensive approach to governing the digital platforms that have amassed tremendous power over our economy, society and democracy,” said Bennett. “We don’t have to choose between letting digital platforms write the rules, let competitors like China and the EU write the rules, or leave them to politicians in Congress. We must follow a long precedent in American history of empowering expert bodies to protect the public interest through common sense rule and oversight for complex and powerful sectors of the economy.”

The new Federal Digital Platforms Commission will have five commissioners appointed by the president and confirmed by the US Senate. It will be “managed by experts with backgrounds in fields such as computer science, software development, and technology policy.”

The Commission will have a “broad mandate to promote the public interest, with specific directions to protect consumers, promote competition, and ensure fairness and security of algorithms on digital platforms, among other areas,” the senator’s statement added. “To fulfill its mandate, the Commission has the authority to promulgate regulations, impose civil penalties, hold hearings, conduct investigations, and support research. It could also designate “systemically important digital platforms” subject to additional scrutiny, regulation and merger review.

The Digital Platform Commission Act has received support from various experts and organizations. Former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler commended the bill for modernizing national policies and introducing a model of agile regulation fit for the digital age. Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser emphasized the need for federal action and a regulatory framework to protect citizens in the online world. Public Knowledge, a non-profit organization, supports the bill as a consumer-centric approach to holding online platforms accountable. Other supporters include the Center for Humane Technology, communications and technology policy experts from Georgetown University and Yale School of Management, and various advocacy groups concerned with the impact of digital platforms on democracy, youth, and public health.

“The Digital Platforms Commission Act builds the capacities needed for 21st century democracy to align our rapidly changing digital landscape with the public interest,” said the Center for Humane Technology.

As Reclaim the Net noted on Twitter, the bill would “empower a new federal agency to create a board that establishes ‘applicable codes of conduct’ on social media and AI platforms. The board will include ‘disinformation’ experts.”

“The bill also has age verification requirements,” added Reclaim the Net.

“This is unconstitutional, as well as evil and stupid,” said constitutional lawyer Harmeet Dhillon bluntly comment.

The bill currently lacks specific safeguards to protect free speech and ensure that the rules implemented by the commission do not unduly violate individual constitutional rights. Instead, it relies on government-appointed “experts” who will certainly act to oversee state-approved narratives and policies. Without strong safeguards for free expression, there is a risk of chilling effects on online discourse, as well as stifling innovation and creativity.

The Twitter files, meanwhile, continue to document the many abuses of free speech by “misinformation” and “hate speech” moderators at Big Tech companies.

“Lorenz had more than special reporting access to get accounts banned,” reports journalist Paul Thacker. “When Tucker Carlson did something to mock him, Twitter issued a warning – ‘We have to be careful with him’.”

It’s the kind of special privilege for the ‘expert’ that makes Americans suspicious of double standards and political bias.

In short, the US government cannot be entrusted to the Internet police for “misinformation”. As Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) pointed out, “The largest area of misinformation come from government.”

Follow Kyle Becker on Twitter @kylenabecker.