Feinstein to revive social media bill after terror attacks

Feinstein to revive social media bill after terror attacks
© Getty Images

The Senate Intelligence Committee's top Democrat could soon introduce legislation that would require social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, to alert federal officials about online terrorist activity, according to a spokesman on Monday.

Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinFormer US attorneys urge support for Trump nominee The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Republicans see some daylight in midterm polling Senate panel clears bill to bolster probes of foreign investment deals MORE (D-Calif.) has been pushing for language that would address the growing use by extremist groups of social media to both spread propaganda and plot attacks around the world.

The bill could come as early as today, according to multiple sources.

ADVERTISEMENT
Feinstein recently tried to include the requirement as part of a Senate's Intelligence Authorization Act, but the provision was not included in the final bill amid intense pressure from tech companies and Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Abortion rights group plans M campaign to flip the House The federal judiciary needs more Latino judges Senate Dems to Mnuchin: Don't index capital gains to inflation MORE (D-Ore.), who blocked the language from moving to the floor.

These opponents have warned the mandate is "troublingly vague."

But the recent deadly assaults in Paris and San Bernardino, California, have given new life to the argument that Web companies should be doing more to help authorities identify potential terrorists.

Reuters reported Monday that several major Silicon Valley players, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, have already bolstered their efforts to scrub extremist online propaganda in response to ongoing pleas from federal officials.