Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced a bill in the Senate on July 28 aimed at government collusion with Big Tech to censor online speech.
The Preventing Restrictions and Empowering Speakers to Enable Robust and Varied Exchanges in Online Speech (Preserve Online Speech) Act is designed to “require technology companies to disclose any U.S. or foreign government requests or recommendations regarding content moderation” within seven days of the request.
The act also would oblige the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to submit to Congress an annual report detailing all government censorship requests and any resulting censorship actions performed during the prior year.
Any private firms not complying with the act can be subjected to a fine of $50,000 per day. The act exempts any censorship request that is the “result of a Federal law enforcement proceeding or is in the interest of national security.”
The introduction of the act comes on the heels of the open admission by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki that the Biden administration colluded directly with Big Tech companies to “flag” and suppress social media content and accounts that are objectionable to the government.
President Donald Trump has also filed a federal class-action lawsuit challenging the collusive conduct between the federal government and Big Tech, alleging violations of the First Amendment.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), one of the bill’s cosponsors, said, “We already know that Big Tech companies pick and choose which viewpoints are allowed on their platforms, and now the Biden administration expressed their willingness to help them censor the American people.”
Rubio wrote an opinion article published by Fox News supporting the act, stating, “The love affair between Big Tech and the Democratic Party is not a secret. Through campaign contributions, censorship, and woke nonsense, it’s clear that Silicon Valley giants are working together with the Left to destroy conservative values in America.”
“Americans should know when governments, especially their request or pressure internet companies to censor legal speech. Doing so will shed light on insidious, government-Big Tech censorship efforts, as well as empower consumers with additional information about how to open the websites they’re using really are,” he added.
Rubio concluded, “Transparency is critical,” wrote Rubio, “but it alone will not change the poisonous role that Big Tech and social media corporations are playing in our national politics. We need to step up to the plate to stop Silicon Valley-Democrat collusion before it’s too late.”