Senate Democrats Are Circulating Plans For Government Takeover Of The Internet

Authored by Elizabeth Nolan Brown via,

All your base are belong to us.

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.

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.

Other proposals include more disclosure requirements for online political speech, more spending to counter supposed cybersecurity threats, more funding for the Federal Trade Commission, a requirement that companies' algorithms can be audited by the feds (and this data shared with universities and others), and a requirement of "interoperability between dominant platforms."

The paper also suggests making it a rule that tech platforms above a certain size must turn over internal data and processes to "independent public interest researchers" so they can identify potential "public health/addiction effects, anti-competitive behavior, radicalization," scams, "user propagated misinformation," and harassment - data that could be used to "inform actions by regulators or Congress."

And - of course - these include further revisions to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, recently amended by Congress to exclude protections for prostitution-related content. A revision to Section 230 could provide the ability for users to demand takedowns of certain sorts of content and hold platforms liable if they don't abide, it says, while admitting that "attempting to distinguish between true disinformation and legitimate satire could prove difficult."

"The proposals in the paper are wide ranging and in some cases even politically impossible, and raise almost as many questions as they try to answer," suggested Mathew Ingram, putting it very mildly at the Columbia Journalism Review.


BlackChicken MasterPo Tue, 08/07/2018 - 19:39 Permalink

I don’t think it’s buried at all.  These desperate fuckers will try anything to save their ass before the midterms.

The democrats are completely screwed and they know it.  Even with the illegal parasites and the dead voting twice, they are finished for a generation.

In reply to by MasterPo

Ms. Erable NidStyles Tue, 08/07/2018 - 20:30 Permalink

Such a great idea - putting government in charge of something else of which they have no understanding!

As for undermining trust in .gov institutions with words, I'm pretty sure those self-same institutions have undermined themselves through their actions, and the (D) party (and a large chunk of the [R] party) are pissed and scared that a lot of us have noticed.

In reply to by NidStyles

NiggaPleeze cankles' server Tue, 08/07/2018 - 22:02 Permalink

What's so bad about "offer[ing] [services] on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms""?

If I've been reading conservatives correctly the last few days, that's been the main cry since AJ and others got censored off various platforms/publishers.  Essentially the same laws that apply to other public utilities - e.g. neither the power nor garbage company can refuse to serve you for your political views.

In reply to by cankles' server

Creative_Destruct Team_Huli Wed, 08/08/2018 - 00:01 Permalink

Standard Demo nanny-state stupidity. If the US general public is incapable of thinking for itself and stupid enough to supposedly be irrevocably swayed by a few bots and approximately 4K worth of Facebook and Twitter adds, as per last election, then they deserve to be regulated by these fools and have fundamental freedoms put in jeopardy....

Oh shit wait... come to think of it....

In reply to by Team_Huli

glenlloyd Creative_Destruct Wed, 08/08/2018 - 01:21 Permalink

Don't you just love the twisted logic.

In order to protect democracy we need huge unprecedented undemocratic government intervention.

Silly shitheads are totally void of any sense at all, how anyone could write tripe like this and then believe it is beyond me.

What we need here is to get rid of these idiots and morons.

As for trust, shit you people lost that a long time ago when you tried to swallow up healthcare under the rubric of "we'll take care of you." Yeah, you'll take care of me, for 500% more money than it was costing me before!!!!!

In reply to by Creative_Destruct

lock-stick HopefulCynical Wed, 08/08/2018 - 11:44 Permalink


•• Free This (ABOVE, in all his 7th grade glory - JACKASS  as new icon!)


•• Adolfsteinbergovitch ("I TORMENT THE WOMAN WHO SUCKS DICK!")


•• MoreSun (whacked, OH SO WHACKED!!)


....and all the while, the pathetic little SPAMMER sits in his leaky, moldy, smelly single wide in Western New York, surrounded by garbage and dirty clothes, trying to find his dick amidst rolls of fat, talking to his ACTION FIGURES and wondering where his life went.



In reply to by HopefulCynical

FBaggins Team_Huli Wed, 08/08/2018 - 00:27 Permalink

Wake up everyone. The government is doing the censorship already. It is behind the Facebook and Twitter censorship, not the private corporations. Just like they have recently passed laws  to legalize propaganda again (i.e. fake news) like we are in another world war, their agents are all over the internet monitoring all of us and now systematically infiltrating or closing down access to alternate media sites and comment they cannot control. They have been directly using the corporate media since its inception to lie to the people. 

Despite the little interlude of freedom of speech we have enjoyed on the internet, the way we are now going with government and corporate manipulation, within ten years the common people in all Western nations will have no more real freedom of speech than what the people today in China enjoy.  

If people were really alive and free they would hold every politician's feet to the fire over this issue. For beginners, Trump should be forced to admit the facts about government intervention s already there and be really pressured to do something to end it. Because he ignores this issue is precisely why he cannot be trusted. The same can be said about his failure to clean up the corruption in the manipulated voting system. He will do nothing because he is an elite and obviously part of the problem. 

In reply to by Team_Huli

NiggaPleeze ZD1 Wed, 08/08/2018 - 00:47 Permalink

Is this in the proposed statute or did you just literally pull that comment out of your arse?  Have you seen the policy paper?  You seem like the definition of "reactionary".  From the Axios piece, the proposal is described as follows:

Another would hang an "essential facility" label on certain widely-used tech products, like Google Maps. That would require them to offer access on "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" terms and not engage in "self-dealing or preferential conduct."

How does this in any way translate into "permanently silencing anyone who dares to disagree with their totalitarian, authoritarian, globalist, oppressive police state".  Fucking whacko ZH bitches, for fucks' sake.

In reply to by ZD1

FreedomWriter NiggaPleeze Wed, 08/08/2018 - 05:05 Permalink

NiggaPleeze, if you need control-freak douche bags like Ted Deutsch and that other fascist pig from Illinois deciding what you can and can't read or watch on the Internet, then read some History first. By the way, you will need to change your handle to something less provocative. The Thought Police said so.

These fuckers need to be terminated with extreme prejudice before anyone with a brain is forced to go underground. The ploy is simple, they believe if they own the internet, they can make you buy, eat, vote, fuck and believe whatever way they want. If that happens you can stick a fork into our constitutional rights, because they will be done.

In reply to by NiggaPleeze

NiggaPleeze FreedomWriter Wed, 08/08/2018 - 05:36 Permalink

if you need control-freak douche bags like Ted Deutsch and that other fascist pig from Illinois deciding what you can and can't read or watch on the Internet, then read some History first

This is a red herring, and a very poor one at that.  There's nothing in the proposal about Deutsch or any other government official "deciding what you can and can't read or watch on the Internet".

Get a grip and stop the lunacy.  If you don't like the proposal, fine, but at least stop stabbing a straw man, it's fucking stupid.…

In reply to by FreedomWriter

rejected ZD1 Wed, 08/08/2018 - 06:55 Permalink

"The fucking DemocRat's definition of "offer[ing] [services] on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms" is permanently silencing anyone who dares to disagree with their totalitarian, authoritarian, globalist, oppressive police state. "


And you don't think the Repugnents are doing the same.... Some of the most tyrannical law has been offered up and passed by them. The unPatriot Act comes to mind.

In my lifetime the Repugnents have had complete control of the legislature and executive twice!!! and did nothing but give the now out of control corporations tax breaks. Now they're saying the same shit. "Give us control and we'll fix it"  Bullshit!

It's just downright frustrating to still read the D vs R shit from brainwashed people.

One side are Commies, the other Nazi's,,, both wanting the same thing.

Control of us in every way.

In reply to by ZD1