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Tech Industry Protests New Terrorist Activity Reporting Section in US Senate Bill

07
Aug
2015

data privacy

Tech companies have protested against Section 603 of the US Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 Tech – that requires companies to report any potential terrorist activities on their platforms to authorities – claiming it may infringe on users’ privacy.

Arguing that the term “any terrorist activity” leaves too much room for interpretation, the open letter signed by the Internet Association, Reform Government Surveillance and Internet Infrastructure Coalition calls for a new assessment of Section 603, which they say may raise First Amendment privacy concerns.

“The unworkable requirements of Section 603 would have the effect of chilling free speech as Internet platforms could be burdened with reporting content that in many cases they have no way to understand,” reads the joint letter. “Section 603, which requires companies to report facts and circumstances connected to the vague and overbroad term any `terrorist activity,’ would result in overbroad reporting to the government, swamping law enforcement with useless information, and potentially raising First Amendment and privacy concerns for the user who posted the item.”

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