Senate Advances Secret Plan Forcing Internet Services to Report Terror Activity
The legislation, approved 15-0 in a closed-door hearing, remains “classified.” The relevant text is contained in the 2016 intelligence authorization, a committee aide told Ars by telephone early Monday. Its veil of secrecy would be lifted in the coming days as the package heads to the Senate floor, the aide added.
The proposal comes as the Islamic State and other terror groups have taken to the Internet to gain converts across the globe, including in the United States. The FBI issued a public warning in March about American teens being susceptible to the Islamic State’s online recruitment tactics. And the Brookings Institute estimated in March that there were as many as 70,000 pro-Islamic State Twitter accounts. Twitter has removed tens of thousands of these terror propaganda accounts, which violate its terms of service.
“Our nation is facing more threats every day. America’s security depends on our intelligence community’s ability to detect and thwart attacks on the homeland, our personnel and interests overseas, and our allies. This year’s legislation arms the intelligence community with the resources they need and reinforces congressional oversight of intelligence activities,” Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, a Republican of North Carolina, said in a statement about the bill that was privately approved by the committee.