Recently, Republicans have set their sights on holding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) accountable after it allegedly compelled social media platforms into censorship.
According to the findings of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) apparently violated the First Amendment by instructing social media sites on how to moderate content.
Amid the findings, Congressional Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security Committee are calling for legislation to create transparency and prevent the federal government from collaborating with private entities to censor content.
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky sounded off on CISA for allegedly going beyond the power granted to it in the Constitution. Despite federal courts ordering CISA to cease this activity, Paul claims the agency has lost its ability to be trusted and requires legislative action to be taken.
“CISA has blatantly violated the First Amendment and colluded with big tech to censor the speech of ordinary Americans,” Paul said. “Federal courts have ordered CISA to stop, but the trust CISA has abused cannot be restored until the agency gives a full accounting of what it has done, and Congress changes the law to create severe penalties for anyone who tries to do the same thing in the future.”
Paul also recently introduced ‘The Free Speech Protection Act,’ which aims to prohibit all government employees from perpetrating censorship by imposing significant penalties on those who violate the rule.
“The Free Speech Protection Act, which I introduced in July, would not only require CISA to come clean about its actions that violated the First Amendment, but also establish the penalties that will prevent government censorship in the future,” Paul added.
Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson slammed CISA’s corrupt behavior, illustrating the purported bias within government bureaucracy. Like Sen. Rand Paul, Johnson called for legislation that would impose significant penalties on government entities that infringe upon the First Amendment.
“Remember, this corruption occurred in both CISA and DHS under the Trump administration — once again proving how pervasive the partisan leftist infiltration of federal government agencies truly is,” Johnson stated. “The first step is exposing the corruption and then passing legislation prohibiting and penalizing these actions in the future.”
Sen. Rick Scott is working on the legislative initiative ‘PRESERVE Online Speech Act,’ which also seeks to prevent government interference with freedom of expression on the internet. Scott’s communications director weighed in, stating the senator is fighting hard to protect freedom of speech by limiting collaboration between the federal government and big tech.
“The government should never play a role in censoring Americans’ free speech—and when the Biden administration inevitably does, Americans deserve to know with full transparency and accountability,” Lewis said. “Senator Rick Scott has fought hard to prevent this type of censorship and is fighting to pass the PRESERVE Online Speech Act to combat censorship coordination between big tech companies and governments.”
Particularly for conservatives, protecting online speech has become a hot-button issue in recent years, where many feel content moderation is disproportionately enforced against right-wing thought.
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