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Florida’s Senators Champion the PRESERVE Online Speech Act

Florida’s two U.S. senators–Republicans Marco Rubio and Rick Scott–are backing a proposal to “combat censorship coordination between big tech companies and governments by requiring technology companies to disclose any U.S. or foreign government requests or recommendations regarding content moderation.”

Rubio brought back the “PRESERVE Online Speech Act” last week with Scott among the five Republican co-sponsors.

Rubio’s office offered some of the reasons why the senator was championing the bill.

“The Biden administration has been criticized for its intrusive interactions with social media companies. Recently, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction that prevents the administration from further communicating with social media companies about content and censorship. This injunction came after former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki openly admitted that The Biden White House was ‘flagging problematic posts’ for social media companies,” Rubio’s office noted.

“If the government is working with Big Tech to censor freedom of speech, the American public deserves to know. Transparency is essential to protecting our First Amendment. That’s why I’m introducing legislation to require the government to disclose any requests or pressure it makes to tech companies to censor speech,” said Rubio.

“The Biden administration has a track record of working hand-in-hand with big tech companies to censor conservatives and opinions they disagree with. That’s not right, and it goes against the very nature of our constitution. The government should never play a role in censoring Americans’ free speech online, and if it does, Americans deserve to know with full transparency and accountability,” said Scott.

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The bill would “require internet companies to publicly disclose within seven days any government (U.S. or foreign) request to moderate content outside of a law enforcement proceeding and detail any action taken as a result; levy a daily fine of $50,000 on non-compliant firms. These funds are directed to the FCC to provide rural broadband access” and “require the FCC to submit an annual report to Congress covering all government censorship requests that year and actions taken as a result.”

The bill was sent to the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. So far, there is no companion bill in the U.S. House.

Author

  • Kevin Derby

    Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is a contributing writer for Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida.

    View all posts
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