Social Media Companies Refuse to Support the Surveillance Bill in the Senate
Social media companies like Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and Twitter are bluntly refusing to support the present ongoing senate legislation that will require these social media companies to alert federal authorities of any possible terrorist activity, no matter how remote.
The government, however, is countering back that social media websites and even social media news have become instrumental in helping terrorist groups expand their influence, in spite of existing industry and government policies that make posting or promoting terrorist-related activities illegal. In private meetings on Capitol Hill, social media website officials have told lawmakers and congressional influencers that social media already bans any grisly content like beheadings and other terrorist acts including speeches and alert law enforcement if they suspect someone will be harmed as soon as the threat is made viable.
Why are social media companies refusing to support the Surveillance Bill in the Senate?
They are scared of being left out in the proverbial sun. Google is the largest social media company and will not join the majority in voting against the Surveillance Bill. Why is this? Because they want to continue to have their free ride as they funnel more of our private information to their gigantic search engine.
The powers that be realize that the biggest players in the social media industry are the same ones funding the anti-NSA and anti-spyware websites on the internet. Are the social media companies afraid that the government will find out how much money they are making through these black hat operations? I don’t think so, but this is why they are playing a very dangerous game. As if our private information was not enough.
The truth is that the only people who care about Americans’ privacy are the members of the House and the Senate Intelligence Committee. The rest of the Washington political power structure either cannot afford to lose their hold on power, or they want to continue to use these tactics to keep us guessing. No one cares what happens in the privacy of our lives when it comes to our computer systems. Corporate America, however, does, and they are using their cash to do so. If they lose their ability to spy on you and your private data, they will go out of business.
So why are the social media companies refusing to support a solution to the problem? If they do, they will lose their credibility and be unable to continue dominating the virtual world. Since the privacy of most people is being invaded through these databases, most businesses will not even deal with them.
This is a good thing for the average American citizen, though, because it means that the privacy invasion is now limited to just the members of Congress and the heads of state. However, that is not all there is to this problem. There are nine more that do not apply to every American citizen who uses social media sites. Therefore, social media companies are keeping a great deal of information about each American at their fingertips.
Some of this information includes everything that you have posted, said online, or have sent in an instant message. It also includes pictures and videos. In addition to all of this information, social networking sites are collecting information about where you go and what you do. They are building detailed profiles about each of their registered users. So not only do they have an endless amount of information about each user, but they have gathered this information before the user has decided to share it.
Of course, the government does not want you to know what they are up to either. That is why they created the National Security Agency and other similar agencies to gather this same information. They want to catch people in illegal activities so that they cannot cover it up by using fake evidence. Social media sites help them do this by showing users exactly what they are up to. This may be good for the government’s purposes, but it is not necessarily good for the individual’s private rights.
If the social media companies refuse to share this information, then you can forget about free speech. There is nothing free about it when it comes to what these social media sites are doing to their users. You have a right to know what information the social media company is holding, and you have a right to make sure that you share this information with the individuals you need to. In the end, it is your responsibility to protect yourself and your family from this kind of surveillance.
The New Legislation Maybe Too Broad for Social Media Companies
Many industry experts and officials feel fear and worry that the proposed senate legislation on social media surveillance may be too broad and might put companies on the hook legally even if they unintentionally miss a tweet, video, or blog that hints of any terrorist attack. Another possible result would a deluge of tips to law enforcement, making it harder for the government to sift through all that to find the more valuable and truthful information.
The biggest thorn and nightmare for social media websites will always be the 2013 event that was even broadcast through social media news when former government analyst Edward Snowden leaked details of a massive government surveillance program in many countries, some even allies of the U.S. Thus, social media and tech industry officials say that by law they had no choice but to supply consumer data and comply with gag orders that prevented companies from talking about it.
Many consumers and internet activists were furious after learning from the leaked details that many U.S. businesses actually allowed the government to spy on their customers, and even in some cases charging the government administrative fees to do so. This alone was reason enough for the social media and tech industry to lead an aggressive public push to limit surveillance requests and to increase government transparency in these aspects. The government instead needs to adopt its own sophisticated encryption techniques despite the Justice Department being against this due to past misconduct by such agencies as the NSA and CIA.
The Reality that Terrorists Still Use Social Media Companies is Still There However
In reality, most Islamic terrorist groups rely heavily on Twitter and Facebook to recruit followers and militants have even posted beheading videos on social media news feeds and making it go viral for some time and copies before being taken down. Some groups even tweet the actions they are presently doing and thus, opening up new feeds on this topic.
It’s not a secret that many terror groups and their sponsors still use social media to recruit, fundraise and spread their messages. In fact, there is good news about that fact. That’s because technology is good at what it does and has been for a long time. We’re living in the age of the Internet. It’s here to stay. So here’s a good fact: that terrorists use social networks to recruit, fundraise, communicate and recruit more terrorists.
You may be asking yourself why this makes any sense. And you’re right at first glance. It doesn’t, but it’s worth thinking about. The Internet is a tool, like a social networking site, a forum, or a search engine, that allows us to communicate and interact with other people worldwide.
Social networks provide an excellent platform for communication between people. That’s how they work. That’s what their purpose is. But they also allow fringe elements of human society to have an outlet for their communication as well. Many terrorist groups use this medium to recruit, fundraise and communicate with other terrorist groups. It’s a tool that everyone uses every day, and unfortunately, everyone can use it too.
To understand why this is a problem, you need to look closely at the current administration’s attempts to crack down on the use of social media. The federal government has been somewhat successful at stopping various online communication tools by terrorists and others. Unfortunately, that success has also brought about increased use online by the government’s very groups trying to stop.
In other words, the government can go after terrorists using the tremendous communication capabilities of the Internet, but it can never really control what terrorist groups are doing online. They have a messaging system that they use online to recruit, fundraise, and spread information. It is considered one of their more effective weapons against the US. The real challenge comes from groups or individuals who do not have an online messaging system. Because of that, the challenge is to go after their communication and disrupt their ability to use it.
We need to realize that this is the case because, as we have seen recently, there are many cases of individuals or small groups who take advantage of the fact that everyone has access to the Internet and use it for their purposes. In many cases, they gather enough information to justify the reasons they have for doing so. If social media tools are available online, the Internet will continue to be a tool of choice for terrorists to use in their communications.