Sen. Marshall, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to End Government Collusion with Big Tech to Censor Americans’ Speech
(Washington, D.C., July 29, 2021) – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. joined Senators Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) in introducing the Disclose Government Censorship Act, which seeks to end the government-directed speech suppression and viewpoint censorship the White House recently revealed in stating that it routinely urges Big Tech companies to remove the speech of Americans that the government deems inaccurate or unhelpful.
“The Biden Administration’s recent efforts to partner with Big Tech and remove social media content that it finds problematic is deeply disturbing,” said Senator Marshall. “There’s a reason that our founding fathers had the wisdom to enshrine the right to free speech as our first freedom, because it’s fundamental to the health of our democracy. Government must not be in the business of picking and choosing who gets to speak up or what can be said in the public sphere, and this bill ensures transparency in any efforts to censor opinions with which they disagree.”
To provide transparency regarding these censorship efforts, the Disclose Government Censorship Act requires Executive and Legislative Branch employees to publicly disclose on an easily accessible website any communications with technology platforms regarding action or potential action by the platforms to restrict speech, with the exception of communications for a legitimate law enforcement or national security purpose. This legislation also establishes a cooling-off period during which government employees who engage with Big Tech platforms to censor Americans’ speech cannot turn around and lobby the government on behalf of such platforms, in order to prevent conflicts of interest that create the potential for increased censorship.