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Free Expression

What Can — Or Should — Internet Companies Do To Fight Terrorism?


After the recent attacks in Paris and in San Bernardino, Calif., social media platforms are under pressure from politicians to do more to take down messages and videos intended to promote terrorist groups and recruit members.

Lawmakers in Congress are considering a bill that calls on President Obama to come up with a strategy to combat the use of social media by terrorist groups. Another measure, proposed in the Senate, would require Internet companies to report knowledge of terrorist activities to the government.

The Senate bill that would require companies to report terrorist activity does not define terrorist activity, says Emma Llansó, director of the Free Expression Project at the Center for Democracy and Technology.

“This kind of proposal creates a lot of risks for individual privacy and free expression,” she says.

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