Senators John Cornyn of Texas and Joe Manchin of West Virginia earlier this week, reintroduced an act known as “See Something Say Something Online” which will force tech companies to divulge any suspicious activity they noticed to the law enforcement agencies in a similar way the banks are required to report transactions that are suspicious i.e. those which are over $10,000 or those that in any way signals criminal activity.
According to a related document from the office of Joe Manchin, companies are protected from liability for the actions that individuals take on their platforms, void of incentives to clean up criminal activity. Even when those activities happen, they prefer forgetting about it than handing it over to the proper law enforcement agencies, which is making matters quite laborious for the agencies to go after the perpetrators online. It is high time for us to hold these sites and for them to say whatever they see online.
There are, however, certain questions circulating in the community that what is the essence of such a bill at a time like this? There are also some concerns that what kind of action will the bill cover and what kind of data will be gathered as a result.
The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Oasis Labs, Anne Fauvre-Willis said while speaking as a representative of a company said in a statement that this Bill is a perfect example of bills with mind-blowing intentions but has many implications and setbacks in its implementations.
Anne said in an email that she is aware of the fact that the regulators are trying to put more obligation on the tech companies out there to protect their users, but in reality, the bill will do the reverse. She said that it is the violation of the fundamental human right to privacy and disconnects them from the sense of control in an unintentional way of their own data.
Anne Fauvre-Willis continued and said that the bill will have an unintended effect on small entrepreneurs and startups more than anything like any other bill that seeks to regulate anything regarding the internet before it.
The more action these bills go into, the more barrier will be built by large companies against the small ones. Large companies like Google and Facebook can hire legal and innovative teams to address the situations but the rising companies and startups cannot, and as a result will have an indirect effect on the innovations of the companies.