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DAILY CALLER: EXCLUSIVE: Republicans Trying To Stop Federal Government From Working With Big Tech On Censorship

A group of House Republicans introduced legislation Wednesday that would prohibit the federal government from using Big Tech to infringe upon Americans’ First Amendment rights.

The legislation, first obtained by the Daily Caller, is titled the Free Speech Defense Act. It was spearheaded by Republican Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde and has 10 original co-sponsors.

The bill focuses on recent reporting indicating that the Biden Administration is using the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to police Americans’ online speech.

The Intercept reported in October that DHS  is “quietly broadening” its efforts to limit speech it considers a danger.

“The very purpose of our First Amendment is to safeguard the People from the government prohibiting free speech — setting us apart from brutal regimes such as Russia and China,” Clyde told the Caller before introducing the legislation.

Here’s What The Legislation Would Do, According To Clyde’s Office: 

  • Prohibits the federal government from directing, encouraging, or coercing social media companies to deplatform users, label content as misleading, trusted, true, or untrue, or share users’ data without a warrant.
  • Dismantles the Disinformation Governance Board and bans federal funding for any future iterations of such a panel.
  • Strengthens the Antideficiency Act by prohibiting employees of the federal government from soliciting or accepting no-cost services, such as free advertising.
  • Allows enforcement against the government in federal court if Americans can show that they were censored, deplatformed, or labeled, as these actions would violate the Free Speech Defense Act.
  • Requires an annual report to Congress by the U.S. Attorney General, in consultation with the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, on the federal government’s compliance with the provisions within the legislation.

“By using social media companies like Facebook and Twitter as private sector proxies to carry out its bidding, the federal government is brazenly infringing on Americans’ civil liberties and dangerously violating our Constitution. My legislation will bring an end to the government-by-proxy censorship that is tarnishing the bedrock of our nation and unjustly depriving Americans of their First Amendment freedoms,” he added.

The original cosponsors include Reps. Brian Babin and Randy Weber of Texas, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, James Comer and Thomas Massie of Kentucky, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Doug LaMalfa of California, Mary Miller of Illinois and Barry Moore of Alabama.

Office Locations

Office Locations

Washington, DC Office 445 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-9893
Fax: (202) 226-1224
Gainesville District Office 210 Washington St NW, Suite 202
Gainesville, GA 30501
Phone: (470) 768-6520
Map of U.S. Representative Andrew Clyde's office locations