California Faces an Internet Censorship Bill
California’s leftist ruling class is starting to run low on more insane initiatives. And it’s moving into blatantly unconstitutional territory. But since the Brown regime has been operating as a secessionist entity, why not violate the First Amendment and adopt the best practices of China, Russia, Cuba and North Korea?
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – California is considering creating a “fake news” advisory group in order to monitor information posted and spread on social media.
Senate Bill 1424 would require the California Attorney General to create the advisory committee by April 1, 2019. It would need to consist of at least one person from the Department of Justice, representatives from social media providers, civil liberties advocates, and First Amendment scholars.
The advisory group would be required to study how false information is spread online and come up with a plan for social media platforms to fix the problem. The Attorney General would then need to present that plan to the Legislature by December 31, 2019. The group would also need to come up with criteria establishing what is “fake news” versus what is inflammatory or one-sided.
If the ACLU were still in the free speech business (as opposed to the ‘Elect Democrats’ business), the drums would be beating.
It’s not the role of government to decide what speech should exist. Nor should it be laying out “plans” to fix a problem consisting of speech it doesn’t like. There’s a straightforward term for that, censorship.
The media hysteria over “fake news” quickly targeted a variety of conservative organizations. Google and Facebook’s efforts to fight this fake problem quickly resulted in censorship and the spread of more fake news.
The First Amendment has very clear standards in this regard. It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law.
The full text of the bill is much creepier than the media summary.
Existing law prohibits a person, among others, from making or disseminating in any advertising device, or in any manner or means whatever, including over the Internet, any statement concerning real or personal property or services that is untrue or misleading, as specified.
A crossed out section also states that, “ The bill would also require the Attorney General to draft potential legislation for mitigating the spread of false information through social media, if the advisory group deems it appropriate.”
Senator Richard Pan’s original version seems to have been much worse.
Any person who operates a social media Internet Web site with physical presence in California shall develop a strategic plan to verify news stories shared on its Internet Web site
(b) (a) The strategic plan shall include, but is not limited to, all of the following:
(1) (b) Draft a model strategic plan for Internet-based social media platforms to use to mitigate the spread of false information through news stories.
(2) The utilization of fact-checkers to verify news stories.
(3) Providing outreach to social media users regarding news stories containing false information.
(4) Placing a warning on a news story containing false information.
© As used in this section, “social media” means an electronic service or account, or electronic content, including, but not limited to, videos, still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text messages, email, online services or accounts, or Internet Web site profiles or locations.
This is a blatant attack on the First Amendment.
And considering that the left has insisted the travel ban be shut down based on Trump’s campaign rhetoric, any court case can take into account the original intent here.
Then there’s this strange Senator Pan story.
Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, is alleging that thieves hacked his email account and stole $46,000 from his re-election campaign in a “sophisticated” scheme earlier this year.
“Hopefully we can identify the people who did it,” Pan said. “That will send a signal that they can’t just get away with it, and the people who try these things can get caught.”
Pan said the FBI and California Highway Patrol are investigating the campaign theft, which was also reported to the California Fair Political Practices Commission.
It’s unclear how the unknown suspects were able to break into his email account in mid-February. Pan said he is the only person with permitted access to the account.