Waller: Beware Bipartisan Big Tech Bills on ‘Safety’

(RoyalPatriot.com )- In a recent op-ed at Newsmax, national security analyst J. Michael Waller warns that bipartisan legislation supposedly geared to making rein in Big Tech contains a “secret trap door” to censorship.

Currently, conservatives in the Senate are supporting two bills that ostensibly will ensure content is protected from censorship. However, Waller explains, the bills “contain a secret trap door for the censors.”

Waller contends that in the world of Big Tech, the term “safety” has become a code word to “censor various points of view, evidence, and facts.” And now that understanding of “safety” is being codified in the law.

The Senate Judiciary Committee recently advanced two bills: the Open App Markets Act (OAMA) and the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA).

OAMA is sponsored by Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal and Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn while AICOA was introduced by Democrat Senator Amy Klobuchar and Republican Chuck Grassley.

While Waller concedes that both bills contain solutions to rein in Big Tech, they also include the “safety” code word.

Among Big Tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, corporate “safety” units work to censor and deplatform people, apps, and companies all for ideological reasons. At Facebook, this work is done by its Safety and Expression division. Twitter has a Trust and Safety Council. And YouTube has its own Trust and Safety unit.

They’re not about trust, and they’re not about safety. They’re about censorship.

Waller explains that the same thing holds for these Senate bills.

In 2021, Senator Klobuchar had introduced a bill designed to hold social media companies liable for “disinformation” and “hate speech” that appears on their platforms. Klobuchar termed this bill a “safety and civil rights” measure. But the bill wasn’t aimed at progressive platforms. Instead, Klobuchar was targeting conservative alternative social media platforms like Parler, Rumble, and Gab.

Waller warns that the Senate legislation is “an incrementalist approach to permanent online censorship of disfavored ideas.” The idea of “online safety” isn’t defined in federal law or federal regulation, Waller explains. Instead, it is arbitrary, leaving it open to interpretation.

Waller explains that the solution would be to offer an amendment clarifying that any “safety” provision would only apply to speech that is not protected by the First Amendment.