Congressman to introduce legislation banning federal agencies from pressing Big Tech to censor

Georgia Rep. Andrew Clyde plans to introduce a bill that also will allow people who have been harmed by censorship to take legal action.

Updated: September 29, 2022 - 11:17pm

Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.) plans to introduce legislation called the Free Speech Defense Act that will prohibit federal officials from collaborating with Big Tech to censor Americans' voices and create some legal recourse for those harmed by free speech infringement.

Clyde unveiled his plans for the bill during an appearance Thursday night on the "Just the News, Not Noise" TV show.

"It prevents the federal government from partnering with other entities, with these third party groups, with these social media companies, because that is a violation of of our Constitution," he explained. "This bill would prevent the federal government from labeling anything through a proxy entity such as a social media company as disinformation."

According to the Georgia congressman, he has secured several cosponsors but doesn't expect the legislation to pass until Republicans take control of Congress. 

"It would also give an opportunity for those people who have been harmed by it to take legal action," Clyde added. "So I think it's a great bill. I've got a number of Republican co-sponsors on it already."

Just the News reported Friday that some private groups worked with two federal agencies to target information involving more than 22 million social posts during the 2020 election.

"This should not be happening — this particular type of censorship, where the government knows that they cannot do it by themselves because of the First Amendment of the Constitution, which prohibits it," Clyde said. "And then they decide to partner with another entity, a private entity, a social media platform or university."

Clyde said this is an ongoing issue that needs to be addressed by Congress.

"This is incredibly concerning and is something that Congress needs to be looking into," Clyde said. "And I'll tell you that when we take back the majority in November — and I'm a proud member of both the Oversight Committee and the Homeland Security Committee — I think this is something we need to look into and investigate further."

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