WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 3654, the Combat Terrorist Use of Social Media Act of 2015, authored by Congressman Ted Poe (TX-2), Chairman of the Terrorism Subcommittee. This bipartisan legislation requires the President to produce an Administration-wide strategy to combat terrorists online.
“Today, terrorists use social media to recruit, fundraise, spread propaganda and teach future fighters,” said Congressman Poe. “Online we’ve seen recipes for bombs, instruction manuals for attacks, a Q&A forum for terrorists and even a livestream of an attack. Potential terrorists don’t have to go to Syria or Iraq to train anymore. All they have to do is log-on. My legislation, H.R. 3654, the Combat Terrorist Use of Social Media Act of 2015, will help change this by requiring the President come up with a comprehensive strategy to combat terrorists online – something that the Administration promised in 2011. Unfortunately, today there is no strategy and consequently, we’ve seen individual agencies making unilateral decisions and not coordinating with one another. For example, DHS unilaterally decided not to look at visa applicants’ social media postings; the FBI does not know how far it should push private social media companies to prohibit them from allowing terrorist content on their sites; the State Department does not know how to effectively counter terrorist messaging because it does not have the expertise of the intelligence community; and the intelligence community approaches social media as a capture everything because it has not been made clear what it should look for. We must first have a strategy before we can effectively defeat this enemy on every battlefield, including the cyber battlefield. H.R. 3654 requires just that.”