Graham seeks 9/11-style commission on social media vulnerabilities (Politico)

Graham seeks 9/11-style commission on social media vulnerabilities

Sen. Lindsey Graham is courting Democratic support for a proposal to set up an independent commission that would recommend new rules for reining in the social-media presence of foreign entities in response to Russian electoral meddling.

Graham said Thursday his still-nascent independent commission proposal would be modeled after the bipartisan panel created after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and would convene "experts in national security and technology to sit down and advise Congress: What kind of legal infrastructure do we need that balances privacy and national security interests? Because I think it’s going to be really hard for us to come up with a consensus."

The South Carolina Republican’s comments come after a Tuesday hearing of the Judiciary Committee subpanel he chairs at which representatives from Google, Facebook and Twitter testified that Russian-backed ad buyers continued their disruptive online efforts after President Donald Trump’s election.

Graham said Thursday that "we’re going to need legislation" in response to the Kremlin’s disruption of the 2016 election, but he stopped short of endorsing a bipartisan bill from Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), and John McCain (R-Ariz.) that would set requirements for more disclosure of online political advertising, which he called "just the tip of the iceberg."

Graham added that he already has reached out to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) about the idea.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said in an interview that he also has talked to Graham and would be receptive to the commission proposal. Electoral cybersecurity is best tackled separately from a strictly social-media-focused commission looking at the impact of foreign and extremist entities, he said.

"It can’t be just about the Russian hacking," Graham told reporters. "It’s got to be about the exposure we have as a nation. Because it’s the Russians today — it could be somebody else tomorrow."

Gillibrand’s office did not immediately return a request for comment on whether the senator is considering backing the commission idea.


via Politico

November 2, 2017 at 11:53AM

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