U.S. Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) along with four other Republican senators have reintroduced the ‘Disclose Government Censorship Act,’ a piece of legislation aiming to curtail governmental influence on Big Tech and censorship of American citizens’ speech.
In a press release issued on May 18, the Senators expressed concern over the Biden Administration and Big Tech’s supposed lack of self-governance when it comes to respecting and upholding the First Amendment right to free speech.
The legislation demands greater transparency around government attempts to manipulate public discourse and curbs the interchange of personnel between the government and Big Tech, a practice the Senators see as a conduit for censorship collaboration.
“Time and time again, the Biden Administration and Big Tech have shown they cannot police themselves in protecting Americans’ First Amendment right to free speech,” Senator Johnson noted in the press release, expressing hope that the bill will “shine a light on the collusion between bureaucrats and Big Tech.”
Senator Hagerty shared his concerns about the relationship between Big Tech and the current administration, stating, “The collusion between the Biden Administration and Big Tech that has come to light over the last two years is not only disturbing but inconsistent with the government’s constitutional role in American life.”
He further explained the bill’s necessity by invoking the First Amendment, arguing that “If the federal government is attempting to end-run the Constitution by secretly working with tech platforms to censor Americans’ speech, the American people deserve to know.”
Echoing these sentiments, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) emphasized that “No government should pressure social media companies into censoring their users’ legal speech.”
Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) meanwhile alleged a history of censorship from the Democratic party, stating, “Democrats have a rich history of censoring and silencing Republicans.”
Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) branded the alleged actions of the government as “un-American”, adding, “People in Wyoming expect the government to protect their First Amendment rights, not actively infringe on them.”
The Disclose Government Censorship Act seeks to break the “dangerous relationship” between the government and Big Tech, and ensure that attempts to restrict speech on tech platforms are transparent and publicly available.
In addition to Senators Johnson and Hagerty, the bill is supported by Senators Rubio, Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Marshall, and Lummis.
Read the full bill below: