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How Much Social Media Should The Gov't Be Able To Access?

Uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by WhisperToMe

The full Senate is expected to take up a controversial bill called The Cyberthreat Information Sharing Act (CISA) when members return from their August recess.

Dozens of amendments will likely be added to the act, but in its present form businesses would have immunity from customer lawsuits when they hand over information about cyberthreats to other companies and to federal agencies.

Greater Cincinnati software developer Dave Hatter says he is 100% against this proposed legislation. "I think the thing is crazy and it encourages companies to spy on their customers."

"I think the thing is crazy and it encourages companies to spy on their customers." Software Developer Dave Hatter

In private meetings on Capitol Hill social media companies told lawmakers they already ban grisly content and alert law enforcement if they suspect violence, but are against this legislation.

Hatter, with Definity Partners, says, in his opinion, the proposed bill violates the 4th amendment and puts the public at risk because the government has a hard time keeping information secret.  He says, "Whether it's HHS, the IRS, pick any three letter acronym you can think of, they've already been hacked at least once."

"Who wouldn't want to help the government,?" asks Krista Neher, CEO of Boot Camp Digital. "But if you think it through, what it would require from social media companies, it's not such a good idea." She says Facebook, Twitter and Instagram already have policies in place to remove and report offensive or threatening posts.

Terrorists use social media and that’s why the government wants access to information. Christopher Cornell began tweeting his support for ISIS last summer and told an informant he wanted to go forward with a violent jihad. The FBI arrested the Green Township man in January after he bought two semi-automatic weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

"This is not your grandfather's al-Qaida." FBI Director James Comey

Court documents detail his alleged plan to build, plant and detonate pipe bombs at and near the U.S. Capitol and then use the firearms to shoot and kill employees and officers there.

Senator Dianne Feinstein says cyberattacks against the United States are getting more and more devastating and they aren't  going to stop, but just get worse. FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee, "this is not your grandfather’s al-Qaida." They use social media to reach thousands and thousands of followers and then move them to an encrypted messaging app."

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.