September 19, 2021

Volume XI, Number 262

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September 17, 2021

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Senators Introduce Online Terrorist Activity Reporting Bill

Senators Feinstein (D-CA) and Burr (R-NC) introduced legislation today that would impose reporting duties on entities that “obtain[] actual knowledge of any terrorist activity.”  The bill applies to entities “engaged in providing an electronic communication service or a remote computing service to the public,” which includes social media companies.  Those entities are required to report terrorist activity to the appropriate authorities (as determined by the Attorney General) as soon as reasonably possible.  The report must include “the facts or circumstances,” defined to include activity involving “distribution of information relating to explosives, destructive devices, and weapons of mass destruction,” with reference to the criminal prohibition on the distribution of such information in 18 U.S.C. § 842(p).  Neither § 842 nor today’s legislation define “terrorist activity.”  Finally, today’s bill clarifies that it may not be construed to require companies to “monitor any user, subscriber, or customer” or “the content of any communication” of those users.

© 2021 Covington & Burling LLPNational Law Review, Volume V, Number 343
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About this Author

David Bender, data privacy and cybersecurity attorney, Covington Burling
Associate

David Bender is an associate in the firm’s Washington office. He is a member of the Data Privacy and Cybersecurity and Communications and Media practice groups. Mr. Bender advises clients on a broad range of privacy and data security issues regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of information online.

202 662 5822
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