Via Tamarama, I find this delightful piece of legislation that has passed the House, HR 1955. Uncle rightly notes that due to one of the bill’s findings, it would be pretty easy to label anyone who has a blog as a “potential terrorist”.
This bill is chock-full of things that I don’t like just in the findings section. The goal of the bill is to create some sort of domestic terrorism prevention council, or somesuch silliness, which of course your tax dollars are going to fund. But it’s the “definitions” and “findings” section that really tweaks my nose, with statements like these:
(3) HOMEGROWN TERRORISM- The term `homegrown terrorism’ means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
(3) The Internet has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.
Do you write a blog? Have you ever jokingly said that we should kill our elected officials? Congratulations, you’re a homegrown terrorist.
What amazes me is the absolute flexibility of this bill. Since the definition of “Homegrown terrorist” is likely deliberately left vague, future administrations will be able to interpret it pretty much exactly as they please.