Support increasing for bill allowing government to scan social media sites

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is backing legislation which would allow the federal government to scan social media sites.

“There is nothing wrong and everything right with scanning Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for key words like jihad and pipebombs,” said the Democratic Senator. “If someone is publicly talking about that on the social media, it is certainly available for the government to see.”

If passed, the government could stop people who have posted praise for groups like ISIS from coming into the United States.

“Our government has the capability to do this extensively and efficiently,” said Sen. Schumer.

The official name for the proposed bill is Combat Terrorist Use of Social Media Act of 2015. It aims at stopping ISIS and other organizations from effectively using social media as a recruitment tool.

“There’s no question about it; these pages are being used to recruit individuals,” said Arun Vishwanath, a professor at the University at Buffalo.  “People get more radicalized when they can go on these pages and they’re located anywhere in the United States or anywhere in the world and they have access to this material.”

Former Homeland Security Agent, Steven MacMartin, said learning how to combat and counteract this recruitment and radicalization is necessary.

“As will happen with a new threat or problem– there a lot of indivuuals and single ideas on how to go about it,” said MacMartin.

The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed this bill; the senate will vote on it when they reconvene in the new year.

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