Mandatory Social Media Reporting Requirements will Do More Harm than Good

For Immediate Release:

SIIA Communications Contact: Diane Pinto, 202.789.4480,

PR Agency Contact: Farrah Kim, (202) 568-8986,


Mandatory Social Media Reporting Requirements will Do More Harm than Good


SIIA Opposes Plan by Sen. Feinstein to Enforce New Rules on Websites


WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 8, 2015) – The Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal association representing the software and digital content industries, today responded to the announcement that Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) intends to introduce legislation requiring social media platforms to alert federal officials about “online terrorist activity.”

Mark MacCarthy, SIIA’s Senior VP for Public Policy, issued the following statement:

“The desire to do something, particularly in the wake of recent attacks, should not lead Congress to put more innocent people under government surveillance, without any evidence it would make us safer. The private sector is already working closely with law enforcement to keep Americans safe, but that goal could actually be undermined by mandatory private sector reporting requirements.

“Tech companies maintain complex and evolving policies designed to stop the use of their systems to plan or conduct terrorist activity, and they are diligent in disclosing relevant information to law enforcement. This approach is far more effective than a broad government mandate because it gives each company the flexibility to craft the most effective policy, ensuring that it works best for its users and for the public and can adapt to different types of speech or conduct.

“Forcing companies to report certain activity would also circumvent established legal methods for the government to serve a warrant, subpoena, or even a National Security Letter. Rather, it would require social media to simply turn over information on its users to the government, based on a vague determination of what constitutes a ‘terrorist activity.’”

On several occasions recently, SIIA has made the case against private sector reporting mandates, including in this opinion column, and this blog post.


About SIIA
is an umbrella association representing 800+ technology, data and media companies globally. Industry leaders work through SIIA’s divisions to address issues and challenges that impact their industry segments with the goal of driving innovation and growth for the industry and each member company.  This is accomplished through in-person and online business development opportunities, peer networking, corporate education, intellectual property protection and government relations. For more information, visit