Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Votes to Infiltrate Terrorists’ Social Media

Dec 16, 2015
Press Release
Bill Instructs White House to Create Social Media Strategy

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-FL, supported legislation requiring the administration to develop a social media strategy to disrupt the recruitment and communication by terrorist groups. The “Combat Terrorist Use of Social Media Act” passed by the U.S. House today now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Earlier this week Buchanan called on the administration to begin immediately screening the social media of anyone who wants to enter the United States through a visa program. One of the San Bernardino terrorists pledged their support to Islamic jihad on Facebook two years before the attack, according to media reports.

“We have heard repeatedly how terrorists abuse social media to recruit, fundraise and communicate with others to carry out their murderous attacks,” Buchanan said. “The White House should be doing this already without being instructed by Congress.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that a former acting chief of the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence bureau said civil liberties and privacy concerns have given some DHS officials reservations about scrutinizing visa applicants' social media posts.

“It’s time to stop the political correctness and put the safety of Americans ahead of the privacy of foreigners,” Buchanan said.

Last week the congressman voted for legislation to deny visa waivers to people who have traveled to Syria, Iraq and other high-risk nations during the previous five years. Additionally, the U.S. House passed the SAFE Act, with Buchanan’s support, last month requiring the FBI director, the secretary of Homeland Security and the director of National Intelligence to personally certify that each and every refugee from Syria and Iraq is not a security threat.