In mid-April, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Massachusetts) introduced a bill authorizing the government to monitor and analyze speech online, on television, and over the radio, with the aim of classifying it as hate speech under the government’s own vague guidelines and then possibly charging the “offenders” with a hate crime.
The Hate Crime Reporting Act of 2014 (S. 2219) would create a comprehensive report of Internet and other telecommunications speech regarding gender, race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. It would also create recommendations to address such crimes.
If S. 2219 becomes law, it would be “a really big step toward a police state,” says Patrick Vaughan, general counsel for the American Family Association.
“What they propose to do is capture and monitor everything that’s said on broadcast or everything that’s said on the Internet; they’re going to grab it all,” the attorney describes. “Then they’re going to analyze it to see if there might be something going on that would lead to a crime in the future.”